I’ve been invited by crime fiction writer and über blogger Margot Kinberg to participate in the Meet the Main Character Blog Tour. (Fans of crime fiction would be mad not to follow Margot’s blog Confessions of a Mystery Novelist to marvel at and share in her encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre). Check out Margot’s blog for her interview with her main character Joel Williams, professor of criminal justice in the Pennsylvania (USA) college town of Tilton.
And now to continue the tour with an interview with the main character of my own crime novels…
What is your name? Are you a fictional or historical character?
I’m Jayne Keeney PI, an Australian expatriate based in Bangkok. People mistake me for my creator, Angela Savage, because we both have long, dark, curly hair. But I am entirely fictional and way more cool than Angela.
When and where is your story set?
My stories are set in the late-1990s in different parts of Thailand. My first outing, Behind the Night Bazaar, takes place in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai in 1996. The second novel, The Half-Child, is set in the seaside town of Pattaya — admittedly, a pretty seedy place — with a side trip to Thailand’s ‘wild west’, Kanchanaburi. The latter is probably best known outside Thailand as the site of the Death Railway and Bridge on the River Kwai. The latest novel, The Dying Beach, takes place in early 1997 in the southwest province of Krabi on Thailand’s Andaman coast — arguably one of the most beautiful parts of the planet.
What should we know about you?
One reviewer describes me as “an appealing character, emotional and yet capable of cold-eyed action. She smokes too much, speaks Thai fluently and likes a drink and a shag. She has a well-developed moral compass.” Another suggests I am “driven by that repressed compassion fuelling her need to see justice done.”
This pretty much sums me up.
What is the main conflict? What messes up your life?
I am impulsive — that’s how I ended up in Thailand in the first place — to the point of being reckless at times. Also stubborn and occasionally unreasonable. Fortunately, my business partner and lover, Rajiv Patel, is nothing like me. His intelligence and pragmatism are life-saving for me. Literally.
What is your personal goal?
I’m not really the planning type. I don’t set goals so much as lurch from one opportunity to the next. That said, I’m growing increasingly attached to Rajiv and I guess I’ve got to start thinking about how — and where — we can make a future together. I also need to reconcile my relationship with Australia, which despite being my country of birth, often disappoints and frustrates me.
Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Angela has 30,000 words of the next Jayne Keeney novel written. She actually started writing it some time ago, intending it to be the third book in the series. But on reflection, she decided it was better suited as a fourth book, and put it aside to write The Dying Beach, which was published in 2013. The working title is A Tiger’s Heart and it is set in Bangkok in 1997, with a side trip to the island of Koh Chang.
When can we expect the book to be published?
Well you might ask! Angela is working on an altogether different novel about commercial surrogacy between Australia and Thailand, part of her PhD in Creative Writing, which doesn’t involve me at all. Clearly, I’m not good enough for her now that she’s aspiring to become Doctor Savage. All the same, I know she can’t resist me — or Rajiv. She’ll need a break from her PhD novel at some point and we’ll be waiting patiently when she does.
Thanks Jayne. And now it’s my turn to pass the baton to other writers and ask them to introduce their main characters using the questions above. I’m tagging:
— all awesome characters you’ll want to get to know.