My current novel - Question list

{I got these questions here. Let us barge ahead and reveal the answers.}

This is what the main character, Harper Joy Morning, looks like.

~What's the name of your project? When did you first come up with the idea? And how long have you been working on it?

So yes, what-ho all! Today, why not, I present to you my current work of historical fiction. I decided to fill out this tag because I'm feeling kind of saggy - uninspired - about it at the moment, and want to remedy the bitter fact as quick as one can. Because, without being boastful m'dears, I don't want to give up my current novel. I love it. You might not, but I want to read that book finished one day.
It's called 'At the Wrong Side of the Ocean' and I decided to write it because I was looking for a book about a British girl in 1940 who gets evacuated to the US during the WW2 and I couldn't find one. I therefore sat down and decided to try to create the book I wanted to read. That's the best kind of thing an author does, I flatter myself.
I've been working on it since February. Wow, it's an old bean!

~Sum up your novel in five words or less.
A dramatically girlish WW2 saga
{Wow, that sounds gorgeous.}

~Who is your favourite character?  Tell us about him or her.
My favourite character is Rose Wilson - not the main one {who I adore like cookies, but who does get a teensy bit too gusto-like now and then} - but a pretty important side-kick character nevertheless. She's a beautiful black girl with dreams in her eyes. She goes through pretty hard circumstances - including discrimination due to her skin colour - but she's always dreamy and fluttery and happy. She's very imaginative, but judges people pretty fast. I love her a lot. She's the kind of character that's a joy to write.

~Where does your novel take place?  What time period?
It's a World War Two story - it starts off in 1940 and the story will end in 1946, if all goes according to my current plan {yes, I sometimes head my story-line in a different way when a new idea suddenly finds it's way to the surface of my brain. Has definitely happened before. Ha.}

~Do you have a theme song for your story?  What is it?
Belle 2013's soundtrack. Anything written by Rachel Portman, actually. {Yes, Emma, I'm still listening to that one.}

~What's been the hardest part to write so far?
When my main character, a blue-eyed feather-like damsel called Harper is in America, she hears that her mother died in the Liverpool Blitz. Harper is a very Marianne Dashwood-like girl, with loads of passion and dramatic thoughts. So sketching out the death of her mother and her grief in the following chapters was just really hard to write. I don't want to make it appear soppy, and I hope it'll look real in the end.
I hope people will mourn with Harper instead of rolling their eyes at her continuous tears.

~Which chapter was your favourite so far?
On February the 14th {yop, Valentine's day} I wrote the chapter where Harper meets Andrew {known as Andy. He's a peach.} and that was SO fun. I think the romantic chapters must be my favourite. Don't ask me why because it's not like I'm that romantic. Heehee.

This is what Andy looks like. {Yes, that is Jimmy Stewart. I KNOW.}

~Can you share one of your favourite snippets?
I don't know about a 'favourite', but this one I wrote four days ago is pretty not-too-bad, I suppose:

Laura stopped, looked ahead with a white look on her face. Her snow-blue eyes poured with tears as the wind sneered against them. The vision of the misery house blurred in front of her eyes. It seemed like everything around her was peeling the wrong way – like everything in life was pointing to death. People in England got clattered under bricks. Houses died. Families got empty places at their table. Children all over the world were silent with home-sickness, waiting with that sickly, unbearable patience for the war to end. Laura had felt black with shock when she heard how Jews got discriminated. They had to wear yellow stars so everyone recognised them and could treat them as Hitler should be treated. Newspapers said there might be mass killings going. All these things were happening right now – now – as Harper stood there in her tweed Liverpool coat, with a good Friend at an arm. Millions of people were dying right now. To know that was like dying yourself.

~Are any aspects of your story drawn directly from your own life?  Give us an example. 
Well, not that many. It's a good thing, because this book is actually rather sad. {I punched down a smiley face here originally, but I then rubbed it away because it looked like I was laughing at my sad characters and that's so mean!}
But yes, I have, for example, put some funny things my siblings said into the book. Some family aspects are similar to ours. They eat the pancakes my brother once cooked for me. They listen to the wind I listened to once. They whoop for joy when they see snow for the first time in the winter, just like I did when it snowed first.

~Your main character gets dumped into a big city in the modern era (or if you're writing a contemporary work, he/she gets dumped in medieval London).  How does he/she respond?
Amy Dashwood, this question is toppers.
Harper is extremely dramatic. She's not crazy-dramatic, she's Marianne-Dashwood-and-Anne-Shirley-kind-of-dramatic. She doesn't scream, she thinks and says things with passionate gusto and flowery expressions. I think some people would get annoyed by her, but I personally think it's pretty adorable.
Back to the question, though, Harper would topple over with questions bursting in her head. She would ask strangers 'what this all is.' Harper would be very surprised to be in modern London, especially because she's in America. I think she'd be proud to be British.

~Who's the funniest character in your story? Tell us why! Give examples! Support your argument.  :D
I've suddenly realised I don't have that many funny characters. I should pop in some more nonsense, thank you for reminding me, questions. But there is a funny boy - eleven years old, approx - called Spencer. He has straight, straight brown hair and long nails. He doesn't care a fig about clothes. That kind of boy, you know what I mean. He once describes nylons as greasy legs - doesn't see a plum of use in those stockings.

Spencer looks a lot like Scout, but then he's really a boy.

~If you were forced to eliminate a character from your story--just wash them clean off the slate--who would it be?
I would perhaps clean out Spencer's older brother, Jonathan. He's always on the background, not really doing anything but telling me not to forget him when I'm writing the family outings. But he's handy now and then, when there's a big chore to be done, so I don't think I'll eliminate him. I haven't been forced to do so, thank goodness.

~Do you plan on writing a sequel to your novel?
I don't think so. I'm not crazy about the whole sequel-business.

Have a lovely day!


  1. It's awesome to read more about your story! I'm glad you decided to do this. (Makes me want to blog about my novels more! But I should probably concentrate on actually WRITING them first...argh.)

    I am drooling over the snippet you posted. Your words are so beautiful, Naomi. It's like you take normal, boring words and make them gorgeous. What even....? :-)

    JIMMY STEWART. Okay, I think I'm going to have to just sit here and stare at that picture for several hours-- I mean minutes. Just....aaahhh.

    It sounds SO good and I can't WAIT to read more!!! :-)


  2. Oh boy does this sound exciting!!! I have toyed with writing a novel set during WWII, but with a girl in a concentration camp (yes, I know depressing, but the ideas in my head make the idea worth it)!:)

  3. This sounds extremely fun Naomi!!! XD I will have to steal your questions for I am writing one in the first world war. :-)

  4. Naomi, this story sounds adorable!!!
    I mean, not really since it's sad, but I think you know what I'm trying to say. :) Your heroine sounds sooo fun (and I love her name! So unique!) and Jimmy Stewart as your hero??? Yes. :)
    Your snippet was SO good. Dramatic and heartfelt without being over the top. I really liked the last two lines. Please share more soon!! :)

  5. Emma, thank you so much! YOU'RE JUST SO SWEET. That's what I WANT to do - make normal words gorgeous by putting them in the right place... so you saying that really made me, 'YAYYY' inwardly. You always say what I want to hear, as I told you once before. :-)
    And Jimmy Stewart is ADORABLE.

    Madison, why thank you! Lovely to have you commenting, too. :-) I love reading Holocaust stories (although they are so sad, of course), so I think you should write that WW2 story! :-)

    Evie, Ahh! I love World War One stories! Best of luck.

    Natalie, You're so sweet! Thank you very much indeed. :-) I'm glad you like the snippit I shared.
    And yes, I love the name Harper too. I thought of it after I read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee and thought, 'Yes, that's her name.'

    ~ Naomi


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