Hey, I'm back already! Getting quite regular at this old blogging thing now, hehehe!

Ten Yen True, the new novel by my aunt Christina St Clair and I, which we have sent to some literary agents, really was formed by a weird reality.

So here goes....

May 2011, my aunt came over for a visit because it was my dad's 65th birthday and I'd organised a surprise party for him
for his old school friends and close family. I asked Christina (my dads sister) to come from Kentucky, USA which of course she did, but as she arrived on the Thursday before the party, (Sat) she stayed at mine as opposed to staying at my parents which she normally would when she visits.
At the house we were then in, I had to put her up in the toy room on a sofa bed. I had strictly told my (then 3 and a half year old) daughter that she must not go into that room without asking Christina, as it was temporarily her bedroom.
I knew Mia would oblige, she is a good girl.
Later in the day, after picking my aunt up from Gatwick and bringing her back to my house, supplying her with some much needed PG Tips (she was english once right?!) she went up for a sleep.
Later that day, she said to me, "haha very funny!"
To which I looked at her quite strangely and asked, "excuse me?"
"The coin?" she said wryly, "very funny!"
At that point I checked the fridge, the Californian Chardonnay she likes, was still in tact.
"Ahem?" I was troubled now. "I don't know what you are talking about."
Christina held out a coin.
A coin I have never seen before. She thought I, or possibly Mia had placed it into her suitcase.
The thing was, it wasn't on the top of her belongings, but right in the middle. 
Now, I would never, even for a joke, go through somebody's personal belongings.
So for a while we sat there contemplating/discussing how on earth that coin had got there.  We made silly jokes, I attempted one, saying that maybe she was on some kind of hit list! That either the FBI or some terrorist organisation had targeted her.
It was only when my husband came home from work to find my Aunt on the Chardonnay and me on the Champers that he checked it out and found, it was a ten yen coin.
So, of course, after a couple of glasses of vino, you get to deep talking.
Realising of course how recently the Japanese had suffered so much following the recent Tsunami, we felt sad and helpless.
Then we speculated about just how that coin had got into Christina's suitcase.
I am useless at geography but even I know that you don't fly over Japan from USA to UK.

So what happened?

Eventually. We made it up.

Ten Yen True: 

We gave ourselves two main characters each:

I took Caitlin, the hard-faced, closed-hearted financial bitch that has no friends. She lost her sibling through cancer and subsequently her father. She doesn't care anymore, does she?

And sadly, Tommy, the child dying of cancer. Not easy. But then I discovered the true art of fiction. The rules are? We, as writers, can change the rules.
Tommy was the most emotional character I have ever written. Especially having a child myself. I do not want to write about
childhood cancer or even death.It was horrible researching that. But that is when I changed the rules, because I could.
However, it was a very emotional time for me.

Christina wrote JJ (Joseph Jackson) former G.I who I absolutely fell in love with. He really is a gentle giant. This guy, fought with his father and his inner feelings towards his father's religious views after picking up the roadside remains of his colleagues...

Paul Somerville's character: Wow! I hated and loved this guy as soon as she created him. (Honestly, I see Rob Lowe playing him in the movie adaptation of this!) He is so messed up yet so charismatic!?

Ambitious? You think? Why? Harry Potter wasn't real either right?

Christina and I skyped once a week and discussed our characters, which was so much fun for us.

Christina St Clair is now officially my editor.


Bye for now x