Why Cait, and not a different lead character? – Roderick Donald

Why Cait, and not a different lead character?

This is probably the most common question I am asked, after of course, “where do you get the inspiration from to come up with all those out-there storylines.”

Well, if truth be known, Cait is very loosely based on my daughter—and I emphasize the word “loosely”!!! I initially wrote The Awakening after several half-finished novels that I had been toying with about twenty years ago. I actually came across the first draft of several of these manuscripts when I was tidying up those usual piles of boxes that we all seem to end up with that are shoved in the corner of our garages, or in our attics or basements, gathering dust. You know the ones—we say to ourselves that we can’t really throw the contents out, however just in case . . . and then we never look inside them again.

Except this time I did.

And there was Cait—a.k.a. my daughter—yelling at me from the yellowing pages of one of the manuscripts. I started reading then and there, page after fading page until I finished what I had written. From memory it was about fifty or sixty pages, then the story finished as abruptly as it started. I was left sitting on a precipice, with the beginnings of story in hand, but not much more. In fact, it was so long ago that the manuscript had been printed on a dot matrix printer.

Remember them? The ones with the whirring bar that used to run noisily back and forth, spitting ink onto paper that had tear off perforated edges? Assuming your memory goes back that far. Almost to the dinosaur age.

Anyway, the story was crap! But Cait was there, calling me, so I threw her a lifeline and dragged her to safety, dusting her off and sat her avatar on the shelf until I could figure out what to do with her.

Move forward another ten years, and Cait was still sitting on that virtual shelf, waiting for her ten minutes of fame. Not may daughter, mind you. Her avatar. My daughter had moved on and by now had a psychology degree (now maybe the penny drops for you; see the resemblance?), and was studying for a Master of Nursing Science, as a life at the cutting edge of medicine was now calling her.

See the resemblance once again?

But that was only part of the story. I now had a lead character, but then I had to figure out what to do with her, or she would continue to gather more dust as she waited in the wings for her time in the sun. What I had previously written was, between you and I, not all that good. Certainly not good enough to launch Cait onto the world stage, so her persona had to be put on hold until a story that was big enough for her gelled in my head.

By then I was travelling constantly offshore for my work as a pen for hire—a Technical Writer—flying up to 15,500 kilometers per fortnight on a two week on, two week off shift. I became very friendly with those lovely airline attendants who greet you at the door of whatever lounge I was spending time in waiting for my next plane: “Hello Mr Donald, it’s nice to see you again.” Then the barman would ask, “Would you like the usual?”

Really, travel is great when you’re on holidays, but when you do it as part of your job it becomes just so b-o-r-i-n-g!!!

Now what has this got to do with Cait you may well ask? Just get on with it .

Well, having so much time on my hands waiting for planes and sitting alone at night in yet another basic room for weeks on end, I started to hear a call from that heroine-to-be who was still on the shelf at home in Melbourne.

“Let me loose! I’ve got a story I need to be part of,” she screamed to me at the top of her voice. It was so loud that I could hear her four thousand kilometers away.

So I listened. And I wrote. Then I wrote some more. Then suddenly a story was gushing forth from my head with such force and power that I was finding it difficult to get it all down. But I did, and in my spare time I wrote the first draft of The Awakening. Except it wasn’t called that then; the story was titled With the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wing.

You may recognize the title. Those very words are in the second last paragraph of The Awakening today.

But wait, there’s more. Cait was just a minor character in the first draft, and the story was way too slow, so I rewrote it.

Twice.

And that’s when Cait was offered the lead role. But she had to earn her stripes first, so she didn’t take prominence until book number two, The Mind Controller. And then at last she finally became the lead actor in the play that was soon to launch her to stardom.

And the rest is history!

So, follow Cait in her adventures, because she ends up powerful and ruthless, with amazing paranormal Otherworld powers of insight and perception. And a few more talents that she discovers along the way.

Like she’s particularly good at killing those who cross her.

And that’s as much as I’m going to tell you about Cait’s role as a femme fatale. The rest of her story is in Cait Lennox: femme fatale series. It’s on Amazon.

About the Author RoderickDonald

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