Saturday, 12 July 2014

Beautiful People link-up: cornering Corrie.

Hello lovely people, I am back! I had a very lovely week in Portugal: lots of sun, lots of sea, lots of reading. Yesterday I saw my brother, his wife and the Bump (did I tell you, I'm going to be an auntie!!!). We went to the beach and top-and-tailed a seemingly eternal number of currants, but they had to leave early this morning for the airport (they live in Singapore) - for most of their trip in the UK we were on holiday unfortunately.

But now it is time for a link-up!

Cake all round! I participated in this link-up for the first time last month - read that post here - and today I will be interviewing my MC and narrator, Corrie, again. You will get some of my other characters in the future ... but Corrie for now. If you didn't see my posts last month, she is from my WIP, which is an untitled historical-ish fantasy. Here is a slight altered version of the (poorly written) synopsis-thing from my first post:

Every seven years in the country of Ivaria, a process known as the Gleaning takes place. Thirteen to eighteen year olds are able to showcase their skills and talents to a delegation of four Selectors, and three from each village are Selected to be taken to the capital city of Teyvanidan, where they are trained and educated to become members of the royal court. My character, Corrie, is a writer (and totally not a self-insert), and .... I am sure you can guess what happens to her. The story begins with the Gleaning and soon she is off to Teyvanidan to have a host of daring adventures .... or something like that.

1. What’s their favourite food? (Bonus: favourite flavour of chocolate!)
Hmm ... Well. Corrie lives in a small village in the countryside. Her stepfather, George, is a merchant, so the family is middle-class and relatively well-off. When he goes trading in the nearest big town (currently called Aflaxia, though I have a sneaking suspicion that this is a Really Rubbish Name so it might be getting scrapped) he is able to bring back foods that aren't available in the village. Because of all this Corrie is able to have a more varied diet than most of Ivaria (her country)'s village population, but still when she moves to the capital city, Teyvanidan, she is amazed by the diversity of the food there.

In answer to the actual question ... she likes too many foods to pick a favourite, but definitely she has a sweet tooth. At banquets in Teyvanidan she is stunned by the exotic fruits, sweetmeats and cakes on offer. She particularly likes chocolate; her favourite flavour is probably orange.

2. What do they absolutely hate?
Obviously in the Queen's court in Teyvanidan Corrie has a much better education than in her tiny village school, but now that she's a member of the court she has to endure classes in Dancing, Riding and Etiquette. She hates all of these, especially Dancing because she's not very graceful (by which I mean, she's very clumsy) and she feels very awkward and embarrassed dancing with boys she doesn't know.

3) What do they enjoy learning about?
Corrie is a writer, as I said in the synopsis, and she is definitely more geared towards arts/languages than sciences. She really enjoys her Literature lessons because she loves to read, and she loves to learn about other countries and cultures. She also loves history.

4) Who is the most influential person in their life?
Corrie's stepfather George is the one who encouraged her to write throughout her childhood, but now that she has come to the court influence has shifted to, of course, the Queen, who takes a special interest in Corrie. She is a very commanding and imposing woman. Corrie's writing teacher, whose name is Hughling, is also influential for her.

5) What is their childhood fear?
The unnamed horrible things that reach out to grab you from behind and murder you when you're alone in the house (and necessitate running really fast up the stairs and diving into beds, because as every logical mind knows blankets will protect you from anything).

6) What is something they have always secretly dreamed of doing, but thought impossible?
Every child in Ivaria dreamed of being Selected, but Corrie never imagined she would be and didn't even seriously consider entering until about two weeks before the Gleaning took place.

7) What is something she is impractically afraid of?
I guess things like never having any friends or finding love or being successful and dying alone etc., even though she knows that actually of course her friends won't desert her and  she's being taught writing in the Queen's court and whatnot.

8) Are they a night owl or morning person?
Neither, because what strange creature likes getting out of bed ... but she's more of a morning person than a night owl. She likes early nights. Some may call this tragic, but I call it happiness.

9) Do they say everything that pops into their head, or leave a lot unsaid?
That depends who she's with - one Corrie is comfortable with someone she probably will say everything she's thinking, pretty much, but she feels quite nervous with new people and will normally clam up.


We sit there for a few minutes, Lukas watching me, me watching Aurelle, Aurelle watching Freddie and Freddie looking around the carriage without trying to conceal his amazement, and I wonder if I am the only one who feels like the silence is pressing down on us. Not that I’m going to be the one to break it – no way. Eventually Freddie speaks, assured and confident as always, and I try not to exhale too loudly. The conversation is stilted, mainly my stepsister flirting with Freddie and him replying with a straightforward friendliness that must be infuriating for her. I keep on thinking of things to say but being too scared to speak and watching the moments pass like migrating birds; Lukas doesn’t say anything bar a few times. He just watches the three of us, serpentine, smiling as if he knows something we don’t – which seems probable. He has that air about him. 

^Corrie and her fellow Selected are leaving their village in a carriage to take them to Teyvanidan. Aurelle is Corrie's stepsister, but the other two boys she has never met before and so she doesn't want to speak.

10) What are their nervous habits?
Biting both her nails and also the skin around her nails. Not nice. She also looks around a lot when nervous and doesn't make much eye contact with anyone, which can work both for and against her.

That's it for today - thank you very much to Cait @ The Notebook Sisters and Sky @ Further Up and Further In for hosting this link-up, which is both enjoyable and definitely helps to get to know characters. I hope you're all having a good summer - and that the weather where you are is better than what we've got in Scotland!!

Emily x


  1. i can relate to number 10 so much! i also tend to nibble at my lip skin - it's a really bad habit!

    amy // The Blog Hermit

    1. Ugh I know, I've *basically* stopped biting my own nails but the skin around them remains a constant challenge.

  2. A writer?! Yaaay! Books about writers are serious sorts of awesome. It's like writer-inception. ;) Orange chocolate is also such an epic flavour, I think Corrie obviously has elite taste.
    Thanks for linking up with us!!

    1. Haha I know. Like books about books. :D

      Mmmm .... I really want a chocolate orange now ... !!!

      Thanks for providing the link! :D

  3. The answer to #5 made me laugh! Even if that's something I might do at times. ;)

    Perfect description that really shows the character! :)

    1. haha I think we've all done that at times :L

      Thanks! :D

  4. Hi! Found you via the linkup, and I'm very glad I did! Corrie is quite the kind of person I'd love to read as—about. I absolutely love the answer to #5. The way you put it is so funny, but it's so true!

    The excerpt you included was very enjoyable and well written. Even though I didn't know what was going on, I didn't feel super confused or anything, just enjoyed the snippet. And then you told me what was going on and I was very pleased :)

    the writeress @ barefoot in the snow

    1. This comment made me smile, thanks so much for dropping by! :D

      Haha thanks, that's just my general logic in those situations ...

      Thanks, I'm not too keen on it but couldn't be bothered rewriting ... yet. I'm trying to "kill my inner editor" until the first draft is done!

      Thanks again for the lovely comment! :D

    2. Oh, I know. That "inner editor" thing is rather frustrating and hard to "kill," I'm so perfectionistic and grammar-nazi-ish. Though, when I do, I get so much more accomplished.

      I just have to keep reminding myself, "You can do that later. And you'll have so much fun fixing all your errors."

      "Fine, fine," my other self answers begrudgingly.

    3. Same, I always go back to rewrite rather than going on with the writing ... which is not healthy.

      Haha same!

  5. Corrie sounds amazing! And she's a writer? That pretty much seals the deal for a great character to me.

    Carly @ Books and Etc

  6. Corrie and her story are so fascinating! I enjoyed getting to read about them. (Loved the snippet, by the way.)


Thanks for commenting! :)