So why haven’t I sent the happy couple a congratulatory card or email or text? Because it would be the adult equivalent of forwarding a letter to Santa up a bricked-in chimney. You see, Elvira and Geraldine are characters in my will-it-ever-be-published novel, Sugar and Snails. Whisper it gently, so as not to offend them, but they’re just made up.
We get plenty of writerly advice about making our characters live and breathe like real people, but is there ever a point when they could become too real and, like Frankenstein’s monster, take over our lives? Or is that the whole point of being a writer, to create an alternative landscape that’s somehow more bearable (yes, even if it’s a dystopia, even if it’s super real) than the one we occupy day-to-day:
It feels awful not to have a novel, not to be in a world that’s more real than reality.
Conversation between A S Byatt and Stephen Frosch
Welcome your views? Perhaps I ought to be worrying more about this strange belief I appear to have in the reality of my readers, none of whom have given any public evidence of their existence so far. And I’m having second thoughts about the name Elvira … apparently she's the heroine of an 80's horror comedy film.