It’s happened again. I went off for a Christmas break, came home and discovered that one of my characters has broken out and made a bid for an independent life. It happened a couple of years ago when Nellie Buzzard and Morphew legged it out of A Humble Companion and turned up at the Chiswick Literary Festival. This time it’s Dot Allbones. She’s wriggled out of The Night in Question, aided and abetted by her admirer Tom Bullen, and gone on the lam. It’s his wife I feel sorry for.
Dot and Tom were sighted in Hounslow on Boxing Day, asking the best road to take for the West Country. I imagine Dot has in mind to find herself an audience, a litfest or a little theatre somewhere, addicted as she is to the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd. I understand. We writers can be inconsiderate jailers. We create our characters, breathe life into them (we hope), then we type THE END and throw away the key.
If I hear any further reports of Dot and Tom I’ll post them here. I’d quite like to see her take another bow.