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Characters have lives of their own


Today is 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was released…happy anniversary to JK Rowling and Harry.

My writing brain stays on almost constantly and can set me challenges I may want to  ignore at 5am!!

I have been known to come up with a plot twist whilst cleaning my teeth or in dreams and basics for articles for my clients can pop in to my head at the weirdest times. This is no 9-5 job! But that’s what I love about writing. Anytime, anywhere unexpected guests and developments arrive.

With fiction you aren’t so much in control of the work as the characters…I’m the ringmaster-lion tamer so the characters don’t run away with themselves but sometimes they write themselves slightly differently from the “plan.”

I may have spent time outlining the plot etc. and they go and rewrite it organically as if my imagination wasn’t the creator of both!!! Sam in Heads or Tails/Love Will Find a Way was originally intended to be sarcastic-cheeky but he wrote himself as a devious immoral b*****d. This made him stronger. A former neighbour proved to be the unconscious inspiration for the main character’s mother. This made her a lot more ridiculous and everyone knows someone like her.

The plot twist subsequently re-twisted. I liked that. An outline is good as a springboard but few of my fiction books have stuck to my plan…the characters got together and mutinied!

Some writers cry when they kill off their characters, they can say through them what they’d never dare say in real life, work through issues, and they can celebrate with their characters when they achieve their victories, large and small. This doesn’t mean we’re insane…we’re invested!

(The book I wrote when I was suffering from serious depression will never see the light of day…it’s pretty bleak.)

For me, after these good, bad and background characters form the centre of the world through the writing-editing and on to publishing, I let them go…toddling off in to the world to make their way to the readers imagination…and every reader will perceive them slightly differently thanks to their attitudes, perspectives and history. These guys are chameleons.

Hopefully, luckily, happily, a whole new set of characters, a plot and a new butterfly storm of ideas will happen in the most inconvenient but perfect ways…Writing is hard work but fabulous!

Love Will Find A Way: Scandal And Historical Romance by [Hayle, Joanne] 

Heads or Tails is the paperback version of the e-book Love Will Find a Way. Both available from Amazon. 



Update: historynomystery blog – I killed it!


…Or rather, I’m now turning the fledgling blog in to a book – because I can and it’ll be fun to collate all the days in one volume.  So, I’m going to be a busy bee for the foreseeable with freelancing and working on two books simultaneously…lovely!!!

As my brain is not so troubled by the past and I am seeing a bright and breezy today with sunshine and smiles in the future, I am positively getting on with life and that is phenomenal when you consider that depression told me a few years ago that life was pretty much “game over.”


Fingers crossed, toes crossed and eyes crossed that Prince Harry talking about mental health will help to diminish the stigma. I know that I am so much more than my thoughts and anxiety AND also far more than some people (no longer in my life) would ever have given me credit for.

They wouldn’t like me now…Me, myself and I answer back!! Nicely, of course.

Remember, nothing lasts forever and sometimes the calm after chaos can be a revelation.

Happy rest of the day!

Poll – Opinions wanted please:-)


Further to my last blog post…

A poll this time. Thanks for helping again! (Last question for now.) Joanne



Would you perceive someone who has a mental health issue as being weak in some way? PLEASE BE HONEST!!!


Doing a little research….wanna help?


I have a pretty good idea of the way the UK thinks about mental health (and sometimes discriminates) but I would love it if you would take a couple of minutes and answer the 5 questions below for me so that I can get a more global picture.

Please feel free to e-mail me directly to ensure your anonymity rather than using the comments option here. (Please use the comments section if you don’t mind people seeing your views.
NO names, e-mail, blog or website details of yours will be made available to the public via any article or blog post that I write.
The results will be written in terms of age range, nationality, male/female, not about specific people.

Question 1:
If you find out that someone has a mental illness do you feel uncomfortable?

Question 2:
Would it be easier if the person had a broken leg i.e. you could see the problem and how severe it was?

Question 3:
Do you feel that there are enough resources in the public domain to help people understand mental issues?

Question 4:
Would you say that having a mental illness carries a stigma with it?

Question 5:
If you developed a mental issue e.g. depression would you seek medical advice or try to battle on alone?

*Please add your age, sex and country details to your response.
Comments are very welcome.

THANK YOU for your help.