In Bellevere House, there are a number of women characters and the first two that jump to mind are Faye Powell and Helene Carter. Faye is the main protagonist of the story and we spend a lot of time in her mind, her perspective on things. Helene, on the other hand, is a newcomer who’s just arrived in this pleasant little place called Parkdale. She’s come with her brother and there are several things that he does while he’s in Parkdale. But Helene immediately sort of attaches herself to Faye and never lets go, in a sense.
The two end up being really good friends and I wanted this to be a positive message and an alteration from the original book. When I was going through it, I noticed these areas with a lot of tension and undercurrents—a falsity, if you want to call it that—between the original counterparts to Faye and Helene, Fanny Price and Mary Crawford. There’s all this jealousy that Faye feels on account of Edmund, her cousin, and there’s an insensitivity to that in Mary, to the point where she just doesn’t get a good feel for Fanny’s personality at all. And the friendship, of course, is like a cracked glass from the beginning.
The negativity that comes from this threads its way through the whole book. It’s a wonderful book and just amazingly realistic at times. But I didn’t care for this particular relationship between the two women at all, frankly. Also, if we take away the conflict, we get to see a lot more of Faye’s relationship with Ed and how their dynamic really springs from each other and not from an outer irritant like this girl swooping in to maybe interfere with their romance. And Fanny and Edmund are one of the things people remember from the book, so diminishing all this quiet sort of catfighting between the girls made me able to bring Ed and Faye to the forefront and clarify what’s going on in a way I really liked. I went through several drafts before I quite pinned down what that relationship was, but not viewing Helene as a problem was a big first step.
And there will be more updates.
Singing, dreaming, telling stories . . . I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I love to write more than I love to read, but nothing equals a book that draws me in to find its story. Most recently publication: A Year with the Harrisons, a contemporary coming of age about three sisters, country life, and music. Next year's publication: Temmark Osteraith, a futuristic fairy-tale adventure.