Tuesday, 15 November 2016

What will Alix be like now? by Miriam Halahmy

This post explores a question which has recently begun to fascinate me.  Alix is the main character of my novel HIDDEN. The book is a stream of consciousness in the voice of a fourteen year old girl and is set in 2007. Alix has become a carer for her mum who has broken her leg and is quite depressed. Dad ran off two years ago with another woman and Grandpa has died. Alix is just about coping. She has a best friend Kim, a beloved dog called Trudy and a newspaper round. Then she befriends Samir at school, also fourteen, a refugee from Iraq and together they rescue a drowning asylum seeker and hide him to save him from being deported.

So who is Alix? Well, in my mind she represents your average, ordinary teenage girl. She is not the most beautiful or clever or sporty but the one thing Alix won't tolerate is injustice. It gets her into a lot of trouble as she has a very impetuous, passionate and generous personality. She wears white trainer socks, (I was always told you need to know everything about your characters, even the socks they wear)  trainers and running leggings ( she's in training for the Junior County Marathon) and she is tall and thin.

I am sure you know your characters as well as I do - maybe even better.
But have you ever wondered, where your characters are now and how they turned out?

Fascinating question, you must admit.

So I have been wondering about Alix who would be 21 years old now and in her final year at uni, I'm pretty sure she is studying to be a P.E. teacher. She still loves being in the outdoors and sporty activities.

Hold onto your hats - now I've started I'm off with the wind in my hair.

Kim, her best friend who is very musical, has gone to uni in Scotland and is studying music. Alix has stayed close to home and is at Portsmouth University. She and Samir had a boyfriend/ girlfriend relationship until Sixth Form and then agreed to call it a day.

Samir is realising his parents' dream of becoming a doctor and is studying medicine in London. His older brother, Naazim, is married with a couple of kids and has opened his own garage on Hayling Island.

I know - I've strayed from Alix - but this is such fun thinking about all my characters.

Alix continues her passion for justice and has been out to both Calais and Greece in her summer holidays, providing activities for children in refugee camps. She is a member of a refugee support group at uni and works with local groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers. She has had a series of boyfriends at uni but no-one special. She finds it difficult to make a permanent commitment because of the mess her parents made of their marriage. She wants to travel and work abroad before she takes up a teaching job but she loves Hayling Island and hopes to work at the school on the Island.

In many ways our characters remain frozen in time at the point where we have to reluctantly leave them behind at the end of the book. But just once in a while it is nice to imagine what they are like now.



Lynne Benton said...

I know exactly what you mean, Miriam - your characters are real people to you by the time you've finished the book, so OF COURSE you want to know what happens to them next. Even if they don't feature in your next book, at least you know! Really interesting post.

Penny Dolan said...

Some lovely, realistic daydreaming here. Surely it's a sign of the authenticity of your thoughtfully created characters that they can move forward out of the book into their own future story? Thanks for the post, Miriam.

Sue Barrow said...

A lovely thoughtful post Miriam. I agree with Penny. That you can imagine your characters to have developed in this way is testament to their depth in the first place.