HETTI & LAYLA IN THE 2050'S
I always have a lot of fun writing these pieces that pop up just before a release and this one is no different. Walk A Mile is out on June 27th, and you can pre-order it here. However, this is the part where I talk about writing the characters and their stories. Which is always fun for me. I got the idea for Walk A Mile from a random thought - what if people could actually be someone else for their version of a mile. I had been having a few bad pain days and it struck me as the perfect way to get out of your body for a bit, even if it was only a short-term thing. And boom, the idea was born. It went from there to the main plot which I'll gloss over since I don't want to spoil anyone.
That said, when I had the idea, I also had a very good picture of who Hetti, the protagonist, and Layla, her best friend and side character, were. I knew what they wanted, who they'd be loyal to. How the events of the book would affect them and all of that jazz. Even though I do a lot of pantsing when I write, I did find myself sticking to the plan with this book a lot more than I've done with others. Hetti came to life in my head and even though I had the idea while still in the middle of two other books, I had to do a lot of thought-dumping - which translates to lots of notepads with scribbles in them about the characters, the world and all of that jazz. If you follow me on Youtube you'll see that on Thursday, I'm giving you 44 facts about the WAM world and you won't want to miss out on that!
Normally when I do these pieces, I'll break them into two parts and focus on each character, and I'm not going to do it any differently now, so here we go:
Hetti is your usual eighteen year old, but given the fact that the book is set in 2050, maybe not the usual for this time. She's finished her training and is about to jump into life as a police officer. I'd always wanted to write a more police procedural but also wanted to stay within the young adult section. I would say that WAM could be considered new adult, but for now I'm sticking with YA. Hetti has a lot of feelings about her family. Her sister is sick, her dad works hard and her mum, while overbearing, is doing the best she can. She comes from a working class family and with the changes to health care, they struggle to make ends meet.
That said, Hetti is pretty much delighted to be working. She was never sure what she wanted to do with her life, but she figured she'd work it out before the time came. And then she tested for a police officer and sort of fell into that as a career. Hetti is loyal to a fault. She will see an injustice and she will jump in without any thoughts of safety or danger to herself. She has grown up worrying and helping with her younger sister's care needs. She is very close to her dad, but also finds that being out in the world on her own a little freeing.
When thrown into the story, she takes a few moments to get her feet, but once she does, she goes barging head first to do what she can to make things right. I loved writing Hetti and with the book told in her voice, I felt like I really connected with her as a character She's strong, both physically and mentally. She will go to any lengths to protect the people she cares for. And for that, she will sometimes pay a hefty price.
Layla was a joy to write. She's also eighteen, but she comes from a completely different background than Hetti. Her family are loaded, and she could, had she wanted, deferred the need to work a profession and just stayed at home and done nothing. However, Layla wanted to do something with her life. She and Hetti met at training college, ending up as room-mates and they didn't hit it off right away, but after a few bumps in the road they became fast friends. Layla is also starting her new job at the same station Hetti was assigned to.
There's a big difference between Layla and Hetti. Layla will takes risks for no reason than she likes the adrenaline rush. She'll do things that she knows are skirting the law (and sometimes even crossing the line) and she pretty much doesn't care about what could happen to her. She sometimes manages to drag Hetti with her, but Hetti usually says no and stands her ground.
I loved writing Layla's quirks but also the friendship between the two. They've been friends for just over two years and yet they are both so very loyal to the other, even going to the point where it could end badly for them both.
So that's all about Hetti and Layla. As I said above, you can still pre-order Walk A Mile for the price of 99p until June 27th! After which it'll go up to full price, so grab it while you can!!
You got any questions about Walk A Mile, then hit me up in the comments!
Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books.