These past few months writing Alpha, I have to admit I’ve missed Alice terribly. Although she isn’t me, there are places where our lives touch. When I first dreamt of Dark and the Temple, it was me waking in that bed with the red sheets. It was me that discovered Atwater’s cache of vampire blood behind her study wall. So I suppose it was only natural that when it came time to externalise the experience and find the character who would be doing those things on paper that she would have a lot in common with me. We don’t look alike, and Alice is far more willing to jump to conclusions than I will ever be, but here are some of the little things we share. There aren’t any spoilers as such for those who haven’t finished Dark; it’s just tiny things.
1. Alice’s childhood cat, Button, is really my cat. Although she goes by another name, a name I borrowed from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, her secret pet name has always been Button. And like Alice’s Button she is a lovely little ginger thing that snuggles under the bedclothes and breathes death-breath in my face, because she is a supreme mouser.
2. Alice’s toy cat is likewise mine. I’m holding it now as I type. Once she was fluffy and white, bought for me by my mother one day fifteen years ago because I was so down. She has been on a cruise with me because I have trouble sleeping without her (not for any emotional attachment, just because I don’t know what to do with my arms unless I have either her or the boyfriend) and every day when the lovely Balinese maid came to make the beds, she would sit my cat back on the pillow in pride of place. The maid’s name, you will not be surprised to hear, was Angie.
3. Alice has a poster over her bed of a kitten sat amongst three tiger cubs. I once had that poster, to; and although it has since made way for other things, I still have it somewhere.
4. Alice’s, and Atwater’s, love of books is only a pale shadow of mine. I keep a catalogue of every book I’ve read or listened to, and it’s around the 1,200 mark now – slightly worrying, but you can do an awful lot of multi-tasking with an audio book!
5. Like Alice, I’m a vegetarian. Also like her, I will eat fish, but much prefer it to be wild and responsibly sourced. It all stems from school trips to local farms: I was so horrified by the battery chicken farm that I ran straight through the barn and out to the haystack, ignoring the teacher calling after me, ignoring everything but my need to get out. My best friend followed me and we stayed in the haystack whilst the rest of the class filled in their fact sheets and saw the eggs sorted. In Alice’s time all meat is cloned meat grown separate from any living animals; but like me, she simply doesn’t like it.