Many thanks to Caleb Krisp for dropping by Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books to tell us about the THE BIRTH OF AN ANTI-HEROINE. What a character she is.....what do you think?
How I came to write IVY POCKET is actually a heartwarming tale - for years I had devoted myself to writing. I lived and breathed my work, crafting stories that were heartbreakingly moving, bone shatteringly brilliant and entirely in Latin. Naturally, it was a cruel shock when the publishing world rejected one book after another. At the very moment I was struggling with my latest literary failure - a nine hundred page masterpiece on the history of butter - my beloved housekeeper, Mrs Cuttlefish, took a creative writing course via correspondence. The deluded fossil was convinced she had a gift for writing and from time to time she would ask for my expert opinion. Her stories were terrible. Until last winter, when Mrs Cuttlefish presented me with the first five chapters of a new novel - the tale of a twelve year old maid by the name of Ivy Pocket. To my amazement, it wasn't completely awful. In fact, it was rather good.
A few months later she showed me the finished manuscript. What she had written needed work, but it was fresh and funny and slightly wicked. Here was a character who was plucky and optimistic, but also incorrigible, delusional, loose with the truth, infuriating and utterly bonkers. I knew that with my help, my bone-headed housekeeper was destined to find great success with "Anyone But Ivy Pocket" Was I jealous? Not at all! I was delighted for the haggard old bat.
Mrs Cuttlefish confessed she hadn't showed her manuscript to a soul, apart from me. Which was frightfully interesting. One evening I decided to do a little gardening - digging and whatnot. It took several hours, but I managed to dig a rather impressive hole. By a remarkable coincidence, it matched the exact dimensions of Mrs Cuttlefish.
Unfortunately, my watch must have fallen off as I was gardening. So I asked Mrs Cuttlefish to come outside and help me find it. She seemed to have misplaced her glasses, which was regrettable. She stumbled about in the dark for at least fifteen minutes, before plummeting into the hole. What are the odds?
I shone the torch into the hole, fully prepared to rescue the kind-hearted nincompoop. Which was terribly selfish of me. For as I watched her lying there, I couldn't deny how remarkably contented she looked. And as she was old and had a vast collection of ceramic frogs, I felt the kindest thing to do was cover her over with some soil and plant a rose bush (which is flowering beautifully, by the way)
Being a magnificent sort of person, I quickly decided that the only way to honour Mrs Cuttlefish's memory was to make a few improvements to her book, remove her name from the manuscript and replace it with my own. Then send it out into the world. The rest is literary history. And I know for a fact that Mrs Cuttlefish is delighted by my success, for she haunts my cottage with great enthusiasm. In fact, I am hoping that once she stops shaking the walls and throwing pots at my head, she will help me write the next adventure of Ivy Pocket. A happy ending all around.
Other blog tour posts: Caleb Krisp - Author Interview - My Book Corner
John Kelly, the illustrator for Anyone But Ivy Pocket - MinerrvaReads
You can read my review of