So, with just 40 days until The Runaway comes out, it’s time to introduce you to the main character.
Have you ever drifted off into a daydream when you were supposed to be paying attention? Or got so caught up thinking about the book you’re currently reading that you forgot the real world? Rhiannon Morgan keeps having that problem.
Rhiannon is seventeen years old, and supposed to be thinking about exams and what she’ll do after she finishes school, but she can’t focus on this. She’s too busy railing against the hypocrisy she sees in her little world – the remote Welsh village of Llandymna. Angry and sharp-tongued, she’s already caused a scene and narrowly avoided trouble with the law for acts of vandalism. Some of the locals say this is her mother’s fault: Elin Morgan was infamous for rebellion and losing touch with reality. Others wonder if it’s the stories that fill Rhiannon’s head: folk tales and legends that make her dissatisfied with her life. Then again, it could be a reaction to the terrible tragedy that Rhiannon and her family have already known.
Whatever the reason, Rhiannon is running away from home. She’s going to have to learn how to survive on her own, because she can’t face the humiliation of admitting defeat and going back.
I do love this character, even though she’s extremely flawed. Much of the novel is told through first person narration from Rhiannon’s perspective, which means we see her experiences with all the wonder and intensity of a proud but frightened teen, determined to prove herself yet utterly unsure of where she fits in the world. I’ve always believed that being a teenager is really tough, and in Rhiannon I’ve written someone who really struggles with this stage of life, but who has enough stubbornness and imagination to at least try to change things.
I’ll be back this time next week to introduce two more key characters: Tom Davies, a recently-qualified police officer who’s soon going to be investigating his own neighbours, and his best friend Callum Rees.