Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Lynette Sofras, and her characters from The Nightclub. It’s a fantastic romantic suspense with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Julian, the hero from The Nightclub.
How did you first meet your writer?
I’ve been hovering in her mind for many years but couldn’t persuade her to bring me into the open until March or April this year. Once I succeed we were together constantly— she couldn’t get enough of me!
Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
It’s what I hoped, but I’d begun to think it wouldn’t happen. It’s a relief to have my story told at last. And Laura’s, of course—even more so than mine.
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
I enjoyed some of the one-liners, especially between Beaver and me, but I’d probably have to say the romance. The scene that makes me laugh out loud is the one where Laura tried to convince us she could pole dance. I swear she thought it was like the village maypole at the church fair. But my lasting favourite is the night I faked being an ordinary punter at the club and booked Laura to my table. My aim was to get a view of the club from the point of view of one of the hostesses, but drinking champagne, talking and dancing with her made it feel more like a first date… and I knew then that it couldn’t end there. Unfortunately, it all became a lot more complicated after that.
Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
No, she was pretty game to try anything I suggested, but there was one scene she decided had gone too far and removed it. She did the right thing, though. Who needs an audience?
Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?
I haunted her day and night to make sure she did a decent job on me.
What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
What I like to do is exactly that thing that requires no audience, just Laura. Hey, I’m a normal guy and you did ask.
Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?
A romance with suspense? I think so, but I wouldn’t have objected to a bit more action. I know I could have handled it, especially with Beaver and Bootlace on side, and I’d like to have seen off Dwight Jarvis personally.
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
If only we could rewrite the past. I’d keep my brother, Guy alive. I miss him more than anyone knows.
Do you like the way the book ended?
It was a perfect place to end, but believe me, our story goes on.
Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
Of course, but I think it would focus more on Bibi’s rise to fame. Everyone loves a success story and that kid is taking the world by storm. People might wonder what happened to Beaver and Bootlace too. We all owe a lot to them and I’d like you to get to know them better.
What is your least favorite characteristic your writer has attributed to you?
She’s made me a bit too nice. Laura said that. I can be really ruthless when I have to and people need to know I’m not always Mr Nice Guy.
Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
After our adventures at the club, I’d like to set up a crime solving agency with Beaver and Bootlace. What a team!
What do you do for a living?
Good question—I’m now holding down THREE jobs. Before I inherited the club from my middle brother Mel, I worked on a TV talent show, Star Quality, as a musical producer—and that’s still number one for me; but now I’m also managing Bibi’s singing career and that’s a full time job in itself, though, of course, Laura helps a lot.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing Laura, of course. After what happened to Bibi, I never take anything for granted anymore.
What do you wear when you go to sleep?
What is your most prized possession?
I have to say Laura, since she’ll probably read this. It’s true, anyway.
Who was your first girlfriend/boyfriend and what do you like most about them?
Her name was Emily; she had beautiful blue eyes and was incredibly generous and giving—always let me use her coloring pencils. We were inseparable all through first grade.
Did you have a pet as a child? What happened to it? How did you feel about that?
In a family of three boys, there were always pets. I think Guy’s Labrador, Madonna was my favourite— very protective of both him and me. She didn’t like Mel much, because he was a secret tease. I knew that, but I never told Guy.
What are you proudest of?
Not one thing in particular, but whenever anyone says “That’s just what Guy would have done,” I feel ridiculously proud of myself. Receiving the BAFTA for Star Quality was a stellar moment too.
What do you like most about where you live?
The spacious balcony overlooking Holland Park. I like to take Laura out there at night to look at the stars. Apart from being romantic, it makes me feel closer to my brother Guy, who taught me all I know about astronomy when I was a little kid.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Sunday?
Curl up on the sofa with Laura, listening to music and sharing memories and stories about each song.
What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?
Their togetherness. They always presented a united front against us boys and that taught us a valuable lesson growing up.
What turns you on?
Laura. She’s beautiful.
What turns you off?
Having elephant-eared Beaver permanently camped on my sofa.
What sound or noise do you love?
The popping of a champagne cork. As I said to Laura that first night, you always know it’s a prelude to something good, some sort of celebration.
What sound or noise do you hate?
A ringing telephone. You know, when it rings and rings and there’s no one there to answer it. In movies you always know it’s a sign of something sinister. Maybe that’s why I always keep mine on silent.
What other profession would you like to try?
None. Producing UK television’s top music talent show is a dream job and I couldn’t wish for anything better. That’s not to say it isn’t hard work, but it’s what I do best.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Would you ever use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone?
If I’d had one to hand when dealing with a certain person in the story who seemed like evil incarnate, I might well have used it, but I’m a rational guy and in the end managed to find a more intelligent and less violent solution.
Have you ever gone alone to either dinner or a movie? What about a vacation?
No, but after Guy’s sudden death, I often just jumped in the car alone and drove for miles. That was a bleak time for all of us.
What do you admire about your parents?
The way they did everything together and the respect they had for each other. I hope Laura and I will be the same.
Trying to make a living for her teenage sister and herself, naïve Laura Hamilton accepts a job offer as a hostess at an infamous nightclub. As she struggles to survive in a world of sex, drugs and corruption, she certainly doesn’t expect to find her own knight in shining armour in the club’s owner, Julian. But will he really save her from a future as a fallen woman? And is he involved in the criminal organisation that threatens not only her sister’s life, but will change her own fate forever?
Julian left the Inner Sanctum and let himself back through the office and into the club. A few cleaning staff were still at work, vacuuming the acres of blue carpet and wiping down tables, but Lucy-Laura sat huddled at a side table, fully dressed now, her body language clearly speaking her dejection. She looked very different from the delicious creature who’d danced in his arms to song after song last night.
“Hi,” he said, sitting down opposite her.
“Hi to you, too, Mr Manager. So you work here, Julian, just-call-me-James.”
“Yes Laura, my-name-is-Lucy, or at least, I will do so as from Tuesday.”
“All the girls here change their names, for obvious reasons. But I didn’t know the staff went around tricking them into talking about the club for their own sneaky motives. It isn’t fair.” She gave a little aggrieved sniff, which made him smile.
“I know it was a shabby trick, and I’m sorry, but I wanted to get a holistic feel for the place. You didn’t talk yourself out of a job, if that’s what worries you. I was impressed by your honesty and discretion, actually.” And quite a lot more besides.
“Thank you. But why did you choose me… or did you just ask Loz to bring you any girl?”
“He has a bit of a soft spot for you, you do realise? But yes, I did ask for you. I saw you with Ken Featherstone the other night and thought that if you could charm that old lush, you must be worth getting to know.”
She smiled for the first time and he liked the way this lit up her face. “Then I’m sorry if I disappointed you. I have no idea what to make of Ken. When Loz took me to his table on my first night, he was with another woman. I presumed she worked here, but she left after a while, seemed to be going on somewhere by herself, and I haven’t seen her since. I don’t know why he asks for me when most of the time he’s too drunk for coherent conversation and when we dance, I practically have to hold him up.”
He laughed. “Well you’ll soon build up your upper body strength that way. He must weigh twenty stones.”
Laura gave a little giggle. “And some. And the other night, he kind of slumped down on my arm and then—can you believe this—he bit me.” She pulled up the sleeve of her T-shirt and displayed an angry, deep purple bruise on her upper arm.
Julian stared at the ugly welt in shock and disgust. He stretched out his hand and touched it gently with his finger. “He did that to you? You could have him arrested for that. You should have reported him.”
“To whom? I’m probably the one who would have been shown the door. He’s a valued customer, I’m just… the hired help.”
“He’s not that valued. Not after this. I’ll make sure he doesn’t come back.”
“No, please don’t. He’s not a bad man; he just drinks too much and loses control. I know he wouldn’t hurt someone otherwise. I’m sure he’s a lovely person when he’s sober. He’s probably just one of the lost and the lonely.”
He gave her a quizzical look. “Lost and lonely? That sounds very sentimental, maudlin, even.”
She gave him a little smile. “My stepmother had this favourite song. If she wasn’t playing it, she was forever singing it. It was about some woman in a nightclub singing songs ‘for the lost and lonely’. That’s how I think of him. I’m sure he must have a good reason for drinking himself into oblivion. From what I understood the other night, he holds quite an important post in some government health agency.”
Julian shook his head. “I think Mel’s right. You do belong in church, Lucy-Laura, Little Miss Do-gooder. Well, he’s certainly going to receive a strong warning that if he gets too drunk, he’s out.”
“Now that’s a far better idea, James-Julian, Mr Do-gooder. So you’re going to manage Ferriby’s Nightclub and sober up all your customers? That’s a novel way to do business. You told me you were in the music industry. Were you telling the truth?”
“I was, and still am, since I won’t be abandoning it entirely. If you can juggle two jobs, I’m sure I can. Now, are we still friends?”
She smiled up at him looking sweet and trusting. Dammit, he thought, don’t get involved. But something stirring within him told him he already was.
Buy the Book:
Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B00KYW2Z8O
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KYW2Z8O
A former teacher, Lynette gave up her career in education a few years ago in order to focus on her writing and thus fulfil her childhood dream. She writes contemporary women’s fiction, often involving romance with suspense or a supernatural twist. She claims ‘Killing Jenna Crane’, a romantic thriller and ‘Unworkers’ a modern ghost story/women’s fiction are her personal favourites to date. Her latest release ‘The Nightclub’ is a romance packed with suspense. You can find more details of her novels on her website: http://www.lynettesofras.com or Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Lynette-Sofras/e/B0084YQCD8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
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Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!