What films did you watch that inspired the story?
Escaping From Him has a touch of the road trip film about it, I think, Connie and Carla, or maybe Thelma and Louise. In both these films the main characters jump on the road and drive away from their lives because they have no choice. Darryl’s life gets to a point where he no longer has a choice, he literally cannot be that person any longer, so he has to leave to become another person.
No surprise to anyone who knows me, but Muriel’s Wedding. Muriel is the ugly duckling stuck in her room in Porpoise Spit, listening to ABBA songs all day, and she escapes all that, moves to Sydney with her friend and finds herself a man, she even changes her name to Mariel. Muriel reinvents herself because she’s sick and tired of being the person she was in Porpoise Spit. Darryl is sick and tired of the person he is in London, living with Chris.
Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. Just because I love it. That is all
Why is Darryl a photographer and Chris an estate agent? Why do their jobs matter?
I often seem to think about my main characters’ jobs! I think a job says so much about a person’s personality, what motivates them, what defines them as a person. I wanted to show the contrast between the sort of jobs/careers these two characters find important.
Darryl is all about using his creativity, and isn’t so bothered about the money. For him the thought of just getting a job, any job is like a form of slow death. For Darryl, being able to have a job that’s creative and matters to him is as important as the air he breaths.
For Chris, the job is incidental to the money he gets from it, and therefore the things he can buy. Chris doesn’t enjoy being an estate agent any more than he would enjoy any other job, but he enjoys the money it brings. He’s can easily disengage his morals, the part of him that gets meaning from his job, and simply get on with selling houses every day. By the way, I don’t have anything against estate agents, but it was a contrasting job to photography.
It is just one of the many ways that Darryl and Chris are incompatible, only it takes Darryl a while to realise how incompatible.
“Why don’t you get a normal job?” Chris would ask me as I ended another unpaid work experience placement.
And because I didn’t want to say, “Because I can’t think of anything worse than doing what you do,” I just said, “It’s not my dream. It’s not who I am.”
“Dreams are all good and well, but they don’t pay the rent or the council tax, do they? Or pay for food? You need to think more practically, babe.”
There it was, that word he was so fond of. Practically.
I wasn’t so big on practically. I was more into dreams and hopes…
Escaping From Him is available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com