Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Lisa Leftover

Lisa Leftover (2004) Post 249
Lisa Leftover by Sally Odgers
Lisa Leftover is a story about friendship. In some cases, it's easier to make friends in a group of strangers. Lisa discovers this truth when her best friend Marina moves away. Lisa and Marina have always been a unit, with Marina supplying the creative ideas. Now Lisa is left in a class of nineteen, where she knows and gets along with everyone, but where she has no special friend. Taking Mum's advice, she tries to show an interest in what others are interested in, but she doesn't watch the same TV programs, and she feels a fraud when she queues to get the autograph of a football player she's never even heard of before. She's always on the outside, always a third wheel. She's Lisa Leftover. Her teacher thinks the ideal solution is to sit Lisa next to the new girl, Pen Smith. Lisa knows exactly what the teacher is doing, but how could anyone think plain, quiet, withdrawn Pen is a replacement for the wonderfully creative Marina?

Until I reread this one, I'd forgotten Pen's name. I used Pen Swan as the name for a main character in a book published this year. That doesn't matter, but it does show how the mind forgets things. I do recall that when I wrote the manuscript for this one it was called Lila Leftover. I remember I started a quest to use less common names for my characters after I discovered the Jenny problem and also after an editor told me she's had nine mss with the same main character name. It was either Emma or Lucy. The editor of this one changed Lila to Lisa. It's not the first time I've had a character name changed. On two occasions a main (or major) character has changed sex! It's all, as the Moody Blues put it so succinctly, "A question of balance".


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service.

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