A chat with Jack Drake
'Welcome Jack and thanks for stopping by.'
'It's my pleasure, Emily. It's good to get out of the pages and stretch my legs.'
'Well, you do have long legs, Jack, if you don't mind me being personal. For our readers' benefit, how tall are you?'
'I don't mind in the least. I've lived inside your head for several months and you don't get much more personal than that! I'm about 6' 1", I think. To be honest, I'm not really the sort of guy who checks. They say a person shrinks as they get older, so maybe I have - I am thirty five after all.'
'And if our readers could see your devilish grin and the twinkle in your dark blue eyes, they'd realise you're not the type of guy who takes himself too seriously either.'
'I don't - or at least I didn't until "Highland Fling". Things got pretty complicated very quickly in the novel and my life was tipped upside down, spun round and turned inside out, just for good measure. Thanks for that, by the way!'
'Oh that was my pleasure! Talking of pleasure. Would you tell our readers what you like to do for fun?'
'Apart from drinking with my mates after work you mean? Seriously, I'm a bit of an outdoors guy. I love climbing. I used to climb with my Dad but he's getting on a bit now, so he and I just do long walks and I climb with friends. I'm into photography. I take my camera everywhere, even to the pub - you never know when you might get the perfect picture. I also doodle. Don't laugh Emily! I can't help it. I love drawing and painting but never seem to have the time to sit still for hours concentrating on one thing. I can - and do - doodle anywhere!'
'I'm sorry to laugh Jack but you must admit, that sounds pretty weird.'
'Perhaps. We all have our little quirks though don't we? Mine's doodling. On paper, on glass, in the sand, anywhere. And I don't even realise I'm doing it half the time. It's a sort of reflex action. Art was one of my best subjects and I even considered becoming an artist at one time.'
'Why didn't you?'
'Money. I wanted a secure future, so I went for a career that I thought would provide that.'
'And did it?'
'Yeah. Definitely. I've realised though that money isn't everything. I'm actually considering a career change. Maybe it's time I went back to Art.'
'Wow! What's brought this on?'
'As if you need ask. "Highland Fling". After everything that's happened it just feels like the right time.'
'It sounds as if "Highland Fling" has a lot to answer for, although you and your friends still managed to have fun. I do apologise for throwing you into that situation though, but let's face it Jack, you needed shaking up a bit. You were too easy going for your own good and people took advantage of your laid-back personality.'
'I take it you mean Kim?'
'For one, yes. Just look at how you say you became engaged. Don't you think that was a bit daft? You knew you weren't madly in love with her at the time. Why didn't you just tell her?'
'I didn't want to hurt her. Looking back, that was really stupid, but at the time, it didn't seem such a huge issue. I loved her - at least I thought I did. It wasn't until I was going on my stag do with my mates that it began to hit me. I would be getting married - and I wasn't sure if I loved Kim enough to spend the rest of my life with her. Then, of course, I met Lizzie and ... well, you know what happened better than I do!'
'Yes. That really knocked you for six didn't it?'
'And then some! I'd never really believed in all that "love at first sight" stuff but when I lay on that station platform in the snow and looked up into those incredible eyes ... wow ... she took my breath away and I think I knew, in that split second, my life was never going to be the same again.'
'But you said that you thought it was the copious amounts of alcohol you'd consumed the night before that made you feel like that!'
'Hey! I'm a guy Emily. I wasn't going to tell you or my mates that I'd fallen head over heels for a total stranger in five seconds flat. Anyway, at the time, I really wasn't absolutely sure - and I was engaged.'
'Yes, you were. Did the way you acted make you feel like a bit of a rat?'
'You know it did. Fidelity is really important to me and I'd never cheated on anyone in my life. I kept asking myself what I should do. A lot of soul searching went on, as you know but things happen and sometimes our lives just get out of control. We do things or say things that we'd never do or say in normal circumstances. I think we do what feels right at the time and worry about the consequences later.'
'Many women would say that's a typical male comment. Isn't that just another way of saying you think you can do what you want and hope you can get away with it?'
'No! I definitely don't agree with that. Women behave out of character too. Look at Lizzie for example. She'd never behave like that normally, would she?'
'No. You're right, she wouldn't. Okay. So you both behaved out of character. Things got more complicated from then on though, didn't they?'
'You're not kidding! I don't think any of us had any idea what was going to happen next - including you - and we all got a few surprises, me more than most. You're right though, sometimes we need life to shake us up a bit and snap us out of our safe routines. "Highland Fling" did just that - and not just for me. Still, I think it all worked out for the best in the end.'
'I think so too. Thanks for chatting with me Jack and sharing some personal details with our readers. I don't suppose there's any chance of you helping me with the editing of "Highland Fling" is there? And by the way, you've doodled on my manuscript!'
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