I wrote this originally as a guest post for the blog vvb32 reads. When you get a mo you should out Velvet’s blog, its really great. But for now, I shall hand you over to Daisy Byatt.
DAIZEE: Orright Mistur Writers, I got you’s owt ere ta tawk a bit abowt dis ere book you’s az written, an I ziz in.
XAVIER: That’s right Daizee.
DAIZEE: Ets nice ere ain’t et, looken owt over dat sea. You’s don’t mind climben up dis tower, et woz a bit of a wey up?
XAVIER: I don’t mind at all Daizee.
DAIZEE: Dat moon, Mistur Writers, etz like a jewel in some tart’s ear, an dem stars ez like flicked up gizzum.
XAVIER: Well I guess that’s one way of describing it.
DAIZEE: I’m fucken wiv ya Mistur Writers. So whir’s dis book come from den?
XAVIER: I began it about six years ago.
DAIZEE: Woz I en et bak den?
XAVIER: Yes. You and Carlo. I began it with Carlo and you appeared pretty quickly. When you appeared I knew what the book was going to be about.
DAIZEE: Ev you’s new wot et woz abowt, why de fuck did et take you’s so long ta write et?
XAVIER: To begin with I wrote pages of prose without dialogue. I tried to change the tone of the prose to fit either your voice or that of Carlo’s. I was floundering really, wanting to describe what was in your head and his, whilst also trying to create a story. I kept getting stuck. And I had other things that needed to be written. I wrote a couple of plays, directed a couple of plays and wrote and directed two movies. There was two or three years when I didn’t touch the book. It was always there though, on the back of mind. There was a couple of times when I wanted to give up entirely.
DAIZEE: Why didn’t you’s?
XAVIER: You wouldn’t let me. You were always there. Everyday of that six years you spoke to me.
DAIZEE: I knowz et.
XAVIER: You needed your story to be told and I wanted to tell it. I wanted to tell the world that you’re not a lost cause that whatever happens you are someone worth fighting for. That so often kids like you are thrown on the scrap heap. My mother once worked in this secure unit and she told me this story of a girl who’s dad sold her to sailors from out the back of his van when she was just three years old.
DAIZEE: Dat be I.
XAVIER: Yes, that be you. Well the model for you. I don’t know what happened to that girl, but I’ve always worried about her.
DAIZEE: So who’s Carlo den?
XAVIER: Carlo is the kid that I never was. I never had the guts that he has, to do what he does, for you. Like him I had a very religious background and like him I fought against it. I still do. I might be an atheist but I still battle with many of the questions that Carlo battles with. I can’t get over the way the world is.
DAIZEE: How fucked up et ez?
XAVIER: The way people are.
DAIZEE: I knows et.
XAVIER: Yeah, you do.
DAIZEE: So why’s you got I to tawk like you’s as – I mean like dis funnee spellin an dat.
XAVIER: It’s your accent Daizee. You’re from Bristol and Bristolian is like another language and I really wanted to capture that. I didn’t always write you like this, but I always heard you like this. I love the way it looks on the page, too. It makes you stand out. I know it is hard for the reader to read, certainly at first, I suspect that it makes the reader judge you too – like the other characters in the book. It makes your journey with the reader all the more real and in turn all the more powerful. And I hope transformative.
DAIZEE: Carlo doesn’t see me like that.
XAVIER: Carlo loves you.
DAIZEE: Yah tis troo.
XAVIER: Yes, Daizee, it is true.
DAIZEE: Dat moon.
XAVIER: What about it?
DAIZEE: Et ain’t wot I sed et woz.
DAIZEE: Etz like your eye wotchen over I, when I’s wiv Carlo.
XAVIER: Is it?
DAIZEE: Yah, tis troo.