I loved the images on the front of this book and read it from cover to cover very quickly. Tiggy is a fantastic character and one who will stick with me for some time. I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour and featuring a special blog post from co-author Oli Hyatt. Read on to find out more about main character Tiggy!
CREATING TIGGY by Oli Hyatt
Tiggy (Antigua) the heroin of our story, was originally based on my sister Beccy, in fact more than that, the whole story grew out of my perception of my sister as she struggled with who she was at a young age. To me, it seemed that she knew who she was, but did not really believe she fitted anywhere.
As these feelings eventually manifested themselves in mental illness, Beccy, like Tiggy, moved away from home and her family at a young age (Beccy did not leave for a life at sea to rescue stolen boys, but the house she moved to did have a swimming pool!!) It took Beccy many adventures to find out who she was, accept herself and use her eccentricities as a superpower. Fortunately, Anna and I have managed to condense the first part of Tiggy’s journey metaphorically and literally into this book!
Though parts of Beccy have gone, other parts remain in the book, I found this strong starting point for any character easy to build out from. I think by luck or judgement, let’s say the latter, the decision to have Anna help write the book, gave the voice of Tiggy much more authenticity both as a woman and understanding of how Beccy’s issues may have made her feel, as Anna works as a clinical psychologist.
Anna and I found the process of collaborating a real joy, but I think on several occasions, she got the note from me “Tiggy would not say that”, partly due to Anna’s northern twang leaking out through Tiggy, but really I was saying “my sister would not say that”. I had been writing and thinking about Tiggy for twenty years before I met Anna and when you have lived with a character in your head for so long, its surprisingly hard to give any of that up, and Anna knew when to push and when not to.
The story we found we could work together on more malleably, and really part of Anna’s job was knowing when to put the phone down to me, because I have hours and hours of pent up Tiggy stories. Tiggy’s journey is yet to fully play out, and there are many Easter eggs within the book that tie in with her future adventures. And like Tiggy, my sister’s adventures also continue — her hair is still a mess of knots and curls, she still wanders through life with no shoes on her feet, and she still both struggles and thrives on what it is that makes her different.