Today is the first post in a new series, interviewing characters from books I have reviewed on my blog. I am proud to begin with a conversation with one of my favourite book characters, Lottie from Terry Tyler’s Project Renova Trilogy.
Lottie Keating was sixteen at the time of the viral outbreak in July 2024. The first UK case of ‘bat fever’ was discovered in Shipden, the Norfolk seaside town where she lived with her mother, Vicky, and Vicky’s boyfriend, Dex. Within a month, normal life in the UK had broken down.
Vicky and Lottie’s story begins in Tipping Point, which is on sale at 99p/99c from February 5 to February 11. Their tale of survival continues in Lindisfarne, and the third part of the trilogy, UK2, which will be published in the spring.
Here is my interview with Lottie:
I very much admire the way that you have adapted to the dramatic change in your lifestyle, and I’d love to hear more about how the collapse of society has affected you.
Q What do you really miss from your old life when you lived in Shipden?
I miss my friends! A couple of them got the vaccine, so I hope they’re alive and well somewhere. I miss Granny and Grandad, and my dad. I miss ice cream, badly, especially salted caramel Häagen Dazs. But when I think back to my old life it’s like I’m looking at someone else; it doesn’t seem like me. I don’t miss the internet. When it first went off I didn’t know what to do with myself (I kept looking at my phone and thinking, why can’t it just work?), but I soon forgot all about it; I had too much real life to live. I do miss films, though. As for social media sites—well, now I talk to people face to face, instead!
Q What are your thoughts and feelings about Dex and Heath?
I used to think Dex was okay when he lived with me and Mum, before the virus. He was a bit of a bighead (everything was all about him), but I could see why Mum liked him. Looking back, I think he was probably cheating on her now and again; you don’t think about stuff like that when you’re a kid (he moved in with us when I was only ten or eleven), but when you’re older you can see what was really going on. Anyway, he turned out to be a total retard, so who cares?
Heath – awesome. But I won’t say anything else right now…
Q Have you changed much since you left Norfolk?
Hope so! I’m much fitter and stronger, and I can do all sorts of clever things like making fires and baking bread. I can handle a gun, and I know some seriously awesome moves to throw if I get jumped. Mac, who is now my boyfriend, taught me how to defend myself. I think the new world has made me grow up and see the bigger picture. Especially now I spend my time doing proper stuff instead of sitting on my bed Skyping with my mates and posting dumb selfies.
Q If anyone had told you a year ago what was going to happen, what would you have thought?
I’d probably have thought, bring it on! And been really excited and hoped there were going to be zombies; I’d have wanted to be like Rosita in The Walking Dead. But I wouldn’t have had a clue what it was really like. You don’t, but you just adapt.
Q What are your hopes and fears for the future?
I live pretty much day to day. The main fear is not having enough to eat and getting seriously ill. Some of our community get stressy about the danger from outsiders, but I think we’re clever and strong enough to deal with anything that comes our way, and, to be honest, conflict gives me a bit of a thrill. In some ways it’s better now because people don’t worry about bullshit like whether or not they’re ‘fulfilled’, ’cause they’re too busy staying alive. Hopes? That we will always live with lots of cool people who want to work together, and that all dickheads (no names mentioned here!) will die painful deaths.
With thanks to Terry Tyler for introducing me to Lottie.
For interviews with other book characters:-
Miriam from No More Mulberries
Lachlan from Rack and Ruin
Patsy from Wild Water
If you are an author whose book I have reviewed, perhaps you would like me to interview one of your characters. If so, please contact me.