Take Two Characters. Kate Field Chooses Two Of Her Favourite Fictional People.

Posted on 15th February, 2019

This week, my Take Two Characters series continues with a guest post by Kate Field.  Kate's contemporary novels delve into the complexities of relationships and family life.


Her debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the Romantic Novelists' Association' s Joan Hessayon Award. This was followed by The Truth About You, Me and Us and The Winter That Made Us. She also contributed one of the stories to the short story collection, Miss Moonshine's Emporium of Happy Endings. Kate's latest book is The Man I Fell In Love With.

I was delighted when Susanna asked me to take part in her new blog feature, because it sounded such an interesting idea. The timing was perfect too: my post was scheduled for February, the month that my latest book was due to be published, which spared me a tricky decision over which of my characters to choose!


The lead character in The Man I Fell in Love With is Mary Black. Mary has been contentedly married to her best friend, Leo, for almost twenty years, and she’s at the centre of a close-knit family – so close, that her mother lives in the converted garage, and Leo’s mother lives next door! Her family, and especially her two teenage children, are everything to her and so her world is shattered when, in the opening chapter of the book, she discovers that Leo has fallen in love with another man.


What would you do?


The idea of the story came to me when I heard about a similar situation, and I wondered if there were any circumstances in which a wife would support her husband in his new relationship.


Mary wandered into my mind during the course of that day, and I abandoned the book I’d been planning to write so I could tell her story instead.


Not everyone will agree with the way Mary reacts; some readers will think that she should have been angry or taken revenge. I’m not saying that Mary’s choice is the right one, or the best one, and I’m certainly not sure that I could behave in the same way. But it is her choice, because of what has happened to her in the past, and because she wants to protect her children. I think it would take real strength to hide your own pain and put your family first.


I loved writing about Mary; she’s loyal and determined, funny and kind, and I hope that readers will root for her as she reshapes her life, and agree that her story has the ending she deserves!

I pondered for a long time about which other character to choose. My ‘go to’ answer for every question about a favourite book or character always involves Persuasion by Jane Austen, so I tried to think of something else. But the more I thought about Mary Black, and how much I admired her quiet strength, the more I realised that I liked the same thing about Anne Elliot, the lead character in Persuasion.


I was lucky enough to study Persuasion for my English Literature A level, but I was the only student in my class who liked the book – my teacher even wrote a tongue-in-cheek message in my autograph book when I left school, to say that I was the only one who really understood it!


Like Mary Black, Anne puts her own happiness last: she gives up the man she loves because she’s persuaded by the maternal figure in her life that it’s the best thing to do. Years later, they meet again, and the book is full of agony and joy as she sees him attracted to someone else, but eventually return to her.



Anne is a quiet, bookish character, past her bloom as Jane Austen puts it, but she’s kind and understanding, and her true strength is shown in a crisis. I first encountered her when I was a shy, insecure teenager, and she’s stayed with me because her story gave me reassurance that it’s okay not to be the loudest person in the room, and that even quiet characters can have an important role to play.


Kate's Links:

Twitter: @katehaswords

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateFieldAuthor

The Man I Fell in Love With: Kindle edition

Kate's author page on Amazon


Make A Comment

Characters left: 2000

Comments (15)

Hi, Jen. I'm glad you enjoyed the blog. I too will read Kate new book with greater interest after being given this insight in Mary's character. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Thanks for commenting, Jen. I’m sure my choice of character didn’t surprise you! Your books may be ‘quiet’ but they are full of heart and warmth, so that’s the perfect combination as far as I’m concerned! x
I enjoyed this post very much, Kate, and will read 'The Man I Fell in Love With' with even greater interest now, in the context of Mary Black's similarities with Anne Elliot. As you know, 'Persuasion' is also one of my favourite books!

Since I'm a quiet person, your comment that 'it's okay not to be the loudest person in the room,' resonates with me in life, as well as writing (because I think I write 'quiet' books).

And Susanna...I'm enjoying this series as it's both introducing me to new books and reminding me of 'classics' I want to reread.
Thanks for commenting, Jan. I'm glad you are enjoying the Take Two Characters series. It is so interesting to get these extra insights into various characters.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jan. I think I’d have picked Mary out of all my characters, even if it hadn’t been publication month, as she was such a joy to write. I wish I could be more Mary!
I love this series, Sue, and it was so good to read the latest post from Kate. The insight you give into the character of Mary, Kate, makes me want to read 'The Man I Fell in Love With', having enjoyed both your previous books very much. I love the comment from your English teacher and the reasons why you chose Anne. Good luck with the sales of the new book!
Hi, Tara. Glad you enjoyed Kate's guest post. I know from your blog and book review how much you loved The Man I Fell In Love With.
Thanks for commenting, Tara. I know you wanted to know more about Leo too, but he’ll have to wait for another blog post!
Loved learning more about Mary. She’s all the things you said, Kate. I definitely got a good sense of her character from your fab book. Is it terrible that, even though I’ve read Persuasian, I can’t remember the story? I’ll have to Google it.
Thanks for commenting, Cass. I’m glad you love Anne too! Quiet characters are too often underrated!
Hi Cass. I think Kate specialises in emotionally challenging situations and seeing where they take her characters and I'm sure this book will speak to readers on many different levels. Lovely to hear from you.
Great post, Kate!

Mary's quiet strength speaks to me, because I get really attached to characters with that trait. I have, by coincidence, a family member (male) who was married with a child of about 10 when he fell in love with another man. It's such a complex, emotionally challenging thing for people to cope with, and the ripple effect of the way it can disrupt families is heart-breaking.

Persuasion is my favourite Austen novel, and Anne Elliot my favourite Austen heroine. ❤️

Loving the autograph comment!
Thanks for featuring me on your blog, Susanna. I found the school autograph book last year, when we were removing old wardrobes, and it brought back happy memories. There were also messages wishing me luck in becoming a romantic novelist - I hadn’t remembered ever sharing that ambition!
Thanks for commenting, Louise. I haven’t written that other book yet, but maybe one day!
I agree with you about the autograph book message, Louise. How many of us still have keepsakes from our schooldays? And yes, I wondered about "the other book" as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Louise.
How wonderful that Kate Field still has the message written by her old English teacher. What an interesting blog. I liked the idea of the Mary Black character wandering into Kate's mind and taking up residence to the extent that her story had to be written, even though it meant putting another book on hold. Is that other book going to be written now?