Since I started writing some seven years ago, I've had a fondness for playing with names, especially when it comes to book titles. Easter Vedan is an example of this compulsion, a blatant take on the John Steinbeck novel of many years ago. Previous titles of mine take similar liberties such as the French expletive, Zachary Bleu, Larry Kynn – A Case Study in Misadventure, Dhu Lally & the Bampots and the (so far) unpublished, Lucky Tallis Mann (stories of me). It amuses me if no one else.
Back to Easter Vedan: I had the name stored away for a long time, just waiting for the lightning bolt to strike with some ideas on a background whereby I could perhaps fill it out into either a short story or a novel. It came, thankfully, more or less as I was tidying up Zachary Bleu in readiness to send it off to Mister McStoryteller himself, our glorious leader, Brendan Gisby.
I like music, ok, I'm a music nut and one of my favourite musicians is the Australian singer/songwriter, Paul Kelly. Kelly writes not only for himself, but for persons of the female persuasion, and not only that, he sings those same songs on his own albums. I thought this strange at first, a man taking on the female lead as a vocal but that same dynamic got me to thinking about writing from a female viewpoint.
I'm fully aware it's been done before, a female author pretending to be a man and vice versa. Then of course there are examples of males narrating as females and again vice versa.
Early on in the writing of Easter, I found that she was taking me by the hand instead of me leading her, and decided to give her her head, to go with the flow, and I'm so glad I did. She was always meant to have attitude, a dark side, a “don't mess with me or you'll be truly sorry” sort of way about her and I think, I hope, we achieved that between us.
On the outside, Easter is all sweetness and light but those who dare to cross her soon find a very different person coming to the fore, most times totally unaware that Easter is behind the various misfortunes which befall them. The novel charts her life from birth through to her mid-twenties and leaves me with ample room to revisit with her should the notion, or need, ever arise.
Back to that playing with names thing. I don't know where it came from but my first novel, Scoosh, is jam-packed with nicknames and strange names so maybe it stems from there. Within Easter, we meet up with characters such as father and son, Broughty and Arran Ferry, the artist, Van Dutch, two schoolteachers in Miss Terry (general) and Matt Finnesh (art, of course) and Rowdy Yates, a world famous drummer. One of Easter's best friends is the delicious Glenn Muranje, and there are others.
Also, I name-check two lovely Australian ladies, mother and daughter, good friends of mine who read Easter as I wrote, often chasing me up for more if I got lazy and had a couple of weeks on the beer. I was never in so much of a hurry as they were, which I hope bodes well.
So, Easter Vedan is a novel depicting the oft-times turbulent life of a young lady who knows her own mind and doesn't hesitate to share it from time to time. I hope you can enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it with her.
Angus Shoor Caan
Saltcoats-born Angus is the author of ten novels, two short story collections and four collections of McLimericks, all of which can be viewed on McVoices. Easter Vedan is available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.