For this week’s Writerly Wednesday, we’re going to go transfer you over to Camille Duplessis, author of Like Silk Breathing and an all-around fantastic individual, who happens to be out in the field with a certain someone you just have to meet. So, without further ado, we’ll hand it over to Camille:
I managed to get Mr. Theodore Harper, secretary and sharp dresser, to answer a few questions. As you’ll see, he’s not terribly forthright, but he was remarkably jovial.
So, what brings you to Cromer?
Both business and pleasure, although I never kiss and tell.
Have you visited before?
My employer and I eventually became better acquainted, so I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in his family’s house here several times. I quite enjoy it; it’s beautiful.
What’s something you always try to do while you’re here?
Well, David — that’s my employer — would disagree with me on this because he abhors being too cold and it’s still winter, but I’m fond of taking walks late at night. It’s quieter, though not always deserted — you do tend to meet the most interesting people at that time, don’t you? — and if the moon is out, the light is sublime on the water.
But you’ve never been here as a child.
I didn’t make to England, much less here, until I was much older. It never occurred to me that I might. My father didn’t have the time to take me very far from home. He was always working, you see.
What did he do?
He was an apothecary. I stayed in the family trade for some years, too.
And where’s home, then?
Also near the water. I really like Leith! Do you prefer the coast?
I live in Norwich these days, which isn’t on the sea. But I do suppose I prefer the coast.
Speaking of home, tell me a little about your childhood?
Oh, it’s truly not so interesting. Surely your readers will want to know about something else.
Everybody has interesting childhood stories, though. Here’s an easy one: who was your first love?
Mabel, the white, one-eyed cat. We’d had her for ages, long before I could toddle about and nearly poison myself with Father’s tinctures. After she died, I was distraught for weeks.
Fine, we can shift the focus back to the present. Is there anyone special in your life? (Preferably not a cat.)
I’ve already said I don’t kiss and tell, but it couldn’t hurt to say yes.
That’s scintillating. Can I be bold and ask who?
You could. In fact, you just were and you just did.
Let’s just stick to a couple more broad-brush questions.
Thank you. I’m sure you understand I can’t speak too freely about private matters without breaking confidences.
I totally get it. What’s your most prized possession?
Right now, my most prized possession isn’t mine. I feel like I’m holding it in trust until its owner wants it back. I’d have a different answer at a different time. For the moment, though, that’s it!
What is it? (I know what I just said about broad-brush, but humor me.)
A necklace, and it seemed to have importance when it was given to me, so I’m trying to be a good custodian.
And what’s your biggest pet peeve?
Being confined. Mostly metaphorically, but also in actual practice. Oh, and assumptions about where I’m from. I know I don’t sound like I “should,” but I never know what that means and it’s just poor manners to make a man justify his accent.
Lastly and most importantly, how do you take your tea?
Black. Also, I’m told I also take it brewed too strongly, but my critics are never the ones who have to drink it.
And with that final very telling answer, we have to let Camille and Theo get back to their busy schedules. If you want to get to know more about Theo Harper, you can find him in Camille Duplessis’ brand new book, Like Silk Breathing, and if you’re already old friends, make sure to keep an eye out for future books in the series.
Camille is a thalassophile who sadly spent too long residing in Chicago, where there’s just a very large lake and no sea. An enquiring and possibly over-educated mind, she’s been described as “the politest contrarian.” Though everyone believes she’s tall, she’s not. Likewise, she doesn’t dress in all-black.
We highly recommend you follow her on Facebook here.