Okay, so remember that time I wrote a novel? I wrote 50,000 mediocre words last June, and told you a little bit about them here. School sank it’s hooks in me for another year, but I’ve been editing in the last few weeks. And if you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed a few snippets. For those of you who weren’t reading this blog last August, the novel is called Entreaty. It’s in the future, in New Delhi, about a girl called Pelican who is an intern and is attending celebrations of the end of the Riots for a few weeks while she waits for the real Nigerian ambassador to arrive. But at the celebration, someone is teleported away, and suddenly Pelican doesn’t know who to trust, except for Asli, the French Ambassadors son and the boy in the downstairs flat. Today I’m linking up with Paper Fury’s Beautiful People to tell you about Pelican and Asli’s childhood.
- What is their first childhood memory?
Pelican: Her first childhood memory is going for a walk with her father to the supermarket. They would go walking together most evenings.
2. What were their best and worst childhood experiences?
Pelican: Her worst childhood experience was seeing her dad, who was a policeman, beaten to death during the worldwide Riots.
Asli: His best childhood experience was taking a trip to the UK with his parents. They saw lots of huge buildings which were disintegrating, and that made him want to be a restoration architect.
3.What was their childhood home like?
Pelican: She lived in the suburbs of Lagos, in a little detached house. She had a cat and dog, and in fact she still does. But she is sort of too busy to take care of the pets, so her mum does it. She spent almost as much time at her friend Sana’s house as at home.
4. What’s something that scared them as child?
Asli: He was really scared of being left alone. His parents are both busy people, so he had a lot of time at home alone—and then with his little sister Lily. He would hold on to his mum’s hand really tight when they were in public, just so she didn’t abandon him.
5.Who did they look up to most?
Pelican: she really looks up to Kawa Syllah, the Foreign Minister that she’s been interning with for the last two years. Kawa always seemed to have it all planned out and not have the insecurity and mistakes that plagued Pelican. Lately, though, Kawa’s ruthless political tactics have left Pelican somewhat disillusioned.
6.Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?
Pelican’s favourite food as a child was the roti and subzi (flatbread and vegetables) that her dad would make. The food still has a lot of sentimental associations for her.
Asli hated (and still hates) all cocoa based products. He’s a hipster like that. If probably has more to do with the fact that when he was two or three his mother, who is a lawyer, took on a case against exploitation of young labourers in the cocoa producing region of Tajikistan (remember, climate change has changed the habitat of the world) and told him all about it while he was watching Charlie and the Chocolate factory. He hasn’t trusted cocoa ever since, and doesn’t like the taste anyway.
7.If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?
Pelican: Because she was always so busy at the Foreign Ministry, Pelican grew apart from her friend Sana (who she does meet in Entreaty). Trying to save their friendship, she abandoned her duties for a few moments and this led to a permanent fracturing of the relationship between Nigeria and Japan. She would definitely change her decision in that moment if she could do it again.
8.What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?
Pelican: She was a methodical, studious child with a weakness for VNNV (an ABBA equivalent) and marmalade.
Asli: He was a curious, resentful child who wished that things didn’t have to change. He loves reading, but only paper books.
9.What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?
Pelican: She adored her father, but sort of missed out on getting to know him. Now that she’s in India, where he came from, she really regrets that. She and her mother have a lot of mutual respect for each other but they’re both really busy. Even before the Foreign Ministry, Pelican did a million extra curriculars, and her mum was always at the marine biology lab. So they don’t spend much time together, and don’t know each other well as a result. She’s an only child.
Asli: His little sister, Lily, really annoys him. They like each other, but that translates into food-stealing, ponytail-pulling, and a lot of teasing. But when it comes down to the important stuff, they were always there for each other, even when their parents couldn’t be.
10.What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
Pelican always wanted to do something for peace. When she got her job at the Foreign Ministry she decided that meant diplomacy. She loves lots of parts of being a diplomat, but after the events of Entreaty she’s not so sure.
Asli: He wanted to be a librarian before visiting the UK and seeing all the buildings he could restore. Now he wants to be like Mika Muhammed, his hero (who I actually wrote a short story about!) and be an architect, but he hasn’t applied to universities or anything yet, so who knows what could happen. He’s much more into the espionage they have to do than Peli is.
So do you dabble in the dark arts of writing? What do you think about Entreaty? tell me in the comments!