My imagination is full of the characters I have met on my way through life – for better or worse. For instance, Max, in my Black Oil novel, is just one of the strongest memories amongst so many that live in my memory and are embellished in my imagination. They stay there, appearing in my dreams and exerting a strange authority over my life that somehow comforts me but makes me so uncomfortable sometimes as to want to rid them from my life – but I can’t. They are buried deep in that part of the brain that was created for memory.
I couldn’t do without Max. A paragon of French Resistance virtue. A caricature of the Baron Munchausen. He could never die and would always be recreated to suit the circumstances of his being. He was just one of the many figures I had to overcome to survive and provide for my family. One day, I asked him why he drove so many people away from working with him. He went silent, deep in thought, and from that point forward our relationship blossomed into one of mutual trust as he realised he could depend on me as his second in command. In my mind, Max became an afterthought of my need to express myself. He has disappeared from my dreams at last.