Two Jolly Comrades in Crime | Beautiful People

Hello friends! I have something a little different for you all today :). If the title is anything to by, I'm going to talk about my writing! True, I've not written anything in months, as you all know, and these days with school and all, I barely have time to even think about my poor characters. But every now and again I remember a few bits and bobs about them, and my heart aches just a little, I sniffle a few tears, stifle my wistful sighs, or chuckle at the ridiculousness of one of my beloved character-friends :D. 

So today, I am going to join in a Beautiful People #12 edition interview hosted by Cait from Paper Fury and today's questions feature the Friendship theme, which makes it rather exciting. I'm going to talk about Jane Wilson from my WW2 historical novel, A Love that Never Fails, and her childhood friend Cynthia Oldacre, who I am not sure I've ever mentioned on this blog before. If you're all rather unfamiliar with the premise of my novel, you can read more about it on my "Stories-in-Progress" stage, and in my previous posts through this link: A Love that Never Fails. 

1. How long have they known each other, and how close are they?

Jane and Cynthia have known each other since Jane was seven and Cynthia was ten, and despite the few years age gap, they are incredibly close - like salt and pepper, they are rarely seen apart :). 

2. What’s their earliest memory of being best friends?

The day they first met. It was Jane's first day of school when she moved to London; her lunch pail had got scuffled in a fight, and when Cynthia found her sobbing bitterly in the gym, she gave her a handkerchief and offered to share her cucumber sandwich with her - their friendship was born from that moment onwards :). 

3. Do they fight? How long do they typically fight for?

They argue sometimes, but never really outright fight; Cynthia has too much common-sense, and Jane has all the sensibility to make it anything more than a few minutes' quibbling. They do like to banter a lot with each other though. 

4. Are their personalities similar or do they compliment each other?

They are rather opposite, so yes, their friendship compliments the other person.

5. Who is the leader of their friendship (if anyone)?

They rather alternate, but I think Cynthia leads their friendship somewhat because of the age experience? However, as Jane is the more spontaneous and out-going of the two, she's responsible for most of their adventures and scrapes! 

6. Do they have any secrets from each other?

Those two girls are quite open with each other, but there are a few things that they'd rather they didn't admit to anyone, not  even to each other. Jane has a girlish admiration/crush for Cynthia's brother, Colin, which she never would dare admit to her friend, while Cynthia is mortally afraid of dying, a fear she desperately tries to hide from her young friend. 

7. How well do they know each other’s quirks and habits?

With the amount of time they spend in each other's company, they're quite familiar with each other's habits and quirks. Cynthia eats her apples rather noisily (which bothers Jane to no end!), wears a beanie scarf at all times and in all places outside of school and church (a comfort thing), and becomes very quiet when she's upset (which makes Jane look rather like the chatterbox sometimes). Meanwhile, Jane is quite apt to burst into tears for the mildest causes (if she is very happy, she can cry, and if she is livid with anger, her first response is to start sobbing); she starts sniffing the edges of her curls if she's nervous, and pulls out her worn copy of The Secret Garden and sits by the family's old Grandfather Clock whenever she has to do any serious thinking - Cynthia treads the ground around her very carefully on such occasions. 

8. What kind of things do they like to do together?

The two of them share a great love of music - Jane plays the violin and Cynthia plays the guitar, so they accompany each other with duets and swap new songs they love with each other; Cynthia draws and loves to illustrate, while Jane is fond of reading and writing stories, so they create little magazines and booklets together and distribute them at their school and with their parents' friends. They also like to write plays and perform them with Cynthia's brothers and Jane's cousin Phyllis. 

9. Describe each character’s fashion style (use pictures if you’d like!) How are their styles different/similar?

Jane's fashion style would be very pretty, well-tailored, simple 1940s styles: polka dots, bows, pretty little dress, knitted cardigans and comfy pinafores are her favourites. 
How Jane could look during Christmas. . . 
When Jane is dressed up for church,
and a little older

Cynthia's is quite pretty and vintage, a bit plainer than Jane's, but also a little more queer with odd bits and bobs in her accessories, colour-choices, etc. On the whole, she likes it to be rather plain and simple:

How Cynthia would look on a regular  Monday during the summer vacation
Cynthia, dressed up for church
10. How would their lives be different without each other?
This question hurts, but I won't tell you why. I'll only say they each make the other person grow and mature and love and laugh and be kind in ways they never quite realize. Without their friendship, Cynthia would be more reserved and afraid, and Jane would be more self-conscience and naive. 

As for Cynthia–hers’ was a heart of gold; Jane's dearest friend. Between them it was more the intimacy of sisters. They did all sorts of things together, especially during the summer months – surprising Jane’s grandmother with a special birthday dinner scrapped from a month’s rations, reciting a play for school theatre in the musty attic of a deserted barn, playing "the Adagio" from Winter on the violin and guitar by the Thames to cheer the people. They were quite the jolly comrades in crime.
- A Love that Never Fails

The curly crop of ginger hair, and the steel in Cynthia's grey eyes made Jane think of her as a vixen sometimes, fierce and pretty. . . but it was also the fire that made her a warm and kind friend. 
- A Love that Never Fails


  1. Oh my, I love Jane and Cynthia's fashion styles -- feels like something right out of a TV show :D And even though you call them salt and pepper, I can't help but think salt and chilli peppers because of the hair colour, ahaha. I absolutely love characters who adore music and theater and basically all the things I wish I could do but can't, so your characters intrigue me a lot! Keep writing :)

    (Psst, here's my ​Beautiful People post!)

  2. Your WWII story looks so intriguing--based on this, and your Pinterest board! I know it seems like with life and school you'll *never* get back to it but don't fret. To everything there is a season. You'll get back to it soon. I would encourage you though--if you have a few minutes, snatch them up and just write. Even if it's a scene that will come way down the line from where you left off writing in the story--write it! A few minutes could equal a hundred or two words and those are words you didn't have before.

  3. Oooh I love this! I'm so intrigued ... I want to read this story! Lovely characters! =)

  4. As close as salt and pepper?! THAT IS SUCH A GOOD DESCRIPTION. Seriously, you have a glorious way with words! ^_^ And i loved all the pictures you added in! :D

  5. Love this! The noisily eating apples quirk was wonderful. I had to look up "beanie scarf" so I am a bit more hip now, too. These characters are lovely, and I am looking forward to finding out more about them in future Beautiful People posts. :)

  6. Like salt and pepper I quite like that comparison. Also sharing a cucumber sandwich is a great start to a friendship.
    Love the excerpt at the end.

  7. What a great post! I love WW2 fiction (though I'm always worried it will break my heart ... it usually does). They sound like great friends. I love how they're so creative and also how you detailed their quirks and habits; you've obviously considered them a lot. I also love the pictures you've shared. I want to write a twentieth-century book one day just from a fashion point of view!

    Emily @ Emily Etc.

  8. Hello Alyssa, thank you for your sweet comment :). Mmm, yes I just love vintage WW2 fashion styles! They're so cute and simple and elegant, aren't they :D. Haha, yes, "salt and chilli" is a true enough analogy, though I should probably point out that I'm thinking Cynthia's hair is more on the reddish than orangy side (think first Cynthia picture better) ;).

    Aw, thank you! I love those kinds of interests myself too, so naturally they rub off on my characters.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Dear Meghan, your sweet comment brightened my day so much, and challenged me too, as I know what struggles you've been going through and yet admire your determination in your writing despite any obstacles.

    I *do* want to get back into writing daily, if only just a little bit, as I miss it so much, but it is a challenge with the way life pans out these days! It makes me sad, because I often feel so pulled down without times when I can do what I truly feel passionate about. I think I somehow need to set myself a sort of schedule that gets me into that sort of habit. And you're absolutely right - a few hundred words in a week will go a long way!

    Aw, thank you so much, Meghan! You are so sweet! God bless. :) Hope you're feeling better soon too. <3

  10. Thank you so much, Emily Ann! Your sweet comment is a lovely encouragement - I hope that one day you'll get to read "A Love that Never Fails" by and by :D.

    I want to read "Resist" too!!

  11. *blushes furiously* Ah, ehm. . . Cait, thank you for your sweet and kind comment, you are so encouraging! <3 However, I actually kind of was inspired by that phrase "salt and pepper, rarely seen apart" from a novel I read by Chuck Black called "The Castle of Bel Lione" - :( the only real credit I take to it is that I thought of that phrase as I was trying to describe Jane and Cynthia at that moment. :P

    But yes, we do try to be brilliant and write gloriously beautiful words. We do our best, ma'am, we do our best!

  12. La La in the Library, thank you for stopping by and for your sweet comment :). I am glad you enjoyed this post :D. Aw, well you know. . . munching apples noisily is one of those quirks that bothers me to no end, and when I recalled I had been annoyed about that sound that day, it had seemed like a perfect detail to add to Cynthia's loveable quirks. ^_^

  13. Hello Skye, thank you for your sweet comment! Sadly I can't take credit for the "like salt and pepper" analogy as I was reminded of that phrase from a novel I read by the author Chuck Black and it came to me while writing this post :).

    I love stories about unexpected and gentle friendships that are born through insignificantly special moments like a cucumber cheese sandwich. Thank you!

  14. Hello Emily, thanks for your lovely comment, and for stopping by :).

    Mmm, yes, WW2 fiction has that affect on me too, and it is all the more so when the details and events are inspired by true events. I've found myself in a puddle of unshed tears while doing some of my research for this novel :'). Aw, thank you! I am still very much working on them, that's what is wonderful about these "beautiful people" tags that Sky and Cait do - they really help me flesh out and figure out the bits and bobs about my characters in a fantastic way!

    Your idea of a 20th century fashion-themed novel sounds lovely - I am awfully fond of vintage styles ^_^.


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