Character Interview -Delphine. ABC Destiny

Continuing the series of interviews with characters from my books.
Today it’s the turn of
Delphine from ‘ABC Destiny.’

She has never been garrulous, and at one time her life depended upon keeping secrets. There are also several unexpected twists in her story, but without giving too much away we can discover a little of what drives her.

Hello Delphine and welcome. Your name sounds French. Is that part of your heritage?

It was rather peculiar. The author was looking for a name beginning with the letter ‘D’ as each chapter in the book is a consecutive letter of the alphabet. She couldn’t find anything suitable so invented the name, and shortly afterwards met someone in real life called Delphine.

That’s spooky. Is France the setting for the book?

Not really. I lived in England all my life, but there are links to Sicily, and Paris is also relevant. My mother was French.

Did you have a happy childhood?

I never knew my father as I was conceived after an illicit affair, and my mother brought me up on her own. It was fine until she tried to regain her lost youth with various men, and then it was time for me to move on.

Did you have a special man in your own life?

There were two men who became very important to me. It’s funny how history has a way of repeating itself. I never expected to fall in love, but everything changed when I discovered I was pregnant. After I lost the baby, Eustace gave me a job when I most needed it, and helped me get back on my feet. He was a much older man with a rather unsavoury reputation, but I’ll always be grateful to him.

He sounds more like a father-figure than a lover. Was there ever anything between you?

Not in the way you mean. He treated me like the daughter he never had, and he was the closest thing I had to a father, so apart from our professional relationship we were more like family. Working for him was not easy, and I had to keep my wits about me not to let slip anything I overheard when he was conducting his business dealings. After being so badly let done I wasn’t interested in meeting other men. Eustace learnt to trust me, and I saw the gentler side of him that he never revealed to the world at large. If you know of the ‘Cosa Nostra,’ you’ll understand what I mean.

It doesn’t sound as if you had an easy life. If you had the chance to change it would you do anything differently?

I believe fate dictates our destiny. If my mother hadn’t taken work in that particular house, I wouldn’t have been born. If she had been nobility instead of a servant my upbringing would have been very different. I would never have met Frank, and known the joy of loving a man unreservedly, or the heartbreak of losing a child. Living a different type of life, I would never have come into contact with Eustace, and through him discovered my heart was not as cold as people believed. The two men had history between them, and I became caught in the middle, but assumed things would sort themselves out. They did, but not in the way I expected. Emotions can cloud your judgement, but you just have to see where life takes you, and adapt to whatever it throws at you.

It’s quite unusual for a story to have six main characters. Is it predominantly about your life, or the other individuals?

It mainly follows my life from when I was young until I reached middle-aged, but the others all have an opportunity to share their own viewpoint.

The three girls are from very different backgrounds. How do they fit into the picture?

Again, fete had a hand in things. A socialite, a middle-class working girl and one from the rougher sides of the tracks would not normally move in the same social circles, but destiny always plays a part with the most unexpected results. Their stories are integral to the overall picture, but you’ll have to read the book to find out how.

You’re smiling. Does your story have a happy ending?

You can’t change your destiny, but you can make the most of your memories, and I’ve still time to make new ones.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this taster. If it’s sparked your interest, you can buy the book and read the full story here:

© Val Portelli September 2020


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