Kate Harrison is the author of the fantastic Soul Beach series which started with Soul Beach in August 2011, Soul Fire which followed in 2012 and the newly released Soul Storm which concluded the trilogy to tremendous effect.
This year, I’ve had to do the hardest thing in my writing life – say goodbye to the characters I’d spent the last five years creating and writing about in the Soul Beach trilogy…
Real life is full of poignant goodbyes – though often we don’t realise it was goodbye until afterwards. But with Soul Storm, I knew it was coming, which meant a rollercoaster of emotions. Alice, Meggie, Danny and the others had been a part of my life for so long. And so I’ve been seeking refuge in some of my favourite fictional goodbyes.
Thelma and Louise
Two fabulous characters, trapped by circumstance. I really didn’t see the end of that one coming – and it’s pretty dark. But there’s something defiant and joyous about how these women take control right to the very end.
Spooks, series 1, episode 1
Spooks was one of my favourite long-running series – not least for the fact that the writers were willing to get rid of your favourite characters at any point, keeping you on the edge of your seat. And they started as they meant to go on, with the grisly death of actress Lisa Faulkner’s character, via the very efficient method of having her head immersed in a deep fat fryer. I hope for her sake it was extra-virgin olive oil…
I can read about all manner of cruelty to humans, but anything involving animals and I am reaching for the tissues within a millisecond. Charlotte’s Web is weepy and lovely and sad and hopeful – and will make you look at pigs, and spiders, in a whole new light. I am just as bad with Watership Down.
Romeo and Juliet
It would never have happened in the age of SMS, but these star cross’d lovers really didn’t have a lot of luck, did they? They’re so young and so passionate, and the moment when Juliet wakes up, realises the love of her life has poisoned himself, and kisses his still warm lips, is unforgettable. I can’t be the only one who hopes there’s a kind of Soul Beach where the two of them will be reunited without warring families to get in the way.
I think I may impose the ‘Up’ test on people I meet for the first time, to see if I want to be their friend. Anyone who can keep the tears at bay watching the first 10 minutes of this animated movie is a hard-hearted psychopath. I went in thinking I was about to watch a harmless movie about balloons. Next thing, the mascara is running and I am thinking about life, loss and love. Unbearably brilliant.
James Dawson is author of 2012 hit Hollow Pike and the upcoming non- fiction book, Being A Boy, which is due out later this year. His new fiction title, Cruel Summer was released on August 1st and contains all you want from a great murder mystery.
It’s no secret that Cruel Summer has a bodycount. Some of the deaths are sudden, brutal and shocking while others are more heartfelt. These painful goodbyes were some of my favourite scenes I’ve ever written. Here are five of my all time favourite teary goodbyes.
Rue from The Hunger Games
It’s the oldest trick in the book. Make the reader fall in love with the character and then kill ‘em off. Rue was invented to die, but the loss of innocence is a powerful narrative tool. Key scene: Katniss giving Rue a proper burial.
Augustus Waters from The Fault In Our Stars
TFiOS is all about tugging on your heart-strings and John Green plays a blinder. You’re meant to think one character’s gonna snuff it, and then the other one does. Life sucks. Key scene: Hazel Grace discussing life without Augustus with Isaac.
Rose Tyler from Doctor Who
The second season of Doctor Who was about building up the slightly smug relationship between Rose and the Doctor so that when they are trapped worlds apart it was all the tougher to take. Key scene: Rose and the hologram at Bad Wolf Bay.
Callum McGregor in Noughts & Crosses
Why anyone would expect a happy ending in a Romeo and Juliet dystopia is anyone’s guess, but Callum’s death comes as a shock. I was rooting for those kids. Key scene: The birth announcement of Callum and Sephy’s daughter.
Noah and Allie from The Notebook
Surely the ultimate goodbye. One cannot live without the other and so they go together. Key scene: When the elderly Allie, suffering from dementia, briefly remembers everything.