Thursday, January 1, 2009
Sally's People are the characters I have invented for my books and stories. I began inventing characters in the 1970s, and continue to do so.
I created Amy Day in around 1990, when I needed a young main character with a very simple name. Since two single syllable names can sound abrupt and jarring, I went for two syllables in the first name. "Amy" is about as short and simple as I could get with two syllables. "Day", the surname, is similarly simply. It's not quite an anagram of "Amy", but it shares two letters and a strong vowel sound.
Amy Day appears in the book "Amy Amaryllis", which was published by HarperCollins Australia in the early 1990s.
When the story begins, Amy is thirteen. She lives in a comfrotable Australian suburb with her parents Mike and Jan (two more very simple names) and her elder brother, Craig, and her crazy red setter, Reg. Amy is unremarkable except for two things: she's a swimming champion and has a surprising imagination. During the long summer holidays, she finds herself alone and almost confined to the house because the local bullies are out to get her. To while away the time, she invents a girl who is like, yet unlike, her. Amaryllis Loveday lives in a land of castles and crags, magic and danger. Amy has short blonde hair. Amaryllis has long golden tresses. Amy wears baggy tee-shirts and shorts. Amaryllis wears cloaks and robes. Amy is an ordinary girl. Amaryllis is an aristocrat who would never be afraid of bullies.
Amy writes about her alter ego in a special green-covered book, and thus begins her wild adventure.
There is just one book about Amy, but she is mentioned in "Shadowdancers", a related book set in the same reality.
The book cover was illustrated by Bruce Whatley. It shows Amy and Amaryllis standing back to back, with Amaryllis' castle in the background.