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Charles Heathcote tells us all about ‘Our Doris.’
Friday 3rd July 2015 @ 08:52 by Anna Fletcher
Poet's Corner



72-year-old Doris is determined to win the WI Garden Safari competition and is dragging long-suffering husband, ‘arold, along for the ride in fantastic new comedy ‘Our Doris.’

The voices in the book are so authentic you may be surprised to discover that the voice behind them is 22-year-old Charles Heathcote who is making quite the impression in his writerly debut.

Charles laughs: “It was incredibly easy to get into their heads actually. I think because my great-nan had six sisters and I’ve always been around a lot of strong older female characters. It’s easier to get into that when that’s what you’re always around.”

Charles has a BA in Creative Writing from the Manchester Metropolitan University which in retrospect he found incredibly helpful in how own writing.

He explains: “Before I went into it and while I was there I didn’t feel like I was learning anything I didn’t already know but actually coming out of university, I’ve realised I did actually learn a lot and it’s easier now to realise what problems I have in my writing than I did before.

“Now that I know the rules I can figure out how to break them and get away with a lot more than I could before.”
In fact, ‘Our Doris’ in unique consisting of ten monologues about Doris’ adventures but from the point of view of her husband ‘arold.

Each monologue is a different stage in Doris’ quest to win the Garden Safari. Charles has been writing the character for four years.

Charles, who is secretary to the Macclesfield Creative Writer’s Group, says he gets his ideas from anywhere and everywhere and that a walk down the street can bring about inspiration for novels and short stories alike.

He said: “I think going to writer’s groups is the best thing because your mind is on the writing even if you’re not writing that week.

“I once took about six months off writing just with work at uni in my final year and then going back and trying to find a voice after that was really difficult and I think that’s where Doris came from as well because she was quite easy to write and it was all in one voice.”

If you’re a fan of that voice then Charles has some good news because he is planning on writing more of ‘Our Doris’ and not only that but some Cosy Crime novels set in the same world.

Charles said: “It’s great, I get to create a fictional town, put some characters in there and then I can write and revisit them whenever I want.”

‘Our Doris’ is available now on Amazon in paperback and kindle. To find out more about Charles and his writing visit