Part of our promotion for the new Anthology is a blog tour. Please enjoy a bit of backstory on an important character in Lyssa Medana’s Bet On It. Before I post it, a word on Lyssa’s Ella (my own story also used the abbreviated form “Ella”). Ella is stuck in a modern day retelling of what life could be like for Cinderella. The story is artfully crafted and I found the intersection of gambling and shady dealings a fascinating way of engaging our theme. Freddie shows up in the story as a connection to life as an adult, something thoroughly missing in Ella’s home life. The short below is a little backstory on our bookish (not bookie, Freddie’s a good guy) lawyer. Please enjoy and feel free to comment and share.
Jenny took a deep breath. “Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed, Mr Hayes.”
“You’re welcome.” Freddie smiled at his secretary’s daughter. “I’m happy to help.” He looked around the classroom. Nothing much had changed in the last few years. It was even his old English teacher, Mrs Crossley, supervising the interview.
Jenny looked down at her list of questions. “So, you’re a lawyer?”
“I’m a solicitor.” Freddie said. “I specialise in things like divorce and debt cases.”
Jenny ticked off the question. “Is it interesting?”
Freddie thought of the long list of depressing divorces and desperate debt cases that came to a law firm based in a poor area. “Yes, I am busy. It’s good to feel useful.”
Jenny nodded and ticked off another line. Her eyes gleamed as she read the next question. “You say that you like to feel useful. How do you feel that you are useful in our community?”
Mrs Crossley nodded. “Good question and a good follow up, Jenny. Jenny flushed with pride.
“I think every community needs its solicitor.” Freddie said. “The people around here sometimes need someone to speak up for them when they don’t know the rules.” He thought of the rogue landlord he would be facing in court next week as he tried to force repairs in the homes of three vulnerable families. “Sometimes families need help in preparing for the future and they ask a solicitor to make sure that things go the way they want and that everyone follows the rules.” Freddie thought of the will waiting for him back at the office with money left in trust for a goddaughter. It was supposed to be straightforward, but it was his first will and he had loathed probate law in college. “And sometimes solicitors are useful in nice things, like buying a house.”
Jenny marked off the next on the list. “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”
Freddie had tried not to think about this. If his uncle kept drinking the firm away, he would be lucky to be in any sort of legal work. “I’m hoping to expand the conveyancing side. That’s the side that deals mainly with buying and selling houses.”
“What attracts you to a woman?” Jenny asked quickly.
“Is that a question you added on after I checked them?” Mrs Crossley asked sharply.
Freddie knew he would have to answer a seventeen year old very carefully. Besides, all he needed to do was tell the truth. “I love a woman who is smart. I love to see her make connections and her eyes light up when she works something out. I love to talk with someone who makes me think and makes me run to keep up.” Not that he was likely to find someone like that soon, Freddie thought as he watched Jenny being lectured by Mrs Crossley. It was going to take every scrap of time and energy he had to keep his family’s firm afloat.