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The Problem With Dead People Character Profile - Clara Jenkins

Clara Jenkins originally ended up in the story as a bit of romantic tension, and a source of conflict between Lucas and her brother Henry, who was originally supposed to be Lucas's sidekick in the series and was never going to approve the match.

However, it soon became clear that Clara was a much better fit for the role of sidekick, and after that, there was no looking back.

What can I say? She enjoys adventure and excitement far too much to let her boring old stick-in-the-mud brother have all the fun.

As I mentioned yesterday in Lucas's character profile, I go light with physical descriptions for my characters, and doubly so with Clara.

Why? Well, I know statistically a lot of my readers are likely to be female, and I wanted people to be able to imagine themselves in the story a Clara if they wanted to.

However, obviously she must look like something in my head when I'm writing, otherwise that's going to get really weird really fast (especially in romantic moments from Lucas's point of view) so I'm going to have a quick shufty for a GIF of Jenna Coleman, who looks like Clara does in my head.

Ah, here we go:

The Whovians amongst you will probably recognise her as Clara Oswald, but I swear I wasn't consciously thinking of that when I decided she looked like my Clara.

Because my Clara is named after 1920s actress, Clara Bow:

The GIF I never knew I needed

Anyway, now you know what she looks like in my head, let's talk about Clara as a character.

Well, at the start of The Problem With Dead People, she's 21 and living alone in London as she has done for the previous four years since moving there from sleepy little Castlebury Magna for a job at the Illustrated Police News.

She's doing pretty well in her career and making steady progress. She has several friends in the office - including one you'll meet tomorrow - and is pretty happy with her lot...

Although she really, really wishes Lucas could join her in London.

He technically could, of course. In fact, he's twice been offered reporter's jobs in the IPN office, and even accepted the first time around.

But, as you saw yesterday, things aren't always as simple as you'd like, and Clara loves Mrs Rathbone too much to take her only child away from her if it's going to make her so sad, and so, Clara insisted Lucas stay in Castlebury for as long as Hettie needs him.

Miss Jenkins may be regretting this, of course, but what's done is done and truthfully, she really couldn't bring herself to hurt Hettie like that, even if it's no good for herself or Lucas.

So she's plodding on, hoping that one day, her longed-for romance with the boy next door will take flight on a permanent basis.

She's had plenty of other offers, of course - including from that friend I mentioned earlier - but she's never been able to really, truly picture herself with anyone other than Lucas.

Let's see, what else...

Oh, she has a few interesting tricks up her sleeve, including (but I suspect not limited to) lockpicking, which will probably come in handy more times than Lucas would like.

She has a friend and mentor in London called Dorcas Chesterfield, who goes by the nickname Wolfie on account of her fearsome reputation for looking after the younger members of staff at the IPN.

Particularly the female ones who are sometimes a little sweet and innocent to be dropped into an office full of morally dubious male newspaper reporters.

But you'll find out more about Tommy tomorrow.

Anyway, Clara pushes Lucas to be more adventurous, and thinks his ability of being able to talk to ghosts is rather thrilling. She's a little envious of it, in fact, and can't really understand why he doesn't think it's something to be celebrated.

Well, I say she pushes him, but usually, he's running along behind because she's ignored his sensible suggestions and run straight towards danger...

But the effect is basically the same, right?

Like Lucas, Clara lost her father at a young age when he went to the trenches, but there's no question about what happened to Ezra Jenkins, as some kind soul returned his bullet-damaged dogtags.

I won't go into that side of things too much now, though, as that's a story to be told in the fourth book in the series, but let's just say, Lucas and Clara's bond of friendship was strengthened by these tragedies so early on in their lives.

Anyway, Clara is a go-getting romantic at heart, who believes life is there to be lived, and she plans on having as much fun as possible whilst she's here.

She'd like to spend more time with Lucas, of course, but she's fairly confident he'll catch up eventually and join her in London.

Right, I think that's enough about Clara for now (though if you'd like to meet her properly, make sure you grab a copy of The Problem With Dead People now from Amazon)

Although this does mean that the last of my mini series of character profiles needs writing next, and I'm on to my problem child, Tommy Kilbourne.

Oh dear.

Um. Wish me luck?!

See you tommorrow

Love, Saff xx

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