I knew from the moment I started writing that Tom would have to be the “strong, silent type”. He’s the assistant gardener at Misterley Manor, a man who loves his work, he’s happy to be working where he is, in the open air, and doesn’t want to be anything other than what he is.
Do you know what the hardest thing is about the “strong, silent type” of hero? They quite often just hang around in the background thinking noble thoughts and doing noble deeds but not saying very much … which makes them very difficult to write into a conversation!
Deeds mean more than words to Tom, so when he is unable to prove himself in a crucial situation (so difficult to explain without giving away too much of the plot!) it’s hard for him.
He’s attracted to Alice, but for several reasons (again, I can’t tell you too much or the plot will be spoiled) he holds back.
So, when the chips are down at Misterley Manor, Tom can be found rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in – his hands are always dirty with working in the garden anyway – but he won’t talk about it very much …