All good stories have a great support cast and The Crossroads is no exception. Rose, Stephanie and Faith all need a little help from their friends and family so I thought I’d introduce you to a few of the characters who help them along the way.
Since the death of her husband, Mick, and the loss of her parents Rose has been pretty much on her own – apart from daughter, Stephanie. There is her mother-in-law, Letty, but there’s no love lost between the two and Rose’s weekly visits to Letty are more than torture.
Thankfully Rose does have Cleo. They’ve been friends for years and despite her own share of problems Cleo is always there for Rose, and vice versa. She lives with her son and ailing father on a remote property – along with a collection of four legged friends for extra company.
There’s Tiddles (Cleo’s pet pig), Bob (a cheeky Shetland) and Suzie Q (her faithful old mare). Tiddles is ‘based on’ a real pig I met on my visit to Queensland and Bob is our very own Shetland.
Rose and Letty are pretty much all Stephanie has in the way of extended family but she does have a soft spot for her brother-in-law Cameron, despite his estrangement from her husband. This makes for some tricky situations when Cam returns to Birralong.
Steph’s bestie is Holly. The two of them have been friends since school and in ‘the old days’ would party together. It’s not often that Stephanie gets out these days but during the course of the story Holly does manage to convince her to come along to Rocco’s (her husband’s) birthday bash at the pub. Lucky neither of them know that sparks will fly!
Bandit is Stephanie’s beloved quarter horse. She used to loved taking him to Western shows him, dressing up in the blingy western gear but that was when times weren’t so tough and money not as scarce. I based Bandit on our own quarter horse, Bridget, and Steph’s love of showing on my own experiences – even though I’m only a beginner, not a pro like Stephanie.
Our city girl Faith is an only child and completely doted on by her parents, Stella and Brian. In fact they’re adoration is a little claustrophobic. She’s glad she lives in her own apartment and that her parents have become grey nomads. Still, there’s always the phone, and Stella does make good use of it.
Poppy is Faith’s closest friend and the one she turns to when disaster strikes. Faith dated Poppy’s brother, Lukas, for a while and was devastated when he broke up with her but she and Poppy remain close. Poppy is happily married to Nick, and stunningly pregnant. She’s upfront with her best friend, doesn’t hold back on calling her out when she does something silly but supports her all the way. Just the sort of back up we all need.
There are no furry friends in Faith’s life although she often wanders past Kevin Bacon’s enclosure at the Grounds, just as she does in her opening scene:
Kevin Bacon flopped onto the straw covering his pen, closed his whiskery eyes and groaned. The pig was clearly disgruntled.
‘I know exactly how you feel.’ Faith Montgomery pivoted a stilettoed heel and headed past the animal enclosures into the main area of the cafe.
If you haven’t been to The Grounds Kevin Bacon actually exists. He became a media sensation a few years back when he was stolen from his pen. Happily he was returned. Although, like Faith, I’m not convinced a concrete yard in an inner city café is the most blissful of environments.
So there you have it, the support cast.