Danny is 13 years old when his story begins and 24 when it’s concluded in the sequel. In appearance, he is blonde haired and blue eyed, with a touch of Corey Haim about him, whilst modelling his hair on his idol Kurt Cobain. His dress style is grungy to the extreme. He prefers charity shop clothes over flashy labels. He’s not interested in looks or fakery, but is drawn to interesting individuals and non-conformists, like himself. At home, he is the thorn in everyone’s side, a troublemaker who doesn’t fit in. Danny is a rebel at heart. He is stubborn, pig-headed and rebellious, with a true sense of fairness and social justice. He hates bullies and spends most of his teenage years trying to stand up to a real-life monster; his step-father Lee. Danny’s story is one of fighting back and standing up. His life is tumultuous, brutal and accompanied by a beautifully uplifting soundtrack. This is a boy obsessed with music. Music is his life, his salvation, his reason for living.
Likes; alcohol, weed, speed, clubbing at Chaos, best friend Michael, love interest Lucy, dogs, writing, reading, the record shop, music, any music, all music, (Nirvana, Pixies, The Clash, The Smiths, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Radiohead, Johnny Cash, Neil Young)
Dislikes; family, Lee Howard, Jack Freeman, coming down, owing money, being scared, school, Higgs, flash cars, labels, football, fake people, liars, bullies, rules
Lou Carling (TheMess Of Me)
Lou is 16 years old. She has thick, wavy hair which is neither blonde nor brown. She used to believe she was fat and ugly, but now she is on a mission to remain slim. She is slowly shrinking, yet when she looks in the mirror, she can still see fat everywhere. Lou is sarcastic, cynical and fed up. No one impresses her, except her best friend Joe, who is just as weary and jaded as she. Together they traipse the estate, escape their parents, smoke pot and bitch about everyone they know. Lou is broken on the inside, a mess, but on the outside she is intense, witty and feisty. She is bored of being the good girl and wants some fun.
Likes; Joe, Marianne, Gremlin the dog, cider, weed, running, loose clothes, Travis, (sort of) being left alone, dreaming, laughing, danger, now
Dislikes; her dad, Joe’s step-dad Mick, Leon and Travis, The Stick Insects, not being able to run, eating too much, tight clothes, photographs, reflections, boring people, pointless gossip, Marianne (sometimes) school, pressure, the future
Jake Morgan (This Is Nowhere)
Jake Morgan is in his late twenties. He has dark hair and eyes and a slim build. Jake is a dreamer, a gentle man who has not quite grown up yet. He thinks he is happy, floating around with no real roots, no job, no home, no girlfriend, and only his childhood friends to anchor him to the past. He doesn’t like stress or aggravation, or confrontation. He doesn’t understand angry people who just want to fight. He also can’t fathom why people chain themselves to boring jobs, and care about things like property and furniture and stuff. He can’t stand his older sister Gina, but she has forced him to come home to help deal with their father who seems to be suffering with alzheimers. He never got on with his father as a child. It was his mother he loved, and he can recall how much she loved him back, but she never stayed still for long. She was like a dream; not real.He’s as surprised as anyone when he decides to try and find out what really happened to her…
Likes; his friends, Rod and Curly, May and Sully, his memories of his mother and her long-limbed running dogs, peace, calm, moving on, the present
Dislikes; the past, family stress, jobs, money, rules, religion, loan sharks, mysteries, missing people
Michael Anderson (The Boy With The Thorn In His Side and This Is The Day)
Before Danny arrives in town, Michael is the main bad boy. To begin with, they fight, but they can’t stay enemies for long and soon become the best of friends. Brothers, even. Michael is tall, dark and handsome, with eyes like melted chocolate. Like Danny, he prefers the scruffy, grungy look to the well groomed boy-band image so many boys at school follow. Michael likes to stand out and is full of mischief. He is courageous, optimistic and underestimated by most who know him. With boozing parents and a jailbird brother, Michael’s reputation as a troublemaker is set in stone, but he does like to surprise people and prove them wrong. He idolises his older brother Anthony and hopes that he’s now on the straight and narrow. Michael is one of the first to realise the darkness invading Danny’s life. He’ll do anything to help him, putting himself in danger in the process. Michael is one of the best friends a kid could wish for. Loyal and protective, he has a heart of pure gold.
Likes; girls, beer, smokes, music, ‘the base’, his gang, trouble, mischief, fun, parties, his big brother, his best friend, proving people wrong
Dislikes; bullies, liars, fake people, feeling powerless, being judged
Joe Lawrenson (The Mess Of Me)
Sixteen year old Joe is tall and slim, with light brown hair and hazel coloured eyes. He has two older brothers who seem to resent the fact he was ever born. He has two younger half-brothers from his mother’s second marriage. The house is bursting at the seams. Joe does his best to be invisible. He’s always been a good boy, the quiet one, unlike his older siblings, Leon and Travis, who like to live life on the wild side. They’ve never noticed him, unless it’s to bully him…but just lately they’ve been paying him attention. Joe thinks breaking a few rules and getting in their good books might just be worth the trouble he could get into if his mum ever finds out…Then there’s Lou. He’s not meant to fancy his best friend…but sometimes he just does.
Likes; Lou, the park, cider, laughing, bitching, music, drumming, earning money, impressing Leon and Travis
Dislikes; his step-dad Mick, his younger half brothers, the crowded house, his mother screeching, Marianne, complications
Gina Morgan (This Is Nowhere)
Gina is in her early thirties and a mother of three. She’s a heavy set woman who has always been curvy. She has thick dark hair and eyebrows to match. She doesn’t have time for fashion or style, and is most likely to be seen wearing leggings and long tops. She feels like being a woman is a burden and a crime. Since her useless husband legged it, she’s been working, raising the kids and caring for her father who is well on the way to developing full blown dementia. If there is one thing that drives her mad in life it is lazy people who won’t help themselves, and her younger brother Jake is a perfect example of this. He’s been babied and pampered his entire life, particularly by their unreliable mother, who thought parenting meant flitting in and out to suit herself. One day she never came back and from that moment Gina shouldered the weight of her broken family. Resentment finally gives way to relief when she convinces her work shy, homeless brother to come back to the family home to care for their father. She is used to belittling and laughing at him, but what she did not expect was his sudden obsession with discovering what really happened to their mother all those years ago.
Likes; cider, the end of the day, time alone, bossing everyone around, begrudging it all
Dislikes; laziness, dreamers, cowards, sentimentality, being proved wrong
Lee Howard (The Boy With The Thorn In His Side)
Lee Howard is in his mid-forties and bears a striking resemblance to the WWE wrestle ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. He’s a bear of a man, with a fondness for stone-washed blue jeans and tight white t-shirts. He has very little hair, but maintains a neat beard and moustache at all times. Lee was ambitious from a young age; working his way up from barman, to bouncer, to club manager and eventually owner. He now has everything he ever wanted, everything he deserves. A beautiful, easily manipulated, woman. His own nightclub. Money, power and people who will do anything he says. He’s a clean, ordered man, who cannot stand mess or unruliness of any kind. He’s a control freak who thinks his way is the only way. He truly believes he has everyone’s best interests at heart, after all, he is always right about everything. The only thorn in his side is his step-son Danny, a scruffy, sullen, back-talking loser, who desperately needs a father figure to direct him in life. If Lee does not help this kid, he is going to end up a nothing, a no one, a drain on society. More than anything he wants to be a father to Danny. The only problem is Danny seems to enjoy winding him up, and there might be just a small part of Lee that gets a genuine thrill out of violence. You might even suggest he is addicted to it.
Likes; order, hard work, ambition, cleanliness, everything in its place, respect, obedience, gratitude, fear, violence, control
Dislikes; mess, chaos, laziness, lack of ambition, rebellion, music, interfering busybodies who should stay out of his business, losing control, not being feared or respected
Leon Lawrenson (The Mess Of Me)
Leon is the oldest of five brothers, and the only one he has any time for is Travis, who at 18, is only sixteen months older than him. They’re partners in crime and always have been. Leon wishes he could make the rest of them vanish, including his shrill mother and her short thug of a husband Mick, but Leon can’t afford to move out yet. So they’re all there, crammed in together, with all the dark secrets of the past writhing inside his head. Leon doesn’t think much. Deliberately. He finds actions speak louder than words. Leon is tall and dark, and handsome in a brooding, dangerous kind of way. He has never been in love. He has never felt loved. He knows he has a darkness inside of him, something hard and black and cold, and it frightens him, but oh what a release, when it is set free…
Likes; Travis, parties, girls, secrets, deals, money, escape
Dislikes; Joe, the rest of them, Mick, secrets, himself