A Rose By Any Other Name…
But as writers we engage in conversations with our fictional characters all the time. (Well, I do, anyway!)
The thing is, for fiction to work, the characters have to be credible. Believable. That’s as much true for a romance or an historical novel as for a crime thriller. Even if you’re writing science fantasy set in made-up worlds that exist only in your imagination, you still need the reader to engage with your characters.
To believe in them.
Even to care for them.
After all, if you don’t care about them you’re not going to waste your time reading about them. Simple as.
Every writer approaches their craft differently, but a common method for writers when creating new characters is to give those characters a life outside of the novel. To know their background, their history, their intimate details. Sometimes a writer will create a substantial biography with everything from childhood upbringing, educational achievements, relationships and detailed physical descriptions, ninety per cent of which will never feature in the book.
To the non-writer that may sound like a complete waste of time (and it’s not my preferred approach), but if it helps that particular author bring the character to life on the page it’s time well spent.
In Sugar & Spice the adorable Dynamite Twins were my favourites, and though the reader could not know it before-hand, no-one was ever going to lay a finger on them at any stage. For my co-author Saffi it was the cheeky lad Danny that captured her imagination. Neither of them central players in the drama, but so often it is the bit-players that steal the show!
For our new crime thriller series, Rose Red, it’s all new characters and that means building up all-new relationships. After all, if we the authors don’t care about these characters we cannot possibly expect a reader to do so.
We were in fact already planning a sequel to Sugar & Spice, unsurprisingly called Puppy Dogs’ Tales, but are deliberately holding back on this because we don’t want to become stereotyped as authors that write about child-killers. That happened to be the theme of Sugar & Spice, but we actually have inclinations and plans across a range of themes and even genres.
Rose Red is not Sugar & Spice.
By which I mean it’s not a dark and brooding psychological thriller exploring the murky world of sexual deviants. For that you’ll have to wait for Puppy Dog’s Tails and the third book Cold Blood (about necrophiles, since you ask).
But Rose Red is much lighter reading. The first in a series of fast-paced crime thrillers taking as their themes classic European fairy stories. Rose Red Book One: Snow White, is due on Kindle this summer.
But how to promote it?
This, of course, is the dilemma faced by all indie authors and indeed most traditionally-published authors – it’s only the select few who get the plinth in Waterstone’s, the posters on the Underground and to snuggle up on the sofa with Mariella.
(Hey, imagine Mariella and Amanda Hocking on the sofa together. Compulsive viewing!)
Well, as we’re so busy writing our next dozen books, and we haven’t got a publishing house to do it for us, we thought it would be easier to hand that problem over to our characters.
Yes, you read right!
Of course, that would never have worked for Sugar & Spice, but as we’re oh so anxious to make clear, Rose Red is not Sugar & Spice.
So say hello to Ella Crichton (above).
Now Ella is not the star of the book (though she likes to think otherwise!), but she knows a thing or two about what’s going on.
Hopefully you’ll find time to visit her blog, make friends with her on facebook and follow her on twitter (just click on the links!) as she reveals the inside story of the Rose Red crime thriller series as it moves into top gear in preparation for the summer launch.
That’s Rose Red Book One: Snow White. Coming to a Kindle near you this summer!