Friday, 6 May 2016

If you can make your reader know how a character might react in a sitatuation they're real!

 Jennifer Lloyd - known as 'Jen' to her special friends, is the lead character in my new novel: 'The Grave Concerns of Jennifer Lloyd'.

Readers will really be able to get into her head because she is both protagonist and first-person narrator. And she's a very strong 25 year-old with fierce ambitions to set aside a troubled past - which included sexual abuse in a children's home - and make a name for herself in her new career as a television presenter.

Jen takes risks, and one of them was to say she had a Masters Degree in Ecology on a CV seen by her primary source of income: the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). She fears that if they discover this her career will be over. So she has a plan. Make herself famous and they won't want to lose her. And that plan? To unmask a murderer: LIVE on-camera!

Jen is just one of a number of very real characters, and this image is one I use on Twitter to introduce them - and to take people to the page on my website which gives you far more detail.

I believe in strong characterisation, and I will tell you more about Jen herself in a future post. But here is a brief rundown on those you can see in this picture.

Ami is Jen's best friend and confidant. She is Chinese and shared a room with Jen in the children's home. They've always been there for each other.

Digby is owner of the Dorset house and gardens attraction called Solent House and Gardens. His wife died under suspicious circumstances with the police believing he was her killer. But lack of evidence got him off. Yet his handman disappeared the same night - and a pet do there also died. Far too many coincidences, and the reason why Jen feels there is a huge story to uncover: one that will make her famous.

Susie is Jen's adored little poodle, Robin is Digby's son, Eric is Jen's boss, and Vera is Digby's housekeeper: very aggressive towards Jen's intrusion in the 'big house'. To find out more about them click here. It will show you how real these characters really are.

Strong characters are needed to engage a reader

 My latest mystery thriller is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Waterstones. Select your favourite online store here. It is mainly set in the real UK location of Christchurch, near Bournemouth. I've published a couple of walks in the area so you can walk in the footsteps of its protagonist and narrator, Jennifer Lloyd.

It's getting some great reviews so far, so that's a relief - after at least 18 month's work.

BookViral said it is: 'a fine melding of mystery thriller and contemporary fiction'. I agree it is a cross-over in that it offers far more character-depth than an ordinary thriller. That was my aim: to make it a really interesting read. I believe that while plot is the driver of a novel,  strong characterisation is needed to engage a reader - and hence make a novel memorable. The same review also stated it was 'exceptionally entertaining'. Again the aim!

So please check it out on my website to discover why it is already on the 'To Read' lists of over 500 people on Goodreads.