I am delighted to be joining in with K. A. Richardson’s Watch You Burn blog tour 🙂
Many thanks to Sarah Hardy, at Bloodhound Books, for inviting me to take part.
Being asked to do a guest blog post in advance of the blogger tour for my fourth novel, Watch You Burn, is a great honour – thank you so much to Kerry Ann Parsons for being interested enough to request one! Blog’s are a funny thing for me – I do a monthly blog on what’s happening in my world but I feel like a guest blog should be something special. Something different.
So I thought I would do this one on characters.
Characters are so important to me as a writer – if I don’t like how the character grows throughout the story it can throw my plot off completely resulting in massive rewriting and pondering – and occasionally even binning the work off. It’s not always immediately obvious that the character is what’s at fault either so I can spend hours wondering why a story isn’t doing what I want it to do without even realising why. It’s because she doesn’t drink coffee, or he isn’t the kind of person to deal with something the way he should be, or that I’ve written someone as a she when in fact they might be better as a he. There are so many ways that characters impact on my writing and in truth, it took me some time to realise this.
I used to just start with the names I wanted to use (a feat in itself!) and go from there, never paying a second thought to how they look or the person they were. In days gone by this is why those particular stories never worked – because if I didn’t know the character, how could I expect a reader to relate to them?
When I did my MA a revelation hit – a major component of one module was characterisation and the lecturer, a writer herself and extremely knowledgeable (Carol Clewlow was her name though she’s now retired), asked us all to do character profiles. Now I’m sure there are different ways to do character profiles, but the way she taught me was an eye-opener. All of a sudden my characters could become real people, I could see them in my head, know them as a person and understand how they would react to a situation based on the profile I built of them. That was when I started planning out my characters before they even appeared on paper. I knew their names, how old they were, where they were from, what family they have, who their friends were, their strengths, their weaknesses, what scared them and what they would die fighting for. I can’t convey enough thanks to Carol for the input on this when I was learning – this knowledge helped develop me into a writer – and enabled my characters push my plots forward.
I do this now with every main character in every book or story I write – because I want them to be real to the reader – I want people to be able to relate and think ‘wow that could happen to someone I know or even me’ – I want readers to believe, while they’re reading, that the person they’re reading about could actually be real. I hope I’ve achieved that in the books I’ve done so far. I absolutely loved learning about Edina Blaze, the fire investigator in my upcoming novel, Watch You Burn. She’s feisty but also a little vulnerable, and so family orientated! And she rides a Harley Davidson and wears leathers – she’s definitely not run of the mill!
If anyone reading this is contemplating being a writer, that would be one of my push points – know your characters before you start. They will help you write the book that’s in your head.
Thank you so much for writing such a fab guest post, Kerry Ann (great name by the way! 😉 ), and for the opportunity to be a part of your blog tour.
Publisher: Bloodhound Books (2nd May 2017)
Someone is breaking into Fire Investigator, Edina Blaze’s, home and leaving deadly messages. When Glen Peacock is burned alive, she has to put her own problems aside and attend the location with Crime Scene Manager, Kevin Lang.
As the body count rises, Edina’s sister Heather becomes involved. Is it her setting these gruesome fires? Or is she a target too?
Kevin has seen it all in his years on the force, but when a young girl is found burnt to dead, even he is shocked.
Who is taking pleasure in watching people burn? Why are they doing it? And will they be caught?
DI Alistair McKay and the team from North East Police have to work quickly to stop the killer, before they all end up in flames.
Buy your copy…..
About the author…..
My name is Kerry-Ann Richardson (generally known as Kerry) and I write as KA Richardson. I started writing the North East Police series in 2010 when I was working towards my MA Creative Writing – I used the first 15000 words of With Deadly Intent as my dissertation. I passed my MA in 2011 and kept on writing. This all came about from working as a Crime Scene Investigator – I’d always written but when I was a CSI I went to see a psychic, Anthony, and he wanted to know why I wasn’t writing. He reminded me that it was my passion and said he could see me signing in Waterstones in 5 years. That was 5.5 years before my first ever signing in Waterstones so he wasn’t far wrong!
I did the normal things writers do when their book is ready to go out into the world – submitted to agents etc. I got a few nice personal responses back – still saying no but being constructive and polite about it. I approached Darren Laws from Caffeine Nights whilst at a crime festival and he asked to see my work. He agreed to publish With Deadly Intent from there, and once that was out I approached Bloodhound Books as wanted to know if there was any other interest in my novels. Bloodhound came back within 24 hours and offered me a 3 book deal! And I’ve since signed an additional 3 book deal with them which covers the series up to and including book 7!