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On Writing Characters – Simon Grant


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OFF PAGE

I write Simon Grant Mysteries series

Originally, I was planning to write only three books

–      Hiding the Elephant

–      Lock Up Your Daughters

and the forthcoming For the Love of Honey.

But just as book three, For the Love of Honey, started approaching its publication date, I had this brilliant new idea for yet another sequel. I don’t know all the details yet, I haven’t even got the title, but I do know why it needs to be written and why everything that will be happening in the story needs to happen.

How I know that?

Why I know that?

These questions brought me to another question: What happens to fictional characters when they’re off page? How well do I need to know my characters to keep them going from one story to another?

Rather well, seems to be the obvious answer. Well enough to make the readers care whether the Main Character lives or dies. Well enough to make the readers care for those that the MC cares about and dislike MC’s pet hates enough to immerse themselves into the next storyline. And therein hides the trap. Once the word ‘care’ comes into play, that’s it. When it happened to me, I was hooked. From that moment on my MC blossomed into Simon Grant, a person in his own right, someone I just had to know everything about if for no other reason than to keep him on side. I really can’t have my characters rebelling against me all over the page, can I? Knowing Simon rather well wasn’t good enough any longer. I had to know him intimately to move on.

By now, readers know that he’s calm on the surface and passionate underneath, occasionally quick tempered, a keen observer who doesn’t get involved unless he needs to, an amateur carver of wooden miniatures, alongside many of his other poignant traits.

On the other hand, I’ve stealthily learned that he doesn’t watch much TV. He enjoys riding, swimming, sailing and skiing but only when he gets a chance to do any of it himself. He’s not a good spectator. He knows that he should go to the gym more often, and he’ll get to address that in the Book 4. (Actually, I think that I’ve just found my working title for it: Book 4. As simple as that. It roils off the tongue rather well, doesn’t it?) On surface, he’s good with people, he can charm birds out of trees, but he’s got very few close personal friends, all of them carefully chosen. He likes to read but not murder mysteries or any other form of crime fiction, something that I find rather rude. Another thing that upsets me about him is that he’s not a foodie. Given chance, he’d live on sandwiches. Also, he’s quite clean, neat and tidy. I like clean. But neat and tidy?! Please?! Where has that come from? Mostly because of his parents’ high political profile, Simon is not political. He’s pragmatic, dealing with the world as it is, not as it should be. But, he’s a romantic. And how!

All those qualities will continue to seep through, meld with the already known ones, and make each new book that much more personal and revealing.

Anyway, why does all that matter?

To me, it’s like a well stocked cupboard at my disposal, full of exquisite ingredients required for production of a sophisticated, unique and intricate product, a.k.a. a genuine human being.

That’s the only way that I can think of to make sure that I won’t let him down and consequently, let myself down.

 

 
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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Next Big Thing


Read Faith Helen Mortimer’s wonderful Next Big Thing interview at http://www.faithmortimerauthor.com/5/post/2012/11/queenie-for-a-day.html

mirabooks

The Blog Chain: The Next Big Thing

Thank you Mary T. McGuire http://mtmcguire.co.uk/2012/10/17/the-next-big-thing/ for including me in this blog chain.

THE INTERVIEW

Q. What is the working title of your book?

A. The current working title, For The Love Of Honey, is also The Final Title. But, for quite a while I called it The Governess. I still like that but it doesn’t reflect the content enough to serve the purpose.

Q. Where did the idea come from for the book?

A. For The Love Of Honey is the third book in the Simon Grant Mysteries series. To some extent, it’s rooted in the first two mysteries. It picks up on two or three themes that haven’t been quite resolved before. But, it also has a discrete identity of its own.

Q. What genre does your book fall under?

A. Psychological Murder Mystery

Q. Which actors would…

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Posted by on 21/11/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Next Big Thing


The Blog Chain: The Next Big Thing

Thank you Mary T. McGuire http://mtmcguire.co.uk/2012/10/17/the-next-big-thing/ for including me in this blog chain.

THE INTERVIEW

Q. What is the working title of your book?

A. The current working title, For The Love Of Honey, is also The Final Title. But, for quite a while I called it The Governess. I still like that but it doesn’t reflect the content enough to serve the purpose.

Q. Where did the idea come from for the book?

A. For The Love Of Honey is the third book in the Simon Grant Mysteries series. To some extent, it’s rooted in the first two mysteries. It picks up on two or three themes that haven’t been quite resolved before. But, it also has a discrete identity of its own.

Q. What genre does your book fall under?

A. Psychological Murder Mystery

Q. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a film rendition?

A. Ah, well, now we’re talking.

Some ten years ago Colin Firth would have been perfect for the part. My current cast of recurring characters:

Rupert Penry Jones as DI Simon Grant:

Michelle Dockery as Pippa Martin (Simon Grant’s wife)

Michelle Dockery-AES-078311.jpg

Emily Blunt as Emma Martin (sister-in-law):

Emily Blunt-ALO-128790.jpg

–      James D’Arcy as Philip Martin (Emma’s husband)

James Darcy-LMK-057714.jpg

Vanessa Redgrave as Eve Hamilton Grant (mother):

Vanessa Redgrave-ALO-002573.jpg

John Bird as Adam Hamilton Grant (father)

John Bird

Stephen Fry as Rudi Hamilton Grant (brother):

Stephen Fry-ALO-121550.jpg

Others may include Saoirse Ronan, David Suchet, scores of others.  My books are densely populated. They could keep most of the British actors in work for years.
Q. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A. Why should Secret Service feel sufficiently threatened by an elderly gynaecologist and a policeman’s wife to kill them?

Q. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

A. Self-published.
Q. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A. A long, long time. I write slowly at the best of times. On top of that, when I reached about 40,000 words mark I realised that one of my central characters had outgrown their motivation/back story.  So, it was back to square one. Such recoveries are very difficult because a major character tends to seep into all the others, their actions and reactions as well as dominate the overall feel and tone of the story. The storyline remained fairly intact but the way it was told had to be drastically changed. I’m still at it.
Q. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A.  Hmmm… My books are often compared to the works of John Le Carre and P. D. James. But that’s the overall style, not the content. By format they are police procedurals in the good old British tradition.
Q. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

A. I’ve always liked mysteries. With the exception of well researched historical novels, that’s the only genre that appeals to the brain rather than senses and emotions. Only, I’m a little bit like a child and its toys. I like stripping my toys to pieces to see what’s inside, what makes them tick. That’s what I do with my characters and the stories are strongly character-driven.
Q. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

A. All the three stories are told from two different but complementary points of view. The third book, For the Love of Honey, also employs some other ways of telling the story.

Please visit the following blogs and webpages

http://www.faithmortimerauthor.com/5/post/2012/11/queenie-for-a-day.html

http://casutton.tripod.com/cazutt/

http://slpiercebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop.html

http://jcallenbooks.weebly.com/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/James-A.-Anderson/e/B004DANB0Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1351070554&sr=1-2-ent

http://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Stroud/e/B00460RZMQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://pathester.wordpress.com

 
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Posted by on 24/10/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Who Could Resist DOUBLE TROUBLE


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOUBLE TROUBLE now available at Smashwords again.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/98125

 
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Posted by on 16/07/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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FREE TODAY FOR CORONATION DAY


FREE TODAY FOR CORONATION DAY

UK: http://amzn.to/ve7zcP

US: http://amzn.to/uPQZot

Germany: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B004XR0AU6

France: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B004XR0AU6

Spain: https://www.amazon.es/dp/B004XR0AU6

Italy: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B004XR0AU6

 

 

 
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Posted by on 02/06/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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DOUBLE TROUBLE – Two Simon Grant Mysteries in a single volume


DOUBLE TROUBLE

This edition contains the two first Simon Grant Mysteries: Hiding the Elephant and Lock Up Your Daughters.

Set in Northamptonshire, they feature Detective Inspector (soon to become Detective Chief Inspector) Simon Grant,based in Wellingborough and mostly dealing with the rural areas of the county.Unlike his serene environment, Grant life and loves are complex and turbulent and the brutal crimes that he’s solving never fail to grate against one or another of his sore spots.
Written in literary style, the novels and story lines appeal to readers who enjoy immersing themselves in an opulent, lush human drama.

Kindle UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005SHNRB4

Kindle US http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005SHNRB4

Kindle DE https://www.amazon.de/dp/B005SHNRB4

Kindle FR https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B005SHNRB4

Kindle ES https://www.amazon.es/dp/B005SHNRB4

Kindle IT https://www.amazon.it/dp/B005SHNRB4

 
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Posted by on 07/05/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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