#GuestPost ~ Jim Alexander #author of GoodCopBadCop ~ the importance of supporting characters @JimPlanetJimbot #TuesdayBookBlog

Im delighted to welcome Jim Alexander with his post about the importance of secondary characters and the roles they play in a story. Over to you, Jim…

We are all main characters in our own minds; in our own worlds. The people around us are the supporting characters. In some ways it’s an abstract concept.

The supporting character. Discuss.

To exist solely as ballast; to react to what a main character does; be affected by their actions. Even if they step away and give the impression they’re doing their own thing, it’s inevitable they’ll be dragged back into the main character’s slipstream. Or they simply disappear, their contribution done, consigned to some empty, undefined nothingness beyond the page. 

And it should read supporting characters–plural. For every main character there are a host of secondary ones. There are exceptions of course, the opportunity to shoehorn that lovely word ensemble into proceedings apart, which I’m not going to dwell on. Instead I’m going to mention my book GoodCopBadCop. That has a main character. That has a multitude of supporting characters, as real as I can make them, genuine and fully-rounded; real in my own mind; real in their own minds.

GoodCopBadCop is a modern crime take on Jekyll and Hyde where the ‘good cop’ and the ‘bad cop’ are the same person. So you’ve got the main character right there, bolted down for all to see. Or main character(s) as I like to coin it, as our protagonist Detective Inspector Brian Fisher veers from ‘good cop’ persona to ‘bad cop’ with unerring, scalpel-like precision. The book immerses him in the shadowy streets of Glasgow, and then takes him to the leafy suburbs of the likes of Milngavie, the brutal dehumanising nature of the crimes he is investigating never far away.

Photo by scottishstoater on Unsplash

And yet with all the checks and balances in place, how can someone so unstable still continue as a policeman? It’s not just how each supporting character relates to him, interacts with him, but how they exist in their own right as a person, how authentic and sympathetic they come across, that’s the key. That’s what makes GoodCopBadCop credible. That’s what makes the situations he finds himself in plausible. 

We have Detective Sergeant Julie Spencer. She is naturally upbeat despite a home life dominated by her mother suffering from dementia; despite frustration at the blockers in her professional life; the lack of prospects for promotion. But still despite this, and perhaps because of this, she is genuinely invested in what she does, as she explains in her own words:

‘And yet, yeah, I still tried to fall on the side of being positive. Glass half full. I think I helped protect people. I mean, I hoped that I helped people. I was sure I helped people. I liked the way kids pointed at me on the street when in uniform (although since turning DS, these days this was an all too rare occurrence). I was happy to think I did some good.’

Now, DS Spencer has been partnered up with DI Fisher. Fisher’s immediate response is to be uncooperative and stonewall his new partner. But things develop, and slowly Spencer is dragged into the sheer unpredictability and moral morass that is DI Fisher’s alter-ego state. Matters come to a head forcing Spencer to face up to something she has previously shied away from; to openly challenge the blockers in her professional life and try to resolve the situation between her and DI Fisher. And in so doing strike at the heart of solving the mystery that is GoodCopBadCop.

Another character is Dr Dawn, a psychiatrist specialising in helping public sector workers, who DI Fisher has to report to. She wastes no time in introducing herself:

‘My name is Doctor Dawn Preston,’ she said.   ‘But please, you can call me Dawn, or Dr Dawn, or DD.   Whatever you feel comfortable with.   I don’t tend to take notes on our first session.   We simply get to know each other.   So, please feel free to talk about anything that’s on your mind.’

As the story develops, Dr Dawn teases out from DI Fisher a confession of sorts. Who he might be? How he came to arrive at this point; this moment in time. To come to terms with the two warring personas that forms an uncertain and volatile whole. At one point, in his role as narrator, Fisher confides the following to Dr Dawn:

‘It is only the bad who see me for what I truly am, the corrupt and the wicked. It is the good and virtuous who look away.’

To make the novel GoodCopBadCop believable; to make it something that sucks in the reader, beguiles them, makes them want to read more, there is nothing abstract about it. The supporting characters need to work and do the heavy-lifting. The Reader needs to care ultimately in the end whether or not they choose to look away. 

About the Book

GoodCopBadCop is a crime novel with a twist. It is a modern crime take on Jekyll and Hyde where both ‘good cop’ and ‘bad cop’ are the same person. This is not a story about a good man turned bad, or a bad man turned good.  Both good and bad arrived at the same time.

The novel delves deep into the psychological trappings, black humour and surrealist overtones of the crime novel. Tartan noir with a delicious twist. It really gets into the gut(s) and mind(s) of the main character.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Blackwells | Kobo UK | B&N | Kobo US 

About the Author

Jim Alexander is an award-winning writer who has worked for TV (Metal Hurlant Chronicles) and for DC (Batman 80-Page Giant, Birds of Prey) and Marvel (Uncanny Origins, Spectacular Spider-Man). GoodCopBadCop is his debut novel.

#GuestPost & #Extract from The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi ~ Underwater Fantasy @Sonia_Faruqi #TuesdayBookBlog

My guest today is Sonia Faruqi with a character’s perspective post and details of, plus an extract from, her debut release.

Here’s the book info…..

Coralline is a mermaid who is engaged to the merman of her dreams. But when an oil spill wreaks havoc on her idyllic village life, her little brother falls gravely ill. Desperate to save him, she embarks on a quest to find a legendary elixir made of starlight.

Izar, a human man, is on the cusp of an invention that will enable him to mine the depths of the ocean. His discovery will soon make him the richest man on earth—while threatening merpeople with extinction. But then, suddenly, Izar finds himself transformed into a merman and caught in a web of betrayal and intrigue. Meeting Coralline in the ocean, he decides to join her on her quest for the elixir, hoping it will turn him human again.

The quest pushes Coralline and Izar together, even though their worlds are at odds. Their pasts threaten to tear them apart, while a growing attraction adds to the danger. Ultimately, each of them faces an impossible choice. Should Coralline leave her fiancé for a man who might betray her? And Izar has a dark secret of his own—one that could cause him to lose Coralline forever.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Goodreads

Continue reading

#GuestPost from J. Lee #author of Debut Thriller The Hubley Case #Extract @JLeeauthor #TuesdayBookBlog

I’m delighted to welcome Justin Lee with a guest post about writing and publishing his debut novel with a full time job and a young family. First, though, here’s what the book is about…

American businessman Peter Hubley lays sprawled across the floor of a Brazilian airport, cappuccino dripping down what remains of his forehead. Within an hour, his killers are dead and their bodies stolen. When an organized crime syndicate claims responsibility for the savage murder, questions are raised and the case is assigned to Special Agent Nikki Benton.

To Benton, a straight-laced FBI veteran, the Hubley case is an unusual and much-anticipated opportunity to prove herself and get out from under the thumb of her misogynistic boss. But she quickly realizes that nothing about it adds up and she may be in over her head. Her instincts prove true when her prime suspect Ben Siebert, a rebellious ex-Marine with a questionable past, is pressing a Glock 27 to her temple.

The two are forced to work together when they learn that everything – the death of the killers, the public’s assumption Hubley was hiding something, even the case being assigned to Benton – was part of a carefully orchestrated plan…and that they are the next targets. But to stop a formidable perpetrator intent on killing thousands of innocent people, they must risk everything and reveal the shocking truth behind the Hubley case.

The book is due for release on November 6th on Amazon UK and Amazon US 

Now over to Justin….

Continue reading

#Interview~Rosie Wilby~debut #nonfiction #author~Is Monogamy Dead? @rosiewilby #SundayBlogShare

Welcome, Rosie, could you tell us a little about your book

Is Monogamy Dead? is my first book and draws inspiration from a trilogy of solo shows investigating love and relationships that I wrote and toured internationally over a seven-year period. Writing a book allowed me to explore the themes more deeply and include some of the science underpinning the personal anecdotes and interviews

… and the inspiration behind it.

The book takes its title from the middle part of the trilogy and that show was very much a response to a couple of friends breaking up. There was a real ambiguity as to whether one of them had been having an affair.

What research was involved?

I decided to conduct an online anonymous survey. The key question was ‘what counts as cheating?’ The responses revealed that fidelity is way less clear cut and binary than we think. For many people, emotional exclusivity was more important than the physical side. But that’s where things get really complicated. Because … how we do control what we feel?  Continue reading

Deadly Lies

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  • Deadly LiesAuthor: Chris Patchell
  • Published: March 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Crime/Mystery/Thriller
  • four-half-stars

As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather’s cruel abuse. Now, as an adult, Jill’s made it—she has a successful career and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon. Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle.

The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim lies dormant—until one day a reporter lures her to his hotel room under the pretense of an interview—and suddenly it all comes rushing back.

Jill seeks revenge on the reporter, triggering a series of events that leads Jill down a wormhole of retribution, forcing her to spin an ever-widening web of lies.

Meanwhile, Alex is on the case of a series of murders that began as cyber relationships. There seems to be a familiar fingerprint on these crimes, but Alex refuses to believe that the murderer could be so close to him.

Husband and wife stand on opposite sides of a divide created by lies and rooted in a dark and deadly past…

Alex and Jill are facing marital problems. Their jobs keep them apart for most of the week and it doesn’t help that Jill is having an affair with her boss, until, that is, he decides to move on to someone else. While trying to resolve the awkward situation Jill has manoeuvred herself into something totally unexpected and horrific occurs but after the initial shock she sees how this could work to her advantage. 

After the abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Jill resolved never to be at the mercy of another man. When she is compromised by a reporter supposedly wanting an interview she takes matters into her own hands. Jill’s behaviour, even as you feel for the young girl she was, is totally disproportionate and spirals out of all control.

“Ready or not, here I come,” her stepfather, Master Sergeant Samuel Morris, called out in that creepy, singsong voice, like this was some sort of sick game.

Her hands shook, and she clasped them in a tight knot under her chin. Her mother’s scent – baby powder and cinnamon – filled the small space, enveloping her like a warm cloak, and she wished she could hide here forever. Safe. Untouched.

Tears stung her eyes. God, she missed her mother. It was bad before. His punishments had always been harsh, but since her mother’s death, everything had changed.

Alex is a detective with the Seattle Police Force and is investigating the disappearance of his ex fiancée’s sister, which is linked to a serial killer. During the course of his investigations he begins to wonder how much he really knows his wife. He realises she has changed in an elusive way but can’t quite rationalise how or why. He is shocked and unbelieving at where the clues are leading him.

This is a very skilfully written debut novel, with strong, well-developed characters. The absorbing storyline is full of intrigue and suspense. Alex is someone I could relate to immediately and, for all Jill is a very complex and complicated character, and because of childhood suffering I could understand, up to a very definite point, what drove her. And Alex’s partner, Jackson, is a great character too, always having Alex’s back.

The detail and descriptive prose gives a very intense and realistic slant….and the ending! I didn’t see that one coming! There is nothing I dislike about this book, although the ending did leave me quite shell-shocked. Definitely an author to look out for. Many thanks to JB Johnson at Brook Cottage Books for sending me a copy. So glad I didn’t miss this one.

 About the author

Chris PatchellWhen Chris Patchell isn’t hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn’t steal them from comic books.

Years later, Chris spent long afternoons managing her own independent record store and writing romance novels. After closing the record store and going to college, Chris launched a successful career in hi-tech. She married, had kids but amid all the madness, the itch to write never really went away. So she started writing again. Not romance this time – suspense filled with drama, and angst, speckled with a little bit of blood.

Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. “My stories are based on scenarios I live every day, distorted through the fictional lens. And my stories come with the added bonus of not having to be restrained by socially acceptable behavior.”

To learn more about Chris and her debut novel, DEADLY LIES, visit www.chrispatchell.com/

Join her on Facebook for book giveaways and more gritty fun at www.facebook.com/authorchrispatchell 

“Chris Patchell”s debut novel, Deadly Lies, is a taut, fast-paced thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. Patchell is a master storyteller with a real talent for creating pulse-pounding suspense.”—Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of Unspeakable.

Giveaway

Enter the rafflecopter giveaway if you’d like a chance to win an e-copy of Deadly Lies. Good luck!