It is my stop on B.A. Steadman’s Death and the Good Son blog tour! I am thrilled to have a fascinating guest author post on creating characters! My favourite topic!! Eeeeek! But first, a little about the author and her book!!
About The Author
Bernie taught English for many years and completed her debut novel, Death and Deception, when she escaped the classroom and could finally stop marking essays.
She lives in Devon with her husband and two marauding cats which do not help her concentration at all.
In her spare time, apart from walking and yoga, Bernie is a Trustee for an animal sanctuary in Somerset, a role she finds rewarding, except for the moment when she brought home the cats, at which point she questioned her sanity.
She has just completed book 2 in the series, Death and The Good Son, which will be published on 9th December, just in time for Christmas. What a nice idea for a present…
In book 2, we learn more about Dan Hellier and his life, and get caught up in a bizarre set of murders involving bodies in the bog on Dartmoor. All in a day’s work for Devon police.
About The Book
Life is good for DI Dan Hellier. He has made several successful drugs’ busts and even the Assistant Chief Constable is smiling. But the discovery of two headless, handless corpses buried in the bog on Dartmoor will test his team to their limits. How are they expected to identify the bodies when nobody has reported them missing?
The pressure mounts when the death of a teenager from an overdose of Mephedrone plunges Dan into the murky world of the Garrett family. Could the peaceful, family-run Animal Rescue Centre really be a cover for murder and drug-dealing?
Just how far will people go to get what they want?
And what links death to the good son?
This investigation will challenge Dan’s decisions and beliefs as he races to catch a criminal before another child dies.
The Walk Has It. Creating Character Through Observation
~ By B.A. Steadman
I twisted my knee the other week. My welly got stuck in the mud; my leg carried on walking, my knee didn’t. So I’ve been bandaged up and walking gingerly for the past few days.
Which led me to looking at the way people walk and what it tells the writer about them. I am a fit, active person, yet one minor accident had me walking like an old lady. Small, tentative steps. Embarrassing wobbles when the knee gave way. Winces when I twisted it, the pain showing in gritted teeth and tight frowns. The key change for me was the care I took to avoid anything which might cause me to swerve or stop suddenly. I had a little revelation about how gait could influence the way I wrote about character, and could also help the reader to see the character, too.
Young people, fit people, walk carelessly. There may be a swagger or a slouch or a quick nimbleness to their movements but they don’t think about getting around- they just do it. Some people walk on the balls of their feet, bouncing along. These days many people are glued to their phones as they walk, only the push and sway of the walking mob keeping them from accident. Others trudge with their heads down and shoulders slumped, or hurry, hand clasping the front of a coat to hide a bulging stomach. We all reveal our attitudes and our fears through our walk. Useful revelation? Oh, yes.
So I had a think about the protagonist in a short story I have just started. She’s heavily pregnant at twenty and finding life difficult. I sat in the window of a coffee shop in Taunton for an hour and watched out for pregnant young women. Several wandered past. The slightly backwards leaning gait, legs apart (to provide balance?), the stroking and patting of the belly; the pushing back of the hair and fanning of the too hot face; the slowness of a walk so at odds with the youthfulness of the face.
Perhaps hope and fear is always clearly written on our faces and bodies when we think we are not being observed. I pottered off home with a bulging notebook. I think I can write her now.
Thank you B.A. Steadman for this fab guest post and Sarah Hardy for organising the tour / asking me to be a part of it! To grab a copy of this book, click the link below!
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