I’m thrilled to be taking part in Anne Coates’ DEATH’s SILENT JUDGEMENT blog tour today with this pretty awesome Author Guest Post! How about we find out a little more about the book and the author first though!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Death’s Silent Judgement is the thrilling sequel to Dancers in the Wind, and continues the gripping series starring London-based investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge.
Following the deadly events of Dancers in the Wind, freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is thrown into the heart of a horrific murder investigation when a friend, Liz Rayman, is found with her throat slashed at her dental practice.
With few clues to the apparently motiveless crime Hannah throws herself into discovering the reason for her friend’s brutal murder, and is determined to unmask the killer. But before long Hannah’s investigations place her in mortal danger, her hunt for the truth placing her in the path of a remorseless killer…
The series is very much in the best traditions of British women crime writers such as Lynda La Plante and Martina Cole.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I love reading and the type of fiction I write is what I like to read. So my very short stories are often tales with a twist and the longer ones explore relationships – often within a family. Most of these stories were published first in Bella, Candis and other magazines and now appear in two collections published by Endeavour Press.
My debut thriller, “Dancers in the Wind”, was published by Urbane Publications in October 2016. This book is a result of an interview I did for a national newspaper and afterwards I thought “What if…” and so Hannah Weybridge came into existence and she continues her life in “Death’s Silent Judgement” to be published in May 2017 again by Urbane Publications. I am currently working on the third book in the series. You can find out more about my writing at www.annecoatesauthor.com
Journalism has led me into diverse fields from human interest stories to health and beauty to travel and parenting and so just over seven years ago I founded the website: www.parentingwithouttears.com writing about what inspires (or upsets) me and hosting articles and reviews by other writers and parents. This led to two parenting guides again published by Endeavour Press.
Before that I had written three books (two for Wayland) including “Your Only Child” (Bloomsbury) plus two books about applying to and surviving university published by Need to Know.
I live in SE London with three demanding cats and enjoy going to the theatre and cinema and socialising with friends. You can find out more about the parenting website on twitter @ParentingWT or more about what I am up to @Anne_Coates1
A short time ago, the literary agent Jonny Geller tweeted: “There’s no such thing as a minor character. They all have their own novels, but you are choosing not to write theirs yet.”
This is very much how I feel and react to my minor characters. For them to be real, the reader has to be able to think that if you opened another door, you’d find that character deeply engrossed in their own life. They shouldn’t be one-dimensional but must seem as though they have the potential to be a major actor. Just a sentence or two, here and there, give glimpses into a supporting character’s life. A teaser of a thread that may be taken up later in another book.
In writing the Hannah Weybridge thriller series, I feel it’s crucial to create a social environment for the protagonist. Hannah needs friends and work colleagues, neighbours and passing acquaintances. So some of the characters from Dancers in the Wind continue into Death’s Silent Judgement but the focus may be different or they or their circumstances may have changed.
I grew fond of Sam Smith, a police informer who works at the lost property office at King’s Cross, so he reappears to help Hannah in the sequel. He is an amalgamation of the type of male Londoner I’ve often come across in real life – salt of the earth and fatherly who thinks women need a helping hand. It may come as no surprise that Sam turns up in book three as well but I haven’t decided his fate yet.
Hannah’s doctor friend, James appeared in the first book when he helps Hannah much against his better judgement. He has a more central role in the sequel introducing Hannah to a major lead in a story she’s researching plus he adds some romantic tension to the narrative. He’s also a bit of a thorn in her side, questioning her motives. He’s a moral barometer – and utterly gorgeous!
Supporting characters offer a different perspective and challenge the protagonist’s assumptions or actions just as friends do in real life. Rory, the news editor whom Hannah writes for on The News, is one such character. He draws Hannah out and teases her but also offers her the practical and professional support she needs – not to mention all the glasses of wine she consumes in the pub opposite the newspaper offices.
Another character who offers a different viewpoint is DI Claudia Turner. I love her “super coolness” and the way you’re never quite certain how she feels about Hannah. Her relationship to Tom Jordan is a bit of a mystery and she keeps Hannah on her toes but is also supportive and a distant way. She is definitely someone whose life is to be explored in the third book.
Just as the saying goes that a company (or whatever) is as strong as its weakest link, I believe this is so with characters in fiction. You sometimes find this in the theatre or cinema when an actor playing a small part is so awful it reflects badly on the rest of the cast and the whole production. Fortunately the opposite is also true.
In the film Spotlight which focuses on the uncovering of a large number of priests sexually abusing children, one of the journalists frequently mentions her church-going grandmother and wonders about how she is going to react when they break the story. At the end of the film we see the grandmother for the first time. She is given the newspaper with the exposé on the front page – and says nothing. Everything, all her thoughts and reactions are mirrored in her facial expression and body language. Absolutely perfect. I’d like to think that my minor characters are like that – a strong link in the narrative chain.
Thank you so much, Anne! I loved that! Click the book below if you are interested in Anne’s latest book!