Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Tell Me A Lie by CJ Carver

Series: Dan Forrester Series
Release Date: 12th January 2017
Publisher: Zaffre
Genres:  Crime / Mystery / Thriller

I am thrilled to part of the Tell Me A Lie tour. I have an amazing guest post from CJ Carver to share with you!  But, first, lets find out what the book is all about.


How do you protect your family when you can't remember who's hunting them? A gripping international thriller, perfect for fans of Lee Child and Mason Cross

A family in England is massacred, the father left holding the shotgun.
PC Lucy Davies is convinced he's innocent

A sleeper agent in Moscow requests an urgent meeting with Dan Forrester, referencing their shared past.
His amnesia means he has no idea who he can trust.

An aging oligarch in Siberia gathers his henchmen to discuss an English accountant.
It's Dan's wife


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tell-Me-Lie-Dan-Forrester-ebook/dp/B01M0R1Y1K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485206397&sr=8-1&keywords=CJ+CARVER https://www.amazon.com/Tell-Me-Lie-Dan-Forrester-ebook/dp/B01M0R1Y1K/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1485206696&sr=8-3&keywords=CJ+CARVER 

Character Development.  Fleshing out the characters.  Letting them grow.  How to get rid of those who have served their purpose.

A character isn’t a human being – we read about them as if they’re real, but they are superior, larger than life and their motivation is comprehensible; whereas people we know can be difficult to understand.

We know characters better than we know our friends.  In fact, I know Dan Forrester better than I know myself.  Dan is taciturn and self-contained. He’s suspicious, cautious, always weighing up situations.  He’s rarely light-hearted and looks back on his childhood, running barefoot with his friends on the beach, with nostalgia.

I have to know who my main character is up against before I can really start developing them.  I need to know their adversary almost better than the protagonist himself and keep them in mind through every stage of the plotting process – what motivates them, how life has shaped them, and also what they want badly and how far they will go for it.

I can then pit my protagonist against his adversary, and as the story builds, both characters react to and against one another, revealing their true nature.  The greater the pressure, the deeper we get to know them and, more importantly, the traits which hold them back.

For Dan, it’s his reticence.  His inability to share his thoughts.  One day, he’s going to come a real cropper because of this.

I don’t write reams of biographies for my characters.  I tend to let them grow on the page.  For example, in Tell Me A Lie, Dan is meeting a sleeper agent in a glitzy, expensive hotel in Moscow.  While he waits at the bar, he watches a beautiful woman flirting with some men.  Gradually, this woman began to interest me until eventually I had her sashay her way over to Dan and from there, she became an integral part to the rest of the story.

If a character has served their purpose, there are a multitude of ways of disposing them.  In Tell Me A Lie, a man called Fyodor walks into chapter 18.  He’s there to help Dan but at that point I didn’t know exactly who he was.  As I described him (briefly) I felt his shock at the situation.  His shock turned him into the brother of another character, to explain the intensity of his emotion.  Fyodor has a bit part, but an important one.  When it’s time for him to go, I show him the car door (literally) and he jumps out leaving Dan to race on.  I refer to Fyodor later in the book so he’s not entirely forgotten, but that’s it.  Job done.

More major characters, however, need a more detailed and satisfying exit so the reader doesn’t feel let down.  It also has to make sense!  They could have been promoted to another police station.  Or demoted.  Or a loved one needs looking after in another city.  But all these situations will need foreshadowing so if they announced they’ve just got engaged and are moving to Timbuktu with their new husband/bride, it doesn’t come as a wild surprise.

©CJ Carver 2017

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