Madelaine had everything she wanted.
Hello and thanks for inviting me on your blog.
No matter how good a plot you create for a book, what most people remember are the characters. After investing many months writing a book you get to know your characters very well and sometimes they can feel like old friends.
One of the questions I’m often asked is whether I base any characters on people I know. The answer is no, I don’t. However, like most writers I am a people-watcher and I do sometimes use mannerisms I notice to flesh out an already created character and make them more realistic. The other question I get asked is whether any characters are based on me. Again, the answer is no. That would be very boring. Each character in a novel needs to be their own person and quite different from the others.
My books are very much character-driven, so while there is a strong plot it is always propelled forward by how the characters react to events and to each other.
The main character in The Worst Lie is Lexie Wyatt. She is assertive, although she is learning to think twice before making decisions as that has got her into trouble in the past. She has a sense of fairness which she does get from me, but whereas I might just moan about a situation, she will do something about it. Lexie certainly gets involved in situations that I’d run away from.
Another of the other main characters in the book is Eden. She is an investigative journalist and is quite fearless in going after people who are exploiting others, and she is extremely loyal to her friends. However, even a good character trait like loyalty can turn into something quite different when taken to extremes.
Spike was one of the fun characters to write. He is a film director with a sharp sense of humour and an even sharper tongue. He’s one of those people who is funny and witty as long as you’re not the focus of his sarcasm. He likes to cause dissention and trouble within the group and then sit back and watch the arguments.
Helen and Gareth are good friends of Lexie and they are the reason she involves herself with the group who are their university friends, but while she is investigating the murders she finds out things that cause her to consider how far they might be implicated.
The group is rounded out by Laurence, and Mitch and Renelle. Laurence is one of those quiet types, the ones you can sometimes overlook. The ones you really need to watch. Mitch and Renelle often find themselves at the centre of friction, not because they are horrible characters but because of circumstance. In the book’s current-time story they are a couple, but in their university days it was Mitch and Eden that were the couple and that causes a lot of tension, as does the fact that Eden and Spike don’t like Renelle.
These characters started life from an idea I had on how people change over time and distance, and that getting together after a period of years apart might not be a good idea.
Early in the book Helen says, ‘You know the trouble with old friends? You’re never quite sure what they’ll do or what they’ll make you do.’
And that’s not a bad start for a murder mystery.
Many thanks again and happy reading to you and your followers, Shauna xx