All posts in The Long Hard Road

Why Should I Buy This Book?

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1. ‘The Olympus Project’ is the first book in a brand new series of thrillers featuring ‘The Phoenix’ and is on sale exclusively on Amazon NOW! There’s nothing worse than missing the first episode in a series.

2. ‘The Olympus Project’ is the best book I’ve written so far and ‘The Phoenix’ is a character that despite his many foibles has attributes that all of us would like to possess. He wants the world to be a better place; what sets him apart is that he acts to make that happen, while for the most part we sit on our hands and talk about what we think should be done.

Then there are the reviews received to date; why not add yours to the list?

3. Set in the UK a man known as “The Phoenix” is rescued while he is drowning. Phoenix is a loner and a stone cold killer. A group, The Olympus Project wants him to join their team of assassins. They believe in ridding the world of people they believe to be a threat to their political and economic views.

4. A fast paced thriller. Each character is introduced (in detail) and we learn a lot about them. I like that in a story. Told in a way which pulls the reader into the story, you get the feeling that you are part of the drama, action and suspense. Phoenix is a unique individual, he is not the typical “hero” of the story, again another quality I enjoyed in this story. The Olympus Project was an enjoyable read; I feel those who like drama, action and suspense will enjoy this great read.

5. Imagine James Bond as a crime-eradicating vigilante, employed not by national security but by an extremely wealthy, extremely right-wing private group dedicated to upholding the high standards of the UK–standards that in their view have been rigorously eroded in the past several decades. Colin Bailey, a vigilante serial killer, has literally been resurrected from near-death by this group, to be retrained and used as their tool, pointed at any targets of their choosing. While the world thinks the killer drowned, he will be effective in whatever killing scenario this group decides.

6. Let me start by saying what a fantastic, fast-paced, and thrilling book it was to read. I enjoyed it right through to the end. You’re drawn into the thrilling life of the agent code named ‘The Phoenix’ from page 1. A group, each one with their own skill sets, founded an organization to help rid the world of those the law lets off too easy. The Olympus Project deals with real world issues that upset our everyday lives. The characters and story are full of richness. As the author weaves the story you’re right there with the characters.

Well that should convince you! Get on over to Amazon and click on the link! Happy reading!

The Olympus Project on Amazon

For all your promotional needs and social media exposure par excellence I heartily recommend BooksGoSocial

The Olympus Project

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THE OLYMPUS PROJECT

This is the first book in a brand new series featuring ‘The Phoenix’ and is ON SALE on Amazon. I know it’s the best book I’ve written so far and I have high hopes that as the series progresses Colin Bailey will become a much more widely known character. I hope you will agree with me when you read the book.

After I had completed ‘Unfinished Business’ last March, I took a few weeks away from writing as I needed time to reflect. Perhaps it was because for a little while I felt as if I was drifting aimlessly without that daily target of fifteen hundred words to get done. Also an old friend from my days in the band had died suddenly in February and it made me sit down and think about my priorities.

Of course, there was the self doubt as well; was it worth bothering to write any more? I guess a lot of authors get that feeling. Even those who are selling far more books than I do! In the end I resolved to keep putting stories out there for people to read for as long as I’m able. My love of writing outweighed the bits of the process I don’t like – chasing reviews, promoting etc.

‘The Olympus Project’ is about a man headhunted by a secret organisation based on the outskirts of Bath; the five shadowy figures who head this group are introduced to us in detail in this first book. Their anonymity is protected by the code names they have adopted from Greek myth.

The group sends its agents across the world removing anyone who poses a threat to political or economic stability and taking ‘direct action’ against criminals who have somehow evaded justice and thereby ensuring they receive the punishment they deserve.

This fast paced thriller follows ‘The Phoenix’ as he works alone hunting down his prey in the style that brought him to the group’s attention in the first place; and also facing his greatest challenge so far, learning to work together with his new colleagues as part of a team.

HERE IS THE AMAZON LINK!

If you have ninety seconds to spare then check out the Video Book Trailer for ‘The Olympus Project’

For all your promotional needs and social media exposure par excellence I heartily recommend BooksGoSocial

A Sting In The Tale Revealed

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There’s a lot to get through for this collection of twelve short stories; so buckle up and get ready for a rough ride! There are twists and turns throughout; just when you think you know the ending there’s a final twist!

The stories in ‘A Sting in the Tale’ deal with love, death, revenge and mystery. You can find a ghost story or two and for good measure several of the stories are laced with a touch of comedy. So there’s something for everybody.

In Voice is a love story about an elderly bookshop owner with an unusual talent and his summer of love with a young schoolteacher.

Daylight Robbery tells the story of an audacious jewel thief.

Affair of the Heart is set in Bath; will she leave her one true love to run away with a married man?

Traveller’s Rest is a ghost story; or is it? You decide.

What’s in a Name? This is what used to be called a ‘shaggy dog’ story; my apologies to the Canine Defence League if that’s not appropriate. There are no dogs in the story.

Dobson’s Choice is based in my home town and is another love story; as in Hobson’s Choice, young Laura Dobson is left with no choice at all.

A Merciful Release tells of Christine Amor’s passion for boy bands; not unusual for a young girl, but when the lady concerned is middle aged, her actions are a little extreme.

A Crack Shot will give some young wives ideas how about how to deal with a cheating husband, but could they dream up such an ingenious method of creating a ‘win win situation’?

Come To Rest is a story of revenge set in Weston Super Mare. Jane Collingwood is a genteel spinster with a romantic past.

Bang to Rights sees Dave Abbott have to deal with a tearful woman in what proves to be an explosive day with twists and red herrings in his job as concierge at a luxurious office block.

The Class of ’64 is loosely located in Trowbridge, where I myself went to school. There the similarity ends. In this story a group of bullies get their comeuppance.

The Last Bus is a ghost story set just four miles from my home town. This bus journey was one I took with my parents & my brother on numerous occasions, but we never knowingly had the same experience as my narrator.

All of the stories are based in the UK. This is simply because that’s where I live and therefore they are the places I know best. Some locations are really close to home like ‘The Class of ‘64’, ‘Dobson’s Choice’ and ‘The Last Bus’, while ‘Traveller’s Rest’ is based on a real incident from my days in the band.

We were travelling back from a gig somewhere south of London and heading towards Andover, Devizes and a warm bed. Through a thick stand of pine trees Nick our saxophone player spotted a dim light. We stopped and reversed back to thread our way via a cinder track through the trees into a clearing. It was a truck stop that had seen better days and we were the only vehicle in the truck park. The proprietor looked after the eight of us with a cooked breakfast, hot drinks and a selection of corny jokes and riddles that amused us during our stay. We left him as the sun was coming up with a cheery wave. Although we travelled that way a dozen times over the next few years, we never found that truck stop again. No matter how we strained our eyes at the passing rows of trees we never saw a dim light, no cinder track and we certainly never sensed any smell of sausage, bacon and egg wafting through the early morning. Spooky!

Why did I write this book? Why a collection of short stories, rather than another novel? As you will have read elsewhere, I stumbled into writing fiction and after I’d completed ‘The Final Straw’ I was at a loose end. It was up for grabs on Amazon and doing the rounds on a virtual book tour for the summer (2013); the reviews were scheduled for September/October perhaps and I searched for some local reviewers to get things moving. I discovered a writers group in my home town and I thought I’d get some help there. As part of my induction process and in an attempt to ingratiate myself with this motley crew I offered a couple of poems and a short story or two for their opinions. My offerings went down well, but there was no sign of a book review anytime soon. I tried my hand at a couple more short stories & when ‘The Final Straw’ was picking up my first award, I had about seven or eight completed. I thought that twelve was a good number and cracked on in the week or two before we were off on holiday in late September. The holiday was for rest & recuperation for both of us but my wife wanted me to be ready to start the sequel to ‘The Final Straw’ as soon as we returned home.

I published ‘A Sting In The Tale’ in October and started writing ‘Unfinished Business’. Four months later, I thought I’d better think about promoting BOTH books. That’s my downfall; I love writing but can’t get to grips with the marketing side of things.

Take a look at these shorts with a twist why don’t you? There’s a lot of variety there for very little money!
A Sting In The Tale on Amazon

For all your promotional needs and social media exposure par excellence I heartily recommend BooksGoSocial

Unfinished Business Revealed

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Welcome back! I’m sure you’ve already read the story behind my first novel ‘The Final Straw Revealed’ which precedes this new chapter?

‘Unfinished Business’ is the sequel to ‘The Final Straw’ and continues Colin Bailey’s quest for revenge. The key themes of this sequel are death, revenge and music. “Hang on! Did you say music?”

Absolutely! Colin Bailey is a meticulous planner and in ‘The Final Straw’ he and his wife Karen were regular visitors to their local pub for their Friday night ‘music fix’. Hard rock and heavy metal music were what got Colin’s juices flowing. He spent many hours planning how to dispose of the people on his list listening to tracks by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest on his Walkman while he was working underground at Leigh Park Mines.

Using the name Colin Owens to stay under the radar of Border Control, he becomes a roadie with a Canadian Iron Maiden tribute band touring the UK and Europe. He goes deeper under cover by adopting the name Owen Collins while on the road. The band begins the tour in Scotland and moves down the eastern coast of England, crossing over to Liverpool and Manchester before eventually heading south to London.

This was all familiar territory for me; in a previous life I sang with bands that played various types of music; the last band I was in were very much a hard rock outfit. We covered tracks by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Cream and Rory Gallagher (all new names on the scene back then!). These were all mixed up with our own material and we were LOUD! We travelled in our Transit van with our roadies, unlike Maiden’s Hair in the book; there was no tour bus for us!

Travelling across the country, unloading our kit & getting set up for a gig, playing our set, then breaking the kit down & getting away to the next stop on our own musical mystery tour was part & parcel of our everyday lives for almost a decade. ‘Unfinished Business’ allowed me to make a sentimental return to the good old days in fiction at least; but back to the dark world of Colin Bailey and his quest!

Colin had seen that the band’s itinerary meant he could tick a few names off his list as he travelled across the country. Everything fitted! His plan was complete; he was scheduled for one last task at the end of the UK leg of the tour; this was when the band moved across to Europe and Colin could deal with the policeman whose continual harrying and frustrating might prove to deflect him from his mission – Phil Hounsell.

Colin hadn’t missed a trick; by keeping an eye on the local news from that quiet West Country town where he had been brought up, he knew that Phil was married with two young children and was now living on the outskirts of the city of Bath. He knew too that Phil had been promoted and had moved on to work in London as part of what proved to be the short lived Serious Organised Crime Agency.

As each name on Colin’s list is ruthlessly eliminated Phil Hounsell teams up with several of his former West Country colleagues as they hunt down the stone cold killer. Other characters that play a significant role in the story are:

Erica Hounsell, Phil’s long suffering wife, who finds herself in danger when Colin wants to be left alone to continue with his task.

Frankie & Billy, the roadies that work alongside Owen Collins, totally unaware of what he is up to.

Therese Slater, a Manchester barmaid who falls for Colin and gives up everything to follow him wherever he may end up. Does Colin have feelings for her? The final scenes on the towpath by the Pulteney weir in Bath leave you with as many questions as answers!

This novel was intended to tie up the loose ends that remained on the final page of ‘The Final Straw’; however, after consultation with my wife (she spoke – I listened) there are new threads beginning at the end of ‘Unfinished Business’! Sorry, if you want to know where all these threads will lead you’ll have to read the book, and then the NEXT novel will make sense!

I deal in facts not fantasy; the reality is that the world is a nasty place and although Colin Bailey may have an extreme way of improving it, sooner or later the streets will have to be cleaned. If this book helps to get that message across then it will have served a purpose.

Does it sound like the book for you?
Unfinished Business on Amazon

For all your promotional needs and social media exposure par excellence I heartily recommend BooksGoSocial

The Final Straw Revealed

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This chapter will give new readers a chance to discover what ‘The Final Straw’, my first novel, was all about and hopefully persuade you there’s a good read just a click away!
For those of you who haven’t been with me on ‘The Long Hard Road’ from the beginning, it might just convince you to take a look.

The key themes of the book are family drama, tragedy, death and revenge. The main characters are the Bailey family and the story centres on their seemingly inevitable journey to disaster.

Other characters in the book that play pivotal roles in the story line are:

Phil Hounsell, a Midlands born policeman who transfers into the West Country town and seems destined to be chasing Colin Bailey for most of his career.

Sue Owens, the wife of Colin’s employer at Leigh Park Mines, who is a woman knows exactly what she wants and isn’t shy about getting it!

Neil Cartwright, a six foot eight, eighteen stone, tattooed biker who is Colin’s only male friend. Of course, Colin’s naivety regarding relationships doesn’t augur well for the future of that friendship!

The book is set in the West Country where I have lived all my life. There are worked out mines within five miles of my house that have been used in wartime for military purposes, in the cold war on standby as an underground bunker for Prime Ministers and Cabinet members to be housed. In peace time all sorts of businesses have used the facilities to store items which benefit from the underground conditions. Leigh Park Mines don’t exist but they are typical of the companies operating in the area.

As for the town itself, this is entirely fictitious; in fact it’s unnamed in the book. It represents a typical West Wiltshire town with its shops, official buildings and housing estates and sadly nowadays they increasingly share the gang culture, drugs and the crime that the book portrays. Times have changed significantly since I was growing up!

‘The Final Straw’ is fairly dark and the themes it deals with don’t generally have roses around the door and happy endings, so romance and mystery are thin on the ground. Life is pretty bleak in this quiet fictional town and my chosen style of writing means you get the facts warts and all!

Most reviews have been favourable and a quick read through on my website will tell you it’s an easy read. ‘The Final Straw’ was voted ‘Best Book Ever’ (Quality Reads UK Book Club) in September 2013. My ambition is to write books people enjoy reading; nothing more, nothing less.

Now I’ve whetted your appetite why not take the next step?
The Final Straw on Amazon

For all your promotional needs and social media exposure par excellence I heartily recommend BooksGoSocial

Let’s Twist Again! (the story of ‘A Sting In The Tale’)

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LET’S TWIST AGAIN!

This review from Tina Stanciu for Reader’s Favorite probably sums up ‘A Sting In The Tale’ pretty well!

“This is a collection of short stories that introduces the reader to a world that has a little something for everyone: love, ghost stories, revenge tales, books and libraries, and a touch of humor that perfectly binds them all together.”

“The first story, which was also my favorite, is about a bookstore owner who finds a little sparkle of joy and excitement in his monotonous life in the shape of a beautiful and interesting young lady. But as the cleverly chosen title says, there is a sting in every tale, and we, the readers, are dared to find it, which makes the reading experience even more entertaining and makes you want to read them all at once.”

“Short stories have a harder role to play than novels. They need to get the reader to love the characters and be hooked by the plot line sooner than in the case of novels, and also, we need to be able to move from one character to another without losing the feeling of excitement that we expect to have.”

“ This is a superbly written collection of short stories; the author’s style is truthful, fresh, and the touch of humor adds the finishing touches to an already beautiful reading experience.”

“Ted Tayler’s stories made me feel like I was part of the action; the plot twists made me want more and the vivid descriptions put the scenes in my mind as if I was watching a movie. I saw the library; I saw the park; and I felt the emotions that the characters felt as their stories were revealed before my eyes.”

Take a look at these shorts with a twist why don’t you? There’s a lot of variety there for very little money!
A Sting In The Tale on Amazon

For all your promotional needs and social media exposure par excellence I heartily recommend BooksGoSocial

Musical Mystery Tour (the story of ‘Unfinished Business’)

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MUSICAL MYSTERY TOUR

‘Unfinished Business’ is the sequel to ‘The Final Straw’ and continues Colin Bailey’s quest for revenge. After a decade in West Africa, out of reach of the long arm of the law, he has waited impatiently for the news of whether Neil Cartwright, his former friend, has managed to get parole.

Colin Bailey is now in his early forties and alone. He has watched his homeland sink further into a morass of crime, drugs, sexual exploitation and domestic slavery with increasing anger; he despairs of the efforts of the police and the legal system to do what’s needed to remove the cancer killing the country he loves. He sees himself as the only person with the will and cold blooded efficiency to clean the streets of these criminals.

The key themes of this sequel are death, revenge and music. Hard rock and heavy metal got Colin’s juices flowing. He spent many hours planning how to dispose of the people on his list listening to his Walkman while working underground at Leigh Park Mines.

Colin becomes a roadie with a Canadian Iron Maiden tribute band. Their tour begins in Scotland and moves down the eastern coast of England, crossing over to Liverpool and Manchester before eventually heading south to London.

The band’s itinerary meant he could tick a few names off his list as he travelled across the country. Everything fitted! His plan was complete; he had one last task at the end of the UK leg of the tour; Colin could deal with the policeman whose continual harrying and frustrating might prove to deflect him from his mission – Phil Hounsell.

As each name on Colin’s list is being ruthlessly eliminated Phil Hounsell is teamed up with several of his former West Country colleagues as they hunt down the stone cold killer. He also meets Zara ‘Mouse’ Wheeler; she’s just over five feet tall, seven stones wringing wet, as sharp as a tack as regards police work but an innocent in the ways of the world.

Is there romance? Time will tell; certainly Zara finds her new boss attractive and thrown together in difficult situations in far flung corners of the UK, who knows what could happen?

Reviews for ‘Unfinished Business’ say it is: ‘a thriller in every sense of the word’; ‘a gripper’; ‘difficult to put down once you’ve started’.

Sounds like just the book to pick up doesn’t it?
Unfinished Business on Amazon

For all your promotional needs and social media exposure par excellence I heartily recommend BooksGoSocial

Deaths In The Family (the story of ‘The Final Straw’)

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DEATHS IN THE FAMILY

This chapter will give new readers a chance to discover what ‘The Final Straw’, my first novel, was all about and hopefully persuade you there’s a good read just a click away!

The key themes of the book are family drama, tragedy, death and revenge. The main character Colin Bailey has a dysfunctional family. His parents Adam and Jennifer virtually ignored him as he was growing up; he was clearly a ‘mistake’. Their own lives were complicated enough without the encumbrance of a child.

Adam left his wife and son to live with another woman – without a backward glance. Jennifer had always played the field; let’s just say she ‘liked her bread buttered on both sides’.

Colin was unloved, unwanted and a loner; he was bullied at school by the members of two local gangs; their leaders Leroy Ambrose and Scott Hall, headed up the young thugs that terrorised the quiet West Country town where Colin lived.

Colin somehow stumbled into a relationship with Karen Smith; she was plain & chubby but willing and Colin was completely unaware of her many previous partners. They were forced to marry and had a daughter Sharron. This little mite was the first person Colin had ever loved in his life and who of course loved him unreservedly in return.

As Colin grew from a young boy into a young man, his hatred for his parents and those thugs that have tormented him led him to write down a list of people that he would like to dispose of. As the drama unfolds we follow him righting the wrongs he perceives have been done to him.

Whether you like Colin or not as a character it’s hard not to sympathise with him as he creates a safe haven for him, Karen and young Sharron, only for their happiness to be tragically torn apart. This was ‘The Final Straw’ that saw Colin embark on a path from which there was no turning back.

Now I’ve whetted your appetite why not take the next step?
The Final Straw on Amazon

For all your promotional needs and social media exposure par excellence I heartily recommend BooksGoSocial

Inside The Mind Of The Author

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Tell us about yourself: – I’m sixty nine years of age; I’ve been married for almost forty four years to Lynne. We have three grown up children who are all married and have flown the nest! We have four grandchildren, one step grand daughter and a step great grand daughter – so far. I started my working life in a bank, and then joined a tyre company as an accountant. I was made redundant after thirty four years and I took early retirement.

What made you start writing: – A friend asked if the ‘war’ stories I had from my days in groups were written down anywhere for posterity. I replied that they were just in my head; four years later they were in a book. I had always read voraciously from a young age and written stuff while I was at school. Life got in the way of the writing but I’ve always read.

Do you have any favourite authors: – Ian Rankin; Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens. I don’t know whether I’ve been influenced by any of them but I love to read their work. I hope something has rubbed off because it couldn’t hurt could it!

Do you have a strong online presence: – Apart from this website where you can follow my blog? If you check out Facebook you’ll find my Author’s page at https://facebook.com/EdwardCTayler
You can follow me on Twitter on https://twitter.com/@ted_tayler
My books are all over the place! Amazon, BooksGoSocial, Goodreads and Independent Author Network, so there’s no excuse!

Tell us about your latest book: – ‘The Olympus Project’ is the first in a brand new series featuring ‘The Phoenix’, a man rescued from a watery grave by strangers. He has been headhunted because of his particular skill set; that of a super efficient stone cold killer.

The stories throughout the series will cover the activities of the secret organisation which recruited the man they have named ‘The Phoenix’ as they send their agents across the world removing anyone who poses a threat to political or economic stability.

In this fast paced thriller we follow ‘The Phoenix’ as he exacts revenge and rights wrongs in his inimitable style. ‘The Phoenix’ has always been a loner; can he and his new colleagues work together as a team to prevent a terrorist cell from causing havoc in Central London?

What’s your favourite genre to read: – Crime thrillers without question

Which do you do more, read or write and why: – I write more than I read; I research more than I read too! I wish I could find more time to read; there are so many titles I’ve seen in the last four years that I want to get to but writing and trying to get reviews and sales leaves precious little spare time. In the past month or so I’ve started to review books; the more ‘presence’ I have on Amazon can only help my cause. Or at least that’s my hope!

Have you ever studied the art of writing: – No fear! I know that technically I could be a lot better but the way I do it now, flying by the seat of my pants, means I enjoy every word I write. Imagine how much of a bind it would become if I had to go back over every sentence or paragraph to see if I’ve broken some ‘golden’ rule. I know it’s not perfect but my writing reflects its writer!

How To Make Your Characters Believable

How To Make Your Characters Believable
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When I started writing in 2006 I was merely getting down on paper a series of stories that I had been telling people for years. That book of memories described real people and the things we actually did together. I wasn’t creating characters or setting out to make the people I was writing about ‘believable’ for the reader. Basically, I told it how it was. They were real people and real events.

In December 2012 when I started writing ‘The Final Straw’ I only had a vague idea of the outline of the story. If you have read any of my previous posts from last year then you know what happened next! I typed ‘Colin Bailey was invisible’ as my opening line and that sketchy plan was lost forever. Ninety five thousand words later it was done.

The book dealt with sexual awakening, broken families, hatred, revenge, multiple murders and a few other subjects into the bargain. Some people say that it helps if your readers empathize with your characters and find them believable and enjoyable. If they do then the style in which you present your work and the plot will be more acceptable too. Other people advise writers to try and write about what they know.

It looks like I missed those signposts doesn’t it! Very few of my characters are ‘enjoyable’. Most of them reflect the society we live in and therefore are painted in darker terms rather than light. No matter what my enemies say behind my back there are no bodies buried under the patio, nor is there a little black list of people that I would cheerfully dispose of! So I wasn’t writing from experience! I just try to write about characters we have all read about in the papers or seen on TV; sadly there are plenty of the types of people in my books to choose from!

I try to describe the setting in which the action takes place; I use a light touch as far as possible and the reader can paint their own pictures; there’s nothing worse than reading a description of a building or a person that is so detailed that it feels like the author is dragging you by the ear, leading you to No10 Woodside Terrace and shouting ‘Here it is! This is the where the murders took place! Can’t you see?’

I give some background to the characters so you know where they come from, I tell you their age and what their given name or nickname is. I give you a general idea of what they look like but for a lot of my characters I leave the reader to give them a face. In ‘Unfinished Business’ Zara Wheeler is around twenty five years old, seven stones wringing wet and she wears glasses. Her colleagues have noted that she wrinkles her nose and blushes profusely when she’s embarrassed. They call her ‘Mouse’. She’s super intelligent and lives at home with elderly parents. There are a few other character traits and background that emerge as the story unfolds, it isn’t necessary to lay it on with a trowel when the character makes their first appearance, they can be added as the story line evolves. Even if a character is only a minor one with a brief appearance centre stage, it is important the detail of what they look like and their background is there.

At times I have to give the reader a ‘true’ picture of my characters. On the front cover of ‘Unfinished Business’ you can see Zara, her boss DCI Phil Hounsell and the stone cold killer Colin Bailey. The images match my own ideas of what they would look like and any future books will need to reflect those images as the characters move forward.

Your characters need to be flawed, just like the rest of us and I think that helps them to be believable.