Author Guest Post
Is Your Character Really You?
Ever read a book, turn to the back jacket and realize, a-ha, the author made the main character look just like him/her, down to the aristocratic nose and brooding, sultry expression? I have. And then I wonder: does this mean the author has imbued the character with all of his/her traits? Is the author also able to drive a race car, rappel down skyscrapers, tirelessly bed hot available babe after hot available babe, or have a witty retort for every question?
A newspaper reporter asked me recently if Allison was really me. Now, to be fair, the reporter couldn’t see me over the phone. At the time, I was wearing jeans, a black t-shirt and a pair of flip-flops. My hair was its usual mane of irascible curls and I wore no make-up. If you’ve read KILLER IMAGE, you know that other than her workout clothes, Allison always dresses like the President just might show up. And she’s blond. Did I mention that I’m a brunette?
But I suppose that doesn’t answer the question.
In many ways, we are alike. Allison is sensitive to people’s feelings, which is part of what makes her good at her job – but it’s also what drives her to create a safe, orderly life. A life in which she can keep from thinking about her past and avoid the heartache of old regrets. Like Allison, I’m sensitive to people’s feelings (although I do not have a safe and orderly life – here, chaos rules). And like Allison, I have a background in psychology, although neither of us is any longer in the field. And Allison is a control freak. Now, I won’t admit to that in public, but I will say it’s a trait my husband would swear I have, too.
While there’s a little bit of me in Allison, there’s a little bit of me in all of my characters. Like Mia, I love the countryside, animals, and enjoy growing our own vegetables. Like Vaughn, I work hard – sometimes too hard. Like Violet, I can be a dreamer, making the occasional bad choice because of a view of the world that reflects the way I wish things worked rather than the way they really do. Like Maggie, at times I want to tell The Man to take a hike. And like Midge, I value loyalty.
Someone I respect once argued that an author is limited by his or her own traits and can only create a character as good or bad as he/she is. I don’t think that’s true. While my characters may share some of my qualities/foibles, they are also imbued with characteristics I wish I had, or, in the case of Hank McBride, am glad I don’t. We, as authors, are limited by our imaginations, perhaps, and by our vision of the world and our ability to observe and understand, but I would argue that we’re not limited by our own personal characteristics. Just like my character doesn’t have to reflect the image on the back book jacket, she doesn’t have to be constrained by my failings.
Which is why Allison finds the strength and courage to go after a killer. And which is why Vaughn, who might not agree with her, has the faith to help. They show traits I wish I had. They are making choices that I – and maybe many of us – would like to believe we would make under similar circumstances.
And that’s the beauty of fiction. Good characters have flaws, but they can also show us the best of what it means to be human.
About The Author
Killer Image is Wendy’s first novel in the Allison Campbell mystery series.
Wendy has also authored The Seduction of Miriam Cross, a mystery that will be released by E-Lit Books on November 1, 2013.
HENERY PRESS - PUBLISHER / AUTHOR PAGE
Killer Image by Wendy Tyson ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours
Killer Image by Wendy Tyson
Book 1: Allison Campbell Mystery Series
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 316 pages / Kindle - 682 KB / Nook - 2 MB
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller
BUY THE BOOK: Killer Image
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
When Allison's latest Main Line client, the fifteen-year-old Goth daughter of a White House hopeful, is accused of the ritualistic murder of a local divorce attorney, Allison fights to prove her client's innocence when no one else will. But unraveling the truth brings specters from her own past. And in a place where image is everything, the ability to distinguish what's real from the facade may be the only thing that keeps Allison alive.
My Book Review:
In her debut novel Killer Image, author Wendy Tyson weaves a riveting multi-faceted tale of mystery and romance interwoven with a psychological thriller twist, that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seat. Set in the ritzy Main Line section of Philadelphia, this fast paced story follows the investigative adventure of Allison Campbell, an image consultant turned amateur sleuth, as she tries to clear her teen client, Maggie McBride, who has been accused of the ritualistic murder of a local divorce attorney.
Killer Image is filled with an intriguing cast of characters who all have skeletons in their closet, haunting pasts and long held secrets; mix in some dysfunctional family drama and a subtle romance; and enough clues and suspenseful twists and turns, and you have a gripping tale that will keep the reader drawn in and guessing how the the murder mystery will be solved. The author draws upon her hometown knowledge to provide a richly detailed description of Philadelphia's Main Line and surrounding areas as the backdrop to this intricate and edgy storyline that has many layers and takes the reader on one heck of a thrill ride.
Killer Image is an entertaining mystery that is hard to put down and will leave the reader wanting to follow Allison's next adventure.
Killer Image is the first book in the Allison Campbell Mystery series.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
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