I love being a writer. Fame and fortune might be great, but it’s the tangible thrill of having within my grasp the power of life and death that makes me love writing.
Not only do my characters walk the earth and sniff the air, feel the velvet drapes, shield their eyes from the sunshine, and rock their children to sleep at my command, but I can make them fall in love, cry over a broken heart, run until their lungs burn, or sit quietly with a favourite book. Most importantly of all for a writer of mysteries I have the power to save them from themselves and others, to make them killers, or victims.
But with power comes great responsibility. The characters I create are real to me and I need them to be real to you. So that when they are faced with danger, you will worry for their safety, and even though it’s never a foregone conclusion, in your heart of hearts you’ll know Arthur Diamond will act bravely and Billy Doran will have his back. If they don’t I have abused my power, and disappointed you as my reader.
But the truth, for me at least, is that being a writer means I constantly live with the babble and fuss of all my characters, not just the ones jostling for attention in the book I’m writing now, but all of the characters I have ever written about. They live for me just as vividly as my family and friends do. And most days I can hardly wait to be with them, they have that much power over my life. To be without them would feel like death.
Please leave us a comment and let us know who your favourite character in our novels is.