Tuesday 24 September 2013

Helen Pfeifer – debut author with CarinaUK.

 This week I'm delighted to welcome Helen Pfeifer to my blog. Helen writes crime with a difference. Welcome to my blog. Now, I'd like to talk about how you write your books. I'm going to do this through a series of questions and answers. Let's get started:

Do you start with you characters or your plot?
I knew I wanted to write a story about a normal, everyday woman who was a police officer and I knew what I wanted to happen to her so my character and plot pretty much came at the same time.

Do you write a biography of all your characters/main only/none?  

I did for my main characters but not for the secondary ones.

Do you base your characters on a real person/film actor etc or are they entirely imaginary?
Mine are a combination of imaginary with traits of some real people I know thrown in.

Do you cut photos out of magazines to use as your main characters?
No, I kind of know what I want them to look like although Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider and Sigourney Weaver in Aliens were in my head when I wrote my main character Annie Graham.

Do you see your characters or only hear them or both?

How many characters do you think are too many for a book to work?
Ah that’s a difficult one for me to answer because in my book I have two stories running in different centuries so there is a set of characters for both. I have worked very hard not to make it confusing for my readers.
How do you make your characters individual? Accent? Catch phrases? Mannerisms? Other things?
I tried to make my characters come across as real, believable people with the same hang ups and insecurities that most of us have.

Do you write with multi-view point/deep third/first/omnipotent/narrator –or a combination of these?
A combination of multi-view point and third person, I think.
How often do your characters run away with your plot?
All the time, I like to plot everything out and have a corkboard with a list of index cards pinned to it for each chapter. I set off with good intentions but usually once I get going I find the story writes itself anyway.

Would you ever kill a main character/child/animal/villain?
If it was central to the plot, in fact in my second book one of the characters does become the victim of a serial killer but Shh, I can’t give too much away.
In your opinion which is more important –plot or character?
I think that in a Crime/Thriller book the plot is the thing which keeps your readers turning the page, but if they don’t like your characters they will stop reading anyway so both are equally important.

Thank you, Helen, your book sounds fascinating. A mixture of historical, fantasy and crime – I'm sure it will be very popular.

The Ghost House
There's not much that scares Annie Graham. Not even the horrors she has witnessed during her years on the police force. 

When she agrees to look after her brother's farmhouse, she finds herself drawn to the crumbling old mansion in the woods nearby. But an innocent exploration of the empty ruin and the discovery of the diary of former resident Alice leaves her more than a little spooked. She knows it holds the secrets to a dark past, and she has to find out more.

What was the terrible truth that Alice uncovered? And how could what happened to her over 100 years ago help solve the murders of young women in the town?

Annie needs to stop the serial killer before she becomes his next victim – but the past comes back to haunt her in ways she could never have expected.

I'd like to thank Helen for dropping by and hope all of you enjoyed meeting her as much as I did.
Fenella J Miller

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