Blog Tour: The Characters Within Death Dolls by @asfarrant #RandomThingsTours

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Benjamin McGuinness fulfils his dream of establishing successful businesses and gives jobs with a new home to some of life’s misfits, deep in the English countryside on a farm. Everything seems perfect and his workers are as close as family.

A fire strikes close to home, a disaster that changes his perception of life and one of his loyal workers takes the chance to propose a life-changing venture.

This new business drags Lisa, his sister, into the deadly web of deception.

When exiled Russian twins join the family a symbolic tattoo is created that drives Benjamin’s money into a new league.

Benjamin knows that his future is defined by ‘the family’.

Will greed cause everything to crumble before his eyes, or will there be brutal consequences to their actions?

The Characters Within  Death Dolls:


Hello, thank you for having me on your blog, Amanda. I am lucky and privileged to be able to write this guest post today.

Today I am talking about that essential element to a story… characters!

Before I started to write stories and books naming a character was a total mystery to me, and the only thing that seriously deterred me from writing.

A submission to an anthology was my first story. This story evolved and became Famously Ordinary. I told my friend who recruited me that naming characters was putting me off, and he laughed!

James Dean was a simple name to choose as it was a real life person that I had met in about 1999 that made me wonder what it was like to have a famous name. The other characters of his immediate family were not too difficult to name. His father, although I needed to be a not too pleasant person, I wanted to have a name that was almost comedic. Dean Dean it was. The story centres on the family, and the names are key to the upbringing for James and the resulting chaos.

There are other characters, whose names were far less important. Of course, they needed a unique name. After all, a book where everyone is called Smith or Jones would be fairly dull.

For these people, I find that facebook and tv credits are a wonderful source! For example, in my current WIP (work in progress), a key early character is called Terri Snow. I seemingly plain name, but nonetheless unusual. I opened my facebook, and opened a group. I chose one person’s first name and another person’s surname. And Bob’s your Uncle! If I have the television on in the background when I am writing, then the credits show a mass of names, and the same method works well.

Naming characters is also a lovely way of nodding a thanks to supportive friends. I always give the friend the low down on the character. As long as they understand that the name is simply a moniker and the character is not them nor is my interpretation of how I see them, they usually love it!

I always send them a pre-edit version of the story so that the name can be changed if needs be. That’s never happened yet!

Character development. How drab does that sound? For me, this is dependant on the good old pants vs plotting question.

In Death Dolls, Aled Price is quite a key character. I knew that the reader had to have an affinity with him. SPOILER ALERT! He dies. Yet, I wanted the reader to feel sorry for him and built him a back story. Aled was the only character to not live on site with the other characters, and is dedicated to his wife. Alas, we won’t meet him again.

Other characters I am weaving through several books, and this will give me much more scope to develop them as the books stack up. One such character is Sgt Laura Love. She appears in Famously Ordinary, Death Dolls, and Too Early for Death (part of an upcoming trilogy - not crime!). She is also in my WIP, working title Murder on L Plates. In this book she is going to go for her Detective qualifications. I am determined that she won’t be a cookie cutter detective though - no troubled home life or grumpy boss for her. This gives me scope to build a new series, a police procedural. I know from messages that readers do like to see

the same police officers across books, and it really does feel as though as an author I am getting to know the character more as a living individual than a person in a book.

Murder on L Plates is giving me much more scope for creating a character; Joel is the main man along with his wife Elise. As my confidence in my writing and skills have grown and evolved, I have learned more about making new layers in a story and the characters. Although this book isn’t purely plotted - I always leave some room for ‘pants’, an evolution of the story idea, I have built a solid character picture. Joel is dedicated to his wife, they love each other deeply. They are trying for a baby and have done for some years. It is inevitable that this has shaped him, and we see hope, jealousy, sudden anger despite his usual and default calm and family centric personality. We see him become close friends with another man at his social club, and we really hope for a Happy Ever After ending.

Joel and Elise take in another character, into their home. A pupil of Joel’s at his driving school, who has an abusive and violent partner the aforementioned Terri Snow.

I feel lucky to be able to create these personalities and hope to keep on doing so!


About Simon Farrant:

I am an emerging author, a submission to a short story anthology kicked it all off. 

Black Cat is my first short story, and the hero isn’t maybe who you would assume. 

Originally from Doncaster, South Yorkshire and now Corby in Northants. I’m in my forties, married with three children. We share our home with a Bengal cat and a Pink Tongued Skink.

I’ve been lucky enough to have had an interesting (well to me!) life. I have been a truck driver, university graduate and motorbike salesman amongst other things. 

My two novellas, Newdon Killers series, The Crucifix and Famously Ordinary are out now!
The third book, Death Dolls is coming soon estimated launch date 22 August. Later this year a new series in a different genre Mystery / contemporary fantasy will be published.
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I have a Facebook page, Simon Farrant Official, I'd be pleased to see you there.

I also have a newsletter. Sign up to receive the latest news first :) 


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