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Friday, 9 March 2018

Bring your characters ALIVE by Siobhan C Cunningham @SCCunningham8 #authortips #paranormal #thriller @rararesources

How to Make Your Characters Believable

S C Cunningham

When building a character I draw from observations of people I know or have closely watched, it’s easier to write from truth.  I enjoy complex characters that slowly reveal themselves, that are not who they seem, that engage with the reader and pull at heartstrings or worst fears.
I try to create characters that the reader would either like to hang out with or see as their worst enemy. Someone they feel empathy for and understand their choices, right or wrong. Someone they champion and punch the air shouting “Yessss!” for.
Working on a series allows you to build characters that hopefully people will fall in love with and can’t wait to see their next move. In my David Trilogy, David is a very bad person, but fans often write saying that they love his character, warts and all, and can’t wait to see what he does next. They understand and champion David the boy, but fear the man he has become. They’ve become hooked on him. In The Deal, book I of The Fallen Angel Series, I wish for the same character impact.
The Deal starts with the main protagonists, Amy Fox and Jack Mallan. Amy’s character and the plot were formed on an incident that happened to me as a child. At 4yrs old I was taken, I survived, another little girl was taken the following week, she didn’t.
Coming from an Irish catholic family, I prayed each night to God asking him for a deal. That if I was a good girl, when I died, would he let me sit on a cloud, invisible, and help catch the baddies who slip through his fingers? 
That incident and how a little girl reacted to it stayed with me. Like many people I like to look out for the underdog and dislike injustice. I’ve worked as a Crime Investigator for the Police and with all the crazy things going on in the world at the moment, the thought of something looking out for us appeals to me.
I’m not religious, but I do believe there’s something out there, an energy, maybe quantum physics we don’t understand yet. So I’ve turned the idea into an action fantasy, a paranormal romance series. With the lead character Amy based on that little girl and her deal.
We start with career girl Amy aged 30yrs, God and her deal long forgotten, mysteriously dying, under a London tube train. Awakening to find herself in an MI5’esque Unit that dishes out tough karma from the skies, wondering what the hell is going on? 
Having formed Amy’s reason and background story, I pushed her outside her comfort zone and add the following details to her character;  appearance,  defects/flaws (stubborn, demanding, soft hearted), internal dialogue (muttering to herself, asking why, talking through insecurities and dilemmas), ambition/ motivation (the end game, revenge), weaknesses  (the handsome ex SAS Jack, impatience, honesty, insecurity), relationships (Jack, parents, best friend Sally), a third party love triangle (Jack and his evil ex, Mara).
 And before you know it I have a 3D character to build on for the rest of the series. She will make mistakes, snap, fight back, learn, grow… all the things that make a person.  I hope you enjoy her journey with me. Enjoy, and keep safe.

The Deal

S C Cunningham, Book I of The Fallen Angel Series

A Paranormal Thriller for those who dare to believe that there is something else out there...
At the age of four, Amy was taken…She survived.
A week later, another little girl was taken…She didn't.

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A Paranormal Thriller for those who dare to believe that there is something else out there...
At the age of four, Amy was taken…She survived.
A week later, another little girl was taken…She didn't.

Angry that a bad man has gotten away with murder, feisty young Amy Fox makes a deal with God. When she dies, if she’s been a good girl, would God let her sit on a cloud for a while, invisible, to get bad people who slip through his fingers?

Her deal and God long forgotten, career girl Amy mysteriously dies. Her lifeless body is found beneath a London underground commuter train.

She awakens in the afterlife to discover an international network of like-minded souls who’ve all made the same deal. A sophisticated MI5-esque justice machine sits in the skies, protecting, righting wrongs, tracking criminals, and working within strict rules of play…all against time.

Each country's Unit shares intelligence, surveillance, and resources to deactivate dangerous situations. The only evidence they leave behind during their earthly visits is a small white feather sashaying to the ground.

In a chaotic world, powerful adversaries try to close her Unit down. A complex SAS vigilante has been assigned to work as her partner, but with his jealous violent ex-girlfriend on her heels and with her own vendetta to settle, Amy has never worked so hard in her entire earthly life. She has to wonder if making a deal with God was a mistake.

About the author:
Author of The Penance List, Unfinished Business and The Deal,  Siobhan C Cunningham (S C Cunningham) creates Paranormal Romance and Psychological Crime Thrillers with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Deal, the first in The Fallen Angel series. Twenty years later Cunningham crossed paths with a violent serial attacker, sowing the seed for her mind-bending thriller, The David Trilogy; The Penance List, Unfinished Business, For My Sins.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports, celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub).

Her first novel, The Penance List has been adapted to film screenplay.
She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and owned by three dogs.

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