Tuesday, 16 February 2016

How can I be sure I trust you?’: Karen Rose talks about writing characters with dark secrets.

Karen Rose is a USA Today best-selling author of seventeen novels.  She has received numerous awards for her novels from the Romance Writers of America. Her latest novel is Alone in The Dark, the second in the Cincinnati series.

Everyone has secrets.  Some of us have weightier secrets than others, but book characters tend to have the deepest secrets of all, because that’s what makes them interesting. 

One of my popular characters was fire-fighter David Hunter, who was featured in four books before he finally got his story in SILENT SCREAM.  David was handsome, polite, hardworking, smart, donated his time to charity, and loved his mother.  I felt a little panicked when I started his book.  “He’s too perfect!” I told one of my friends.  She smiled evilly and said, “I wonder what he’s hiding.”  Bada boom, I had his story.
The character’s secret itself is important because it shows where they’ve been and what obstacles they’ve had (or still have) to overcome.  But the reason they’ve kept the secret all this time is equally important because it reveals who they are.  They might keep a secret out of fear or shame, or perhaps out of honour – a promise kept.  Or perhaps even to protect someone.  All facets of the character’s personality.

A character deciding to share his secret denotes a serious trust in the other person. It’s also a serious commitment on the part of the other person because a kept secret can be a heavy burden to shoulder.  Agreeing to accept someone’s deepest demon is agreeing to accept them, warts, baggage, and all.  It’s one of the hallmarks of true love.
Alone in the Dark by Karen Rose (Headline) is out now £7.99
Former Army Ranger Marcus O’Bannion and homocide cop Scarlett Bishop have met only briefly but when Scarlett receives a phone call in the middle of the night, she immediately recognises the haunting smooth voice asking her to meet him in one of Cincinnati’s roughest areas. On arriving, Scarlett finds the body of a seventeen-year-old Asian girl and Marcus injured. A fierce champion of victims’ rights, Marcus claims the young woman was working for an affluent local family and the last time he saw her she was terrified, abused and clearly in need of help. Having agreed to meet her, both Marcus and the young woman were targeted for death. As they investigate, Scarlett and Marcus are pulled into the dangerous world of human trafficking where they soon realise they are going to have to become as ruthless as those they are hunting. Because if they dont’ how many other girls may end up alone in the dark?

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