Thursday, 12 September 2013

Slumber Blog Tour: Author Guest Post With Kathleen Bolton

I read slumber back in July, and I absolutely loved it, so when the opportunity came up to take part in the blog tour, I jumped at it. You can see my original review here, and today I'm very lucky to be hosting a guest post from author Kathleen Bolton (who wrote Slumber under the pen name Tamara Blake), as well as a giveaway so you can win your very own digital copy of Slumber. Don't just take my word for it though - you can read an excerpt of the book yourself and let me know what you think.

About Kathleen

Kathleen Bolton is a professional writer and editor. Currently, she is a contracted writer to WorkingPartners, Ltd Her projects include Confessionsof a First Daughter, a YA series about the misadventures of the U.S. President’s teen-aged daughter, and Secretsof a First Daughter, both published by HarperCollins Teen, under the pen name Cassidy Calloway. Her current project, Slumber, under the pen name Tamara Blake, released July of 2013 and is a dark suspense fantasy novel for teens. She is the co-founder of  WriterUnboxed, one of the foremost online communities for writers of fiction.
Kathleen lives with her husband and daughter in upstate New York.
Visit her AuthorTrackerwebpage at HarperCollins Publishing, or Goodreads

Kathleen's Guest Post

Getting the most from your secondary characters
By Kathleen Bolton, author of SLUMBER under the pen name Tamara Blake

Thank you for inviting me to guest with you today. Many readers have said that they enjoy the secondary characters in SLUMBER just as much as the main characters Ruby and Tam. As writers, we work hard to create characters that come alive on the page, no matter what their role is in the book. I thought I would share my three tips guidelines for creating unforgettable secondary characters.

1. Contrast to compare.

I like to use the rule of contrast when creating secondary characters. Doing so enables me to highlight my main character’s traits more brightly. For example, in SLUMBER, the heroine, Ruby, is a broke but hardworking girl who doesn’t like to play games. What you see is what you get with Ruby. So I made sure that her bitter enemy, the immortal fae Ivy, was a foil for Ruby’s earthiness. Ivy is spoiled, pleasure-seeking and likes to toy with people to the point of cruelty. They are opposite sides of spectrum, which allowed me to give their scenes extra zip.

2. Give secondary character one defining characteristic (ideally in opposition to your protagonist).

There’s a reason it’s called a secondary character: they exist to help tell the protagonist’s story, not their own. In SLUMBER, I needed this rule more than ever. The mansion of Cottingley was inhabited by a number of beautiful immortal faes, and it was challenging to give them enough memorability without derailing the main story of Ruby and Tam. So I made sure to settle on one unusual trait per fae – a swirly dragon’s tattoo, or French accent – so the reader wouldn’t be overwhelmed with detail. Just enough memorability for the reader to keep them straight without having to resort to a cheat sheet to tell who was who.

3. But don’t fall back on clichés.

Even if a secondary character only has a few lines, I like to make sure they seem fresh by giving them an unexpected twist. For example, in SLUMBER, Ruby’s little sister Shelley was in danger of running into cliché territory because she was a cute little girl who did cute little girl things. She needed a little edge, to keep her real and avoid becoming a cliché. So I gave Shelley a passion for drawing really bad pictures that no one can decipher, which provides comic relief and gives her an extra dimension.

There you have it, my three tips for creating memorable secondary characters. Thanks again for having me guest post today. I truly appreciate it.

Thanks for that Kathleen, as a writer myself I found that really interesting and useful, as I'm sure many others out there will. And now it's time for the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Many thanks to Diversion Books for letting me take part in this tour. You can buy the book from their site.

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