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Why authors ♡ their characters by Geoff Nelder

The extravagantly unique and quirky SF/thriller author Geoff Nelder, as usual, has a more than unusual way of showing us his favourite character. Relish in his wit and humour. Adults only, please.

The exuberance of Megan Wagstaff

Character from the ARIA Trilogy by Geoff Nelder

“Think not that seven billion people died on Earth in the ARIA Trilogy, but that a few thousand survive. Traumatized, yes, terrified that someone with infectious amnesia might get too close, but in spite of that, basic personality traits of each individual show through. I’ve been a judge—”
“Hey, granddad, what gives with the speech?”
Her ferociously red hair threw sparks as she drew a hand through it. Wafts of chewing gum aroma entertained my nose driving out the coffee I’d spilt earlier. 
“Megan, meet this Dictaphone, I’m doing a character piece for a blog and, hey, I’m not old enough to be your granddad!”
She laughs, punches me on the shoulder and instead of taking the chair opposite me, she perches on the desk corner. “I think you might have that ARIA infectious amnesia thing, “she says, “if you think you’re young enough for me. Is that ginger marmalade on your toast? I’m ‘aving it.”
I reach out but fail to defend my breakfast and I mock frown. As if I’d make a play for her. She’s always a teen tease. 
“Megan, in ARIA you’re an obstreperous girl with attitude against everyone against the mad Doctor Antonio. What was it about him that appealed to you?” I push the Dictaphone towards her.
“He wasn’t mad!”  Crumbs spluttered at me. “He was misunderstood.”
“But he killed—”
“Not his fault, obvs.” She took a long breath as if consulting her database of ideas. “You ogling my tits? Again?”
“You’ve spilt marmalade on your erm…basque. What do you mean, again? Anyway, I’m giving the blog readers tips I give out when judging writing comps.”
At last she smiles, uneven but realistic teeth. “You’re a judge? Cool. Go ahead.”
I take the Dictaphone and alternately glance at her and my notes.
“Competition judges often use these points when assessing characterisation in stories:

“One. Are characters distinct in their behaviour, voice, appearance?

“Two. Especially in a novel, the character should undergo a change in the course of the story.

“Three. The character should be interesting – think OTT like TV soap characters.”
Megan snorts, blowing more crumbs at me. “They’re not in Frasier re-runs mum watches. All boring.” She pulls a savage smile.
I point in the air. “Filmed years ago when viewers appreciated dialogue more. Anyway, which character in Frasier do you like most?”
“Bulldog, of course.”
I spread my arms in glee. “Exactly, he’s the most over-the-top person on the show. Now, if you don’t mind.
“Four: If the character is ‘nice’ does the writer go the extra mile necessary to make him or her convincing and worthy of the story?”
Megan pouts and frowns. “I’m not nice, so are you saying I’m unworthy?”
“Stop putting words in my mouth, Megan.”
“But it’s you, the writer, who puts words in my mouth, so if you’re saying—”
“Yes, yes. Let me finish this blog piece…before I delete you.”
“Five: Do all the characters have a role in the story in that each moves the plot on?

“Six: If a character is a cliché (and many may have to be) is there some quirk or trait to lift him or her off the page? Hah, I’m just remembering, Megan, when you snared Ryder in Book Two and kept demanding ‘naked cuddles’ with him to embarrass him in front of his ex-fiancée and others.

“Seven: It isn’t always necessary to describe a character but if so is it well done? 

“Finally, eight: Do I care what happens to the main character?”
She brushes at invisible toast detritus on her mauve velvet dress. “And who, in all fiction, is your fave character, Geoff Nelder?”
“Well, it could be Lazarus Long, or Ellen Ripley…” Her eyes widen so much I see myself in them. “But, of course, it’s you.”
“Right answer, Mr Author, now let’s clear this table and get it on Naked cuddles.”
“No, Megan, stop kissing me. This is inappropriate. Delete, delete!


ARIA (medical mystery, apocalyptic)

A half hour read “of pure genius” The Chaos of Mokii at

Geoff’s Website:



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Scars & Souvenirs – upcoming release by Rocky Rochford

Rocky Rochford, a highly creative author whose work I have already presented on this blog (see here) , has a new release coming at the end of August this year. Here are some details about the book, provided by Rocky Rochford…

Scars & Souvenirs is a collection of 10 short, emotional thrillers that cover tales of loss, heartache and regrets that just won’t let go. (It does contain some language and graphic, and a number of scenes that pertain to suicide, blood, and murder.)

Book Title:  Scars & Souvenirs

Book Series:  A Collection by Rocky Rochford

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Book Type:   Collection/Anthology

Word Count:  16771

Genre:  Emotional Thriller

Format: Ebook & Print

Purchase Links: (None at this time as the book is due for release on August 26th 2016)

Book Content Rating: Adult!!! Contains swearing, scenes of death, depression and suicide.

Tag-line: “Darkness has many forms and Mares is its playground.”


Every scar tells a story, a tale of loss, or a tale of regret. The scars on my arms an echo of when times were hard. The scars on my eyes of the dreaded horrors I can never unsee. The scars on my soul a lasting memory of the sins that tore my soul apart. The scars on my heart from a love forever lost. The scars on my wrists, the end result of a failed attempt to end a life of brokenness. Each scar is a story.  A story begging to be told. 


“You will bleed. You will cry. You will love and you will say goodbye to all those you hold dear. Life is repulsed by shadow and you reek of it. I’m looking forward to watching the show.”

His words made perfect sense.

Of course they would—they were my own.

Words I would tell myself when I was all alone.

The Devil knows all.

Especially the one that sits on your shoulder.

In the depths of your soul.

“Your wound isn’t deep and the knife didn’t hit anything vital. You will go on to live, knowing this is what you do to people. The poison that flows through your veins always finds a way to push those you hold dear away, no matter how hard you try to cling to them. You are the villain, John, and the villain is destined to fail.”

He reached out and grabbed me. His hands on my throat squeezed and then he began to drag me. The world I had left returned.

As did the sound of my heart beating.

And the air in my lungs.

My eyes opened.

I gasped.

The Devil had come to drag me to Hell, but like he said for the likes of me. There is only one kind of Hell, the life of an endless nightmare I live on a daily basis.

He dragged me back to my old life.

A life of scars.

****Here concludes today’s extract, for more check out the full collection when it releases next month. ****

Feel free to get connected with Rocky Rochford on any of the following site locations:


Twitter: @RockyRochford



Personal Website:

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