Acts of Life

Psychology for character building

I know it sounds obvious, but when building your main characters, protagonist and antagonist, it’s important that you build them to be people whom you would like or hate.  A good guy, the hero/heroine, must be someone you would like and the bad guy/gal should be someone you wouldn’t like.  If you can’t build them to inspire the appropriate emotional responses within yourself, how can a reader feel the right way about them?

This is not a universal rule though.  There are some protagonists and antagonists who break the boundaries a little but even with these characters, there should be a thread of something within them that can inspire the love, hate, fear, admiration etc.  My main character Jake Elloway in Acts of Life is one of those guys most people find irritating, someone you wouldn’t immediately like, but he has qualities that do inspire the right feelings in the end.

It is important to know a bit about human psychology when building characters.  The more you know about the human condition, the more realistic your characters will be.  It’s worth buying a few books on psychology or doing a basic course to give you a bit of insight into how to make your characters real.  I’m lucky, my mother worked in psychiatry since I was two years old, so I’ve grown up to have some insight into people, and I’ve also spent time studying people and their relationships with each other.

Just as a quick for instance, don’t make your hero/heroine too perfect.  Let them have flaws, failings and weaknesses like real people do and your readers will identify with them more easily.  Likewise, don’t make your bad guys too evil, for even the baddest badass has some redeeming features.  It doesn’t have to be much, just something to help your readers know these people are real, plausible and just like them.

New Promo Video – Acts of Life

I’ve made a little promotional video for my latest novel, Acts of Life.  I found this great online place called Stupeflix and the whole process is so easy and quick, much less farting about than Windows Movie Maker.  You can choose from their large music collection and the site automatically makes the music fade at the end of your video.  Plans start from as little as $5 per month and I think it’s worth it if you like doing videos to promo your books.  I’ve been wanting to update the videos I did for The Lilean Chronicles but the thought of faffing around with Windows Movie Maker again has put me off.  Now I shall be doing them within days at Stupeflix. Here’s the video, I hope you enjoy it.


Acts of Life release party and giveaway



Announcing the Acts of Life release party and giveaway event.

Over on my facebook author page I’m running an event to celebrate the release of Acts of Life.  I’m combining the event with an easy, fun competition to give away ten e-copies of the book.  In order to take part, follow these simple instructions.

Go to the event here and join.

Write a story in no more than 300  words and post it on the page.  Your story can be any genre and have any storyline you choose but it must centre around a celebrity.  Your chosen celebrity can be a real one (alive or dead) or one you’ve made up.

On Friday 21st June I shall pick ten winners who will each win an e-copy of Acts of Life.

If less than 20 take part in the competition, it will be cancelled, so get your stories in as soon as possible to be in with a chance of winning.  It’s fun, its easy and the prize is worth a little effort.  One participant has already posted  his story, so hop on over to the event now and join up.

Brand new release – Acts of Life



I have great pleasure in being able to finally announce that my latest science fiction novel is finally out.  It will take a day or two or Amazon links to go live, but paperbacks can be purchased now from and e-books from smashwords,com

I wrote Acts of Life in twenty days during last November’s NaNoWriMo and am very proud of it.  I hope you enjoy it.

Here is the link to the Acts of Life page, where the blurb and buy links can be found.

Here is the link to the page where you can read 3 excerpts from Acts of Life.

Acts of Life – new space opera adventure coming soon

I have a new page here, all about my new novel, Acts of Life which will be available mid June.  The big edits have now been completed and there are just a few bits and bobs to check before it can be formatted, ready for upload.  Meanwhile, my cover art genius, JL Stratton is working on the cover.  All will be revealed in time.

This is the novel I wrote in twenty days during NaNoWriMo, November 2012.

Click here to read about Acts of Life, starring Jake Elloway.

New Release Coming Soon

Hey folks, it’s been a while I know but I’ve been catching up with all the episodes of Stargate SG1 and Stargate Universe I’ve never seen.  I made it through to season 8  of SG1 in about a week before I got sick of it and stopped watching.  The first couple of seasons were great but then it got all p0litical and I began to lose interest.  By season 8 all the old bad guys were being magically brought back to life time after time and I couldn’t bear it any longer.  Thankfully there are only 2 seasons of Universe and I loved every single episode.

So now I’ve got that out of my system it’s back to editing my next release.

Acts of Life stars Jake Elloway, a handsome but arrogant movie star who reluctantly agrees to spend 3 months aboard an inter galactic freight liner to research the work and lifestyle of a character he is to play in his next movie.  Things rapidly take a turn for the worse and he finds himself in a fight for survival he may not win.  Along the way he is forced to face up to his character flaws and acknowledge the emotional baggage from his past that he locked away years ago.  With few friends amongst the frieght liner’s crew he soon realises the privileged lifestyle he enjoys is built upon lies and fakery.  As his companions fight for their lives and his, Jake realises that being a famous movie star does nothing to help them all survive.

I wrote Acts of Life in 20 days during last November’s NaNoWriMo and I’m really looking forward to its release in June.  I’ll keep you all updated regularly.