I created Kent Fisher sometime in 1997. I wanted a name for my protagonist that was simple and unpretentious, evocative and memorable. It also had to come with an intriguing backstory to add additional depth to his character.
I suspect this last aspect was a nod towards Inspector Morse, whose name, Endeavour, isn’t revealed until close to the end of the series. But the revelation, and the name, adds so much to his character, it’s worth the wait and intrigue.
As soon as I settled on the name, Kent Fisher, it felt right. Some years later, when I had cause to Google my own name, I came across an intriguing entry. Robert Fisher Crouch (7 February 1904 – 7 May 1957) was a Conservative Member of Parliament for North Dorset. (Ironically, Kent’s father is also a Conservative politician.)
I’m no fatalist, but I took this as a good omen.
Kent never really came to life until I created blog, called Fisher’s Fables. This allowed me to write short pieces, using Kent to fictionalise my work as an environmental health officer. I created a cast of dysfunctional characters to support him. I posted the first blog in March 2007, based on an interview with Sovereign FM, a local radio station. The smoking ban was on the way in the UK and I went on air to promote it.
Little did I know that this first blog would be the start of a journey that would end in the novel No Accident.