What can I tell you about my lead character?
He came to life as my mouthpiece in the Fisher’s Fables blogs I wrote from 2007-2014. In many respects he was me, transferred into a fictional world where he investigated murders alongside checking hygiene standards in restaurants.
But with each book, his own unique character developed, putting more and distance between us. We still share the same sense of humour and interests in the environment, animal welfare and nature, but he’s now very much his own character.
‘Kent Fisher is a wonderful creation and unique in crime literature … Fun. Enjoyable. Entertaining and begging to be adapted for TV!’
Booksaremycwtches, 23rd October 2017.
He owns and runs an animal sanctuary (a personal dream of mine), where he lives with his West Highland white terrier, Columbo, a favourite character of many a reader. He’s modelled on my own Westie, Harvey, who sadly passed away on the 20th September 2021.
He lives and works in and around the South Downs, a few miles from where I live. It’s a beautiful part of the country with the iconic Seven Sisters on the coast and many interesting and colourful villages inland. Like Morse and Oxford, I try to bring the setting alive for readers.
Kent’s natural fear of commitment stems from the belief that there may be someone better around the corner. It leads to short term relationships, which offers plenty of scope for new characters to come and go. But Gemma, who’s the love of his life if he’d only open his eyes, remains constant, helping him solve murders, saving his life and putting herself at risk every time she teams up with him.
It’s a terrific relationship that ebbs and flows through the series, often threatening a resolution. It keeps readers guessing and adds colour to the backstory as readers root for the lovers they want to see settle with Kent.
He also has a habit of getting into danger. Once on the trail, he’s impossible to shrug off. His sense of justice and fair play, which he inherited from me, won’t let him sit back. His early years were blighted by an alcoholic mother who left her husband and took Kent 300 miles up country, where he struggled to fit in at school, again echoing some of my own experiences.
But as he evolves and develops with each story, he sets the pace and direction of the books.
I’m not a planner, so I start with rough ideas about the stories, no more. In No Remorse, I began with a single line of dialogue and took it from there. It’s not until I start writing, that the story comes alive and develops organically. Kent hits a problem and he finds a solution, which generates another problem and so on. This makes it exciting to write, as I never know what’s coming.
Hopefully, this makes it more exciting and entertaining to read.