Discovering Characters by Alison Bruce – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alison Bruce will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Discovering Characters

By Alison Bruce


Character-TeeI don’t create characters—at least not my main ones—so much as I discover them. They seem to breed in the petri dish of my unconscious mind. They are the offspring of family, friends, enemies, frenemies; people in movies, on TV shows and out of books. I should wear a t-shirt warning people: “Anything you say or do may be used in the creation of a character.”

I have literally dreamed up some of my favourite characters, including Kate Garrett and Jake Carmedy of Deadly Legacy and Deadly Season.  When we dream, our minds churn up random thoughts and images then strings them together in new ways. Other people may sleep on a problem and wake up with an answer. I wake up with a character—or the beginning of one.

Once I’ve discovered my new characters, I have to investigate them. We’re all shaped, not only by our genetic code, but by the time, place and culture of where we live. That can be researched.

Kate and Jake haunted my dreams for a few nights before I decided I had to write about them. I knew Jake was a warrior. (In my dreams he was Wolverine of the X-Men.) I decided to make him a former soldier. I researched the Canadian Armed Forces. Me being a bit of a research junkie, I covered all branches including Special Forces. (This came in handy when I wrote A Bodyguard to Remember.) Then I started looking at some of the worst places Canadians have served. Jake hasn’t talked about his tours of duty, but I have to have a sense of what he was doing before he became a private investigator.

Kate started off being me if I was a police detective. (My dream, remember?) The trouble was, I knew much more about the Canadian Armed Forces than I knew about Canadian Police practices. I had briefly been a soldier. I had never been a cop.

I knew I had to talk to a real police officer. While I tried to hunt one down, I read everything I could about the RCMP, OPP, and Guelph and Toronto Police Services. This is not an easy task. When I finally managed it (a story for another time) other characters came to me. Once I got started, there was no stopping me. I was button-holing cops in coffee shops, parking lots and, once, at a family funeral. Mostly I’d ask specific questions that wouldn’t take up too much of their time. None of my law enforcement characters are based on any one person I interviewed, but their stories, appearance and mannerisms got added to the petri dish that would spawn several characters in three of my books, but especially the Carmedy and Garrett Mysteries.

MediaKit_BookCover_DeadlySeasonLast month Kate Garrett was a Police Detective. Now she’s a Pet P.I.?

Kate recently inherited half her father’s private investigation company and a partner who is as irritating as he is attractive. Kate has been avoiding Jake Carmedy for years, but now her life might depend on him.

Kate and Jake are on the hunt for a serial cat killer who has mysterious connections to her father’s last police case. Kate’s father had been forced to retire when he was shot investigating a domestic disturbance. Is the shooter back for revenge? And is Kate or Jake next?

Other Books by Alison Bruce

Deadly Legacy
Under A Texas Star
Hazardous Unions (with Kat Flannery)
A Bodyguard to Remember

About the Author: Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. She is the Canadian author of mystery, romantic suspense and historical western romance novels. Three of her novels have been finalists for genre awards. Deadly Season is a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Awards – Best Novella.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Kobo, Chapters,
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a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for hosting

  2. James Robert says:

    Thank you for bringing us this great giveaway and the time you put into it for all of us.

  3. Mai T. says:

    Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

    • I have beta readers who look at my book first. These are trusted friends who will let me know if something is off. Then my publisher has editors and we go back and forth looking for problems, typos, etc. Finally, I proof the final galley, looking for any errors that might have got missed or crept in.

      So, yes, I proofread and edit my own books, but so do at least 3 other people.

  4. First, thank you Long and Short for hosting me.

    Second, since I wrote this article, DEADLY SEASON has been shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award for excellence in Canadian Crime Writing. This is a huge honor, especially since lighter fiction tends to get overlooked by awards.

  5. Rita Wray says:

    Sounds like a great read.

  6. momjane says:

    I really enjoyed your comments on creating a character. It was very interesting.

  7. Cali W. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. 🙂

  8. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

  9. James Robert says:

    Good Morning and thank you for the opportunity to win

  10. Victoria says:

    Sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. I enjoyed reading the guest post and learning more about this book. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. Looking forward to checking out this book.

  12. Where is your favorite spot to read?

    • I love to read anywhere, any time. I have a Kindle app on my phone so I always have a book with me. However, my favourite place to read is tucked up in bed before I go to sleep… or into the wee hours when I’m supposed to be sleeping. It brings back youthful memories of turning the light on as soon as my mother had gone downstairs and pulling my book out from under my pillow.

  13. I love a good mystery book and this book sounds like it fits the bill! Can’t wait to check out this book!

  14. James Robert says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to win, you’re awesome! Happy Friday!

  15. What is your favorite pleasure food?

    • Anything spicy. How about you?

      • You must love Thai food then? I am such a baby when it comes to spice. One of bestie’s loves spicy Thai food, so whenever we go out for dinner and end up at a Thai restaurant, I always tell the waiter, “No stars!” LOL! My favorite pleasure food is pretty much anything Italian. I could eat spaghetti or lasagna every night – but then I definitely wouldn’t fit into my skinny jeans LOL!

  16. James Robert says:

    Have a fun filled Saturday and thank you for the giveaway

  17. I have added this book to my TBR list and look forward to reading this book!

  18. James Robert says:

    Wishing you a blessed Sunday and thanking you for the giveaway

  19. Wow, this book sounds like such a great read! Can’t wait to read this book!

  20. James Robert says:

    Good Morning, have a terrific Friday and thank you for the chance to win this giveaway.

  21. James Robert says:

    Thanks for the terrific giveaway and hope you have an outstanding weekend.

  22. James Robert says:

    Sunday blessings and thanks again for the chance to win

  23. James Robert says:

    I appreciate you bringing us this giveaway, thank you

  24. James Robert says:

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway, have a great Thursday!

  25. James Robert says:

    Good Afternoon and thanks for the great giveaway

  26. James Robert says:

    Wishing you a great Memorial Day weekend. Be safe and enjoy and would like to salute all those who have given their lives in defense of this country. Thank you for this giveaway as well

  27. James Robert says:

    Stopping by and thanking you for giving us the opportunity to win. Have a great Sunday!

  28. James Robert says:

    Terrific giveaway and I want to thank you for the opportunity to win it.

  29. James Robert says:

    Good Afternoon, Happy Friday and thank you for this giveaway

  30. James Robert says:

    Hope your weekend is great and thanking you for the giveaway

  31. Hope you are having a fabulous weekend! Looking forward to reading this book!

  32. James Robert says:

    Sunday blessings to all and thanks so much for the opportunity to win

  33. What is the name of your favorite restaurant?

    • Narrowing down a favourite restaurant is too tough a question to answer. Too many variables. It’s rather like picking a favourite book or author. It depends what I’m in the mood for.

  34. James Robert says:

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to win, I appreciate it

  35. James Robert says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to offer us this giveaway

  36. James Robert says:

    Awesome giveaway and I am appreciative of you giving us the chance to win

  37. James Robert says:

    Happy Friday and thanks so much for the chance to win your great giveaway

  38. James Robert says:

    Thank you for the giveaway and all the work put into this.

  39. Cathy French says:

    I love the t shirt idea warning about potential characters. Cool idea.

  40. James Robert says:

    Hello and I am back saying thank you once again for the opportunity you have given us to win this giveaway

  41. James Robert says:

    Good Morning and thank you for this opportunity you have given us to win

  42. James Robert says:

    I’m back, hope you’re not too tired of hearing from me. Thanks again for this opportunity to win and have a terrific day!

  43. James Robert says:

    Thanks so much for the giveaway and have a great weekend!

  44. James Robert says:

    Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s who may see this and thank you for the chance at winning this giveaway

  45. James Robert says:

    Good Afternoon! I appreciate all the work you have put into bringing us this giveaway, thank you

  46. James Robert says:

    Hello! I am helping my brother out entering his giveaways for a bit while he is camping with his kids and having a fun weekend. Thank you for the chance to win, I know he enjoys entering and following some terrific blogs. He enters many books for me and my other sister so we all appreciate it.

  47. Rosemary says:

    I love reading Especially at night when I am cozy in bed,peaceful time

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