Thursday, 5 May 2016

Bipolar disorder and beyond - an author guest post by C J Carver - A SLICE OF CARVER

I'm delighted to welcome CJ Carver to my blog today to discuss the background to her latest novel Spare Me the Truth. This is the second of a series of blog posts. CJ Carver's book Spare Me the Truth, was published by Zaffre on 7 April 2016.

Bipolar disorder and beyond: 
using mental health in characters
by CJ Carver

Bipolar disorder and beyond: using mental health in characters

No two people are the same.  That’s what makes us fascinatingly, endearingly human.  Nobody has the same parents, the same childhood friends or the same thought patterns.  What makes someone mentally ill?  My friend with the memory loss I mentioned in Point 2 has incredible mood swings from low to high and back again, but this doesn’t stop her being one of the top CEO’s in the country.  In fact the way her brain works, along with her body’s chemistry, is probably a big part of her success.

Having a character with issues like these makes them, in my view, more real to the reader.  PC Lucy Davies has trouble controlling her “moods” and can be relentlessly obsessive, but these traits also make her a very successful detective.

Creating a believable protagonist now comes naturally to me but when I first started, I really had to work at it!  A protagonist isn’t a human being – we read about them as if they’re real, but they are superior, larger than life.  People we know are difficult to understand but the protagonist’s motivation is comprehensible.  We know characters better than we know our friends.  I know Dan Forrester probably better than I know myself!  Dan is taciturn and self-contained.  I’m neither.

Question: What makes you happy?

The open road.

About CJ Carver
CJ Carver is a half-English, half-kiwi, author living just outside Bath. She lived in Australia for ten years before taking up long-distance rally driving – she has driven London to Saigon, London to Cape Town, and completed 14,500 miles on the Inca Trail.

Since then she has written seven novels which have been published in the UK, USA and translated throughout Europe. CJ’s first novel Blood Junction, won the CWA Debut Dagger Award.

Readers can find out more about CJ Carver on her website. Follow CJ Carver on Twitter - @C_J_Carver 

Spare Me the Truth
By CJ Carver
Published by Zaffre (7 April 2016)
ISBN: 978-1785760334

Publisher's description
Dan Forrester, piecing his life back together after the tragic death of his son, is approached in a supermarket by a woman who tells him everything he remembers about his life - and his son - is a lie. Grace Reavey, stricken by grief, is accosted at her mother's funeral. The threat is simple: pay the staggering sum her mother allegedly owed, or lose everything. Lucy Davies has been forced from the Met by her own maverick behaviour. Desperate to prove herself in her new rural post, she's on the hunt for a killer - but this is no small town criminal. Plunged into a conspiracy that will test each of them to their limits, these three strangers are brought together in their hunt for the truth, whatever it costs. And as their respective investigations become further and further entwined, it becomes clear that at the centre of this tangled web is a threat more explosive than any of them could have imagined.

Read my review here.

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