The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome Con Riley on the True Brit blog tour.
I posed this question to Con: When you examine all the characters you’ve written so far, would you say you write a “type”? What type of man, for you, makes for an interesting protagonist?
So, enjoy her answer, and then be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance at an e-copy of this and another book from Con’s backlist.
Con: I definitely write a type. I’m a huge fan of everyday heroes.
Now that I stop to consider, every one of my main characters has a big ol’ streak of everyday-and-average running through them. In my new book True Brit, even ex-soldier Ed — who could have been a gun-toting, tattoo-covered, Special Forces sniper, had I written him to meet the stereotypical norm — is just a regular guy determined to keep a promise he made. That simple desire makes Ed very appealing. It’s an indication of bone-deep honesty that says more about his strength of character than wielding a rifle could have ever conveyed.
When I look back, I didn’t write my first book, After Ben, with intent to make a middle-aged accountant seem brave or fearless. And yet somehow his honest-to-God grief at losing the love of his life coupled with his slow recovery made Theo Anderson heroic. When he was ready, he loved again like he knewhappiness could be snatched from him at any moment. I think readers wanted that second chance for him just as much as I did.
In True Brit, Pasha will do anything to succeed. His sole aim in life is to win the United Kingdom’s favorite singing contest, and that single-minded focus could make him unattractive. Yet it’s impossible to ignore how much Pasha genuinely likes other people – even the other competitors, who should be first on his hit list. His innate inquisitive nature reveals a nosy core of caring that defines his truly British nature.
When I think about the secondary characters I’ve enjoyed writing the most, I’m often drawn to fathers. I could write Paul Morse from the Seattle stories over and over — he’s a man who made mistakes with his son that he refuses to repeat. And if I could wave a magic wand right now, I’d transplant Recovery’sOwen Bailey to Minnesota for some grumpy Coop Cooper tough love. Maybe I see kindness, even if gruffly offered, as the most attractive characteristic of all.
In True Brit, Ed Britten shouldn’t feel any kindness toward Pasha. He’s spent years watching men who looked similar while stationed in Afghanistan. Conversely, Pasha shouldn’t find anything attractive about being observed so closely, especially when he’s done nothing to earn Ed’s mistrust. It’s only when they’re forced to work together that they get to see past first impressions. Writing their love story was a chance to show that the most unlikely of pairings can be heroic, given the right incentive.
If you like everyday heroes as much as I do, I hope that you enjoy reading True Brit.
Thank you so much for hosting me. :-)
Blurb: Winning the United Kingdom’s favorite singing contest is a challenge for half-Afghani Pasha Trueman. He doesn’t have the best voice, but success would be life-changing. His strategy is simple—he’ll make the British public love him.
Ex-soldier Ed Britten has a different agenda. Winning means he’ll keep a promise made after a deadly Afghan ambush. His voice is his weapon, but he leaves his heart unguarded.
Ed and Pasha’s discovery that the contest isn’t a fair fight calls for creative tactics. Staging a fake love story could bring victory, only there’s more at stake than the prestigious first prize. If winning means surrendering each other, they could both end up losing.
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary Romance
Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.
When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.
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