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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

DAY 4 GIVEAWAY My favourite characters #amwriting #writerslife

Okay, so obviously when asked who my favourite characters are my official answer is that I love them all, and they’re all my babies. It’s absolutely true. But if I’m honest, I love some a teensy bit more than others. Why? Because they’re just so much fun to write!


Creating her mother, Mel, was emotionally exhausting. I’ve never felt more drained while writing a book, her desperation and grief leeching strength from me. I’m incredibly proud of her, and in many ways she is a favourite of mine because of all she endures, but bringing her into being was a painful process and to this day I shy away from thinking about her. Why? Because I pity her more than any other character I’ve created – and that’s saying something.

Her daughter, Beth, was a different matter. She’s a lot like me when I was her age – only I thankfully had a far less complex life. Like her, I was (and still am) fascinated by nature and the environment, adored reading (yes, my favourite book when growing up had been The Little White Horse). Writing her was a joy because in many ways all I had to do was tap into the me I’d been back in the day, and she reminded me of a lot of things about myself.

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash


If you’ve read Invisible, you’ll know that the main character is never named. This was a deliberate decision to reinforce the feeling of her not being noticed. A name is also a label, helping to denote social status, even personality, and I didn’t want that; this way she could be any one of use. She’s not stupid yet she allows herself to be passed over by everyone, even in her relationships, and constantly doubts herself to the point where I wanted to shake her. But I love the emotional journey this character goes through within herself, and how she becomes ultimately an inspiration in her own, quiet way.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash


The biggest challenge for a writer is to create believable characters – they don’t have to be likeable, but they do have to come across as real. From the start, I knew I wanted a serial killer with a true character that came across, rather them him simply being a one-dimensional ‘baddie’. The original idea was for Adam to be angry, bitter, and hate women, but as his back story came together he revealed himself to be far gentler, complex and damaged than I could ever have initially imagined. All he wants is love. To this day, I have a soft spot in my heart for Adam. Putting him put into the world was nerve-wracking because I didn’t think anyone else would ‘get’ him, but I’ve been stunned by readers’ response to him.


Everyone seems to universally agree that their favourite character in Her Last Secret is Mouse. She was lovely to write, and a real point of light in a dark book. But…but…ah, I can’t help it, my personal favourite is Benjamin, a gift who came to me fully-formed.

I’ve met a few Benjamins in my time, and to embody him was a fascinating experience. While writing his scenes, my body language would change and I’d find myself puffing out my chest. The big ‘I am’.

You never quite know where you are with him. He’s a selfish, thieving git, who is useless with his family, but he also loves them to bits. He’s bombastic and cocky, but incredibly vulnerable and insecure. His decisions grow more desperate and erratic as the book goes on, and it was hard to guess where he was going to jump next. Oh, the fun I had creating this character!

Do you have a favourite character? I’d love to hear!


GIVEAWAY! How to enter

From 19 November until 30 November inclusive, my posts on this blog will contain a festive reference. Find it, and then either comment on the post or email Every person who answers correctly will be entered into a prize draw. The competition closes on Thursday 7 December. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on Friday 8 December.

So, can you find today’s Christmas reference in this post? Let me know!

What am I giving away?

ONE lucky winner will receive a SIGNED COPY of Her Last Secret and some chocolate to indulge in while reading.

THREE lucky winners will receive a SIGNED COPY of The Darkest Lies and some chocolate to indulge in while reading.

ONE lucky winner will receive a SIGNED COPY of Flowers For The Dead and some chocolate to indulge in while reading.

TWO lucky winners will receive an audio book of Her Last Secret and some chocolate to indulge in while listening.

ONE very lucky winner will have a CHARACTER NAMED AFTER THEM in my next book. *


As well as this competition, check out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and my website for more ways to enter over the next 12 days. You can enter as many times as you want!

* Please note that the character will have your name but will not be based in any way upon you or any person living or dead. They may be a good person or a bad person – they could even be a killer. So be prepared! The part they play may be large or small. Entry into the competition is taken as agreement to these conditions. Thank you.

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