THE BLOG

The Next Nancy Drew?

03/01/2014 12:55 GMT | Updated 05/03/2014 10:59 GMT

The Ghost has been fortunate to team up once again with the actress and comedienne Crissy Rock on her debut novel, Revenge is Sweeter than Flowing Honey.

It's every writer's dream to find the inspiration to discover a fictional character that the book reading public adore, every authors dream to create the next Miss Marple, Dr Kay Scarpetta, or Nancy Drew. It's difficult to say what will make a character stand the test of time but some undoubtedly do and the book buying public clamour for more tales and more information and a greater analysis of their favourite characters. Some of our fictional heroes have fan clubs and even annual conventions, where memorabilia sells like hot cakes, snapped up by enthusiasts who even dress the part of the characters from their favourite authors.

I stumbled upon a Sherlock Holmes convention some years back and at one point thought I too was on hallucinogenic drugs as the streets around a certain hotel appeared to be filled with Sherlock Holmeses and Doctor Watson lookalikes and even one or two Professor Moriartys and Inspector Lestrades.

Conan Doyle's genius of a detective is a prime example of just how seriously book readers absorb themselves into a story and take a character into their hearts. But I doubt if Conan Doyle could ever have dreamt the impact Sherlock Holmes would have on the world when he penned those first few chapters of the first novel A Study in Scarlet in the mid 1880s.

As Crissy and I sat down and pulled together the basis of a plot for her first novel back in 2012 we had a laugh and a joke and fantasised the one of our characters could indeed stand the test of time and that there was more than a story or two in her. As the book progressed and took shape we warmed to her and when the proof readers 'critiques' came back it was suggested on more than one occasion that they were anxiously awaiting the follow up novel. I'm not suggesting for a second that the creation of Liverpool journalist Samantha Kerr would come anywhere near some of the characters we have previously mentioned but then again, we may have just found a character worthy to grace the pages of several books to come. Certainly that is Crissy's hope, she enjoyed her first journey into fiction writing and if the book sells well a follow up novel is very much on the cards.

Samantha Kerr is a character the reader will undoubtedly sympathise with and there are many parallels between Sam Kerr and Crissy Rock. A great author whose name escapes me once said you should write what you know about and Crissy, once again, courageously revisited her dark side to bring us a not so timid soul, in Sam Kerr, a victim of domestic violence who decides to confront her tormentor in an explosive violent scene in a Liverpool public bar. This was an almost identical scene to a real life experience Crissy had with her abusive first husband.

In Revenge Is Sweeter Than Flowing Honey - Sam is a journalist sent to cover the tragic story of four bishops trapped and burned alive in a car that caught fire in the city centre. She cannot put her finger on exactly what it is that's bothering her but she feels Merseyside Police have been far too premature in assuming the inferno was a simple unfortunate accident. She makes a startling discovery. It seems a high-ranking delegation from the Vatican is also making their own tentative enquiries and a possible serial killer is on the loose.

Sam throws her heart and soul into the story and the investigation, but as she gets nearer to discovering the truth the chief editor of the newspaper dispenses with her services. The editor blames her obsession with the story getting in the way of her routine bread and butter journalism. For Sam it's a devastating blow as she'd only just started rebuilding her life after a series of earth shattering traumas that seemed to have plagued her from an early age. The book is officially published on 20 February this year though is available for pre order as I write.

One of our proof readers suggested the shrewd reader should also take a look at Crissy's best-selling autobiography, This Heart Within Me Burns, which charts her harrowing real life story of childhood abuse and her subsequent two disastrous marriages. It may give a better understanding of the fictional character, Sam Kerr. Crissy and I cannot disagree with that sound advice. Look out for more Sam Kerr in the not too distant future.