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Is she brave enough-The Ties That Bind by Constance Munday

I often get asked questions about how I decide on and construct my characters, and it’s always fun to answer. To be frank though, sometimes I don’t know where they come from. I think they just leap into my mind and take me over. Being a writer is like being possessed, a lot of the time. Thoughts and ideas just pop into my mind. Writer’s also seem to adopt another personality when they are writing. When I’m in the thick of it and the spirit of writing possesses me, I become another person entirely, not always nice and a bit of a hermit. Nose to the computer I must become quite dislikeable as I hide in my boudoir, thundering away on the keyboard oblivious to anything or anyone else, wondering where in the world the idea has come from.

   Despite notebooks of ideas, thoughts and observations on people, the funny thing about character and plot development is, things do not always happen as you think they will. Sometimes I have had an idea for a character only to find they somehow morph a bit during the story into a thrilling being, totally different to the original prototype. And another weird thing is, these fictional people by the end of the novel - do not actually seem fictional at all, but are so real you can almost touch them…spooky, but true.
   Which brings me back to ‘The Ties that Bind,’ the reason for this blog tour.  Someone asked me about how I arrived at the character of Penny. To be frank, Penny was very good to me and I didn’t have to struggle to develop her character at all, because she simply popped into my mind. Generally, I have at least a rough template of a character in my mind before I start, and then like I say, it evolves. This is the stage when you feel like a mad scientist in a laboratory.
   I could picture Penny instantly though. I think most writers use at least a smidgen of themselves in their characters and why not. For the most part we know ourselves very well and we all have a rich feast of snippets to dine out on. Notably our strengths, weaknesses and path through life. That is why writing is sometimes termed so therapeutic and it can be.
   So Penny is maybe a bit of me, or she could be a pinch of an image of someone I might have seen once and have now largely forgotten. But largely she comes from a wonderful place that is a mystery to us all, the imagination. Do you see what an interesting mosaic this is? It’s great isn’t it? And it’s what makes writing such fun and often a trial as we try and get our characters just right. Talking about Penny, here is an excerpt from the story, which shows you just a little bit more about her. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it.

   Funny how I didn’t care, as I invited the touching and fondling. I was lying awake at nights thinking about Nicholas. I was a sinner. If Nicholas knew what I fantasised about, he’d be ashamed of me. I’d gone through every possible scenario in my head.
   I was struck by new and frightening worries, which seemed very real indeed.
In the beginning it had seemed kind of cool to play the martyr and give Nicholas up when my wedding came around. I’d have the memories wouldn’t I? Now though, the thought of that was getting harder and harder and I was fantasising over exactly how ingenious I could be when I eventually got married. What if I didn’t want to let Nicholas go? Would he agree to keep on seeing me? Probably not. Well, I’d have to change that. Over the next few weeks I intended to make him so crazy about me, he’d agree to anything. What was happening to me? I was becoming the kind of person I despised and I could feel a battle of enormous proportions brewing. I was living a life of fantasy, dreaming up dates and rendezvous whilst technically cheating on who would soon be - my husband. God, how could I? It was the kind of thing Penny number one would never do. Amazing how you could come up with so many arguments though and when it came down to falling in love, you were powerless. Falling in love, there I’d said it, even though I might not say it directly to Nicholas.
   ‘I don’t think being together in that way,  would be a good idea, do you Nicholas? I mean if you’re honest with yourself…’
   He looked hurt, in fact he looked like I’d slapped him in the face.
   ‘I thought you’d want to make me happy on my birthday. I mean you can make exceptions to a rule can’t you?’
   ‘Nicholas. Don’t be childish.’
   ‘I’m not. It’s just that when I was growing up everyone used to make my birthday a special day. Now, it’s different and there’s no one to give me anything special.’
   I laughed. ‘Don’t pull that one and try and get me to feel sorry for you. You’re so good at spinning a line, I don’t know whether to believe you or not.’
   ‘Well, it’s true.’ He gripped my head in both his hands. ‘Come on.’ He pulled down his lips with his fingers. ‘How can you resist this sad specimen of manhood?’
   I could sense the invisible thread winding me closer. I closed my eyes as I ran my hands over his chest. I was compelled by the suggestion. He was right. How could I turn him down? ‘I don’t know how I could manage it? It would be impossible to get away.’ I kissed his cheek, snuggled my mouth into his shoulder. ‘I told you, my life isn’t like yours. I’m predictable in everything I do.’ This was true. Everyone knew where I was, every second of every day. Good old reliable Penny. Out to work in the morning at the same time; a short walk down to the village at lunch or across to the New Age shop for a chinwag, and then home, where I didn’t do anything special, unless you counted a long hot bath or cooking for Laurence. My God, was I that dull? I was sure I hadn’t always been like this had I? No, I hadn’t. There’d been a time before I’d met Laurence, when I’d had my own life. My art classes at the college, for example; the horse-riding lessons. All things which Laurence had cleverly made me give up, not so much by telling me not to do them - but subtly insinuating he would rather I didn’t do them - as he pointed out that he’d prefer for me to be home and saving for the wedding. Suddenly, I realised Laurence might be dull, but he could also be clever as he played as much of a game with a submissive woman as Nicholas did; an unhealthily submissive woman who wasn’t submissive in the fun way she was with her lover. No, there was nothing fun about Laurence’s approach. For some reason that thought made me extremely angry.

Can a chance encounter untie the secret desires locked within?

Penny’s your average voluptuous girl next door. Still a virgin, she’s settled for dull accountant Laurence. However, Penny is about to have her Shades of Grey moment. Saved from an accident by enigmatic stranger Nicholas, she yields to temptation and agrees to his daring proposal. Can Nicholas prove to her in the space of the few short weeks before her wedding, that she’s made a mistake?

Penny’s preconceived notions of sex are challenged, as she now submits to desire and unwittingly falls truly in love with a man who loves her purely for herself.

But is it too late? Can she sever the ties that bind her to Laurence and is she strong enough to become bound by ties a million times more intriguing? In essence, is Penny brave enough to be the woman she knows she is inside as a game of hearts becomes self-fulfilment on a scale she never imagined possible?

Buy ‘The Ties that Bind on,, and all good platforms in both Kindle, epub and paperback.

Constance is nearly always to be found with a pencil in her hand making notes for a new story. She has led a varied life and done many jobs from cup washer, lecturer to new age healer but has always written since she was a child. A major health scare recently though, made her see life differently, and after years as a part-time writer, she turned full-time, because as she says - life is too short not to do what you love. She has literally climbed a mountain and made many sacrifices to pen her novels and now builds on a fund of wonderful encounters with intriguing people, plus her imagination, to write stories with strong characters and determined and adventurous women.
Constance loves listening to snatched conversations, which often give her a seed to start a story; taking walks, revelling in the mysteries of life and baking and dancing, when she isn't tapping away at her latest novel, of course.
She loves her fans and their comments, so invites you to please drop a line and if you have a second, pen a review.

Follow the blog at Constancemundayromance on Wordpress

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  1. Constance's guest blog gives an insightful glance into the mind of an imaginative writer. She has climbed a mountain to bring us this novel. Like a true mountaineer, the act of climbing has lifted her and her writing above the ordinary.

  2. I love the reference to the 'mad scientist in a lab'. I guess authors will feel that way about their characters. But I wonder is creating characters is an art or science?



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