I am beyond excited that Stephanie Marland is joining me today to talk about one of the main characters in her latest novel, My Little Eye, Dominic Bell.
Steph, please introduce us to Dominic …
Detective Inspector Dominic Bell is a detective in the murder squad at the MET. He’s single and lives in a one bedroom flat near Earls Court in London with his cat, imaginatively called Black Cat (BC for short) and goes to the gym a lot to de-stress. He hasn’t been married, and he doesn’t have any kids, but after the death of his parents when his younger sister Chrissie was still a teenager, he took over responsibility for her until she became an adult. In my new book, My Little Eye, he’s leading the hunt for a serial killer.
When did you create Dominic?
Gosh, it was a few years ago now. The first scene I wrote featuring Dominic Bell was as part of a short piece when I was doing for the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University. In that first piece he was an armed response officer, but I changed his job when I got the idea for My Little Eye as a job as a detective was a better fit for the story.
Did you write the book to accommodate Dominic or Dominic to accommodate the book?
I knew that I wanted to write a book with him in, but it was about a year later when I had the idea for My Little Eye, and had the idea for my protagonist Clementine Starke, that I realised he’d be a great duel lead for the story.
What do you like most about him?
There’s no bullshit about him. He’s determined and a bit grumpy, but his heart is in the right place. In fact, his grouchy exterior is probably a wall that he puts up to protect himself – he’s actually a bit of a softy on the inside. He also swears a lot in his inner narrative which is fun to write!
I love a character who swears – makes them much more realistic! What do you like least about him?
I honestly can’t think of anything!
Did your early readers/editorial team like him to start with or did you have to change him in any way?
People always responded well to him, although in my first draft he was a bit more of a maverick. I changed that in the second draft because as Clementine is such a quirky character I needed Dom to be more dependable in terms of behaviour – he’s the serious guy to her unpredictability.
Does he have any similarities with anyone real?
Not really, although I did envisage the actor Dominic West as I was writing him!
What are your plans for Dominic?
I’m editing the second book in the series now, so I do have plans for him. As well as a new case, there’s some stuff that continues on from the end of My Little Eye, and a rather strange working relationship between him and Clementine Starke that starts to develop.
Would you be friends in real life?
I’d like to think so. I think he’d be a good friend – he might be a bit grumpy, but he’d always have your back.
I love Dominic! He is such a great character and is so brilliantly written. Thank you so much for joining me and for sharing how you created him!
I was lucky enough to be asked to take part in Stephanie’s podcast series to celebrate the paperback release, head over to SoundCloud now to have a listen to Steph talking to some experts, and me!
Be sure to keep up with the rest of the tour for more insight into this fantastic book!
My Little Eye is out now! You can check out my review here and here’s the blurb …
Can a group of true crime addicts take on the police to catch a serial killer?
A young woman is found dead in her bedroom surrounded by rose petals – the latest victim of ‘The Lover’. Struggling under the weight of an internal investigation, DI Dominic Bell is no closer to discovering the identity of the killer and time is running out.
As the murders escalate, Clementine Starke joins an online true crime group determined to take justice in to their own hands – to catch the killer before the police. Hiding a dark secret, she takes greater risks to find new evidence and infiltrate the group.
As Starke and Bell get closer to cracking the case neither of them realise they’re being watched. The killer is closer to them than they think, and he has his next victim – Clementine – firmly in his sights.
About the author …
Stephanie Marland has worked in the University sector for over ten years and published research on how people interact and learn together in virtual environments online. She’s an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and an avid reader of all things crime fiction, blogging about books at http://www.crimethrillergirl.com. Steph also writes the Lori Anderson action thriller series (as Steph Broadribb) for Orenda Books, the first book Deep Down Dead is out now.