#BlogTour The Picture by Roger Bray @RogerBray22 @RaRaResources #CrimeThriller #Thriller #BookBlogger

I’m over the moon to be on the blog tour for this AMAZING book by Roger Bray. The Picture is a heartbreaking thriller that will leave you gasping for breath!

Roger joins me today to shine the spotlight on his main character, Ben Davies.

Over to you, Roger!

Ben Davis is a retired Portland Oregon Police officer.  He has some friends but no family apart from an estranged daughter whose mother left Ben when pregnant but without him knowing.  After a lifetime of serving his community he now spends his time restoring old Triumph motorcycles and volunteers in a disaster rescue organisation which is asked to go to Japan in the aftermath of the 011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.  A picture taken of him helping a young Japanese woman and her daughter becomes synonymous with the relief effort but he cannot be recognized and doesn’t seek any fame or celebrity from it.

When did you create Ben?

Ben Davis came along at the start of the process for developing the book.  I had the eponymous picture in mind as the key element before writing anything down.  His character and life fleshed out as the story progressed.

Did you write the book to accommodate Ben or Ben to accommodate the book?

The idea of the character came first, who he was as Ben Davis was unclear but I had him in the situation when the picture was taken from the start.  Aspects of him then developed to suit the storyline.

 What do you like most about him?

His idea of service without recognition or reward.  The idea of the understated hero, even unrecognised.  Life is full of them but they are blotted out by vacuous celebrity.

What do you like least about Ben?

He is a little too caring, sometimes I would have liked to see him get really angry about something but it doesn’t often happen and when it does it is low key.

Did your early readers/editorial team like him to start with or did you have to change him in any way?

My editor did want me to include some self pity into the storyline, which I did.  He had been through so much that I realised it would be unusual for him not to have had those emotions.  My early editing team (my wife and her overly cut cat) were pretty happy with the characters.

Does he have any similarities with anyone real? 

My wife sees me in Ben, but I really don’t although I can see where see gets that from.  My background and likes more than character.   As a writing aid I often use a real person to act as a manikin to hang character traits from.  It doesn’t have to be someone I know of, it can just be a picture I see that gives me a sense of a character.  I use that as a touchstone to get build a character around my perception from the picture.  My doppelgänger for Ben was Russell Crowe.  

What are your plans for Ben?

A long and happy life.  Ben has suffered a lot culminating in this book.  He has lost and gained a lot in life and deserves happiness, although he would claim his life has been perfectly fine anyway.

Would you be friends in real life?

Yes, I think so.  Suspiciously in tune with my wife’s observations of Ben being like me in some respects, he does enjoy old bikes, bike riding, beer and bourbon but I have no idea where he got those things from.  I just can’t see the similarities. :o)

Thank you so much for joining me today, Roger! What a brilliant insight into your character!

Now, want to know more about Ben and his story? Of course you do!

Here’s the blurb …

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.

But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

Huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on to the tour, make sure you keep up with the rest of it!

About the author …

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.




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