I was asked a while back how I came up with the names for my characters for this series and I realised I hadn’t shared that information. So here it is!

Readers who are local to me often think that Melton is the village in which I live. They are wrong as Melton is entirely fictitious and none of the roads or layout of places is similar. However, I do like to add in a little local colour.

Therefore, the groups and clubs mentioned in Hard to Forgive are very much like those in my village and if you read the book, you will see just how busy you can be in a small village in England!

Another way I thought I would bring in some local flavour, to the whole series, was in the use of names so I went for a walk around the churchyard and gained plenty of inspiration from the gravestones. I made sure I chose the older headstones and have often only used part of the name on them. For example, in Hard to Forgive the following three characters: Susannah Bugby, Eddie Lumbers and Sally Button came from…

But, and I didn’t intentionally set out to do this, the two characters with the biggest parts to play in Hard to Forgive came whole and complete from here:

Amos Chamberlain, and here…


…dear sweet Dora Smith.

I have done the same throughout A Killer Strikes and Shape of Revenge too so at least anyone local can take a trip to the church to see which characters they can spot.

Hard to Forgive will be released on 1st March 2024. The eBook is available to pre-order now from HERE or by clicking on the image below. Hard to Forgive will also be available as a paperback and in hardback.

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4 Responses to Character names, and where to find them – Hard to Forgive, Book 3 of the #AShadeDarker series – #psychologicalsuspense #domesticsuspense #TuesdayBookBlog #newrelease #preorder
  1. Hmm so as an author and storyteller you won’t be able to add that line in the credits “characters not based on anyone living or dead”?

    • Ahh, nice try, Andrew, but, yes I will, because I have no idea who these people are, or were, or their characteristics or personalities. They are purely name inspiration so I think I’m fully in the clear to still add that line in.

  2. We live just up the road from the village church and walk there often. I love reading the gravestones and imagining the lives of those people. I don’t find it creepy or spooky at all – and I love living in a place where the people in the churchyard still have family who are my neighbours.


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