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Sunday, March 20, 2022

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway for Hush, My Darling by Winter Austin


Lies Our Characters Believe

Going back as far as late 2008, I’ve worked with this concept of character lies to better develop my heroes and heroines in all of my books. Before that, I had never heard of this particular idea on how to strengthen what Debra Dixon calls the GMC, or Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. The writing and industry circles I moved in at that time had come up with what they considered 8 main lies characters believe and how this shapes their motivation in the stories.

In 2011 I discovered another place that talked more extensively about the lies people believe and how to use this with our characters. An actual family therapist/counselor had created a website and blog called The Character Therapist, where she’s helped writers discover how to write more realistic characters. I use this site and this page: The Lies Our Character’s Believe in particular every time I need to develop a new character. Once you’ve cracked the character’s lie, it makes it easier to discover what motivates them to do the things they do and to create a richly detailed backstory. They come alive, become like real, flesh-and-blood, people.

I’ve also used Tami Cowden’s website Character’s Archetype to lock down what kind of characters, good and bad, I’m about to write. Sometimes I discover the archetype before I know what the lie is, but the lie tends to grow out of knowing what kind of archetype my characters are. I’m particularly fond of the Villain’s Archetype as some of my best baddies have revealed how truly evil or nasty they are from this list.

And this fantastic website and books came along and really boosted my character-building capabilities. Writers Helping Writers was breath a fresh air and dug deeper into the mind of the characters and their lies and motivations. I’m now able to coble together a good backstory for my characters and give myself reasons for why they act and behave the way they do.

For my novels these concepts come into play with everything our characters are or do. The heroine who is reluctant to get close to anyone might believe the lie ‘don’t be close” because she’s been hurt or used in the past when she got too close to someone who she loved, whether a parent, a sibling, a friend, or lover. In order for her to reveal her motivation, she’ll do everything she can to push people away, going so far as to them emotionally. All of these things thread into the GMC and as a writer or author you’ll find how easy it is to go deep into your character’s point of view. How? Well, we humans believe the same things due to how we were raised or incidents in our lives that have impacted us. We can use things that have shaped us as fodder for our character’s lives.

Be warned, by visiting these sites and delving into these concepts, you may find yourself analyzing your personal life and how everything you’ve lived through has made you believe a lie. It’s truly eye-opening and it may just change your life.

While this post was geared toward the writer, there’s a bit here for the reader too. So I pose this question to you:

Going off the list Lies Characters Believe, what do you think was the lie one of your all-time favorite characters believed, and how do you think that lie helped you enjoy that particular character?


Hush, My Darling (Benoit and Dayne Mystery Book 2)
Winter Austin

289 Pages
Tule Publishing
January 27, 2022

Book Links:


Sometimes, the past starts to bleed into the future…

Dark memories haunt Eckardt County Deputy Lila Dayne. Two years ago, she survived a serial killer’s attempt to add her to his growing list of victims in Chicagoland, but the fight cost her more than just time lost to surgeries and rehab. Now she’s finally beginning to connect with the people in this small section of southeast Iowa, even if she can still sense him watching her.

Sheriff Elizabeth Benoit has her sights on bringing down Eckardt County’s corruption when two bodies surface, both bearing striking similarities to the serial killer victims discovered along I-80—and one delivers a personal message for her department. Lila spirals out of control under the pressure, pushing everyone out of her life.

As Elizabeth and her deputies try to bring Lila back into the fold, the killer closes in, marking his next victim. Lila must shake free of her fears and trust those who have supported her—or the killer will finish what he started.

*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.
I must say I had quite a bit of fun while reading this book. We follow both Deputy Dayne and Sheriff Benoit on quite the intriguing mystery case. It is quite personal for Dayne while being complex as well as challenging for Benoit. Full of plenty of action mixed in between clues and surprise twists creates quite the riveting read as the mystery plays out to its fullest keeping the reading guessing alone the way. A great choice for fans of mystery novels. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.

Author Bio:

Winter Austin perpetually answers the question: "were you born in the winter?" with a flat "nope." Having recently changed her address back near her hometown, Winter has stepped into the chaotic world of a full-time wife, mom, author, coach, and employee. With her ability to verbally spin a vivid and detailed story, Winter has translated that into writing deadly romantic thrillers. Combining her love of all things rural, agricultural, and military, she's turned her small town life upside down.

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A copy of The Killer In Me and Hush, My Darling


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