“I love this series. Motts and her friends are wonderful characters. Dahlia does a wonderful job building this world and these characters. I can’t get enough of them. I am eager for the next book already. Great job Dahlia.”
I won’t spoil anything but writing the villain in Pierced Peony gave me nightmares. Mostly because as always, I worried about making the villain a caricature. I prefer even the not so good characters to feel like real people.
For better or worse, I want my characters to feel like people you could meet in real life.
The scariest villains, in my opinion, are ones who seem like real people. Someone who could live next door to you—but hopefully doesn’t because, you know. My neighbour the murderer wouldn’t be the best surprise, would it?
I mean, in a book in might, not necessarily in my day to day life.
As with any good mystery, Motts’s journey to finding the villain in Pierced Peony isn’t straightforward. There were surprises for her (and for myself.) Overall though, I’m pleased with the result.
“I found the sleuth very well crafted . The suspense was enjoyable and kept me guessing to conclusion. I loved all the characters and especially Mott. She is kind, compassionate and fiercely independent. I look forward to further books in this series.”
The ‘redacted for spoilers’ scene in the fishery warehouse is probably one of my all-time favourite moments to write for Motts so far.
It was also my least favourite scene to write, mostly because of how difficult it was to get right.
Motts is a unique character. It’s not always easy to get her voice perfect in the first draft. And as an autistic character, I work extra hard to ensure she’s authentically herself.
As an autistic author, I definitely put all of my heart and soul into my autistic characters.
The ‘redacted’ scene had to show danger, fear, and panic. It was critical to write from the perspective of an autistic. Our experiences can often be quite different from neurotypicals from what I’ve seen.
By the final draft of Pierced Peony, I felt as if I’d done the fishery scene justice. I’d shown Motts’s experience as well as I could on paper. It felt visceral to me and I hope to everyone else who reads it.
“The mystery had me very much entertained and intrigued, and Dahlia Donovan has proven to have a knack for cozy mysteries. Her writing is always on-point and she knows how to hook her readers and keep their interest throughout. I need more! I’m giving 4.5 stars Pierced Peony.”