The Conscience of a Character by Rebecca Swartz (and a FREE book)

Falling final cover

Congratulations to Pandabree13! She won a copy of Falling by Rebecca Swartz.

Good morning everyone! We have a return guest today. Rebecca Swartz dropped in to celebrate the release of her second novel, Falling, from Bella Books.

She’s giving away a copy of Falling as well, winner’s choice between ebook and paperback. If you’d like to enter the drawing, go ahead and leave a comment in the space below. Simple as that.

Good luck!

The Conscience of a Character
by Rebecca Swartz

When I started writing my second novel, Falling, I wrote out a specific scene that I’d had in mind for a couple of years. The scene rolled through my head on a continuous loop, like a scene cut from a movie, you know the kind, where there’s no dialogue, just characters interacting, and a song playing to set the mood. I’ve always been a sucker for those types of scenes.

In the case of the scene in my head, I saw a woman in a Jeep picking up a female hitchhiker, as the song Falling by Alison Moyet begins to play. The two are then seen pulling into a rest stop, and later goofing off in the forest, chasing each other through the trees, fooling around on a footbridge, sharing a quick, unexpected kiss with an incredible vista for a background, and finally, the two are back in the Jeep driving west toward the setting sun, as the song fades out. (For the record, my novel was not named after that song.)

I didn’t know these characters, these two women, other than what I initially visualized; I found I wanted to know them. And so I began writing their story. And as I wrote, I found that Amy Squires and Kael Harding were as layered and complex as any real person is. This, I have learned, is the art of creating characters.

As it became clear to me who these two women were, I had some early concerns that readers might not like them. Admittedly, they do seem to have some dubious morals and ethics. But the further I got into the story, and the more I learned of them, it was obvious that while the motives behind their actions might be a bit murky, what did shine out was their conscience. Neither was a psychopath running rampant around the country offing people randomly. They were not rash or murderous. They were actually thoughtful, and kind, and worried, and struggling to find their place. Simply, they were individuals who were truly trying to make the world a better place (or at least my goal was to present them as such).

My concern, of course, was that readers would not see it that way; that they could not accept the idea I was trying to get across (and indeed I know of one reader who just didn’t grasp it). In the end though, I couldn’t let that concern guide the storyline or character development. And in the end, it seems that readers are on board, that they do get it, that the characters are likable and deserving of sympathy, and that I had done them and the story both a service. The reviews the book has been receiving, and what I’ve been told personally, bear that out. Obviously, this pleases me immensely.

I can tell you it’s not always easy to write what might be considered controversial material. But I believe if the storyline is plausible, and the characters show they possess a conscience, readers will have a much easier time accepting what they may otherwise consider unacceptable. People decide to do questionable things every minute of every day; not everyone chooses the moral high ground. In writing Falling, I wanted to show that some such people are not monsters. They are, in fact, dealing with monsters…in their own way.

profile picBorn and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, Rebecca now resides in a renovated millhouse in beautiful central North Carolina with her wonderful wife, a graphic artist and business owner. The two of them are owned by two Border collies and a Border/Sheltie cross, and a mostly deaf 19 year old smoke Tabby cat who decides (very loudly) when everyone should wake up in the morning. Sleeping in is not an option.

Rebecca Swartz:
Twitter (@Rebecca_Swartz)

Buy Falling:
Bella Books
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AUS
Amazon DE



  1. I love characters that make choices-not-acceptable-by-everyone, but for the right reasons. It makes them more human. I’d love to read Fallen. Please throw my name into the hat as well.


  2. I would love to read Falling. It sounds very interesting. Please add me into the drawing to win a copy. Thanks


  3. Falling sounds like a great novel. I love characters who are flawed (read human) like me. It’s interesting that to me I had read the title as “Fallen” at first, I tend to read too fast but sometimes it makes for interesting interpretations. Can’t wait to see what these two women are like! Ona


    • Onamarae, thanks so much for your comment! It seems a few people (not just here) are reading the title as “Fallen” which I find interesting as well. If you get a chance to read Falling, please let me know what you think!


  4. Falling sounds like a story I would enjoy. Love to read about characters who are flawed meaning they are human just like the rest of us.


  5. Congrats Rebecca! Glad to see another book out after ‘Everything Pales in Comparison’. Put my name in the hat for the draw please.


    • Cheryl, thanks for your comment! My blogging skills are a bit rusty, so I’m glad you enjoyed this one. If you get a chance to read Falling, please let me know what you think!


  6. “But I believe if the storyline is plausible, and the characters show they possess a conscience, readers will have a much easier time accepting what they may otherwise consider unacceptable.” I found this line in your blog very thought provoking… Perhaps your characters’ points of view will be a conduit to help us all broaden our perceptions…


    • Sandi, I greatly appreciate your comment and your perceptiveness. I did not wish to write about characters who face no challenges or do not challenge themselves. By the same token, I believe these characters do challenge readers to consider the choices they (might) make.


      • Nice that you’ve not only written outside of the box, but that you’ve shattered the box and have constructed a whole new container 😎✌💡 Thanks for inviting us along for the ride!


  7. This sounds REALLY good and I am ALWAYS on the look out for authors that I have not read their works. I would love to be entered into this drawling.


  8. This book is still definitely on my list of books I want to read. Having read this blog, now I want to read it even more!


  9. I think that it is awesome that you are writing controversial characters! It’s great to keep adding depth and variety to the genre!!


  10. I haven’t read any of your work yet, Rebecca, but this brief discussion your characters and your inspiration for the book makes me want to give Falling a try!


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