Does a lead character have to be likeable?

Or is it more important that they’re interesting?

Janice, the lead character of my second novel, The Accident, is a bit of a marmite character. An early reviewer commented, ‘Wow, the lead character!’ Another described her as ‘compellingly awful’. A third described the book as ‘A brilliantly-written display of the inner workings of a well-intentioned but self-deluding mind.’

It’s true that Janice is deluded, confident in her belief that she is helping others as she blunders into their lives with her lies. Like Tom Ripley and others before her, we follow these characters through the story aghast at what they might do next, waiting to see when (if?) they will get caught out. So, while lead characters don’t always have to be someone we like, they should be interesting enough for us to want to know more.

This month I was thrilled that The Accident was selected by the Crime Readers Association as their Recommended Read. Here’s the link: ‘The Accident’ by Julia Stone – The Crime Readers’ Association (

And apologies to anyone who tried to buy a paperback copy in the past month and had their orders cancelled. There was an issue with printing which has now thankfully been resolved by my publisher. Click here if you’d like to buy a copy.

And finally, every best wish for the New Year.

Photo by Carson Arias on Unsplash

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