Mallory
Mallory asked Samantha Bruce-Benjamin:

In the book, so many characters are perceived to have acted in one context but internally describe their intent in a very different manner. As a reader, you had to constantly reevaluate what you thought of the characters. Were you always intending to slowly twist the ways in which certain characters were perceived?

Samantha Bruce-Benjamin Thank you Mallory, this is a great question!

When I write, I am always governed by a quote from Anais Nin: "We don't see people as they are, we see them as we are." I think it is a very powerful insight into human psychology. For me in my novels, everything is about perception and what interests me most are not the things being said, but why they are being said; the interior lives of the characters.
To this end, I am particularly drawn to the duality between their public and private faces, mostly because I am fascinated to see how their - often, morally ambiguous - actions are perceived by readers. Many of my central characters are divisive in terms of the emotions they elicit, which is entirely deliberate. I seek to present all of my characters 'in the round,' to present every facet of their personality as far as it can be known, offset by their actions, so that the reader can determine - without authorial interference - their intent and judge them accordingly. This is actually part of the pleasure of creating these characters for me: as they are so complex, they challenge me as much as the reader, so I feel a shared kinship with my audience in wrestling with their moral dilemmas.

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