Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Bestselling Thriller Writer Speaks Out
1. What type of books do you write? I write thrillers. All of them deal with some aspect of the law - police or legal procedures - but they are always about the human consequences of justice.
2. What is your newest book about? Eyewitness is the 5th book in The Witness Series featuring attorney Josie Bates. This time ancient justice collides with modern law in Hermosa Beach, California.
3. What inspired you to write it? Real life inspires all my books. This time I was inspired by a trip I took to Northern Albania to visit my son who was serving in the Peace Corps. The experience moved me deeply on many levels. Politically, socially, spiritually, this was a place where people survived on their belief in the rule of laws that were written centuries ago. I hope to return one day. I also hope I did justice to the culture in the context of a contemporary thriller.
4. How would you describe your level and style of writing? I have been writing for a very long time and it's interesting to look back and see where I've come from regarding style. I began tentatively, telling linear stories, but I have always tried to better at my craft with each book. I certainly have become bolder. Eyewitness, for instance, was challenging not only because of the dual storyline but because I had to keep the reader's interest in one story that was completely contemporary and another that began fifty years earlier. Catching them up to the present without doing an injustice to either story was a challenge. In Before Her Eyes, I combined a procedural plot with a fantasy overlay using both first and third person points of view. I suppose I like to push the envelope, explore and expand. My style is constantly evolving but hopefully not changing. The greatest compliment I ever receives was when a reader told me she didn't need a cover to know the book she was reading was one of mine. It was then I realized I had found my unique voice.
5. What is the writing process like for you? I came from the corporate world and still cling to that culture. I write best when I am disciplined so I begin early each day and write to a goal - usually 5,000 words. I don't outline. I begin with a concept - usually a legal one. From there a title evolves. From the title comes the story and then the plot that illuminates the story. I have tried outlining and diagramming but it never works. Everything is in my head.
6. Do you wish you could live in the world you have created in your thrillers? Yes and no. The series books take place in Hermosa Beach just down the road from where I live so that world is very real. However, I am not a very brave person. I would faint dead away if I ever came upon the problems I visit upon my characters. I would, however, like to be as tall as Josie Bates.
7. What did you do before you became an author? I worked on the business end of advertising. The most creative things I wrote were marketing plans for my clients. I supervised accounts, traveled a lot. It was a wonderful life. I earned an MBA and thought I would retire someday with a gold watch. Once I had children it was tough to reconcile being away from home so much.
8. How does it feel to be not only a published author, but a USA Today best-selling author? Truthfully, it feels wonderful and odd. I wish I could say I planned this career but it was begun on a dare. It's been a roller coaster ever since. I had no idea writing was my passion. I fell blessed to thrive doing something I love.
9. Any advice for struggling writers? Work hard. Keep at it. Say thank you to those who help you, those who believe in you, and those who read your work.
10. Where do you see book publishing heading? Publishing will always be a vital industry, it just might not be the one some of us recognize. I could imagine a scenario where hard books become specialty items, printed on demand for special occasions and as gifts. The large brick and mortar stores are struggling, indie booksellers only have so much real estate, traditional publishers are faced with challenges from rising production costs to distribution. They are readjusting but they will survive. Digital is like the Wild West and one of these days the law is going to come to town in terms of new editorial parameters. For now, I believe those who embrace books as both a creative and a business endeavor will be the winners. Publisher, author, bookseller - we all share the hats these days. That's not a bad thing.
For more information, please consult: http://www.rebeccaforster.com
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013