Yes, I write historical thrillers. Much of what I blog about is the historical part, less so the thriller part. Not any more! For I have been tagged by fellow Sister in Crime Member, H.A. Somerled as part of the September SinC-Up. You can read her post on her musical muses here.
The blog co-ordinators at SinC posed some great questions, so here's my choices.
1. Which authors have inspired you?
For thrillers, it has to be Tess Gerritsen. She's a thriller writer that I read and think, 'Damn! Why can't I do that?' She writes great female protagonists that have their feet firmly on the ground yet can really piss people off too. (yay, Detective Jane Rizzoli!)There's no pink, no wittering on about shoes and no needing men to rescue them.
Tess Gerritsen. Kathy Reichs. Tana French. Karin Slaughter. Agatha Christie. Patricia Cornwell.Val McDermid. I got those ones out in one breath. And I have plenty more breath left.
3. What's the best part of the writing process for you? What's the most challenging?
The best part is those wonderful scenes that just pour out as if someone else is doing it. Finding a solution to a plot problem that is far, far more entertaining (and grisly!) than in the original synopsis.
The most challenging is when it doesn't fly. When the writing is sat there like a muddy lump and I am boring even myself. I carry on, then delete. I should learn to delete faster.
4. If you were to mentor a new writer, what would you tell her about the writing business?
Learn your craft. Like any apprenticeship, you need to learn which nuts and bolts fit together. If you don't, nothing works quite right. Worse case scenario, it falls apart.
Use the fantastic resources that are writers' organisations. Like Sisters in Crime. Like Romance Writers of America. Like the Historical Novel Society. Whatever your genre/cross-genre is, there will be an organisation for you. The support, the expertise, the sharing the frustrations, the generosity of other members: all this will help you greatly.
Yes, it costs to join. But not a great deal. And they're worth their weight in gold!
I'm now tagging fellow SinC member, Judith Starkston to write her September SinC-Up post. Judith writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire.
Her novel, Hand of Fire (Fireship Press September 2014), tells Briseis's story, the captive woman who sparked the bitter conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon in the Iliad. There was more to her than the handful of lines Homer gave her. Imagine a woman who can both challenge and love that most conflicted of heroes, the half-immortal Achilles.
Visit Judith's website at: www.judithstarkston.com
The Fifth Knight is a #1 Bestselling historical thriller. Find it here on Amazon.com and here on Amazon.co.uk. The sequel, The Blood of The Fifth Knight will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1st 2015. Find it here!