I’m starting a new feature here at Murder She Writes — Writer Wednesday. It’ll be either an original writing article by yours truly, a friend, or a compilation of cool interviews or writing advice from writers I like or admire. I’m hoping the feature will be interesting for readers AND writers!
To start it off, here are a couple of interviews posted this week of crime writers that I really enjoyed, and I hope you like them too.I have long enjoyed reading Linda Fairstein, ever since her first book FINAL JEOPARDY. Not only is she talented, but she has the background and experience to make her protagonist an interesting and real person. Over at Jungle Red Writers, another of my favorite people, Hank Phillipi Ryan, interviews Linda about her upcoming book TERMINAL CITY. I loved this interview because I learned more about Linda and how she writes, as well as historical information about her novels. Definitely an article that readers AND writers will enjoy!
One of the things I do in the series is center each book in a world that explores some aspect of New York City history. They are places we’ve all been to or seen in the movies, but most have dark undersides. There really was a murder of a young musician between acts at Lincoln Center, while 4,000 people sat in their seats (DEATH DANCE), and while Central Park is the most glorious place on this island, my unit prosecuted more than fifty crimes – some of them homicides – during my tenure (DEATH ANGEL). ~ Linda Fairstein
A couple years ago I read THE INFORMATIONIST by Taylor Stevens, a debut thriller that was both thrilling and unique. Stevens is a talented author and has her own interesting and unusual backstory. Her protagonist is one of my favorite today because Vanessa Michael Munroe is completely different than any other heroine out there.
This interview, in advance of her next book THE CATCH, gives more information about Taylor herself, and her thoughts on writing. Also a good interview for readers.
Another book I’m looking forward to came out yesterday — ALL DAY AND A NIGHT by Alafair Burke. The L.A. Times did a feature on her that really enjoyed. I particularly loved this quote:
If there was one thing I could have never appreciated before being published, it was the simplicity of being able to create in a state akin to innocent ignorance. Before publication, you’re just telling a story and trying to find the right words to do that on paper. ~ Taylor Stevens
The temptation, of course, is to read into [her protagonist] something of Burke’s relationship with her own father, who wrote for years without recognition before “The Lost Get-Back Boogie” appeared in 1986. But, Burke suggests, “the biggest influence was seeing him write when no one was reading. It taught me patience. You need to write for the right reasons; that’s the most important thing he taught me.”
Alafair and I used to be on Murderati together, but I always get a kick out of how much alike we are … except for the fact that she’s smarter than me! We share the same initials; one of her protagonists has the last name of Kincaid (like my Lucy Kincaid) and the love interest of her other protagonist is named J.J. Rogan. Considering we were writing the initial books in these two series at the same time and completely independent of each other, I think it’s fate we’re friends.
On writing, Joe said:
But the interview is about much more, including how his hero is a bit like him:
One of the things I love about authors is that nobody taught us how to do this. Ultimately, we learned on our own. We do some things in similar ways and some things differently. Lee Child never prepares an outline. He starts out with a basic idea in mind and just writes. I’m a little too insecure to do that. I need to have a net. I think of this as driving with a map versus driving with a navigation system. If you overly outline a novel, it’s like having the nav system on as you drive across the country. It can drive you crazy. But, if you have a map, it helps you know where you’re going but you can take a detour off the road. Writers have different approaches and come from different places. There’s no famous writers school. We all basically decided to do this thing and be stubborn about it until we were successful.
The hero, Danny Goodman, is a writer–a biographer. He could have been me in another life. I love biography. I love writing non-fiction. He lives in Boston, as do I. He has a teen-age daughter in high school as did I did until only a few years ago. So, many elements of Danny’s life are intimately familiar to me–even mirror some aspects of my own life. That familiarity enables me to render the scenes and situations plausible and realistic.
I don’t know which book to read first, but I need a couple for my flight to New York in a couple of weeks.
What book are you most looking forward to this month?