Wednesday, January 17, 2018
An Interview With An Author Part I by Betsy Ashton
Intrepid Reporter: I understand you recently wrote a book about a female serial killer. Do I have that right?
Me: Well, since you are reading from the press release, yes, you have that right.
IR: What ever possessed you to write about such a dark subject?
Me: Nothing possessed me, if you mean, was I taken over by a spirit or something like that?
Me. It was the result of a double-dog dare. You can never turn down a double-dog dare.
IR: Really? Who dared you?
Me. I took a course on writing mysteries a few years back. One of our challenges was to write the first sentence of a mystery. I wrote: "My sorority sisters were into sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but that wasn't enough for me. Then, I killed someone and found my true calling in life."
IR: Well, now.
Me: That's what the teacher said. She went on to double-dog dare me to turn the opening into a novel. I did.
IR: May I assume you are not a serial killer?
Me: You may.
IR: How were you able to get inside the head of such a, um, well different character?
Me (signing): It's called using the creative gene. I imagined what it would be like to be a killer and wrote about it. Simple as that.
IR: I think it would be very hard to write this book in first person.
Me: No harder than in third person or from the point of view of a dog.
IR: A dog?
Me: Never mind. It was a challenge, but one I was ready to take on. I'd never written anything with such an unlikable character. Strike that. Some people think she's likable.
IR: Eeuw! Really?
IR (shaking her head): I couldn't, but then again I'm not you.
Me: And you should be glad you aren't. Imagine what my husband had to live with for the three years it took to shape and polish the book.
IR: I'd rather not. Let's move on. The cover is very chilling.
Me: It's supposed to be. I asked my son to put on a hoodie and ski mask that covered his lower face. I gave that picture to a cover designer who took out the rest of his skin, overlaid the eyes, and created a character without a face but with eyes that follow you.
IR: I can't imagine what your dinner table conversation is like.
Me: Pretty normal, actually, except talking about using KA-Bars or switchblades for killing.
IR: But you don't have a KA-Bar in the novel.
Me: Aha, you have read the book. I did, but I took the scene out. I may use it as a short story because I love one line in the section: "I don't use guns because you never have to reload a KA-Bar."
IR: I think it's time to take a little break.
The second part of this interview appears on this blog on January 27. Stay tuned.
Posted by Betsy Ashton at 8:00 AM
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Eeuw! Well done!
Wow. I love writing villains, getting in their head. But I've never considered doing it like this. Great interview.
Wow. I give you all kinds of credit for writing this one, Betsy. What a challenge.s Loved the interview.
I love this interview. Let's face it...most author interviews are pretty boring. This made me laugh. I love your humor, Betsy. I need to see if your serial killer has any of that humor hidden behind all her character flaws.
Great way to show your feistiness, Betsy. I was convinced by Linda Howard's DEATH ANGEL that 'bad' people could be main characters in a novel (her hero is an assassin), so I'm not surprised you took on the challenge. I'm cheering you on!
I have to admit, I walked a thin like between making the unreliable narrator so despicable no one would like her and giving her enough saving graces to make her interesting. I hope I did it right.
Well done. Love the part about getting your son involved.
This was a remarkable writing challenge, but I don't know if I'm brave enough to read the book!
Fabulous interview. And how I love that first line! Good work, pal. Looking forward to Pt. 2
Openng sentences are so important. I love writing them. Looks like you do, too. What a fabulous job. Great interview.
Love this, Betsy! Ditto what Andi and Vonnie said about the first line! And the cover IS really creepy, but I'm not too scared! :-) Is it available for Kindle?
Oh wow, love, love this interview!! I was creeped out (which I ADORE), and amused. I will most definitely have to read this book. Looking forward to the rest of the interview!
I think the interviewer had a difficult time with you and the subject of the novel. Did you have fun playing with her?
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