“Panic has a way of defining an individual. It scrapes the soul bare, strips away pretense, reveals the core of the human spirit. It’s hard to dissemble when fear crawls up your throat, your heart stampedes like a herd of wild animals, and your skin burns with the prickly-heat of terror. For the six people thrown together in a Loop office building on a hot June day, the moments they shared would reveal parts of themselves they had not known existed.”
DOUBLEBACK, Libby Fischer Hellman’s latest release, starts off with a bang and never lets up. The book has more twists and turns than Highway 101, and in Fischer Hellman’s gifted hands, you never see the plot reversals coming.
In part one of our two-part interview with Fischer Hellman, she talks about the tools needed to craft a great suspense story and the challenges of creating a series. In part two, Fischer Hellman continues the discussion about the craft of writing suspense and offers advice for innovative ways to promote your novels.
Please enjoy part two of our two-part interview with Libby Fischer Hellman.
Q: What do you make sure you do in each of your novels to build suspense?
LFH: Well then, let’s start at the beginning. The first sentence of a book, and sometimes of chapters as well, should compel the reader to read the second. Which means it needs to be riveting, dramatic, and suspenseful. It usually means starting “in media res,” in the middle of things. I teach a suspense workshop where I hand out some examples of great first lines. In fact, I blogged about some of them not too long ago, here.
Q: Is place important for you in terms of inspiration for your novels? How can writers use place to their advantage other than giving a travelogue? [Read more…]