How has your writing experience, process or style changed since your first book The Cleaner and your most recent solo release The Enraged?
I’m more confident in my choices and know that if I do make a mistake, I’ll figure out how to fix it in the rewrite. When I first started out writing, I wasn’t even sure if I could finish a novel, let alone solve plot hole problems. I’m also more structured in my writing schedule. This helps me get a lot more written a day than I used to achieve, and finish projects on a more timely manner.
What do you think is the key aspect in writing a successful thriller novel?
Creating characters that readers care about. A book could have the best concept ever, with a killer plot to boot, but if readers aren’t able to connect with the main characters, then your story has already failed. I don’t mean that readers have to particularly like the main characters, but there has to be something that makes readers want to see what happens to her or him.
What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
For me? Probably straight romance. I have no problem including romantic storylines in my books, but if my novel is all romance, I would be at a loss.
Now, this is an entirely selfish question for me, but as someone who is going to be visiting Ho Chi Man City for the first time later this year, what is one thing that I need to do while I am there?
I’ll give you a few things. The first, just cross a busy street. You’ll see what I mean when you’re there. A hint, watch the locals do it first to see how it’s done. Second, have a meal or a drink at the restaurant atop the Rex Hotel. Can’t remember if the food was all that special, but the view is great even though you are only about five or six stories up. Shopping…cheap and fun.
You have quite a few series and some stand-alone novels, which of the main characters do you think embodies your own personality the most?
Hmmm…I think most of my lead characters embody some of me, usually it’s their faults that we share. They are always better at me at the good/fun stuff. Quinn is an excellent example. Terrible at reading women he’s interested in (me), and excellent at making bodies disappear (not me.)
How did you partnership with Robert Gregory Browne occur? Can you tell how what the experience was like co-writing with Browne?
Rob and I have known each other since about a year before each of our first books came out. Over time we have become very good friends and have often served as sounding boards for each other when it comes to working out plots and making our way in the business. About a year or two ago, we started talking about writing something together. Took us a while to figure out what and fit it into our schedules, but we were able to finally make it happen. And I have to say the experience of writing POE (as I expected it would be) was great. Very easy and painless. We’re actually working on the sequel now.
With all your books, even your project Eden series, there is a sense of realism in what is occurring, was creating this realism aspect in your novels important?
It is, to a point. What is important to me is creating the sense of realism in whatever world I’m creating. If it sounds right and is true to the story, it will sound real.
Have you ever experienced regret in killing off a character?
Not yet. Wait, I take that back, kind of. In an early draft of THE CLEANER, the first Quinn book, I killed of Nate, Quinn’s apprentice, in the first third of the book. That was a huge mistake. Luckily, I was able to rectify it before the book was done. THE ENRAGED, which came out in July, is the 7th in the series, and Nate is still going strong.
Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
Yes. I’m currently working on the fifth Project Eden novel, EDEN RISING. At the time of this interview, I’m hoping to have it out late September/early October. Don’t hold me to that, though. Around Thanksgiving, Rob and I should be releasing the second Poe novel, and I’m hoping to have another out before Christmas (series and title I’ll hold back for now.)
What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
DUST, by Hugh Howey. Absolutely loved the first two books in his WOOL series, and am anxious to find out where he goes next!
I want to thank Brett once again for being part of my Blogoversary and I recommend his Jonathon Quinn series to those who like the action adventure genre. I know I am going to try his other series as well. Brett has very nicely offered up FIVE, yes FIVE, winner choices of either Sick (Eden #1) or The Collected (Johnathan Quinn #6), open INT, so make sure to enter with rafflecopter below. Thank you again Brett.
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