Stephen King in his book titled On Writing emphasizes that writers also need to be readers. As a writer myself, it makes sense to me that reading is part of my job.
Although I write mysteries, I find that the thriller genre is a close sister. Thrillers teach the importance of pacing. The plot must move along similar to the strides of a runner or the gait of a prancing horse.
Roadblocks, known as conflicts, result in the escalation of tension whether it be a character against himself, against another, or against the environment itself.
Beside pacing, conflicts, and tension, another aspect of both the mystery and the thriller, is the cliffhanger at the end of a scene or chapter. This is what keeps the reader turning those pages.
So, let me tell you about a recent thriller by author John Marrs that accomplished all of this and more!
John Marrs, a former freelance journalist based in London and Northamptonshire, spent 20 years interviewing celebrities for magazines and newspapers. Today, he writes stand-alone
What Lies Between Us, his most recent book, is a perfect example of a thriller. The plot is told from different perspectives and alternating time periods. Marrs is quick to involve his reader by letting the reader decide who’s lying and who’s telling the truth…Maggie the mother or Nina her daughter. The title of the book is a clever pun. He doesn’t miss a beat and keeps the action going right to the end. With Maggie trapped and chained in the attic by her own daughter, the conflict continually adds a layer of tension. Marrs’s style of writing, with short chapters that leave the reader anticipating what’s to come, results in a book that is near impossible to put down!
Today, I have the honor to welcome this exceptional writer and to interview him in my blog.
John, let’s begin with some general questions and then some specifics about your book: What Lies Between Us.
Where do you get your ideas?
How many hours a day do you write?
What is your writing process like?
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Why do you write in various genres?
Because you write in various genres, do you have a predetermined theme or idea before you begin?
You’ve written several books now. When you begin to write a new book, do you question how it will fair with the others you’ve already written?
Looks like your book The One has been chosen as a Netflix episodic adventure. Could you explain how this came about, and why this book?
As a reader, what favorite genre do you like to read? Any authors, in particular?
Now, let’s talk about your thriller What Lies Between Us.
Telling your plot, as you did, from more than one perspective and more than one timeline, what techniques did you incorporate to keep things straight?
Without giving too much away, did you plan to have the male character enter into Nina’s life, or was it just something that happened as you wrote?
Parts of this novel deal with Nina as an adolescent. Where did you get your ideas for her character?
Any general advice to writers?
Thank you for taking the time to be part of this blog.