It’s Friday, but that’s not all you have to cheer about, folks, because today we are welcoming suspense author Chris Redding to the stage. I’m going to confess something here. I’ve been really excited about this interview because she has done something I consider wildly intriguing: Chris Redding not only taught, but developed a course in writing from the male POV. I’m chomping at the bit, ya’ll. Let’s get started!
I find it fascinating you’ve developed and taught a workshop in writing from the male POV. What have you learned through the course of teaching? What are the most common mistakes female authors make when tackling the male POV? Do you find male authors making the same missteps?
Women think men are either women or robots. Men have an emotional life. They have hopes and dreams and fears. They just don’t agonize over them. They don’t talk endlessly about them. They are deep and they do think, they just don’t worry about the same things women do.
I think male authors make women too flighty sometimes.
I love the summation – that’s a great one, and one I’m sure quite a few authors will appreciate, as we can all learn from your experience on the subject. In the arena of experience, the last few years have changed rapidly for the publishing industry. What differences were the most prevalent for you between the 2004 release of THE DRINKING GAME and the 2007 release of CORPSE WHISPERER? What about now, with your more recent releases?
Talk about head-spinning changes in that time period. When THE DRINKING GAME came out, e-publishing was the redheaded step child. Some authors looked down their noses at those of us who e-pubbed. Now, it seems, especially if you read J.A. Konrath’s blog, many prominent authors are going that route with their back list. Why shouldn’t the author get the bulk of the money? Of all the individuals involved they’ve done the most work. Not that I don’t think editors work hard, but it was the author that put those words down onto a blank screen.
And for those who still think that authors e-pub because they can’t write, well read some of the stuff. I’ve read dreck from NY and great stuff from indie authors. And it isn’t as if e-pubbing is simple. My next one, A VIEW TO A KILT, will be out with Echelon Press and I am going to work my butt off. What’s great is now I have a roadmap.
The roadmap is good, and will surely lead to some rockin’ times – some particularly tasty! Looking back over all of the intimate moments you’ve created between characters, which scene would you most like to experience for yourself? What makes it so alluring?
Maybe because I’ve just been looking at it, but there is a scene in THE DRINKING GAME where Sean, the hero, is trying to get the button-downed Jen to loosen up. He feeds her ice cream with everything on it. Nothing happens afterwards, but it is such a sensual scene. And I love ice cream so why not have a hunky guy feed it to you.
Oh, yum. Now THERE’S a scene worth craving! On the flipside, have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits? If so, who won – you or the character?
Nope. I am a plot-driven writer. Characters do not talk to me. I see movies in my head.
That sounds like a great writing perspective, but not without challenges, I’m sure. Have you ever made big changes in your story because someone – your crit partner, a friend, or beta reader – really didn’t like it? Are you glad you did (or didn’t)?
My first manuscript had a lot of head-hopping, so when my critique group introduced me to the idea of POV, I went back and changed it all. To me it made the story more powerful.
I have to agree with you there! As a suspense writer, how do you keep track of the clues and plot twists?
I wish I could tell you that I keep a spreadsheet or a chart on the wall. I don’t. My brain just works that way. Maybe it is ADD. I just am often flitting from one thought to the next, but the others are still in there somewhere. In my house we call it “squirrel moments.” Remember in UP when the dog introduces himself and then he gets distracted by a squirrel? That’s me sometimes.
“Squirrel moments” – I LOVE that! Which of your novels most reflects who you are as a writer? Why?
I think the one that will be out next A VIEW TO A KILT. The heroine is spunky and funny and ends up having a dark sense of humor. That’s me! I’m the one who says the things that everyone else in the room is thinking, but would never say. Sometimes I need to run it through a filter again, but I don’t.
I feel you, girl. That’s me, cracking jokes at a wake. (But in my defense, when someone says the deceased wants to be cremated and mentions having a barbecue in the same breath, they’re just asking for it, LOL.) Writing without a filter often makes for a great read, and I love a good, funny character, which places A VIEW TO A KILT firmly on my TBR list. ;c) What are you currently working on?
When I’m not editing A VIEW TO A KILT, I am working LICENSE TO NERD. It is another humorous romantic suspense. I think I’ve found my calling. The premise is what if Q from James Bond suddenly had to be an agent in the field. The hero is a hot nerd, which I LOVE. (Have you met my husband the scientist?)
What a great idea! I bet a few “hot nerds” out there will become instant fans. And anything in the category of “humorous romantic suspsense” automatically makes my list!
Readers and fans, if you’d like to keep up with Chris Redding, please visit her website or blog, follow her on Twitter, or make a new friend on Facebook. You can also check out her book CORPSE WHISPERER by clicking here. Thanks so much for joining us today – your comments are welcome!