By the time I reached Twisted, number four in the Lasser series, people were starting to say nice things about the writing. They seemed to be enjoying Lasser’s tales of derring-do, and the cast of characters were slowly starting to meld together.
One of the great things about writing a series is that it allows the author to let the characters grow organically, there is no desperate rush, not every aspect of their character has to be crammed into a standalone novel and this is a good thing and, more importantly, fun to write.
Twisted turned out to be an all-out ‘get the bad guy before he strikes again’ novel. However, I thought it would be fun to let the reader know who the killer is right from the off and then watch as Lasser and co. try to fit the puzzle pieces together. I realise this is a slightly unorthodox approach, after all doesn’t the reader want to be kept in the dark, surely, they want to get the grey cells working overtime as they try to fathom out who is doing the killing and why? This is true to an extent but letting the reader watch the good guys being given the runaround can also be very satisfying. The ‘he’s behind you!’ mentality goes back into the mists of time and can be a very powerful tool to use to build tension and keep the ball rolling.
I believe that having one thread throughout a novel is never enough, you need to have more going on, you need obstacles that toss your characters on stormy seas and pull them back and forth as they strive to get to the truth.
John Lennon was once asked about his approach to song writing, he replied, ‘first thought, best thought.’ His co-writing partner Paul McCartney took the opposite approach and believed on working on a song, honing it until he felt he had done all he could to make the song better.
Writing for me is a bit of both, the initial draft follows the Lennon approach though once it’s done McCartney takes over and tries to improve the writing.
So, Twisted was written very quickly, it flowed, I was in the zone as they say; of course, when you are in that zone you fail to realise that a lot of what you have written is faulty but you can only improve something once you have the bare bones to work with and then the fun really starts. Twisted won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but then again, an author will never write the perfect book, it will always be flawed in some respect but the writer comes to a point where they have said what needed to be said and more importantly they have given their all in producing the best book they can.
By the time I came to write More Equal Than Others, well that’s a different story altogether…