The following graph is a summary of recent visitors to this blog.
I could not help thinking that the rises and falls are similar to the intentional (or unintentional) rising and falling of tension in a thriller like 3 WISE MEN. For some, a sudden rise in tension – for example, the unexpected death of a character – is too much, and they prefer a more gentle building of tension. The steeper the graph, the more rapid the rise in the number of viewers on this blog. Peaks often correspond with holiday periods – a time when readers have more time to indulge in blogging. The mathematical significance of this graph would not be lost on our protagonist – Jak Colins! As a writer of thrillers, I am acutely aware of the need for the peaks and troughs in the plot. After all, I do want readers to be glued to the text and not easily able to put the book down. On the other hand, I know it is important to establish characters and event – something that might look like the trough in the graph above. For me, I need to work hard to do this characterization in a style that still engages, and a technique I have found useful is the use of humor. Let’s have a brief look at this in my next post.
What is more exciting – sales or satisfaction? A good question to put to an author. Most authors might argue that they need their bread and butter – therefore, sales are most important. But, of course, sales will not come from a poor script – or will they? I have picked up books from well-known authors and been put off after reading the first paragraph, simply due to its poor grammar and lack of engagement. Now, back to the question. For me, it is reader satisfaction that is the biggest ‘buzz’. The other day, a reader commented on how much he had enjoyed the accurate detail in 3 WISE MEN. It made me smile. It also gave me satisfaction too – satisfaction that all my research was making the book come alive for the reader. That was exciting! I was also excited to see another ebook sold this morning. But I would be more excited to see that sale translated into positive feedback from the reader. That, I have decided, would bring the most satisfaction!
As a follow up to the previous post you might be asking, “What is the cost to research for a thriller?” Well, in simplistic terms – taking away the cost of being off work during research, etc. – would be about $US25 per page. I won’t break that amount down just yet, but it gives you some idea of the price to be paid to produce a novel. And, of course, there is no guarantee that it will sell enough to recoup the investment. For me, the goal was to tell a compelling and believable story, based largely on true facts and in exotic locations. After so much research, writing and editing, that effort was well worth every penny spent! And, from the reader feedback, they seem to think so too.
What is the kick-starter to a new novel? For me, it was the clear head and fresh inspiration I soaked up when traveling to new places. SPY CHASE lay dormant for too long, until the spark to get writing began after a few days in southern France. I am not sure exactly what it was, but I needed to be in the surroundings that formed the basis for this thriller – to soak up the details required to be authentic in the novel’s details. Some might argue that the details don’t matter – after all, it is a novel, right? Not for me though. I simply wanted to be able to put my readers into real situations and genuine locations, even down to the colors and scents that I embraced during this writing adventure. I am now in the process of working on thriller #2 but will again need to see and feel the atmosphere and specific features of new locations. Well, I must get some fares booked soon before it is too late to get started!