Thursday, 23 February 2012

Author Spotlight - Get a Clue with Nike Chillemi

One of the things I've been told about the second book in my Sanctuary Point series, GOODBYE NOEL is that readers could not tell who the killer was until the very end. For some it was a real surprise. Yippee! That's exactly what I hoped to achieve.

I love to put up red herrings, but they have to be plausible suspects. The reader has to think, yes that one might be the killer. I also subscribe to the classic British theory of murder mystery writing. The killer must be introduced in the first quarter of the book. I can't stand it if I'm reading a mystery and the killer drops in out of the clear blue sky at the very end. I'd never do that. The second part of ye olde British theory is that the clues have to add up, not only for the real killer, but also for the red herrings.

I hate namby-pamby killers. What I want to see is a three-dimensional killer. When they've followed the clues and get to the end and are presented with the killer, I'd like my reader to feel that all along they've had a good idea of what types of food the killer eats, or hobby the villain might enjoy, or what book might be chosen for bedtime reading, if the murderer enjoys reading.

I worked hard on the killer in GOODBYE NOEL and I think although most won't have a clue until they get to the end, when they do reach the end of the story all the clues will add up.


  1. Nike! What's this? Definitely not your mother's romance thriller it seems. No namby-pamby killers, but real ones with dimensions, flaws and everything? It sounds awfully good to me and I do like guessing 'who dun it.'

  2. Oh, I love this. I hadn't read your previous posts until today and I must say, I really can't wait to read this one!

  3. Sounds like you put lots of thought into your villian. That probably means you had a ton of fun with this story too.

    I looks like a great read! Best wishes.

  4. Wow! An author that knows how to build a believable murder mystery is hard to find short of the violence,-- and a romance to boot? This one is a must read!

  5. Jude, Thx for dropping by. This one's not a namby pamby killer. Oh,no!

    L McMaken, I put a lot into this novel, as I did with the first. It's got all the elements of a historical thriller, but then as an added bonus there's a love story slipped in.

    JoAnn, I did put a lot of thought into my villian. I mapped out possible family conflicts that happened outside the purview of the novel. I wanted to know what makes my killer tick.

    Shaunna, I think an author has to know the rule in order to break any of them successfully. There's a way to lay out clues that's worked since the genre started.

  6. Haven't read it yet, but have purchased it, and it's downloaded. I love a good villian, too, and was told had one in Last Resort. Blessings, BJ Robinson

  7. Barbara, Blessings. Hope you enjoy GOODBYE NOEL.