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.