Lisette has generously offered me space to guest blog about my latest book, Stranger at Sunset, so before anything else, I want to thank her for hosting me.
I’m very happy to be here because I’ve known Lisette for some time and have recently started to delve into her work. I have enormous respect for her as an author as she writes in multiple genres—from YA to literary fiction to romantic comedy.
I’ve always maintained that any writer with a talent for words can create a story. A genre is merely made up of ideas dropped into a funnel. If enough elements fall out of it under a specific category, that’s how the book will ultimately be labeled. There are no hard rules, and many novels stagger multiple genres.
As an author, I don’t have any great attachment to whether my book is labeled a mystery or thriller or suspense. Labels give readers an idea of what to expect and they help marketers promote books. I started as a writer of erotica, and then took a hard turn to pen Stranger at Sunset, a psychological mystery/thriller. It helped that I had written flash fiction and short stories in multiple genres previously. It’s been a challenge but not impossible to gain acceptance into a new genre.
As a reader, you might be asking: What is a psychological mystery/thriller? And what can you expect from Stranger at Sunset?
In brief, it is not a traditional mystery because although there is a crime, you will not know who the victim or perpetrator is from the start. It’s not a “whodunit?” There is no detective.
The story stimulates mood with a focus on moral conflict. I use unreliable narrators to drive the psychological tension in unpredictable ways. What I’m exploring are the characters’ motives and how they view the world, which is different from how you and I may see it. Multiple characters are revealed via changes in point of view and scenes that involve each separately.
The “psychological mystery” part reveals a battle of wits between the characters, and more importantly, a struggle within individual minds. The themes of identity and raison d’être are important.
The “thriller” part defines how the reader rides along with the protagonist, Dr. Kate Hampton, experiencing things as they happen to her. You will be just as surprised as she is when the “monster” jumps out of the closet.
Suspense is essential, and it builds between characters in a place where you would not normally have conflict—a tropical resort in sunny Jamaica. It’s the antithesis of where you would expect to find human foibles such as intolerance, inhibitions, and insecurities.
And of course, there is always the element of a twist ending, just because I love twist endings. 😀
I hope this synopsis gives you an idea of what Stranger at Sunset offers. I would love to answer any questions or discuss thoughts about genre barriers or writing a psychological mystery/thriller, so please don’t hesitate to comment.
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Thank you, Lisette, for giving me this opportunity to share with your readers. I really appreciate all you do to connect authors to an audience.
My pleasure, Eden. As you know, I’ve read Stranger At Sunset and just loved it. You write beautifully and your characters were wonderfully complex and intriguing. I’m very much looking forward to the next in the series.
For readers who may have missed your interview at my writers’ chateau in December, 2012, it can be read here.
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