Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Christa Faust on "Behind the Black Mask"

In case y'all don't obsessively monitor all the links I post there on the right column, here's a newsflash for you: Christa Faust's interview at Behind the Black Mask is now available.

Just listened to it myself. It was great to listen to one of these in depth interviews talking about a book I've actually read. A few things I learned as a writer. One, Clute and Edwards praised Faust for the twists in her book that were, in fact, inevitable surprises but ones they didn't see coming. I agree with that. I get good feedback from readers of my first novel about the big twist. Those readers didn't see the twist coming. I felt good about that.

Clute and Edwards asked her the plotting question ("How do you do it?"). I was happy to learn that she, like me, uses the Post-it note method but feels free to just write and see how her character get out of situations she puts them in. I have been having a growing sense that I should try the same thing, just write and not plot (since I've been stuck on one chapter for 2 weeks). They talked a lot about body issues with the main character, Angel Dare, and I realized that I need to add a lot more of that in my current book with my female HPD detective. My critique group keeps mentioning that and I keep not doing it. Lastly, I was quite happy when Faust answered that she writes for the sheer entertainment value for the reader. Unashamedly does so. That's what I want to do. Write to make people's lives just a little better as they read my stories.

One final note: listening to this interview, the excitement I felt as I read this book was renewed. And, since I checked out Money Shot from the library, I think I'll pay Faust the ultimate compliment: I'm going to buy myself a copy.

1 comment:

Richard Edwards said...

Hi Scott: Thanks for the kind words about our podcast with Christa Faust. And I appreciate that you discuss the content of the interview to give people of sense of what Shannon and I discuss with writers in our Black Mask podcast series. We focus on one book with an author and try to balance a critical understanding of the novel with each author's approach to craft and the writing life in general. I am a big fan of Christa and it was really enjoyable to discuss Money Shot and get a sense of her writing craft and how she put together such a wonderful hard-boiled novel.
Best, Rich Edwards
Co-host, Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed