I’m very pleased to have been asked to join in a tagging process – and no that has nothing to do with repeat offenders! Writers are inviting each other to answer questions regarding their work. I’ve been tagged by my friend Marie Macpherson, author of “The First Blast of the Trumpet” and links to her book and blog are attached below. Next week the baton will be handed to the author Lauren Gilbert and you can find more information about her and her books below too.
So on to the questions…
What am I working on?
At the moment I have three projects on the go. Firstly I’m doing the final tweaks to a ghost story I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s a bit of a departure for me as I’ve never yet tackled the supernatural so head-on. There’s loads of mind games and psychological angst too so it’s still essentially a Patrick Redmond book!
Secondly, I’m working on a novel about a silent film star. Cinema’s silent era has fascinated me ever since my stepmother gave me a copy of Kenneth Anger’s gloriously scandalous “Hollywood Babylon” one Christmas. Up to then I barely knew the names of any silent stars outside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and pictured them as faceless nobodies who ran around gesticulating madly in a way that would seem comical today. As I began to study the subject I realised just how wrong I was. Not only are many silent films astonishing works of art – I’d particularly recommend F.W Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) and Rupert Julian’s The Phantom of the Opera (1925) starring the great Lon Chaney – but the stars who appeared in them were often far more colourful characters than many of the stars we have today. It’s amazing that something as simple as using one’s voice could wreck so many brilliant careers and as sound arrived at the same time as the Wall Street crash the end of that career was often accompanied by financial ruin.
Finally I’ve started planning a novel set in the 1950s about a young couple whose relationship grows increasingly toxic. I’ve always been interested in criminal couples – Brady and Hindley, Leopold and Loeb, Fred and Rose West to name just a few – and love exploring the idea that two people together can often commit crimes that neither would have been capable of as individuals.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Good question – and one to which I really don’t know the answer! Years ago I read a rather barbed review of one of my books that described it as a psychological thriller without the thrills. Ouch! However looking at the comment in a positive light I think there’s an element of truth. My books aren’t packed with murder and mayhem but the drama is in the way the characters play with each other’s emotions, usually leading to a violent climax. I believe we all have the capacity for violence, and I like exploring situations where previously mild mannered people are pushed relentlessly towards it.
By accident, really! When I started my first published novel “The Wishing Game” I intended it to be a dark and violent supernatural thriller – something akin to Stephen King who is a writer I very much admire. However as the book progressed I realised that it was the shifting relationships between the characters that was exciting me and, as a result, changing the nature of the book. The supernatural element became background drama to the increasing tensions between the characters and I came to realise that it was the psychological element of dysfunctional relationships that I wanted to explore in my writing.
How does my writing process work?
I don’t really have a set process but I do usually have a clear idea of a plot when I start writing a book. That said, I often find that as the book progresses the plot often has to change as the characters I’ve created simply won’t do some of the actions I’ve planned for them. I’ve actually written another blog on this subject, charting how the evolving character of Richard Rokeby in The Wishing Game changed the book’s scope and direction. Click here to read it.
Here are the links for the authors I mentioned at the beginning of the blog.
You can visit her blog here :-Blog
You can order her book here :-Book
Growing up, Lauren Gilbert was surrounded by books. Her family were all readers, and books were everywhere. Travel was also an early interest, with both parents having been in the travel industry. Lauren was introduced to English authors early in life (from classic literature such as PERSUASION by Jane Austen and JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte, to period romances by Margaret Campbell Barnes, Victoria Holt/Jean Plaidy/Philippa Carr (all one person!), Georgette Heyer, and others, and to the mysteries of Dorothy Sayers, Patricia Wentworth and Agatha Christie). Lauren is fascinated by England and its history, and multiple visits to England have only heightened her interest. A member of JASNA since about 2001, she attended the Annual General Meetings in 2004, 2007 and 2013. She was privileged to present a break-out session at the Annual General Meeting in Ft. Worth in 2011. Her first book, HEYERWOOD: A Novel was released in 5/2011, and she is a contributor to CASTLES, CUSTOMS AND KINGS True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors released in 9/2013. A long-time resident of Florida, she lives with her husband Ed.
You can visit her website at http://www.lauren-gilbert.com .
Her blog is at http://laurengilbertheyerwood.