While I try to force myself back onto something resembling a normal (ha!) schedule and get my life in order, I've got another entry on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit. My guest is Tamar Siler Jones, author of Threads of Malice, a blend of historical mystery and paranormal fantasy (sounds cool, huh?). This is the second mystery in her series starring Dubric Byerly. A vicious killer stalks the quiet towns of the northern reach, kidnapping and murdering boys. With a score dead and two more missing, can Dubric and his team find the killer before he strikes again? A twisted murderer may not be all Dubric is looking for...or the only evil that he will find.
So, now for the interview:
Describe your creative process.
I get a nugget of an idea – in the case of Threads of Malice it was that my main sleuth, Dubric Byerly, faced a John Wayne Gacy type of killer – research what I think I’ll likely need to know, then I start with the first sentence of Chapter One. I write straight through, chronologically, with no outline, until the story’s told. I try to do that fairly quickly. Stopping then starting up again days or weeks later seems to goof up my flow.
Every day before I start, I re-read whatever I wrote the day before. I fix whatever glaring spelling/grammar/story issues I see, then I move forward. That’s all the revision I do while composing.
Ideally, I let the finished first draft sit for awhile (not always possible) then re-read off a hard copy, marking things as I go. Manuscript marked and restructured, I’ll clean up my digital file, make it as good as I can, then send it out to my pre-readers for a critique. Some give general comments, some do line-by-line edits. When the remarks come back, I make whatever changes I think are appropriate and work with my concept of what the story should be, then I spell check and send it out to my editor and agent.
Do you have any writing habits or rituals?
I write almost exclusively at night, from sometime after supper until I can’t stay awake any more. Music is a huge help, and is a near constant while I’m composing. I also drink quite a bit of Diet Coke (sometimes with a bit of added vanilla).
How much, if anything, do you have in common with your main characters?
Guilt. We both carry around a lot of guilt.
Chocolate: dark or milk?
Milk. Dark chocolate tastes too bitter to me
What are you working on now?
My third book, Valley of the Soul. I’m in the “key in pre-readers revisions” phase.
Is there anything else you'd like to say about this book or the process of writing it?
Threads of Malice was a difficult book to write mostly because of the subject matter. It’s very, very dark and disturbing and took me places I wasn’t sure I was prepared to go. But it showed me that I do have the courage to stare into the dark and to not pull any punches. It’s a ruthless, vicious book, but it’s also savagely compelling, passionate and scary. So read it with the lights on.
For more info, visit Tamara's web site.