We turn the spotlight on crime novelist Robert Gregory Browne, member of the KILLER YEAR: Class of 2007.
His debut suspense novel, Kiss Her Goodbye (St. Martin's Press), hits shelves in February:
ATF agent Jack Donovan is just getting reacquainted with his estranged daughter, Jessie, when a ruthless gunrunner kidnaps her and buries her alive. With the clock ticking, Jack soon realizes that the only way he can save her is to follow a killer into the darkness of death itself ...
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AS A NEWBIE NOVELIST, WHAT'S SCARIEST FOR YOU?
Frankly, nothing about this scares me. I get anxious about things like deadlines and publishing dates and doing panels at conferences like ThrillerFest and Bouchercon, but none of it is scary. In fact, I love all of it. I feel like I've finally discovered the world I was meant to be in, surrounded by people who share a common bond.
I simply enjoy the moment as I'm experiencing it. Writing Kiss Her Goodbye was a liberating experience.
HOW HAVE YOUR "KILLER YEAR" CLASSMATES HELPED YOU THROUGH THIS CAMPAIGN?
The Killer Year crew is like a support group. They may, in fact, be one of the reasons I'm NOT scared. It's so much better to go through this process with people who are experiencing it at the same time. We compare notes, discuss ideas, share information. And we're all becoming great friends. It's like being part of a college fraternity. I'll always remember this year, working with these talented people.
WHAT ARE YOUR WRITING HABITS?
They vary. Now that I'm approaching deadline, I tend to go to bed early, then get up about three a.m. when the house is nice and quiet and work until I've written five or six pages. Sometimes three pages, sometimes seven. I work until I'm ready to fall asleep again, which is usually around six a.m., when it's time to get up.
AS A READER, WHAT DOES A BOOK NEED FOR YOU TO PICK IT UP?
I'm a first-pager. Actually, I'm a first-paragrapher. Actually, no, I'm a first-liner.
I'm very unforgiving when I'm standing in a bookstore looking for something to buy. First, the cover should be intriguing -- but that's not always necessary. A provocative title, maybe. A compelling description. But the true test is when I open to that first page and read the first line.
I want two things: 1) to be immediately grabbed; and 2) to be attracted to the writing style. The two usually go hand in hand, of course.
When I wrote Kiss Her Goodbye, I tried my best to not only make my style engaging to the reader, but to make that first line, that first paragraph, that first page so compelling that they'd have no choice but to turn to the next one. Hopefully, I succeeded.
KILLER Q&A: ROBERT GREGORY BROWNE, PT 2
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Thanks to crime fiction novelist Robert Gregory Browne. Find him online at RobertGregoryBrowne.com.
You can also find more at the Killer Year website, the Killer Year blog and the Killer Year MySpace page.
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KILLER Q&A: MARCUS SAKEY (The Blade Itself)
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KILLER Q&A: SANDRA RUTTAN (Suspicious Circumstances)
KILLER YEAR: Class of 2007
Adopting Killer Year
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