Interview with Suspense Author Peter Abrahams
Peter Abrahams is the author of thirteen novels, including "The Tutor," (Ballantine Books) "A Perfect Crime," (Ballantine Books), "The Fan" (Fawcett Books), and most recently, "Their Wildest Dreams" (Ballantine Books).
Known for his sharp wit and incredible gift for keeping readers on the edge of their seats, Abrahams has been entertaining readers for more than two decades--spinning multi-layered tales involving ordinary people who find themselves in horrific situations. Nominated for the Edgar Award, and known for his memorable, unique characters, colorful writing style, and non-stop suspense, Peter Abrahams seems to have it all--even the praise of horror author Stephen King.
Here is what he had to tell Writer's Break.
WB: What formal training did you have before becoming an author?
Peter: I had little formal training. My mother--who wrote television drama--taught me a lot about writing when I was very young. For example--don't use linking words between sentences (however, nevertheless, etc.), but use linked ideas, mood, rhythm.
WB: What's a typical writing day like for you?
Peter: Typical writing day--I drive my daughter to school, hit the gym, then breakfast and finally the office, where I work from about 10 to 5. Late in a book I sometimes do more after dinner.
WB: How long does it typically take for you to complete a novel?
Peter: The actual writing of a book takes me 5-6 months if everything is going well. I wouldn't call myself fast, just steady.
WB: What inspired you to write your latest novel, "Their Wildest Dreams"?
Peter: I don't know if inspired is the word. I've often got little ideas drifting around in my mind. In the case of "THEIR WILDEST DREAMS," I was thinking a struggling woman and a Russian immigrant and a heist gone bad. Then, on Don Imus's radio show, I heard Delbert McClinton singing a song called When Rita Leaves. Most of the story--Mackie, the southwest, the dude ranch, Buckaroo's--came to me in the next five minutes.
WB: How did you decide to become a full-time novelist? What were you doing before?
Peter: The short answer is that I finally started doing what I was designed to do. The long answer isn't that interesting. Earlier, I worked in radio. Before that, I was a spearfisherman in the Bahamas.
WB: What would you say is the "best" and "worst" aspects to this job?
Peter: The best is that hard-to-describe pleasure that comes with making something out of nothing. The worst? A toss-up between the business aspects and the solitary nature of the job.
WB: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Peter: Lots of dead favorites, and a few living ones, including Stephen King and Saul Bellow.
WB: What can fans expect from you next?
Peter: My next book, "OBLIVION," comes out next year. It's my first detective novel. I think I can safely say that the detective, Nick Petrov, faces challenges unlike any previous fictional detective. I'm also involved in another new thing for me--a young adult mystery series that I'm really excited about.
WB: Do you do a lot of research for your books?
Peter: Research--it depends what you mean. A lot of it just comes from living. But as for all the little facts, I do what I have to to get them right. I visit places I write about--some, like southern Arizona in "Their Wildest Dreams," have a deep effect on me.
WB: What would you like to do if you weren't a novelist?
Peter: If I wasn't a novelist, I'd like to be a musician.
WB: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Peter: My advice to writers, at least those of the narrative kind: Don't watch TV. There's nothing for you there.
About The Author
Jennifer Minar is a freelance writer in the health & fitness and writing markets. She is also the founder & managing editor of Writer's Break (http://www.writersbreak.com), a web site and ezine for fiction and creative non-fiction writers. Jennifer can be contacted at email@example.com
A Writers Inner Battle
There is a psychological nuisance so powerful that can deflate the drive, self-esteem, and human spirit of many aspiring Writers of any age. These Writers are faced with an obstacle that make them stop, think twice and question their right to be a part of a respected community.
The Importance of Writing Clearly for Business
Creating written documents reveals so much about you and your business skills. Your writing tells the reader about your educational background, pride in your work and business expertise.
Writing Good Dialogue.
There's nothing that kills a scene like hackneyed dialogue. Just stop and think about the average B-Grade Hollywood Movie.
The Magic of Layout in Your Story
"The Magic of Layout..
Stimulate Your Sensebuds...and Wave Goodbye To Writers Cramp!
When you get stuck for ideas, and the words won't flow, invariably it's because one, more or all of your senses aren't being stimulated.Staring at a blank screen or sheet of paper really doesn't help.
Learn to Write Like a Pro
Many writers write for the experience. Others dream of having a number one best seller.
Getting Past The Shoulds To Write
During the past few months I have received many questions asto how I have gone from an unknown writer to over comingsociety's adversarial thoughts on what writing should be andbecome a well known writer. So, today, I was inspired towrite on this.
The Power of Punctuation
Punctuation, when used creatively, is powerful. Note, however, that when I say 'when used creatively', I don't mean that you can make up the rules.
Message to Online Writers: Dont Give Up On A Good Idea
The writing community is a strong one, with many new "members" joining daily. All theser writers are finding or looking for their particular niches.
The Writer and the Web
If your dream is to get published, the chance is before you.The web has opened the portals of opportunity to all aspiring writers, freelance writers, established writersactually to all writers.
Celebrating Writing and Life
Every morning I excitedly get out of bed. Just a few minutes of goals and visions for the day swirl in my head.
The self-indulgent writer listens only to the mumblings of sycophants, toadies, and flatterers, thus failing to heed the valid criticisms of editors, critiquers, and reviewers.Since improvement involves the time to review, to edit, to revise, and to rewrite, the self-indulgent writer avoids or neglects to do this.
Boost Your Income With Trade Journals
Why would anyone want to write for trade journals? Aren't the topics are dry? Don't they require specialized knowledge? Not necessarily. You may want to consider trade journals to increase the potential market for your articles - and for the money.
How To Write Cover Letters That Work
Sometimes there is confusion about the exact meaning of theterm "cover letter".That's because when most people use that term, they don'trealize that there are two main types of cover letters.
Get Published: The Nuts and Bolts of Good English, and How to Impress a Publisher (3)
A well-punctuated approach letter may make the difference between acceptance and rejection by a publisher's commissioning editor. In this article, I'll look at just one small, but often bothersome, piece of punctuation: the apostrophe.
Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 4 of 6
LATER, LATTERLater means afterwards; latter is the second of two things."Later that day we went for a walk.
The Value of Adding Images to Technical Documentation
It's cliché, but true-a picture does paint a thousand words. This is an important message to remember when writing any sort of user documentation, such as an installation guide or an instruction manual.
Story Structure - Final Conflict
Beyond three and four act story structure, lies the Hero's Journey.The Hero's Journey is the most usable story structure consisting of at least 106 stages and the template for successful contemporary stories, from Star Wars to Al Pacino Scarface to The Incredibles to War of the Worlds to The Dirty Dozen to Midnight Cowboy.
Every Result is an Asset
Not long ago, I went to an Internet Marketing Seminar. One of the speakers was John Reese, a man who set the Internet world abuzz in August 2004 by achieving the amazing result of just over a million dollars worth of sales in 18 hours.
Kick-Start your Juices
Listen, consider this scenario.You have a deadline to honour.