This Thriller Thursday, Novels Alive is delighted to welcome the fabulous Thriller Award-winning Alexandra Sokoloff!
What drives your story forward in your books the most, the characters or the plot?
I’ve never understood this question. There can’t be one without the other. Plot is what characters DO. But I’m wary of books that people claim are “character driven” because that’s often code for “nothing ever happens.”
If you were a character in one of your books, which would you be? The hero/heroine, mentor, villain, love interest, etc.
I suppose I’m the killer that everyone has sympathy for!
If you had the power to make any of your books into a film, which would it be and why?
I’d like to see the HUNTRESS MOON series as a TV series. There is some absolutely brilliant television being made these days, on HBO and Showtime. But I am sick to death of the misogyny in crime series like True Detective. I would so love to see a series that gives equal time and depth to female characters and deals with crimes against women and children as the evil they are.
Do you surprise yourself at your ability to write the vilest villains with such believability?
Not at all. There are so many in real life to choose from. All you have to do is look around you.
Which book is your most vile villain featured?
All the villains in the HUNTRESS MOON series are vile, in an absolutely realistic way. I very much enjoy having so many of them die.
As with the rest of us, you have a real life to live. So, in your most recent book, what was happening in your life and how did it influence your writing?
COLD MOON is my latest book, the third in the Huntress series, out in October. When I was writing it I was also falling in love and moving from California to Scotland. That didn’t really end up in the book, though it has partly inspired my next series. I’d have to say that the way my life influenced my writing is that it took me longer than usual to write that book. Funny how real life takes a lot of time!
What is your view on independent (self) publishing? What do you feel are the benefits/drawbacks for readers and conversely, authors?
I think it’s the best thing that ever happened for writers. It’s meant that if an author is willing to work hard, they have unprecedented access to distribution, and can cut out the often crippling middleman of traditional publishing. And it gives readers far more choice and far, far more reasonable prices for e-books. It’s devastating to authors how much traditional publishers charge for e books. Indie publishing allows you to control your own prices. I’m both traditionally published and indie published, and that diversity has made for a much larger readership and much more stable living for me.
How much research went into your last book?
Years. The thing about being a genre writer is that you’re constantly reading and researching in your field. Since the Huntress Moon series has an FBI agent protagonist, and he often works with police departments as well, I attend Citizens Police Academies and other law enforcement and forensics workshops whenever I get the chance. If I know there’s a behavioral profiler at a convention, I stalk that person so I can pick his or her brain about serial killers. And I attend Lee Lofland’s fantastic Writers’ Police Academy, a yearly three-day conference that is a law enforcement and forensics immersion course. I also always research the locations I write about, which means I go there so I can give my readers the real experience of being in those places.
What’s one of the most important things you’d like your readers to know about you? What defines you most as an author?
I believe my job as an author is to give my readers a thrilling, sensory, gripping adventure that makes them feel and also makes them think. My books are page-turners that catch readers up in the inner life and struggle and desires of the main characters, who are flawed but deeply moral people on a crusade to fight human evil. It’s all about the fight against everyday evil, for me, and about the deep connections people make with unlikely other people when they commit to that fight.
Tell us a little bit about the project you are working on now.
I’m working on the fourth book in the Huntress Moon series. My FBI agent and my killer split off in two different but parallel storylines to investigate cases of missing children in Montana and a troubling and possibly deadly situation going on in an Arizona high school.
Tell us something about your latest release.
BLOOD MOON is the second in the Huntress series, and I highly recommend that new readers start with Book 1, HUNTRESS MOON. The books are intense psychological suspense, and take the reader on an interstate manhunt with a haunted FBI agent on the track of what he thinks may be that most rare of killers – a female serial. Arguably there’s never been any such thing as a female serial killer in real life – the women that the media holds up as serial killers operate from a completely different psychology from the men who commit what the FBI calls sexual homicide. But whoever she is, whatever she is, the Huntress is like no killer Agent Roarke – or the reader – has ever seen before. And you may find yourself as conflicted about her as Roarke is.
Book 1 and 2 are available now. Book 3, COLD MOON, will be out in October from Thomas & Mercer.
Alexandra Sokoloff is the bestselling, Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker and Anthony Award-nominated author of ten supernatural, paranormal and crime thrillers. The New York Times has called her “a daughter of Mary Shelley” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”
As a screenwriter she has sold original suspense and horror scripts and written novel adaptations for numerous Hollywood studios (Sony, Fox, Disney, Miramax), for producers such as Michael Bay, David Heyman, Laura Ziskin and Neal Moritz.
She is also the workshop leader of the internationally acclaimed Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshops, based on her SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS workbooks and blog.