Tag Archives: suspense thriller

Young Adult Novel – A First Attempt – by Deborah J Ledford

I’m taking a breather from writing my suspense thriller series to attempt a Young Adult novel. This is a first for me on several levels. Although a majority of my stories that appear in print publications and anthologies are considered traditional mysteries, and many of them feature kids, these characters have strictly been secondary characters.

You writers out there know it’s impossible to ignore the words screaming in your head to be written, or the characters urging you to write about them. This time around two teenagers have captured my imagination—and there’s no denying them.

I attended a YA panel at the ThrillerFest Conference last month and asked who determines if a novel will be offered as a YA book or for the adult market. I mentioned John Hart’s The Last Child as an example. This fantastic novel features a 13-year-old boy in search of his sister’s killer, and yet is not marketed as a YA novel. It seems to be up to the publisher as to which category a novel will be exhibited. The darkness in tone seems to be a determining factor as well.

In order to figure out what is an unknown market to me I’ve been reading published novels to make sure I’m on track. The Hunger Games is a fantastic book in Suzanne Collins’ series—and yet it is quite dark and doom an gloom sets the pace. Sophie Littlefield makes a departure from her compelling A Bad Day For… mystery series with her YA novel Banished, and her dystopia series beginning with Rebirth.

The little novel I’m writing is much different than any of these books mentioned, yet I hope it will be of interest to younger readers looking for a bit of an escape. I know it has been one for me, and a pleasure to write as well.

How about you out there? Writers, do you enjoy departing from what you normally write to work on words of a different genre? And you readers, does it matter to you when one of your favorite authors presents a book other than what they normally write for you?

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense thriller novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing.

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Authors You Admire

There are only five authors I follow without question: Pat Conroy, Michael Cunningham, John Irving, Kate Atkinson and Lisa Gardner. Unfortunately the wait was 14 years between Conroy’s Beach Music and South of Broad. Four years between Irving books. Cunningham’s By Nightfall: A Novel comes out next month after a 3 year absence of his words.

Thankfully Gardner and Atkinson come out with a book per year. Count on crime writers and their avid fans who demand a religious release date. Gardner is the first woman to receive the Best Novel award from the International Thriller Writers Association for The Neighbor. Her latest, Live to Tell, is one of her best. The second chapter will absolutely blow you away. 

Atkinson is a British author, but don’t let that turn you off.  Her tight literary prose are handled masterfully and always feature quirky and vulnerable yet strong characters are ones readers empathize with. Started Early, Took My Dog will be released in March.

I can now add two new authors to my must read list. Rebecca Cantrell’s historical mystery A Trace of Smoke continues to be one of my favorite books of the year. I’ve been reading the second book of her Hannah Vogel series, A Night of Long Knives, and this one is every bit as good as her debut.

The other author I highly recommend is Sophie Littlefield. A Bad Day for Sorry is fresh, full of memorable characters and a theme that screams to be on the big screen. Her second, A Bad Day for Pretty, is a fun, fast-paced read as well.

I have had the honor of getting to know these two talents recently and both have provided blurbs to the upcoming Sisters in Crime Chapter Desert Sleuths anthology, How NOT to Survive a Vacation, I had the pleasure of co-editing.

So which authors to you follow? Which do you recommend and are there any you’ve lost faith in?

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel STACCATO, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Kindle, and independent bookstores.

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Staccato: Novel Tie-In – by Deborah J Ledford

Continuing with how my upcoming suspense thriller Staccato came to be, I thought I would discuss how important the music element was to the overall aspect of the novel.

Countless hours were spent selecting the piano pieces featured in Staccato. It was my full intent to implement the ideal classical musical compositions that would convey the mood of each scene where music was indicated. The highly-charged scenes were ideal for crashing concertos, whereas the scenes of reflection feature soothing sonatas. Each and every piece was selected to emphasize the mood, setting and characters’ feelings as this psychological suspense thriller progresses.

In writing the novel, the music became a motivating factor as well as a subplot—as if composing a complicated piece of music…with words.

 Because of this, I’ve considered adding a CD tie-in to the novel which features the classical music I have showcased so that readers have the full impression of what I have presented to them.

Would this be an endeavor worth pursuing? I would be very interested to know what you think about this idea.

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel Staccato, scheduled for release by Second Wind Publishing, September 15, 2009.

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