This week we’re welcoming Tiffany Snow to The Edible Bookshelf. Tiffany was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about her writing, as well as share a little bit about herself. A big thanks to Tiffany for taking the time to share with us. If you want to find out more about No Turning Back and Tiffany, read on!
1. What was the inspiration for No Turning Back?
I wanted to write what I love to read - a romance. The most important part in any book, for me, are the characters. I wanted to write about characters that had depth and room to grow into themselves and in their relationships with each other over the course of the series. The plot was derived from my "day job" which is in Information Technology - a field I've been in for over ten years. Combining that knowledge with an idea for an issue security specialists are still trying to deal with - securing online election voting - seemed like an interesting idea.
2. Your main character, Kathleen, has a very interesting background. How much of her back story was developed before the book was written and how much developed along with the story?
Kathleen became who she was over the course of the book, though I believe I had her roots down once I decided on her name - Kathleen Turner - and the family tradition of famous "Turners." Kathleen is young and her actions and reactions show that. Sometimes I know that can frustrate some readers, but I always try to stay true to her character. She learns and experiences a lot in the first two books of the series, which causes her to grow and change - as it would anyone.
3. There are several male lead characters with vastly different personalities. The differences between Blane and Kade keep the story very interesting as Kathleen has to deal with both of them. How did you pit their characters against each other in some ways while still keeping them both likable?
Since I knew I had several books to explore the characters, I took it slow in developing who Blane and Kade were and how Kathleen comes to know them both. The story is told in first person, so we only know what Kathleen experiences. My goal wasn't necessarily to keep them likable - and Kade can be downright nasty sometimes - but to keep them real. They are both inherently good men, though they sometimes make choices that put them at odds with each other, and with Kathleen.
4. There is a lot of action in No Turning Back. You handled the hectic scenes very well and made them very believable. Where does your inspiration for the fight scenes come from and how to you handle the weapons and fighting so well? Is there a lot of research involved for the weapons?
Oh my, no, I'm afraid I have no experience with weapons. The internet is a valuable research tool, as I'm sure any writer can attest to. I try to picture the scene before I write it, and write it in such a way that the action doesn't slow down with too much description. It's a balance between too much information that bogs down the narrative and too little so the reader can't imagine the scene. Either way can pull them out of the story.
5. The mystery aspect of the book keeps readers guessing. There were multiple characters that seemed shady, but you keep readers on their toes by never giving away too much to make it obvious. How did you develop the plot twists and ultimate solution? Do you plan everything ahead of time, or let it develop with the story?"
A mixture of both, actually. I start with a framework of the plot and a basic timeline. Each book revolves around a holiday for a timeframe. I plan where the characters begin and where I want them to be in their relationships with each other by the end of the book. For me, it's enough structure to work and still leave room for the creative process.
6. No Turning Back is the first book in the Kathleen Turner Series. Are most of the characters from the first book going to make a reappearance in the second book?
Absolutely! Including some characters you may not expect to see again.
7. With this being a series, what type of series is it going to be in terms of length? Do you have a predetermined number of books, or will Kathleen keep having adventures for the foreseeable future?
I didn't want this to be a series that goes on without end. From the outset, I decided the series would consist of five books. Book three will be released Christmas of 2012.
8. Who are your favorite authors?
Oh my, that's tough. Jane Austen is my favorite author of all time, my favorite books Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice. Other authors I greatly enjoy include Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, Eloisa James, Jane Feather, David Hackett Fischer and Neil Stephenson (Cryptonomicon is one of the best books I've ever read).
9. Do you have any interesting habits or rituals when you write?
Not really - I'm just glad to have a free moment in which TO write!
10. Can you tell us more about the second Kathleen Turner book, "Turn to Me," and any other upcoming projects?
In Turn to Me, we learn more about Blane, Kathleen and Kade as they grow and change. Blane's career has an immediate, and dangerous, impact on Kathleen and their relationship. The fallout from these circumstances affect all three of them.
The third book in the series will be released at Christmas of 2012.
Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions Tiffany!