Interview with Alison Gaylin 2016
Alison Gaylin’s second superb second Brenna Spector novel, Into The Dark, has recently been published by Sphere. Here Alison explains to Chris High what went into writing the novel and – amongst other things – which fictional criminal she would like Brenna to pursue.
Brenna is a complex mix of confidence and insecurity. How do you manage to blend these aspects of her psyche together, whilst maintaining the relentless pace that you have created?
Trent is certainly a one off character. How much did he evolve from their being a need to have such an exuberant character from which Brenna can bounce and is there anybody in particular that he’s based on?
Trent is a lot of fun to write and yes, I did want Brenna’s relationship with her assistant to balance the many complicated relationships in her life. It’s really a nice friendship, I think, as much as he annoys her. Trent isn’t based on a specific person I know, but more on a lot of young guys I’ve seen and overheard in New York and New Jersey.
Into The Dark is concerned with the exploitation of dreams via the internet in many ways. How much research did you undertake to get the details right?
Brenna has perfect memory, which is both a blessing and a curse. What do use to keep your memories alive and how does this help your writing?
Of all the great detectives and heroes in crime fiction, who would you most like to team Brenna Spector up with and why?
I think it would be interesting to see her team up with Val McDermid’s Tony Hill. He’s such a complicated character with a unique skill. And like Brenna, his brain sometimes gets the best of him. I think they’d either solve a case in record time or drive each other insane. Or both.
Similarly, which fictional baddie would you most like her to hunt down and why?
Since her specialty is missing persons — and because I know the situation would hit home for her as a mom — I’d like her to hunt down Humbert Humbert and save Lolita. He’s also severely in need of a reality check, and who better to provide that than a person with perfect memory?
Which is the novel/s which gave you the ‘I want to write books’ bug and what was it about it / them that lit that particular creative fire?
You have been nominated for both the Edgar and the Anthony awards. In what ways do awards help writers?
With the Costa Award this year going to The Loney, a horror story, do you think that some of the elitism that some say exists between genres and styles is fading?
I’d like to think so! There are masterpieces and flops within every category of book. Genre is really just a way to determine which shelf a book goes on in the bookstore, and I do think more people are coming around to realizing this.
What is your writing routine?
Brenna and Trent would be a fantastic TV pairing. Who would you most like to see play their roles?
Chris’s review of Into The Dark is available here.
|If you would like to comment on this interview with Alison Gaylin in 2016, please feel free to contact me - GUESTBOOK|
Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit. - Chris High 2003.
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