10 Questions with Andrea Kane

The Silence that SpeaksMy guest today is Andrea Kane, author of THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS, a thriller that came out on May 1. Please scroll down to enjoy her interview.

1.   Kane, thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed for my blog. THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS, your newest thriller, came out on May 1. Tell us a bit more about this book.

THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS is the 4th book in the Forensic Instincts series.  The FI team has to solve a complex attempted murder—one in which the intended victim, Madeline Westfield, has a torrid past with one of their own (Marc Devereaux).  As the team investigates the case, layers upon layers are peeled back, revealing a slew of potential suspects and an ever-growing scenario of bitterness and hatred.  The culmination is a race to the finish, with Madeline’s life on the line and the slimmest window of time to save it. I loved writing this book—merging the escalating suspense with the primal personal feelings was both a challenge and a joy.

2.   Who is Casey Woods and Marc Devereaux, and how did you come up with their characters?

A: This answer goes back to THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED TWICE, the first book in the Forensic Instincts series.  Casey Woods, with a background in behavioral analysis, started the investigative firm, and Marc Devereaux—a former Navy SEAL and a former FBI agent—was her first hire.  I could go on for pages about who and what they are, but I’d rather readers find out for themselves.  As for how I came up with their characters, I’d say it was the other way around.  They unfolded as real people for me.  I connected with them immediately, and, along with Ryan McKay, FI’s techno-genius, the original threesome that comprises the team, was born.  Other, equally important, team members have come on board since then, but Casey, Marc, and Ryan were the core three at the onset.

3.   What attracted you to the psychological thriller genre?

I’m fascinated with the human mind and what makes it tick.  Even though I love writing action scenes, what I really love is creating complex characters—both protagonists and antagonists—and figuring out who they are and why they do what they do.  A protagonist is easier to think of as heroic.  But an antagonist is a hero in his/her own mind.  Developing those characters and introducing stories that heighten the fear and the suspense based on them is a never-ending challenge for me—one I constantly gravitate to.

4.   How is THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS different from other psychological thrillers?

THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS is very much the kind of psychological thriller I write.  It combines characters you love, hate, and/or identify with, and a frighteningly close-to-home storyline.  Those two elements entwine and snowball into an escalating tension that takes you into the minds and actions of all those involved.  The culmination is a finale where everything comes together in a chilling revelation.

5.   Why do you write?

I write because there are stories inside me that I need to tell.  Corny as it sounds, I write because I have to.  It’s who I am as well as what I do.  I started creating stories in my head way back when I was a little girl, and as my language, writing, and storytelling skills matured, my desire to share these stories intensified.  Now I’m lucky enough to be a novelist.

6.   How do you go from having an idea about the book to the finished manuscript?

The answer to this is as complex as my books themselves.  It’s also why it takes me a full year to write a novel.  Briefly, characters are born, but they need to be marinated until they’re fully-developed enough to be real.  Flickers of “what if” play in my head and mingle with the characters to create a story.  Then comes an onslaught of research.  In the case of THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS, that entailed working with both the FBI and medical experts (most particularly a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon).  I called on these consultants and their expertise throughout the writing of my book.  All of the above is the creative side of my writing process.  On the technical side, I always write a detailed outline, even though it gets tweaked and re-tweaked along the way.  I also edit chapter by chapter, then section by section, and finally I review the overall book.  That’s about as succinct an answer I can give you.  Writing is a hard, hard job, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding one.  I wouldn’t trade it for any other career.

7.   What are your favorite pastimes?

When I’m not writing (which is hardly ever), I love spending time with my family, watching movies (both new and classics), reading, doing crossword puzzles, and walking or peddling away on my recumbent bike.  The exercise kicks up my adrenaline and balances the long sedentary hours spent at my computer.

8.   What is your greatest satisfaction as a writer? What is your greatest disappointment?

My greatest satisfaction is the wonderful feedback I get from my readers.  Their enthusiasm and support mean the world to me.  Also, the joy of typing “The End” and knowing I can be proud of what I’ve created is a satisfaction like no other!  On the disappointment side, I’d have to say that I hate saying goodbye to a book and its characters.  I always want to continue it, make it stronger, change a word or phrase here and there, and succumb to being the raging perfectionist that I am.  That’s why I love writing the Forensic Instincts series—I never have to say goodbye to the team.

9.   What are your thoughts on the latest publishing industry developments, mainly the rise of the self-publishing?

There’s never been a time in history (at least that I know of) where the pace of business change has been this rapid.  Entire industries have been turned upside-down by technology.  Publishing is no exception.  Self-publishing is redefining the role of author, editor, publisher, and retailer.  With it will come new opportunities, along with new challenges.  How this will all settle out is anyone’s guess.  If I could only predict the future…

10.   What is your next book going to be about?

I’m currently writing the next book in the Forensic Instincts series.  It’s about a series of events that change the lives of two women forever.  One of them is murdered, and the other is desperate to stay alive.  That’s where the FI team comes in.  It’s their job to keep their client safe, and to figure out who wants her dead and why.  I think my readers will be as excited about Forensic Instincts Book #5 as I am!

I love hearing from my readers, so visit my website at: www.andreakane.com and send a note my way!

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