Monday, August 19, 2013

Lisa Brackmann

Lisa Brackmann has worked as a motion picture executive and an issues researcher in a presidential campaign. A southern California native, she currently lives in Venice, California. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Rock Paper Tiger, set on the fringes of the Chinese art world, made several “Best of 2010″ lists, including Amazon’s Top 100 Novels and Top 10 Mystery/Thrillers, and was nominated for the Strand Magazine Critics Award for Best First Novel.

Brackmann's new novel is Hour of the Rat.

From the author's Q & A at Lost Laowai:

Your novels often centre around a woman who is either living or visiting a foreign country. What about that dynamic appeals to you as a writer?

Lisa: A couple of things. On a practical level, I’m writing suspense fiction – quirky suspense fiction maybe, but there still needs to be some suspense! When you have a “fish out of water” scenario, you’ve upped the degree of difficulty for the main character – she may not be familiar with how things work in the country she’s visiting, or she may not have the resources to deal with the trouble she’s in that a local would have.

Also, it’s a reflection of my love of travel. When people ask me why I go to China, one of my answers is, it’s never boring. When you travel, you tend to be more open to experiences and details because they are not part of your every day life. So it’s a sort of heightened sensory state that I really enjoy. And I also enjoy taking readers somewhere they may never have been, or for readers who do know the setting, depicting it in a way that they will recognize as being accurate and credible.

I also think that the “heightened sensory state” I mentioned is really connected to the process of writing in general – when I write I am trying to create a world on the page that’s vivid and that you can “see” and feel – and in order to do that, I have to be in that state where I’m able to come up with those very specific and impactful details. I’m basically putting myself in a scene and observing it, and writing down those observations. That applies to...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Lisa Brackmann's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Hour of the Rat.

--Marshal Zeringue