Thursday, February 10, 2011

Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell is the author of a series of British crime thrillers featuring Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel.

From her Q & A with Michael Lipkin at The Rap Sheet:

ML: I know this is every novelist’s least favorite question, but I’ll ask it anyway: Where do you get your ideas and the material for your stories?

LR: I have no problem finding ideas. I wrote in an article once that I can see dead bodies anywhere. It sounds ghoulish, but it isn’t. Writing crime thrillers is like problem solving, fitting the pieces of a jigsaw together. I start with a body and then the questions follow fast. Who is the victim and what is their story? Then I move on to the next part of the puzzle. What does the reader need to know about the killer? What motivated him or her to kill? Finally, I bring my detective conducting the investigation into the murder, and develop her story. And there you have it--the book has written itself.

ML: Does DI Geraldine Steel represent parts of your own personality and character? If not, where does that protagonist come from?

LR: I write psychological thrillers because people fascinate me endlessly. Although plot drives my narrative, it is character that interests me most. But I genuinely have no idea where my characters come from. They must be a mixture of people I’ve met or observed, but they are never based on anyone I know. They are a complete flight of imagination. I’ve no idea how my killers can be...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue