Monday, July 25, 2011

Imogen Robertson

Imogen Robertson is a writer based in London.

From a Q & A about her first book, Instruments of Darkness:

Writing any novel is a complicated endeavor, but a mystery brings particular difficulties, such as maintaining suspense and how and when to reveal details of the plot. How did you address these issues?

You learn by doing. As I plan and write my books, I am constantly asking myself if events are moving too fast or too slow; if I am leading readers into an unfolding story at the right pace; if the characters are developing; if they are acting, that is, making the story happen, or if things are just happening to them. I also read a lot of crime fiction and mystery and spend a lot of time thinking about what makes those books work. Writing is a craft, like furniture making. You serve an apprenticeship, study the masters, and one hopes, keep developing your skills.

At the end of the book, you mention a few authors whose works provided historical context for you while writing. Were there any mystery writers whose work was an inspiration?

Loads of them. I am a fan of golden age crime writing, particularly the later books of Dorothy L. Sayers. I also love modern psychological crime novels, such as those by Nicci French, fantastic, pacy reads that are beautifully written. I have devoured every Tess Gerritsen novel that appears. Tess was also an inspiration as I was beginning to write because of her incredibly honest and open blogging about being an author. I e-mailed her at the time to say so, then a few years later was able to send her the finished book. I was quite teary when I got her e-mail saying how much she liked it. In fact, I got a note from Nicci Gerrard, half of the husband and wife team that is Nicci French, saying how much she liked Instruments too. More excited teariness. It's an amazing thing when your writing heroes start turning round and saying, "You've done good." And...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Imogen Robertson's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Instruments of Darkness.

Writers Read: Imogen Robertson.

My Book, The Movie: Instruments of Darkness.

--Marshal Zeringue