International Thrills: Claudia Piñiero, author of Betty Boo just out from Bitter Lemon and South America's best-selling crime writer, is interviewed by Layton Green about "The Secret to Writing Psychological Thrillers".
Thanks for agreeing to chat, Claudia. I really loved BETTY BOO. It was an intense psychological thriller that really brought me back to my time in Buenos Aires, with its carefully crafted details and atmospheric sense of place. Your characters are drawn with so much depth, far more so than in most novels of suspense, yet I couldn’t put the book down. How do you pull off that balance?
Thank you so much for reading my book, I’m really pleased that you found it interesting. What I find most absorbing and enjoyable about writing a novel is discovering who the characters are that inhabit it – their conflicts and contradictions. I see the plot as merely a tool to enable the development of those characters. Putting them in situations that force them to make decisions when faced with particular circumstances, allows us to understand who they are. So often in a thriller the plot gobbles up the players; character development can get neglected in that rush to get to the crux – to find out “whodunnit” – and other equally, or more, important elements get pushed aside.
When I was writing one of my first novels (Thursday Night Widows) I had a writing teacher who made me read Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. I believe that was very good advice. His point was that the demands of story-telling (fundamental to any thriller or roman noir) should not steam-roll the composition of each character and the details of the world around them. For all that there are mysteries to be revealed and truths to be uncovered, the novel can’t leave to one side the characters, their psychological make-up, their conflicts and traumas.
Full interview click here.