Today I’m very excited to welcome fellow Carina author Amy Bird to my blog. Amy’s debut novel Yours is Mine is a psychological thriller and available to buy now from all good digital retailers.
The suspense is killing me
Alfred Hitchcock, that great master of suspense, once expressed an interest in making a film about the Titanic.
‘But you can’t do that!’ he was told. ‘You make films based on suspense, and everyone knows the Titanic sinks!’
His answer, so the story goes, was ‘Ah, but they don’t know when.’
I can imagine it well, that unmade Hitchcock, in all its Hitchcockian glory. Violins would be playing, his selected characters would be quarrelling, shadows would be lengthening, and all the while, the viewer would know that at any moment, the Titanic would sink.
Suspense is not always about ‘when’ though: ‘will’, ‘what’ and ‘who’ are equally relevant here. Take some examples.
In the Patrick Hamilton play ‘Rope’, made into a feature film by Hitchcock, the first sequence sees two men murder a man and hide his body in a chest, then proceed to hold a dinner party, serving food off that chest. The driver of the suspense here is will they be discovered.
Tearing ourselves away from Hitchcock, let’s look at another, more recent, example: ‘Gone Girl.’ For me, that was driven by a what. With plot twist after plot twist, I wanted to know what would happen next, and that is the element that made it compelling reading. It is not completely clear-cut though – there was also an element if ‘will’, as in ‘will the plan succeed?’. I don’t want to give too much away – it’s important for a thriller that its secrets are kept safe.
Another contemporary example is, of course, ‘Before I go to sleep’. For me, that was a who. Who is the protagonist really, and who is the man looking after her?
In ‘Yours is Mine’, I have focussed both on the ‘who’ and the ‘what.’ Who is the mysterious Anna, convincing Kate to exchange her identity, apparently as part of an experiment? And what is Anna’s plan, really? Those were the threads that kept me writing, and hopefully they are what will keep you reading.
Yours is Mine, a psychological thriller about two women who exchange identities, is available now from Carina UK, the new digital imprint of Harlequin, at http://www.carinauk.com/yours-is-mine and via Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yours-is-Mine-ebook/dp/B00DP220YY, Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Yours-is-Mine/book-u1u9U5e7aUm9JztScFyNOA/page1.html and iBooks. You can follow Amy’s progress at www.amybirdwrites.com, on twitter at https://twitter.com/London_Writer and on facebook at www.facebook.com/amybirdwrites.
On her last blog tour stop, http://unhingednavywives.blogspot.co.uk/ on 7 August, Amy will be doing a giveaway of a MIRA goodiebag, filled with some great titles from that Harlequin imprint. So be sure to catch her there!