Last month I asked the author about what he was reading. North's reply:
I am reading The Rook, Steven James’ second thriller with protagonist Patrick Bowers. Bowers is an FBI criminologist left to parent his late wife’s pierced and soon-to-be tattooed teenage daughter while drawn into an arson investigation in San Diego. James gets away with a smooth mix of writing in both first and third person, confining each to separate chapters or long scenes as we share Bowers’ complicated life. The agent deals with grief over his wife’s cancer death while the truly nasty antagonist Creighton Melice is busy torturing and murdering women. Of course, there’s the expected corporate greed and government corruption and an emerging, new love interest for Bowers. Then the step-daughter is placed in harm’s way.Visit Darden North's website and blog.
Bowers already has his hands full, and I’m less than half-way into this novel!
I was drawn to The Rook after hearing Steven James speak at a thriller writing conference in 2012 and picked up a signed trade-paper copy of the novel. The author remains true to his teachings: Creating the horror off screen puts even more fear in the reader.
Another writing tool that James stressed during the conference is that a deep desire, a wound, and an internal struggle develop a strong character. And that can apply to both the good and the bad guy.
Read--Coffee with a Canine: Darden North & Valerie and Foxy.