Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The calloused fingertip burns bright.

I've been a little quiet on the blog front lately, but rest assured it isn't that I haven't got anything to say, only that the words are going down fast and furious at another location. No, I haven't absconded to another site or anything, I'm talking about my latest Joe Hunter thriller. I'm currently working hard to bring you all the 8th book in the series, and when I get the writing bit between my teeth I'm at full gallop. Not that this one is an easy book to write - it's anything but.

With this one I'm trying a little experiment and going for a mystery as well as the hard actioner that Joe's readers have come to expect. Feedback from BLOOD AND ASHES has been very good indeed, but some have had mixed feelings that I concentrated on Joe's character this time round. Some felt that it made the book deeper and much better, while others found that the characterisation slowed the pace a tad. I'm infinitely aware that introspection can place stumbling blocks in the way of hard action, and the process of solving a mystery can also have the same detrimental result. I'm trying therefore to produce a book that has a mystery to solve but without losing any of the balls to the wall pace that the previous Joe Hunter books have all had. I'm thinking hard, writing hard, and probably doing about twice as much back tracking through the text as I normally do. But I'm enjoying the process (though it's taking more time and energy this time, hence the lack of posts here). I hope that you all enjoy the end result when I finally get it done.


Sue H said...

I thought there was a change in the style of B&A - and for the good! So, bring on the mystery, Matt - Joe's a big lad,I'm sure he can take the cerebral challenge!

Col Bury said...

Hi Matt,
Interesting you should write this when I'm also mulling over similar 'character development v plot 'n' action' issues. It's a tough balance, especially as the readers are split on this I feel.

Matt Hilton said...

Hi Sue,
that's the general feeling, but I did have one guy review it saying that he was 'let down' and 'disappointed' that Blood and Ashes wasn't as action packed as the others (I thought it was amazingly action packed). He felt the book was a slow burn to the conclusion, and as a result of which he kept checking if he'd picked up a Jack Reacher story by accident. (Take that last comment however you may!!!)

Hi Col,
yeah, it's a diffiuclt one. I'm trying to give the Hunter readers a different experience every time, but still sticking to the formulas that they've come to enjoy. It's a balancing act all right (have you ever seen me on ice skates - not a graceful sight).

Dean Crawford said...

Go for it Matt! I've always felt that the most rewarding reads were the ones that had more than one thread running through them. It also leads to other possibilities, like extra twists in the tale and so on.

It's probably harder to write a novel when you include a 'mystery' as you have to both conceive of the mystery and of a cunning way for your hero to solve it when other characters cannot, but it's ultimately more rewarding for both the author and the reader when it comes good!