Today, I have the honor of doing a Q&A with author Alex Caan! He wrote First to Die and this is a part of his book’s blog tour.
Here is a blurb about the book:
SOMEWHERE IN THE CROWD IS A KILLER
Bonfire Night and St James’s Park is filled with thousands of Anonymous protesters in a stand-off with the police. When a cloaked, Guido Fawkes mask-wearing body is discovered the following morning, Kate Riley and Zain Harris from the Police Crime Commissioner’s office are called in.
The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus. The autopsy reveals the victim was a senior civil servant, whose work in international development involved saving lives. Why would anyone want him dead?
THEY WILL STRIKE AGAIN
As the research team looking into the origins of the deadly virus scramble to discover an antidote, first one, then another pharmacist goes missing. Meanwhile, a dark truth starts to emerge about the murder victim: he was an aggressive man, whose bullying behavior resulted in the suicide attempt of one of his former staff members.
AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT . . .
With thirty lives potentially at stake, Kate and Zain have their work cut out for them. Can they find the two missing pharmacists in time, or will they too end up dead?
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
I’m definitely a believer in plots. I do my free thinking beforehand, come up with my characters and my ideas, crucial scenes. I love letting my imagination take me places, but when I’m writing I need a structure. More than anything it helps prevent writer’s block.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
Shutting off the voices. Sometimes every good and bad review is in your head, acting as a barrier to writing. There’s a constant voice saying ‘you’re rubbish’ or ‘this won’t be as good as the last one and you will be found out’. The key is to try and ignore it and keep writing.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read all the time, but I’m a very slow reader so I don’t read many books, but I like to take my time to really enjoy the ones I do. My all-time favorite authors are Graham Greene and John Le Carre, I think they capture the human condition so perfectly it’s awe-inspiring. But there are so many other authors that I love. I need to make a list really.
What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
I think it’s crucial. When you’re looking for your next read you have literally thousands of choices, and most books will have recommendations, positive and negative feedback, more or less marketing and promotion. So crucially what will make one stand out beyond the other is the title and cover, and then the premise and blurb. But title and cover are all about the purchasing impulse, not the content. Eventually, it’s what inside those covers that will drive how a person feels about the novel.
Which book inspired you to begin writing?
Honestly, I can’t remember. I was a voracious reader as a child, and remember 8 year old me telling all my family and teachers I wanted to be a novelist. It took me a long time but I eventually did it.
Also check out this book by author Holly Tierney-Bedord called The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club, a thriller/mystery novel about a group of women who form a jewelry club and become unlikely sleuths.
Here is a US buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Port-Elspeth-Jewelry-Making-Club-ebook/dp/B07DFTDNXY
A Canada buy link: https://www.amazon.ca/Port-Elspeth-Jewelry-Making-Club-ebook/dp/B07DFTDNXY