Questions From Seattle Mystery Bookshop
-->Do you get ideas for new books all the time and you keep them written down,
or does one come to mind when you need one?
I don’t really get often get compelling ideas for books. I tend to, once I am working on a book, though, have a pretty active mind. I guess once I get a handle on what I want to write about, I start seeing possibilities and that’s when I generate ideas. I have been fortunate enough that it seems a new book idea comes to me at about the time I’m finishing another project.
--> Have you ever thrown away a book that you just couldn't make work?
I have thrown a book away. It was my first novel and it contained compelling parts (which I save in scraps file), but on the whole it never quite left the ground and flew. Still, it was a tremendous education for me. Sort of like that beau in our pasts that with whom we learned the ropes of romance.
--> How many rejection slips did you get before your first novel was published?
I don’t want to think about the number of rejection slips I’ve gotten. It reminds me of my high school love life. To get past the discouragement, my wife began to keep track of my submissions and would give me the bad news once a month, usually along with a glass of bourbon in a room without sharp objects.
--> Do you know how a book/series is going to end when you begin it?
I do not chart out my books. I find it forces the action and closes off avenues in the story that are worth pursuing. I am far better off with some idea of character and tone, some place where the tension resides, and let the characters steer the story.
--> Is there any kind of book you would like to write but haven't?
I would love to write a travel book, simply because I would get to travel, which I haven’t gotten much opportunity to do.
--> Anything you’ve always wanted to be asked but no one ever has?
No one has asked me what it’s like to make a million dollars on a book. No one has asked me for the obvious reason.
Bruce Holbert's debut novel is Lonesome Animals