Today I’m delighted to have a guest post from Hanna Winter, author of the novel Sacrifice which is out now in ebook (published by Bonnier Zaffre) and you can purchase a copy HERE.
About the author:
Bestselling crime novelist Eva Rehberger began her career as a journalist in Berlin. After working as a chief text editor the former German model published six novels under several pen names. Her previous thrillers under the pen name Hanna Winter have been received with critical acclaim and became instant bestsellers. The rights for publication were sold in several countries. The author also published modern women’s fiction under the pen name Eva Sternberg. Eva lives in New York.
About the book:
He must hunt her down. Kill her. Destroy her . . .
In her very first case, criminal psychologist Lena Peters is confronted with a killer on a murderous vendetta. And though she is unaware, Lena will play a prominent role in his deadly mission, because Lena knows what makes killers tick – she also knows all about obsession, for she has been close to the edge herself.
For now she is the hunter, but soon she will become the hunted.
Writing tips for aspiring writers
For me, the most important rule for writing a novel is know your characters. Give them their own, unique voice, their own way of thinking. When I was writing Sacrifice, I constantly, even in the most mundane of situations,asked myself: what would Lena Peters do? How would she react, how would she respond to this, what would she think about that? It’s the little things that breathe life into your characters.
Details are essential, and not just when it comes to your characters. Telling a story, especially in crime fiction, relies heavily on details, on nuances, the little nudges that lead the reader to follow a certain trail or become suspicious of one of the protagonists. But employing them requires the utmost care. There’s nothing more frustrating for the reader than the careless, the unintentionalred herring, or a set-up that is never followed through on. As the saying goes: If you show a gun in the first act, make sure it’s been fired before the last page. Similarly, there’s nothing more embarrassing for any author than to learn of his or her story-telling errors through a public review on amazon.
Research is another area that requires lots of care and discipline. Which segues nicely into the next point: don’t get swept away on the net. During the first years of my career, I often found myself drifting when doing research. I went online to research one thing, and 30 minutes later I caught myself browsing sites that had no connection to the initial research subject at all. Especially news or social media sites are the scourge of the writing process. As such, I established a strict schedule of offline-times, switching off both internet and cell-phone, and wouldn’t you know it, the world never did end in these few hours of my absence. Looking back, however, I do have to admit, that I am still somewhat amazed at having survived without a cellphone for over four years. My friends used to joke they could only reach me by way of smoke signals, and every year on my birthday they presented me with another phone – which I then somehow always happened to “misplace” or just never got around to activate it.
I’m easily distracted, so the right writing environment is crucial for me. Unfortunately, I do not belong to that rare breed of writers that create their novels in the coffee shop around the corner (too loud) or on the veranda of a beach house overlooking the ocean (too hot, too bright). As such, my writing room on the Upper Westside is my sanctum. Having a defined working space also allows me to “shut the door on it” at the end of the day – something especially useful when your working day consists of writing about murder, death and other disturbing things. It’s important to give yourself a chance to clear your head.
Huge thanks to Hanna Winter for this fab guest post!
Happy reading! 🙂