Interview with thriller author Simon Cann

Today’s special feature is an interview with Simon Cann with a focus on his crime thriller
novel, Clementina.

During
his virtual book tour, Simon will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s
choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance
to win, use the form below. To
increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.



Also, the book will be free on Amazon from Monday 25 July to Friday 29 July (inclusive).

Bio:

Simon Cann is the author of the Boniface, Montbretia
Armstrong, and Leathan Wilkey series of books.
In addition to his fiction, Simon has written a range
of music-related and business-related books, and has also worked as a
ghostwriter.
Before turning full-time to writing, Simon spent
nearly two decades as a management consultant, where his clients included
aeronautical, pharmaceutical, defense, financial services, chemical,
entertainment, and broadcasting companies.
He lives in London.
A little bit about Clementina:
Leathan Wilkey has been hired to
babysit Clementina, a seventeen-year-old whose rich daddy is going through a
messy divorce and is over-compensating.

Leathan soon tires of her spending habits, her selfie obsession, and her social
media preoccupation as his ward drags him from shop to boutique to jeweler,
approaching each with the self-possession that comes from a lifetime of getting
her own way and never once having to worry about money.

But when Clementina snaps her fingers and her boyfriend doesn’t come running,
something is up. He doesn’t appear because he’s been murdered.

When Leathan
investigates, he finds that the boyfriend has no background and met Clementina
through a connection made by daddy’s business partner.

Daddy’s business
partner who has been slowly and progressively putting daddy in a vice, grabbing
more of the business, and who is now menacing Clementina directly to manipulate
daddy.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

Slowly.

And
in tandem—as in, initially I develop characters and the plot at the same time.
I’ll
often have a story idea and know who my protagonist is. From there I’ll usually
work to the characters that the protagonist deals with in the first few scenes.
Often these will be less significant characters—or if they are more significant
characters, they’ll be doing less.
I
like to crank down the characters earlier on in a novel so that readers can get
their head around the basic problem that the protagonist is facing. If you
introduce readers to seven new people in the first three pages, you’re just
going to confuse them. I want to get with the story and THEN bring in
characters.
For
myself, I need to understand what each person wants. In other words, I need to
understand the characters’ motivations at a very primal level. I may or may not
share this with the reader, but **I** need to understand the character at that
level before I can seriously throw them into the mix.
When
I’m developing characters, I always make notes (I’m a plotter AND I keep a “story
bible”). These notes may not have any relevance or use for the reader, but they
help me understand who each character is, what drives them, and what their
limits are.
In
my books characters are always regular people. They may have a position, they
may have skills, but I never throw in special talents which can only be useful
if I contort the story. For instance, I would never give anyone skills as a
scuba diver and then have a story where the heroine was only able to save the
day because she had her scuba skills.
For
my plots, I find an interesting starting point, then follow where the story
leads. I’m a plotter and get detailed in my plotting (it wouldn’t be unusual
for me to create a 15,000 to 20,000-word outline for a 100,000-word book).
The
flip side to my plotting is that writing the book is comparatively fast for me
and usually there will only be one draft.
Excerpt from Clementina:
I stared up at the six-foot pile of brick held together by
cement, then turned to the fastidious man. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your
name.”
“Vianney,” he said.
“Vianney. Is this the only way out?”
He nodded, a precise tilt of his head like a movement
fashioned by a watchmaker.
“Do you know who is over the back?” I pointed over the wall.
A shake of his head, equally precise. I pulled out my phone.
Vianney shook his head again—three small twists. “No signal.” He pointed back
inside. “Seven paces.”
I took seven paces and got two bars. “We’re going out the
back,” I said when Reece answered. “I’m not sure what’s there, but come and
find us there.” Back outside, Clementina was still staring up at the sky.
“Ready?” I asked.
She seemed perplexed.
“We’re going to meet the neighbors,” I said, taking her
shiny bag and handing it to Vianney. “You’re going first.”
“What are you talking about?” she asked.
“We’re going over the wall—you’re going first. Give your bag
to Vianney to hold.” I pointed to the large lump of leather still hanging from
her shoulder. “And put this back on.” I handed her the jacket I was carrying. I
was sure it wasn’t designed for rough and tumble, but I preferred it be scraped
rather than her.
“Why…?” she began.
“Because it’s the only way out, and you’re going first
because if I go first there’s no one to help you over the wall,” I said,
predicting her range of questions. “What else did you want to do today?”
“I wanted…” she began, slipping on her jacket. “That was
rhetorical, wasn’t it?”

What is your
favorite ice cream flavor?

Anything
that isn’t chocolate flavored.


Which
mythological creature are you most like?

The
one the spends all day sitting in a cave carving tales about other creatures
into stone tablets.

First book you
remember making an indelible impression on you.

The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth.
I
was probably about twelve when I read the book. To me it was a revelation—it
was the first time that I realized that a fiction could be so close to the truth
and that fiction could be set in the real world.

Please describe your writing space.

My
writing space is a room in my house…a small room—it’s six feet by eight feet,
and most of the space it taken up with a desk (the actual useable floor
space—without a desk or bookcases—is three feet by five…enough space to walk
into the room and sit on the chair).
When
I started writing full-time I took the door off the room because it just got in
the way and the space was so limited.
At
the opposite end from the door it a window which looks out over my street. It’s
a short road and I can see to the end of the street. If I crane my neck and
look to the left I can see the railway line which is the mainline to and from
central London.
So
far I think I’ve written upward of twenty-five books in this space.
Links:
The
book will be free on Amazon from Monday 25 July to Friday 29 July (inclusive).

12 thoughts on “Interview with thriller author Simon Cann

  1. Unknown says:

    Hello everyone, it's Simon here.

    Can I start by thanking Lisa for the kind invitation to participate in this community.

    I'm really looking forward to chatting with everyone and to hearing what you're all reading.

    I'll be here all day, so if you've got any questions, comments, or thoughts, please jump in.

    Over to you!

    Simon

  2. Unknown says:

    Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Becky. If you want to read more, please do grab the free copy of the book–after Friday the price goes up.

    And yeah…that giveaway… I think I need to throw that over to Lisa, our host. Lisa–where do people sign up?

    While we're waiting for Lisa, you can visit the other stops on the blog tour (the link is at the top of the page) and sign up through those other sites.

  3. Unknown says:

    I'd like to thank Lisa for the invitation to participate in this community and to thank you all for your kind welcome and the encouraging words.

    I'll be popping in at regular intervals, so if you've got any questions, then please ask. Alternatively, drop past my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/simoncannauthor/) and say hi.

    And don't forget, Clementina is available for free until Friday. Make sure you grab your copy: http://getbook.at/clementina

    All the best

    Simon

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