At BEA this morning, literary journalist (and former GalleyCat editor) Sarah Weinman hosted a panel discussion with two celebrated thriller authors the new thriller writer on the block.
Bestselling thriller novelist Lee Child shared some thoughts about series writing: “With a series, the huge danger is getting lazy or phoning it in. The other danger is that the author falls in love with their main character.”
Bestselling author Karin Slaughter (pictured, via Author photos by Alison Rosa) explored the tricky side of bestseller status: “I worked my whole life to get published,” she said. “It was the best and worst thing to happen. Because the question then is, ‘What’s next?'” She concluded: “You can’t focus on the pressure.”
Author Justin Cronin just broke into thrillers with his buzzy book, The Passage. He spoke about his new status as a thriller writer: “I used to have readers, but now I think I’m going to have fans. I wanted a book where people could fall into the story … Now, your imaginary friends become [readers’] imaginary friends.”
Cronin added: “My training as a writer began as a short story writer–which is all about paring down,” he explained. “With The Passage, I decided I would not say no to myself. Once I gave myself that permission, I found myself in a wide open landscape.”
“I write each book as if it my first and last book,” Child concluded. “I had a book signing yesterday, it was mayhem for an hour. When I first came to BEA, there were only a few people in line.”