Friday, August 3, 2012

Do Thrillers Need People Continuously Hanging from Cliffs?

By Chester Campbell

My newest published book takes me back to my writerly roots, meaning espionage fiction, or put more simply, spy stories. That's what I started writing (and not getting published) back in the sixties. After a twenty-something-year hiatus, I returned to the genre when I retired in 1989. I wrote a trilogy of Post Cold War thrillers about an ex-FBI agent who gets caught up in the espionage business. Now revised for publication after another twenty-something years, Beware the Jabberwock has been out as an ebook for a few months and will be up on Amazon as a paperback in a few days.

I have received a few five-star reviews, but I'm wondering how other folks feel about the thriller variety. Do you think it's necessary to have the hero in a constant cliff-hanger status, or is it just as good to keep the tension up but spend some time developing the characters so  you understand why they do what they do? Bad guys as well as good?

Frankly, my thrillers don't move at breakneck speed, dashing all over Paris and France and who knows where else in a 24-hour period. The main part of Jabberwock takes place over a three-week period, but there's always that dealine staring you in the face.

So what do you think? What's a thriller writer to do?

Read more about Beware the Jabberwock at my website.


Morgan Mandel said...

Those chase scenes and non-stop action may be great in movies, but in a book I prefer to get into the character's head and feel the fear and the struggle to beat the odds to survive.

Morgan Mandel

Chester Campbell said...

Me, too, Morgan.

Earl Staggs said...

Chester, I agree with Morgan. I loved the Jason Bourne movies with their non-stop action and thrills, but those things would be boring to read. A good writer can create cerebral tension and suspense by putting us in the mind of the character, and that's good reading.