Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An interview with Jeffery Deaver (Part 2)

And now for the second part of the interview with Jeffery Deaver, originally published by the Select Editions UK office.

Why do you think forensics are so popular now in commercial fiction?
JD: The recent fascination, I think, reflects the shift in approach by law enforcement officials to embrace technology as wholeheartedly as the rest of the world. After all,a psychotic criminal can fool the best psychologists and lie detectors, but he can't beat a DNA match.

How much of what you write comes from your real life experiences?
JD: In my case, none. I was an attorney but I practised corporate law. It means working harder to do the research but I don't really mind—I don't think I have what it takes to chase criminals through back alleys and wade through blood at crime scenes. Of course, all writers draw upon their personal experiences in describing day-to-day life and human relationships, but I tend to keep my own experiences largely separate from my stories.

And how do you pick the settings for your books?
JD: Rule one: write about settings you’re familiar with. If I’m setting a book outside of New York (where I lived for twenty years) or Northern Virginia or California (where I live now), I’ll travel there and spend some weeks researching. I try to add some local colour and description, but also try not to go overboard—too much description can detract from the story.

Why do you think so many lawyers and doctors become novelists?
JD: The easy answer is that writing novels is a lot more fun than practising law. But there is an analytical component—a left-brained component—to writing crime fiction that I think is an element of such professions as law, and medicine as well. For me a thriller is a very carefully structured story. I spend eight months outlining and researching the novel before I begin to write a single word. The skills I use to do that are the same I used when researching and structuring a legal document or case.

What is the best advice about writing, and who gave it?
JD: Mickey Spillane: “People don't read books to get to the middle. They read to get to the end.”


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting interview. Deaver is one of the best!