CHAPTERS 16 TO END
I couldn’t resist having Byron and Mike work for the Providence
Journal—or PRO JO as the locals call it. Seemed fitting for a book
about political corruption--that was rampant in Rhode Island when
we lived in Providence and Bristol for almost four years after we
first got married, and I read the Pro Jo every day.
One of my favorite marketing tag lines for this book was “How far
would you go to save your children?” This applies not only to
Lauren Walsh, but to the Quinns.
As in all my books, I worked hard to motivate the characters. How
does a man like Garvey Quinn go from hero to murderer? As a parent,
I know that fear for an endangered child is one of the most
all-encompassing, visceral emotions one can experience. With
Garvey’s character, I wanted to show that desperation to save his
daughter’s life had pushed him over the edge.
When it comes to hot-button morality topics, few are as charged as
the issues of “savior siblings” and stem cell research. Cancer is
rampant in my family, as it is in many. My uncle died of it when he
was 8 and my grandma, about to turn 92, still cries over him, and
over my mom, whom she also lost to cancer. While I rarely
publically discuss politics or religion, I’ll admit that I’m
personally strongly in favor of doing whatever is medically and
scientifically possible to save lives.
It’s always crucial--and a challenge--to tie up all the loose ends
in the final pages of a thriller. Here, I not only had to let the
reader know what happened to everyone, but I also needed to arouse
curiosity about what will happen to them next, because there’s
going to be a sequel (well, two). Close doors, open doors—and do it
quickly, or you’ll kill the pacing.
I thought I knew where I was going with the sequel before I started
writing it, and I quickly wrote and handed in the first twenty-five
pages or so of SCARED TO DEATH right after I finished LIVE TO TELL.
That was necessary because we wanted to get the excerpt into the
end of this book.
But a few months later, when I actually sat down to write SCARED TO
DEATH, I realized I had gone off in the wrong direction. LIVE TO
TELL was already in galley stage at that point (October), and it’s
not easy to make changes at that stage. Thank God I have an
understanding editor. Lucia allowed me to tweak the excerpt in
keeping with my new vision.
Stay tuned for SCARED TO DEATH, which goes on sale in December, to
be soon followed by HELL TO PAY!
Read the excerpt from SCARED TO DEATH. Click