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Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff….Blog Tour Stop & Guest Post

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Huntress Moon

by

Alexandra Sokoloff

 

Synopsis:

Special Agent Matthew Roarke thought he knew what evil was.

He was wrong.

FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization in San Francisco when he witnesses an undercover member of his team killed right in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can’t believe is coincidental. His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young woman who appears to have been present at each scene of a years-long string of “accidents” and murders, and who may well be that most rare of killers:

a female serial.

His hunt for her will take him across three states, and force him to question everything he believes about evil and justice.

* Thriller Award Nominee, Best eBook Original

 

Guest Post:

What Puts the Thrill in Thriller?

I’m sure every one of us here, thriller authors and readers alike, has ended up on or attended that particular panel by now, also variously called Thrill Me!, You Kill Me, How to Write Suspense, How to Write a Million Dollar Thriller… (and if you’ve got that last one figured out, would you let me know?).

On my Screenwriting Tricks for Authors blog (www.ScreenwritingTricks.com) I talk a lot about specific techniques for creating suspense. But the bottom line to me is always – different things thrill different people. In people, in bed, in life, and in books. So the core issue, and something I never get tired of talking about with thriller writers and readers, is – what does it for YOU?

Because there are all kinds of literary thrills. Many thrillers are based on action and adrenaline: the experience the author wants to create and that the reader wants to experience is that roller-coaster feeling. I myself am not big on that kind of thrill. I love a good adrenaline rush in a book (in fact I pretty much require them, repeatedly). But pure action scenes mostly bore me senseless, and big guns and machines and explosions and car chases make my eyes glaze over. Nuclear threat? Not my cup of tea. Spies? I’ll pass. Assassins? Uh-uh. Terrorists?… Can I go now?

Even though I write a serial killer series, I’m not even really that fond of serial killers (God, I hate it when things like that come out of my mouth. Or hands. Occupational hazard…) unless we’re talking archetypally mythic serial killers like the ones in Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, and in Mo Hayder’s darker than dark thrillers. (And maybe my Huntress series is more aptly called an anti-serial killer series.)

What I’m looking for in a book is the sensual – okay, sexual – thrill of going into the unknown. How it feels to know that there’s something there in the dark with you that’s not necessarily rational, and not necessarily human. It’s a slower, more erotic, and I’d also say more feminine kind of thrill – that you find in The Turn of the Screw and The Haunting of Hill House and The Shining. So although I can learn some techniques from spy thrillers or giant actioners, studying that kind of book or movie for what I want to do is probably not going to get me where I want to go.

There’s also the classic mystery thrill of having to figure a puzzle out. Now that’s a thrill I can get behind. There’s a great pleasure in using your mind to unlock a particularly well-crafted puzzle. I love to add that element to my stories, so that even though the characters are dealing with the unknown, there is still a logical way to figure the mystery out.

But conversely, and this is one of my own more peculiar quirks – I also love the feeling of being slowly taken over by complete madness.

One of my very early discoveries as a voracious young reader was Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s terrifying short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, one of the greatest feminist horror stories ever written, in which a new young mother is confined to her bedroom by her physician husband and is not allowed to write because it would stress her. Instead she goes horribly and inexorably out of her mind.

Now, why the vicarious experience of going mad should be such a particular pleasure to me, I can’t tell you – clearly something to do with spending my formative years in Berkeley. Or, you know, all those Grateful Dead concerts. Or those San Francisco clubs where we…

Well, all right, never mind that.

But I have come to terms with the fact that madness is an experience I crave, and I’ve made a careful study of how authors I love (Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, Anne Rice, the Brontes) create that effect. All of that study of the experience of madness and real-life mental illness has come in really handy for writing from the point of view of my killer in Huntress Moon. Because for whatever reason – and there are lots of factors, there – the Huntress does not experience life in the way that most of us do. But by the end of the first book, readers swear that they’re coming around to her way of thinking!

The Huntress Moon series is crime thrillers, with just a touch of what MAY be paranormal. But I also write more overtly supernatural thrillers, in my Haunted series. And another thing I know about myself, vis a vis the supernatural, is that I need to believe that it could really happen that way. So I’m a real sucker for the slow, atmospheric, psychological build, and I research obsessively to see what people who claim to have experienced the supernatural actually experienced, and I look for the patterns in the stories: what are the common elements? What has the ring of truth?

This was especially important to me while I was writing my fact-based thriller The Unseen, because it’s a poltergeist story, and unlike with ghosts, there isn’t that much consensus about what a poltergeist really is. It’s a maddeningly elusive phenomenon.

But I love poltergeists! Just the word is thrilling to me. So I created a poltergeist which might be any or all of the things that researchers have postulated that poltergeists are: a psycho-sexual projection, a haunting, some extra-dimensional being, or very human fraud. Creating a story that explored all of those possibilities meant I got to structure in that mystery kind of thrill that I love – only the question was not only “Whodunit?” but also “Whatdunit?”

And that’s always the best for me – that mix of mystery, madness, and the unknown.

So, all you thrilling people – what kinds of thrills do it for you? What are your early influences that will give us an idea of just what twisted kicks you’re looking for in a book?

Alexandra Sokoloff

 

Cold Moon Blog Tour Poster

It is strongly recommended that you start this series with Book 1:

Huntress Moon

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    – Amazon US   http://amzn.to/1z3pSh5

    – Amazon UK  http://amzn.to/1wEwxZo

    – Amazon AU  http://www.amazon.com.au/Huntress-Moon-FBI-Thrillers-Book-ebook/dp/B00NKTTDH4

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Here are the links to all three books as well:

UK  Huntress Moon  http://amzn.to/1wEwxZo

UK Blood Moon  http://amzn.to/1CPG4Uw

UK Cold Moon  http://amzn.to/1xBtA2U

US Huntress Moon  http://amzn.to/1z3pSh5

US Blood Moon  http://amzn.to/1EqoKax

US Cold Moon   http://amzn.to/1ymNA6b

“This interstate manhunt has plenty of thrills… Sokoloff keeps the drama taut and the pages flying.”

      — Kirkus Reviews

 

“Who you know: Agatha Christie, Gillian Flynn, Mary Higgins Clark. Who you should be reading: Alexandra Sokoloff.”

     Huffington Post Books

About the Author

Sokoloff_midshot_1MBAlexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award -winning, Bram Stoker and Anthony Award-nominated author of

eleven supernatural, crime and paranormal thrillers. As a screenwriter she has sold original scripts and written novel adaptations for numerous Hollywood studios, and teaches the internationally acclaimed Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshops. She lives in Los Angeles and in Scotland.

Book details:

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Genre: Mystery, thriller, suspense

ISBN: 1477822046

ASIN: B00NKTTDH4

Available in ebook, paperback and audio: Amazon US, Amazon UK and worldwide; Barnes & Noble

 

Contact details:

AXSokoloff@aol.com

http://alexandrasokoloff.com

https://twitter.com/AlexSokoloff

http://www.facebook.com/alexandra.sokoloff

http://goodreads.com/alexandrasokoloff

www.screenwritingtricks.com

 

Comments

  1. Just finished Huntress Moon today, thrilling from beginning to end! Congratulations. I’ll be seeking out your next books as soon as I can manage 🙂

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