Today we present an entertaining interview to James Schannep, author of two great titles, INFECTED and MURDERED!
TBM: How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?
JS: MURDERED was written for people who love the thrill of a mystery, but want a challenge at the same time. Because it's interactive fiction, it's essentially a literary puzzle; a book that calls upon the reader to see if they have what it takes to solve a murder.
TBM: How was the writer inside of you born?
JS: I was creating stories and writing before I even knew what I was doing. I'd give elaborate back-stories to my toys, or continue the adventures of my favorite movies and games during play with friends. Writing, for me, is more of a coping mechanism for an active imagination. If I don't bring these stories and characters to life, they'll never leave me alone!
TBM: What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing?
JS: I've written a zombie book (INFECTED), a murder mystery (MURDERED), and I'm working on a superhero adventure right now. I write the stories that I'm most passionate about, even if they don't all fit in the same genre. The result is, that while each Click Your Poison book has three unique storylines, and over fifty possible endings, there's a different world to explore with every title.
TBM: As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate?
JS: I know it sounds simple, but I love when an author gives me a compelling plot and engaging characters. Some books seem to succeed by having only one of these strengths, but the books that stick with me are those that combine both in powerful and surprising ways.
TBM: What inspired you to write MURDERED and what do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
JS: I wanted to write a neo-noir mystery that was engaging on the surface level, but that also had a much deeper layer if you look hard enough to find it. Some people might feel as if they've solved the case, when in reality, you've been fooled by the villain! If there's any nagging doubt about any details, go back and give it another go. You won't regret it.
TBM: How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?
JS: Writing is my full-time job, and it took me about a year to complete MURDERED. When I finished the first draft, I sent it off to my "beta-readers" and mixed myself a Dark-n-Stormy -- a fitting cocktail for a murder mystery if ever there were such a thing! Then I took my wife out to dinner, and tried not to think about the amount of editing that lie before me....
TBM: What would you like to say to your readers?
JS: I love to hear from readers! You can find me at www.jamesschannep.com or "like" facebook's "Click Your Poison" page or hit me up on twitter at @JamesSchannep and @ClickYourPoison
TBM: MURDERED is set largely in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What made you pick this location for your story?
JS: Though Brazil is on the cusp of being a major world power and leader in clean energy, urban areas are largely plagued by gang cartels and police corruption, very much like 1950s Los Angeles. As part of gearing up for the World Cup and the Olympics, that situation has only gotten worse. When I read that the Rio police were commanded to get their murder rate in check, and did so virtually overnight, with the result of "unsolved missing persons cases" skyrocketing instead -- I knew I had the perfect location for a dark, seedy mystery.
JS: I can't wait to hear from readers who decide to crack the case in MURDERED. Whether you want to share (or verify!) your success, or ask about a nagging clue, I think you'll find MURDERED a book that you can't put down once you make your first decision. And there are many paths to be explored within. Good luck, and happy sleuthing!