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Friday, August 9, 2013

Author Interview – John Ling

11:30 AM Posted by James Noel , 2 comments

Have you developed a specific writing style?

My choice of diction is sparse and succinct, and it’s probably closest to that of Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene. Where possible, I try to avoid flowery or ornate descriptions. And I’m attracted to a journalistic approach—telling things as they are without resorting to embellishment.

What writing technique do you find yourself relying on the most?

A technique that author John Barth calls triangulation. It means taking sight for granted and focusing almost exclusively on the other senses—smell, touch, sound. Used correctly, this creates a greater sense of immediacy.

For example, instead of writing about the shape and appearance of a gun, I tend to omit such descriptions altogether. I focus on defining the smell and feel of a gun, as well as the emotions that come from pulling the trigger.

What is more important you? Plot or characterisation?

Characterisation. Because if you have an intriguing character, you will have an easier time building a plot around him or her. And let’s not forget that a plot is essentially an exploration of conflict—where a character desperately wants something but is prevented from achieving it. So I’ve always found it useful to conceptualise a good character first. And the plot—the conflict—will emerge as a natural outgrowth of that.

How important is research to you?

Hugely important. The very last thing I want is for a real soldier to pick up one of my books and say, ‘Hey, you got this wrong. It’s not called a clip. It’s called a magazine.’

If you are familiar with firearms, you will understand exactly what I’m referring to here. And, in all fairness, if you’re going to write an authentic story, then you have to get the details right. And that calls for research. Lots of it.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing?

I hope that people will be entertained by my stories, as well as come away with a greater appreciation of unique subcultures that exist outside the mainstream.

Fallen Angel

How far would you go to redeem your past?

Kendra Shaw is a 'fallen angel' -- a once-brilliant counterterrorism operator who suffered a nervous breakdown during a harrowing mission.

Now disgraced and suspended from duty, she is sent back home to recover. She is put on medication. Endures months of therapy. And slowly, surely, she starts to emerge from the shadows.

But any peace is short-lived.

One afternoon, on a busy street corner, Kendra spots a familiar face from her past. Ryan Hosseini -- the lover she left behind ten years ago when she decided to serve her country.

Wrestling with old regrets, she is about to approach him when she realises that he isn't alone. A surveillance team is hovering close by. Affiliation unknown. Intentions unknown.

And before Kendra can make sense of the situation, a bomb detonates and rips through the lunchtime crowd. And amidst the fire and rubble, Ryan vanishes.

Now Kendra finds herself on the hunt once more. Searching the city. Determined to uncover the truth.

Is Ryan a victim of circumstance? Or is he a home-grown terrorist on the verge of unleashing an even deadlier attack?

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Genre - Romantic Suspense

Rating – PG13

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