CRIME AUTHORS SPILL THEIR GUTS ABOUT WRITING. Every Thursday top-notch authors of psychological thrillers and crime fiction share their writing secrets – and the secrets to their success – with you and me.
“Handling rejection is a large part of the job [of being a writer]. ”
This week: Ben McPherson
Tell us about yourself…
I’m Scottish and live in Norway, where I write psychological thrillers about good people doing very bad things.
My wife is Norwegian and wanted to give birth close to her family and friends, so we came for six months and never quite left. I was working at the BBC as a television producer, and for a while I lived in London and we saw each other at weekends, but four years ago I moved here properly. Now I have two Norwegian sons and three naturalised cats. Television feels like someone else’s life.
Norway is a strange and lovely place. There’s a kindness and a generosity of spirit amongst the people. People here will tell you it’s the happiest country on Earth, and in many ways it is, especially in summer, but once you look below that seductive placid surface, there are undercurrents, of course. The suicide rate is high; many people take antidepressants.
These contradictions make Norway a compelling place for a writer. My first book, A Line of Blood, is set in London, but my second is set here. There’s something about the country and the landscape that seeps into your soul. You’re so affected by the endlessness of the winter and the short, very intense summers.
How do you pick character names? Do any have special meaning to you?
I pick names of people I like. And then I throw them away and pick better names as I write, and start to know my own characters and how I expect them to think and behave. Sometimes there are small clues in a name that I don’t expect anyone else to get…TO READ IN FULL, CLICK HERE