Hey everyone! Today is a stop for the A Bridge of Treachery Book Tour where we have an interview with the author, Larry Crane!
Larry Crane: Hello Maureen. I'm delighted to be here talking about A Bridge to Treachery.
Maureen's Book Haven: We're excited to have you! What's the hardest for you to write, the beginning the middle or the end?
Larry Crane: A Bridge to Treachery has a lot of threads that need to be tied up by the time that the last word goes down on the book, as do most thrillers. I want all the logic that drives the action, all the comings and goings of characters, all the complications to make sense with the unfolding of the resolution. It is an exercise in attention to detail. So, the end is the most difficult for me to write. In the beginning and the middle of the book, there is a much greater feeling of freedom in the flow of the story. The closer you get to the end, the more doors get closed, and the feeling of freedom is pretty much used up.
Maureen's Book Haven: Does anyone in your life inspire your characters?
Larry Crane: I don't have any major characters in my book that are based solely on one person from my personal experience. But many of the characters inhabit a mixed bag of characteristics from people I have known. Situations in the book are in part similar to situations I know of. For instance the auction in the beginning of the book is very much like auctions I have attended, and the auctioneer, a minor character, is pretty much a replica of an actual person. The operations manager in the brokerage office that Lou Christopher works in, another minor character, is another replica.
Maureen's Book Haven: When did you discover your talent for writing?
Larry Crane: Generally, we like to do things in life that we are good at. Finding out what you're good at is a process of trial and error, seems to me. I had no sense that I could put words together pretty well before about the eighth grade. Our eighth grade geography teacher as I remember it, required us to write a report of some kind, and I was able to accomplish the task easily. Later, I discovered that it was a good report when it was published in the school newspaper. So, the reward of recognition served to kindle my basic talent for composition. The talent didn't crumble with added complexity and subtlety that went along with more advanced writing projects. It was in English Lit at college level where I first got the idea that fiction might be fun.
Maureen's Book Haven: What was the first book that changed your world?
Larry Crane: A book that was passed around between my high school sophomore classmates until it was limp as a rag was Battle Cry, a World War II tale of teenage Marines going through training and shipping off to the Pacific to ultimately make a landing on Guadalcanal. It was a book that was right for that time in my life. It was full of scenes to get a 15 year old boy's blood boiling. It wasn't fine literature, but it was a book that fired my imagination in all sorts of ways.
Maureen's Book Haven: Where did you come up with the story line?
Larry Crane: I wanted to write a book that I would want to read. Books on writing encourage budding writers to use what they know. I had been in the Army. I had brokerage experience. I knew my way around Manhattan, and the area all the way north from New York to West Point, on the Hudson River. I knew that I wanted to put my protagonist in a situation where he would have to use his skill in terrain navigation. With those elements, I dreamed up a scenario in which and ex-Army officer would get himself in a pickle, a deadly one, that he would have to get himself out of.
Maureen's Book Haven: Tell us something about yourself that isn't in your bio for everyone to read?
Larry Crane: I suspect that few people are as crazy as I was about sports as a young man. I played sports of all kinds all through my school days including college. I was physically on the small side all the way up to graduation from high school, a classic late bloomer. Through all those years, nothing could keep me away from trying out for teams. From this perspective now, it seems that those years pursuing success in sports is not much different from what I do now pursuing writing success.
Maureen's Book Haven: What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Larry Crane: Scenes that have an emotional payoff are the hardest for me. It is very easy to veer over into overly sentimental scenes, something to avoid. So it's a delicate balance to find the story developments and the language to convey the emotion, and carry it with a light touch.
Maureen's Book Haven: How do you choose names for your characters?
Larry Crane: I want my characters to have a name that suits them. It's completely arbitrary. Sidney seemed perfect to me for my sassy young woman. I'd never heard of a girl named Sidney until my college roommate and his wife named their daughter Sydney. Lou Christopher seems a name that fits the man, a man with some depth. And the aggressive and arrogant business woman seems aptly named Priscilla Buck. It is arbitrary, but I think names are important to the story.
Maureen's Book Haven: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Larry Crane: I don't know how quirky it is, but I have a brain that skips around a lot. I have a lot of projects going on all the time in various stages of development. Plays, videos, grant applications, donation appeal letters, articles for a newspaper, and a novel. The novel will be perking away while all the rest of it is in revision or whatever other stage of development that applies.
Maureen's Book Haven: How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
Larry Crane: I didn't because it was an ebook and went completely unnoticed. A big event in my life was having the physical paperback book in my hands for the first time. It is a little strange, but the people in your life often don't know how to deal with the fact that you've published a book. They don't know what to say about it other than they liked it.
Now a little about Larry Crane's new book! Go check it out!
Buy it: Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Smashwords