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Best-selling author Becca Fitzpatrick (the Hush Hush series) has moved away from the paranormal with her new book, BLACK ICE.
This is a tense psychological thriller that sees teenaged Britt kidnapped on a mountainside and forced to lead two men safely down the mountain through a snowstorm. She has no idea what their plans are or whether they will release her once they reach safety.
Becca Fitzpatrick answered these questions for T2P1:
Q: What kind of books do you like to read and have you always been a reader?
A: Ideally, I'm reading widely -- romance, historical, western, YA, sci-fi. Every genre teaches me something about storytelling. Yes, I've always been a reader.
Q: Had you always wanted to be an author and how hard was it for you to get your first book published?
A: When I was eight, I watched the movie Romancing the Stone, and decided I wanted to be a romance writer, like the movie's heroine. It was extremely difficult to get published. Years and years of rejection came before my first book, Hush, Hush, sold.
Q: Authors sometimes deliberately write a book that's very different from an earlier book so they don't get 'pigeon holed' into one genre -- did that cross your mind when you started writing Black Ice, or were you more concerned about what your fans might expect from you?
A: The first draft of Black Ice included paranormal elements. There were ghosts! I wasn't consciously thinking about genre -- I was following my instincts and writing the story that felt most important to me at that moment.
In later drafts, the ghosts were cut and the criminal and psychological aspects took centre stage. Being a bit oblivious to the fact that I was switching genres definitely made the leap less intimidating.
Q: Was the writing process for this book (which is a standalone) very different from writing each of the books in the Hush, Hush series?
A: Not really. I outlined Black Ice in much the same way that I outlined each book in the Hush, Hush series. I knew the beginning, middle, and end before I started writing.
Q: There's a strong romantic triangle at the core of this story -- do you think that romance will always feature in your books and what draws you to writing about relationships?
A: The romance is my favourite part of writing any book. I love putting two people with great chemistry on the page together. It makes for sexy banter, which I always hope will lead to something more, ha!
Q: As in Hush, Hush, there's a character in Black Ice, Mason, who is difficult to decipher. Did you always know how Mason would turn out or do you like to keep yourself guessing as you write? Are there some characters who, as an author, you feel you never completely understand?
A: Since I outline, I do know all the characters' secrets before I start writing. But I'm open to change. If I get a better idea during the writing process, I'll go with it. After working with my characters over several months and drafts, I feel like I know them very well.
Q: The story features a trek through a mountain in a snow storm -- did you need to do much research into the dangers your characters could face?
A: I've lived in both Idaho and Wyoming, so I felt comfortable with the setting from the get-go. But to make certain I knew the world inside out, I road-tripped to the Teton Range before starting Black Ice. I also talked with wilderness and survival experts. Fingers crossed I never have to put what I learned to the test!
Q: Are you a regular walker / camper yourself? Have you ever ended up in a very dangerous situation, like your character Britt?
A: My idea of camping is staying in a two-star hotel. Fortunately, I did not base Britt's captivity on an experience from my own life.
Q: What are you writing now?
A: Nothing. My energy is going into touring and promoting Black Ice.
Q: How does your writing day go and what are your bad habits?
A: I typically write for a couple hours, break for lunch, then write for a couple more hours. Social media is my bad habit.
Q: What for you are the highs and lows of being an author and how much has the success of Hush, Hush changed your daily routines?
A: I don't feel like my day-to-day life has changed very much. I still get up, make my boys' breakfast, send them off to school, do laundry, wash the dishes, and squeeze in a little writing. Very glamorous, right?
I don't think the highs and lows are as drastic as they used to be. Writing isn't the only thing in my life, nor is it the most important. I do it for fun. When things go wrong, I shrug it off. When things go right, I celebrate briefly, then get back to work.