I met Zoe Sharp when she came to teach a crime writing course at Caerleon Writers' Holidays and, apart from the fact that we got on really well from the start, when I saw a quote about one of her books :
'Zoë Sharp grabs hold of the reader's throat in the first sentence of the Charlie Fox debut thriller and never lets go " it just made me want to read her book right now.
So because I'm generous to my readers I knew I wanted to invite her along to this celebration so that those of you who missed her first visit back in 2007 (was it really that long ago, Zoe!) can find out about her and her books. I may be a romance writer but I love a good crime novel/thriller - and if you do too you can be in with a chance to win one of her titles if you join in the conversation in the comments list.
So here's Zoe
Keeping the flame well lit
I was so pleased to be asked to help celebrate the Ruby wedding anniversary of Kate and Steve The Babe Magnet™. They’re a wonderful couple and to have survived forty years together without resorting to murder is certainly cause for celebration!
Not for one moment that I’m casting aspersions on this lovely pair, but being a crime thriller author that’s just the way my mind tends to work.
Relationships fascinate me. I feel they are at the heart of all good fiction and are not the exclusive preserve of well-known romance writers like Kate. Being engaged by the characters and wanting them to resolve their difficulties—with the situation or with each other—are all part of what keeps us turning the pages to the very end.
My main character, Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox is an ex-Special Forces trainee who was robbed of her army career and instead became a bodyguard. KILLER INSTINCT: Charlie Fox book one was published in 2001. The latest—out at the start of the year—is DIE EASY: Charlie Fox book ten.
It would have been very easy to make Charlie a celibate character, or have her drift in and out of relationships that never quite went anywhere, mostly likely because she was already married to her work.
Instead, right from the start is the back story of her turbulent love affair with Sean Meyer. He was her training instructor in the army, so what was between them had to remain illicit. And when that blew up in both their faces they parted on the worst of terms.
By the time they meet again a lot has changed, but not Charlie’s feelings for Sean. Nor her realisation that he’s a reflection of her own dark half. Her own father recognises this when he tells her in ROAD KILL: Charlie Fox book five: “If you stay with Sean Meyer you will end up killing again. And next time, Charlotte, you might not get away with it …”
But despite knowing she should make a different choice, Charlie can’t let Sean go. Through the ten books so far they’ve put their lives on the line for each other. They’ve killed and almost died for each other. Sean’s pushed her away and still she refuses to entirely give up on him. The on-going story of their impossible relationship is what keeps the series constantly fresh and exciting for me as a writer.
And judging by the emails I receive, it seems to be working pretty well for my readers, too.
After all, all action and no heart does not a satisfying story make.
Kate and Steve’s story, I hope, contains a little of both :)
To help celebrate Kate and Steve’s Ruby wedding anniversary, I’m delighted to be giving away a signed copy of any of the ten Charlie Fox books so far (see my website for the full series list).
But in return I need your help. Some very good (non-writer) friends of mine have their eleventh wedding anniversary coming up in September. Eleven is Steel. Hmm, not exactly inspiring when it comes to ideas for anniversary gifts. So, the signed book goes to the most appropriate and inventive suggestion!
Zoë Sharp wrote her first novel when she was fifteen, and created the no-nonsense Charlie Fox after receiving death-threat letters as a photojournalist. Her work has been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin, and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Short Story Dagger. It has been used in Danish school textbooks, turned into a short film and optioned by Twentieth Century Fox TV. Zoë can regularly be found telling silly jokes on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and Facebook where you can Like or Friend her. To read extracts from the books and find out more please visit www.ZoeSharp.com.