2.Your hero/ine is often a sort of “every man” or “every woman” who is discounted by others. Why does this type of character appeal to you? It would seem that the pitfall would be a character who is too bland or boring to hold the reader’s attention, and yet your characters are compelling…even if they are slackers. Please comment. Also, you seem to include male characters who are amazed that they’re loved by smart and attractive women. This goes contrary to many male fantasies of being irresistible. Tell us about that.
I think the “everyman” is the ideal protagonist for a thriller, again because of this question of identifying with the hero. I also love the idea of the underdog, the person the reader wants to root for because everyone else seems to underestimate them. Nick Heller can be beaten, and because we know that, the stakes are higher. It’s much more exciting for the reader when he overcomes those obstacles.
Men might pretend to think they’re irresistible, but I’ll let you in on a secret: most of us know that’s a fantasy. Most men have no idea why any woman would find us attractive. Life’s not an Axe commercial. I think both men and women appreciate a more realistic approach.
3. Your books are full of tension and suspense, but it comes from events most of us might imagine ourselves in, such as snooping around in an office where we don’t belong. Or getting caught in a lie. You are a master at upping the stakes and amplifying the threat. How do you do that?
You have to start with a character the reader cares about, and then put them through a sequence of events that escalate, with moments of real tension
This was an interesting interview. It offered me a little more insight as to the thought processes that Joe goes through in developing the story line…especially the twists and unexpected ocurrances. Very cool!
Joanna Campbell Slan says
Yes, I loved the part about humor reassuring the reader. I'd never thought of that.
Official Joseph Finder Facebook fan page says
Thank you for the great interview! We've posted a link on the Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/josephfinder
Thank you for the interview with Joseph Finder.
A while back I was looking for a book on tape to accompany me on a driving trip. The book store owner handed me "Paranoia" and said,"Try this guy, I think you'll like him."
He was right. Mr. Finder has become one of my favorite authors; I gobble up everything he writes and gift and recommend his books to my friends.
I spent years sprinting across corporate parking lots and misplacing my magnetic ID cards and never once thought there could be anything more sinister going on in the office than someone pilfering my Lean Cuisine out of the lunchroom fridge.(I mean, what's the worst that could happen? Right?)
Joanna Campbell Slan says
When I first started reading Paranoia, I thought, "You've got to be kidding? A book about a slacker? Where's the drama in that?" And then I was immediately sucked in. Joe is a genius. He's managed to take situations that most of us have been in and make our worst fears real.