Tuesday, May 14, 2019

What is Lara Elena Donnelly reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Lara Elena Donnelly, author of Amnesty: Book 3 in the Amberlough Dossier.

Her entry begins:
Back in 2012, one of my Clarion instructors mentioned The Talented Mr. Ripley in workshop. The name was vaguely familiar, but only as a received pop culture artifact. But she talked about it in such glowing terms I thought, I guess I’d better read this.

And I tried. But I bounced off it like a superball.

Years passed. My tastes changed. My own writing, and my understanding of other authors’ craft, improved. And, after a bout with another thriller many blurbs and reviews hailed as “Ripleyesque,” which I found equal parts un-put-downable and deeply frustrating on a couple of craft levels, I thought, maybe I should try Ripley again.

I tore through it this time. Whenever I set it aside to do something else, I was back on the sofa within half an hour. Patricia Highsmith makes every moment of that book feel like a potential turning point in Tom Ripley’s hectic, high-stakes scam. None of the characters is a hero or a villain; the book is a masterclass in winning reader empathy through characterization and context.

Recently, after looking at some pages for a proposed new project, my editor said they reminded her of Highsmith, and asked if I could lean even harder on that tone, those characters, that voice. I had pitched the project as Perfume: The Story of a Murderer meets Brian Fuller’s Hannibal, in the style of Donna Tartt. But as soon as she said “Highsmith,” I knew she was right.

So I’ve lately finished Strangers on a Train, her debut, and...[read on]
About Amnesty, from the publisher:
In Amberlough City, out of the ASHES of revolution, a TRAITOR returns, a political CAMPAIGN comes to a roaring head, and the people demand JUSTICE for crimes past.

As a nation struggles to rebuild, who can escape retribution?

Amnesty is a smart, decadent, heart-pounding conclusion to Lara Elena Donnelly’s widely-praised glam spy trilogy that will have readers enthralled until the very end.
Visit Lara Elena Donnelly's website.

My Book, The Movie: Amberlough.

Writers Read: Lara Elena Donnelly.

--Marshal Zeringue