Welcome to the latest stop on the blog tour, marking the release of Michael J. Malone’s A Suitable Lie, a sensitive and suspenseful psychological thriller. Here’s a guest post from the man himself, talking about truth, lies, and how both have influenced his latest book…
“While doing book signings for the release of my latest novel, A Suitable Lie I have met some amazing people and have had some very interesting conversations. One of them got me thinking about my writing process. The conversation went like this…
‘So you tell lies for a living then?’ She arched an eyebrow and offered a half-smile.
“Well…’ I began and wondered if she was looking down on me, or looking up to me. ‘You could say that.’
Fair enough. Professional liar, that’s me. I spend hours making stuff up and let me tell you it’s great fun.
However if I didn’t also include truth, the lies wouldn’t be quite so convincing. Every character I write about, I write about them in a manner that is true to them. Their actions and reactions are completely true to the person I find them to “be”.
I work at finding the truth of my characters’ emotions. How do they feel and why do they feel it? I hitch on to that and you, the reader (hopefully) take up their cause. Then for the crime writer those other truths are required. Whodunnit and more importantly in my view, why they did it.
That is particularly true of novels where I am dealing with sensitive subjects, as I do in my latest novel, A Suitable Lie. Being a victim of domestic abuse must be one of the grimmest situations one could find oneself in. Your home should be where you feel the safest, not where the threat is the most grave. And when I found myself writing about a couple in that scenario I worked hard to be sure I did so with sensitivity, but above all, with truth. Because if not, why bother?
I might be telling a story through the prism of crime fiction, but in the end it is all about the people we meet within the pages. Like you, I’m fascinated by other human beings and what makes them tick, and in my humble opinion no genre gets to the heart of this more than crime fiction. We are all people-watchers, surely? And writers are probably guiltier of that than others. As Flannery O’Connor said, “The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.”
The trick, is to leave yourself out of it. How often have you read something where it reads like the author is venting? Where you are pushed out of the story while thinking, who’s talking here? The character or the author? And that’s where I bring you back to A Suitable Lie and presenting the truth and the lie of the situation with honesty and without judgement.
So, hands up. I make up lies and give them a core of honesty. And as all the best fibbers know, the most convincing lies are the ones that stick most closely to the truth.”
Catch up with, or continue to follow the blog tour at these excellent sites: