Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks, authors of Weave A Murderous Web.
About Weave A Murderous Web
No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support.
Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dad’s hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous.
Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.
Which writers inspire you?
We are inspired by writers who create plots that draw you in with characters and settings that come alive. Among many others, we both like Charles Dickens and Kurt Vonnegut. Another favorite of Anne’s is Charlotte Bronte. Ken admires William Faulkner.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Ken met Kurt Vonnegut once and asked him this question. His response was that he always wanted to be a writer. We adopt that answer for our own. We have both been fashioning stories in our minds for almost as long as we have been reading.
Why do you write?
We think that all artists create their art for essentially the same reason—they have a view of the world that they want to share with other people and, perhaps, at the same time teach them to see things from a different perspective, if only for a short time. This is why we write. We enjoy putting together a mystery, but each book is also trying to convey something about the world in which it occurs.
Where do your ideas come from?
The germ of an idea can come from anywhere—the newspaper, an overheard conversation, an incident on the street. The layers of plot and the interactions of characters come from bouncing ideas back and forth.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
We think that after many years we have learned from our mistakes and will remove material that is not actively moving the story forward no matter how much we enjoy the way it is written.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest thing about writing is marketing the book so that people will read it. It is a tedious and joyless process.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Once you formulate a basic idea and have a good concept of your characters and the story arc, the act of putting the novel down on paper is a lot of fun.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
This is a difficult question to answer since we sometimes put a book aside and work on something else before coming back to the first project. We go through a substantial rewriting and revision process. It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Ken often reads on his iPhone. He loves the feel of paper and even collects old books, but it is very convenient to have a book in digital format that he can turn to anywhere without having to carry a large volume. Anne, on the other hand, only reads books on paper, usually from our local library.
Do you think that the cover plays an important in the success of a book?
There is really no question that readers are attracted to a book initially by a good cover. Publishers spend large sums of money to create eye-grabbing images. However, no one ever recommended a book based solely on a cover. Rather, readers talk to other readers because they like the writing.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing a book?
The best advice we can give is to stick with a topic that you know thoroughly. Don’t write about the South Pacific if you’ve never been there. Second, expect to work very hard and thoroughly rewrite every sentence of your novel many times until you get it right. Third, don’t use a big word if a small will serve the same purpose.
What is your favorite book and why?
Anne loves Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, which has funny and interesting characters, a plot with unexpected twists, and a point of view that is unique. Ken would describe Bleak House by Charles Dickens in a similar way, although it is not as thoroughly amusing as Sirens of Titan.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Travel as much as you can afford. Work hard. Harder!
Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
Ken would love to meet Socrates. Anne would enjoy spending time with Bob Dylan.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
In addition to what we wrote above, if you don’t feel compelled to write, don’t start. It is a process that you should undertake only because you have to, not because you simply want to do something with your free time.
About the Authors:
Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been collaborating on books for forty-six years. Their first joint effort was a student project while Anne was at Bryn Mawr College and Ken attended Haverford. Since then, they have written over twenty books together. They are members of International Thriller Writers. They live and work in New York City, where many of their books are set.
Their Jane Larson series of mystery/thrillers involves a high-powered New York City attorney with a penchant for getting involved in situations that she would be better off leaving alone. These novels have been praised by reviewers for their gritty portrayals of city life, lively characters, fast action, surprise endings and highly polished prose. Jane is cynical and rebellious, but she finds herself drawn to the simple life her deceased mother lived as an attorney who served women unable to afford legal services. The series includes Weave A Murderous Web, Praise Her, Praise Diana, and Mind Me, Milady.
To learn more, go to http://randh71productions.com/blog/