Hello, this is L.M. David. Today’s interview is with Jenny Hilborne, Author of Stone Cold. This interview took place last year. Jenny, forgive the delay. I totally apologize for this. And, as before, there will be no gripe session concerning my favorite, misunderstood vampyre Preston.
Okay, here is the interview.
Q. Tell me a bit about yourself.
A. I’m a native Brit, dividing my time between the UK and the US, plotting, researching and writing mysteries and thrillers. My background is in real estate and finance, a competitive field that provides numerous ideas.
Q. What inspired you to write Stone Cold?
A. Stone Cold is fiction, though the idea for some parts of the story came from real life tragedy. It nagged me for several years before I wrote it.
Q. Charles Dean is described as a ruthless boss. What makes him such a cruel individual?
A. Charles Dean is driven purely by results. He has no interest in how those results are achieved or the personal price to his staff. He sets impossible standards and views ailments or illness as character weakness.
Q. Another character in Stone Cold is Reid Dalton who has a dark past. What is his character like?
A. Reid Dalton is an enigma. He is single, a brilliant and successful sales professional, yet a sadistic individual who shares past history with Charles Dean.
Q. Now we get to Mara Mann. What role does she play in Stone Cold?
A. Mara Mann brings all the pieces together. She is the main character in Stone Cold and Charles Dean’s personal assistant, privy to more information than most. She’s spirited and determined. Her fortitude puts her in danger when she gets too close to the truth about her boss, and it’s the only thing that might save her when things don’t go quite the way she planned.
Q. You set Stone Cold in English Cotswolds. Why?
A. I grew up close to the Cotswolds in England. It’s a place of pure beauty and tranquility, which makes murder far more unexpected and shocking.
Q. Did you have to do a lot of research to write Stone Cold?
A. I do a lot of research for every book I write. With Stone Cold, I did most of it out in the field, and drove every route my characters take. I visited the office where they work, the cemetery with the broken gate and the forgotten grave, and spent hours inside the police station, a little of it locked inside a cell, to get the correct flavors for the book.
Q. Stone Cold is not your first novel. What are the titles of your other books?
A. Madness and Murder is my first, a psychological thriller. No Alibi is a suspense, and Hide and Seek is a whodunit. These first three books are all set in San Francisco.
Q. Is it difficult to write a psychological thriller?
A. The psychology is what fascinates me the most, far more interesting than the crime itself. I believe everyone has the ability to kill, but most don’t. Getting into the dark, twisted corners to write a psychological thriller is always a challenge, and that’s what makes it fascinating.
Q. What elements are needed to write psychological thrillers versus a suspense thriller?
A. Psychological thrillers are far more deceptive. Both the killers and the detectives play mind games. Psychological is more closely related to horror than suspense, so you have to be willing to venture into much darker places to write them.
Q. What is your favorite part of Stone Cold?
A. Mara Mann is my favorite part. She’s flawed and has secrets of her own, but she’s basically good. I like her grit and stamina.
Q. What is your lease favorite part of Stone Cold?
A. Charles Dean is my least favorite part. His character represents the type of arrogant and egotistical boss who tramples on everyone he meets to elevate his own status. He exists somewhere, not just in my mind.
Q. When not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
A. I love reading, movies, and traveling. New places give me ideas.
Q. Do you have any words of encouragement for new writers out there seeking publication?
A. That’s a tough one. All I can say is, it’s rough, challenging, and an uphill climb. You have to love writing to stick with it. Believe in yourself and develop a thick skin. You will need both.
And that concludes this interview.
Bio for Jenny Hilborne
Jenny Hilborne is a native Brit, currently dividing her time between Southern California and her hometown of Swindon, in the UK. After deciding against a career in the police force, as suggested by the local recruitment office, Jenny worked in the real estate and finance industry and is the author of four published thrillers.
Her journey into professional writing began in 2007 following the encouragement and advice of her English professor. MADNESS AND MURDER, her first psychological thriller, was published by Echelon Press in 2010, followed in 2011 by her second thriller, NO ALIBI. Her third thriller, HIDE AND SEEK, is also set in San Francisco, while the latest release, STONE COLD, takes place in the idyllic English Cotswolds.
Jenny is an enthusiastic reader, of mostly thrillers and mysteries, and enjoys writing reviews on a regular basis for the New York Journal of Books and Suspense Magazine. She is working on her 5th novel, a paranormal thriller set in San Francisco.
When she is not writing, Jenny enjoys a good movie, meeting up with friends, attending book festivals, and the occasional trip to the beach. Jenny has been a regular attendee at the Southern California Writers Conference, learning new tips and tricks and sharing experiences and stories with a network of authors.
Other Works by Jenny Hilborne:
It’s a twisted world we live in….