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Q & A with Author Bianca Sloane

Remember this name, Bianca Sloane. This upcoming novelist truly embodies the genre of suspense thriller. With two published novels that have been well received, she is definitely carving her own path to becoming a household name. After her latest release, Sweet Little Lies, I am pleased to have her come by and chat.

What inspired you to become an author?

I was always that kid who was pecking out something on my ancient little typewriter.  I loved doing fan fiction, short stories—anything and everything.  I was a bit of an introvert with an active imagination.  I don't think I could have been anything but a writer!  

What would you say are pros and cons of self-publishing against being traditionally published?

I would say one of the pros of being in Indie author is the freedom you have.  You can tell the types of stories you want to tell, you can do it on your own timetable and you have complete control over the creative process.  The cons are that you're a one-man band, responsible not only for writing the books, but also finding a cover artist, editors and proofreaders and formatters.  And that's all before you market the books.  Sometimes, it can be tough to find enough hours in the day to fit it all in. 

In your books, you have such addictive and amazing characters. Where do you find the inspiration to create them?

Oh wow – thank you!  One of the best compliments a writer can hear.  

I pull inspiration for my characters from a variety of places.  My characters talk to me (yes, I'm one of those authors) and they tell me who they are.  That's what comes out on the page.  I don't do character bios or anything like that.  It's all free-form and just comes to me as I'm writing and during the revision process, I'll make tweaks as I need to. 

I also strive to make them strong and smart.  They may have moments when they falter, but that makes them human.  I put little bits of myself and people I know into the characters.  When I'm out and about, I observe people and  listen to conversations.  Reality TV is also great for studying human nature.  Yes, that's it...reality TV in the name of research...

It's also important to know who your characters are apart from what's on the page – where they were born, any siblings, past romantic relationships, relationships with their parents, etc.  That helps to make them more real and more relatable.  

Your latest release, Sweet Little Lies, is definitely one of those books that should be on the movie screen. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead?

Ha ha!  How much fun would that be to see this turned into a movie?  I actually have a Pinterest board for the book where I envisioned who would play the roles.  I like Carmen Ejogo (she played opposite Whitney Houston in Sparkle) as my main character, Kelly. I've also thought Paula Patton would be good. I'd love to see Boris Kodjoe as Kelly's husband, Mark.  Talk about a McHottie.

What are the challenges that an author in your genre has when trying to create “the story”? Is it easier to build up the story with a huge ending that may be predictable or build up to the unexpected?

I think for a suspense writer, the challenge is to come up with a new way to tell the same old story. As the saying goes, there are no new ideas.  You have to ask yourself what can you do that hasn't been done before?  For example, in Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn took the story of the missing wife that we've all come to know so well and completely turned it on its head with explosion after explosion.   

I think it's certainly easier to build up to the predictable ending.  Formulas exist for a reason, which is why we see them over and over again. For me personally, I love twisty, unpredictable endings, because they're more fun and certainly more thought-provoking. Harder to develop, yes, but ultimately much more fun and satisfying. 

Is there an author or book that has inspired your career as a writer?

Mary Higgins Clark was an author who I read in high school and college whose books I couldn't read fast enough. The first book of hers that I read was The Cradle Will Fall and it remains a favorite. One of the most unsettling books I've ever read.

What are you currently working on?

I'm in the throes of my next release, Every Breath You Take, which is about a love affair gone horribly wrong. There is of course murder and some twists along the way. That will be released in 2014. 

What advice can you offer upcoming authors?

Read, read, read. Read the good stuff. Read the bad stuff. Read everything in between. Read different genres. While I love to read suspense books and this is mostly what I read, sometimes, I want to get lost in some chick lit or a good old-fashioned family saga. As Stephen King says, if you don't have time to read, you don't have time to be a writer.  

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