Blog Tour: Author Interview with D.B. Thorne, author of TROLL

Years ago, Fortune gave up on his daughter, Sophie, after a troubled adolescence. Now she's gone missing, vanished without trace. And after weeks of investigation, the police have given up on her, too.

Driven by guilt, and a determination to atone for his failures as a father, he takes on the search himself. He soon finds that his daughter has been living in fear of  a viscous online troll who seemed to know far too much about her.

Could Sophie's disappearance be linked to this unknown predator? Fortune is about to discover that monsters which live online don't always stay there...

You can pre-order your copy of TROLL here, ahead of release day on 1st June 2017.

Today on Hummingbird Reviews, I'm thrilled to be welcoming author of TROLL, D.B. Thorne, to the blog for an author chat with me as part of the blog tour organised by those brilliant folk over at Corvus. I haven't yet had the chance to get started on what sounds like a totally thrilling and twisting novel, but I really can't wait to begin. Until then, I was delighted to get the chance to ask D.B. Thorne my questions and share with you his answers. Happy reading, lovely book folk! Grab yourselves a cuppa and enjoy.

Chatting with D.B. Thorne.
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? What do you do? And what's your shoe size?
My name's David Thorne, and I'm from Bristol originally, now living in leafy Essex. I'm an author of crime fiction and my shoe size is a respectable 8.

When is your book due to be published?
My next book is a psychological thriller called TROLL and will be released on the 1st of June.

What is TROLL about?
It's about a missing young woman, and her father's attempts to find out what happened to her. The police have given up on the investigation, writing it off as suicide, despite not having found a body. But her father discovers that she was being trolled online, and starts piecing her final weeks together.

How do you hope readers will feel while reading TROLL?
A whole gamut of emotions, I hope! Fear, anger, hope, sympathy... And rather tired, since they'll be up all night reading it. Well, that's the dream, anyway.

If you were to describe this book in the same way you'd describe the weather, what would you say?
I'd say that it's dark and stormy, with the slim possibility of a glimmer of sunlight at the end of the day.

When did you first begin writing?
I began writing novels six or seven years ago, when I moved to Essex - I hadn't been there long before I realised that it provided the perfect backdrop for a crime novel, replete as it is with criminals and dodgy policemen and Range Rovers. My first book, East of Innocence, is about a lawyer in Essex investigating a case of police brutality, and also discovering what happened to his own mother, who abandoned him when he was a child.

Did you/do you have any particular goals for your writing/writing career?
I didn't have any particular goals, no. I think that to be a successful writer, you have to enjoy writing for its own sake, rather than for fame or fortune. Just getting published was reward enough, for me.

Which authors inspire you?
American crime writers, mainly, like Dennis Lehane and Richard Price. And Peter Temple, though he's an Australian writer, but his work is magnificent.

Describe your writing style in three words.
Fairly stripped back.

What themes do you usually focus on within your work? Is it different with each book?
It does differ, but they always have, at their root, a strong relationship of some kind, particularly some kind of family dynamic.

Once you've an idea firmly in place, what is normally the next step you take?
The next step is to write it up into a proposal and get buy-in from my agent and editor. I try not to get too excited about an idea until I know that it's got backing, and then I throw myself into it whole-heartedly.

Do you have a favourite part of the writing process?
My favourite part is the moment, usually about two thirds of the way in, when I work out exactly how it's going to end. By that point in the writing, it's really good to get that extra rush of excitement, which keeps the writing urgent and fun right up to the last page.

Are there any techniques/methods you favour when it comes to plotting?
I try to map out each chapter, and what is vaguely going to happen in each. Because I don't know how a story is going to end when I start, I try to get the first twenty or so chapters worked out, and by the time I've written them, the story's usually taken on a life of its own and it happens organically from there on in.

Have you ever come face to face with writer's block? If so, how did you overcome it?
I haven't really, no. The biggest block I face is when I can't get a character right - can't nail the voice for him or her. That tends to slow me down, because if the character doesn't have a strong and distinctive voice, it's not a lot of fun to write.

Where do you normally find inspiration?
In people. People are fascinating, and it's their character which drives their actions, which creates the plot and story.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

What part of the writing process do you find most difficult?
Coming up with the initial idea is the hardest part. Once the idea's there - providing that it's a good idea which excites me - the rest is usually pretty straightforward.

How do you come up with your titles?
That's a good question. My next book, Troll, was easy - it's about online trolling, and it's just a great word, full of menace and intrigue, without giving too much away. My other titles are usually the product of a very long list of possible names, most of which aren't terribly good.

When it comes to your characters, what's the first step in their creation?
I have to know somebody a bit like them, or take parts from people I know, in order to make them. If I haven't got any real-life reference, it's very hard to create a compelling character. So I imagine broadly what they're like, and then find somebody I've met, to help flesh that character out.

Have you ever taken a research trip? If so, where did you go? For which book?
No, I tend to do it the other way around - set my stories in places I've already been to. I'm terrified of flying, but it's a fairly recent (and quite surprising) phobia, so if a scene is set in anywhere far-flung, I have to rely on places I've already been to, since, in the words of B. A. Baracus, I ain't going on no plane.

Do you set yourself word-count goals?
I set myself chapter goals. If I can get two chapters a week written, then I'm a happy person.

What's your definition of 'success'?
Writing a book I'm happy with.

What's your definition of 'happiness'?
People I like and respect telling me I've done a good job.

Which do you find hardest? Beginning, middle, or end?
The beginning. Unless the end proves an elusive thing, because that can drive a person entirely insane.

What's the best piece of advice you've received?
You can't call yourself a writer if you don't write.

What piece of advice would you pass onto another writer?
Probably precisely the same thing.

Tell us an author who is on your auto-buy list.
Martin Cruz Smith. And Peter Temple.

If you were to write in a new genre, which would it be and why?
Espionage. I do love a spy novel. A Perfect Spy is one of the best books ever written, I think.

What are you working on at the moment?
A follow up to Troll - another psychological thriller.

Now for some quick-fire questions:
Coffee or tea? Tea. Earl Grey.
Summer or winter? Summer.
Bath or shower? Shower.
Sweet or savoury? Savoury.
Holiday in the city or the countryside? Countryside.
Text or call? Call.
Facebook or Twitter? Twitter.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.
TV or movies? Movies.
Wine or beer? Wine.
Cats or dogs? Dogs.
Chinese or Indian food? Chinese.
Pasta or cheese? Pasta.

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