Things may have been harder this time around, but the flashes of insight I had while writing were amazing. I’ve learned to go with whatever comes up in my imagination, trusting my subconscious to know how to wrap things up in the end.
DV Berkom -26 February 2015
The Back Flap
A retired assassin is called in when a celebration south of the border turns into a nightmare.
Everything’s for sale…
Former assassin Leine Basso is hired by a wealthy Beverly Hills power couple to find their missing daughter, Elise, who was last seen partying with her boyfriend at a club in Tijuana. At first, police believe the two teenagers are the victims of a carjacking. But when Leine finds their missing vehicle with the boyfriend’s mutilated body inside, and the local cartel warns her away, she knows if Elise isn’t already dead, she will be soon, or worse.
In the lethal world of organized crime, there’s always a worse.
As Leine races to uncover the reason behind Elise Bennett’s disappearance, she must also battle the powerful interests fighting to keep her from the truth.
About the book
What is the book about?
The Body Market is the third novel in the Leine Basso Thriller series, and follows former assassin Leine Basso as she races to find the missing daughter of a Beverly Hills power couple. Last seen partying at a bar in Tijuana with her boyfriend, at first the police believe the two teens were victims of a carjacking. They also suspect human trafficking may have played a role. But when Leine discovers the boyfriend’s car at the bottom of a ravine in the Sonoran desert with his mutilated body inside, and local thugs warn her away, she realizes she doesn’t have the whole story and the daughter’s in grave danger, if she isn’t dead already.
When did you start writing the book?
Seems to me I officially started to write the book in June or July of 2014. I’d been thinking about it for a couple of months prior to actually sitting down and writing it. During that time I was busy doing promotion for the book I’d recently written for my other series.
How long did it take you to write it?
Four months and some change. It took another month before I was happy with rewrites (after incorporating suggestions from beta readers) and felt ready to send it to my editor for fine-tuning. She had it back to me by Thanksgiving, as did a couple of other advance readers. Once I made the changes, I did another read-through and uploaded the final version mid-December.
Where did you get the idea from?
A character in the novel that I later named Cruz came to me one day while I was taking a walk. I always seem to get the secondary characters first, and then the rest of the story just sort of materializes as I go. Cruz was the result of an article I’d read about a teenage boy who worked for the drug cartels as a hit man from a young age and, when caught, confessed to over 800 murders. I wanted to explore the idea of someone so young being used that way (much like child soldiers in armed conflicts around the world) and so Cruz was born. He ended up having a much smaller part in the story than I originally envisioned, but is still an important antagonist. As for the main antagonist, apparently my subconscious was working overtime because the idea of using former KLA combatants (Kosovo Liberation Army) came to me early on, before I ran across an article that mentioned organ trafficking during the Kosovo War in the nineties. Once I had my antagonists, it was just a matter of finding a fish-out-of-water character who I could throw into the mix, which was Elise—the shallow and spoiled only child of wealthy parents. There’s also a scene involving a refrigerated truck that was the direct result of an article I read prior to writing the book.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
Pretty much the whole book was a pain in my @ss. Nothing except that first character of Cruz came easily. I don’t have a clue why one book takes more work than another. Every once in a while you just end up with what I call a problem child. If early reader reaction is any kind of judge, though, apparently the book was worth it 🙂
What came easily?
Paper. And toner. And red wine. Other than that, not a heck of a lot.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
Definitely fictitious, but I’m sure the characteristics of people I’ve met before or read about sneak in—I don’t think you can keep that from happening, and I wouldn’t want to. As a writer, I’m an observer as well as an ‘experiencer’. I’ve been a lot of places and have met hundreds of people, many of whom are still etched in my memory. It’s a rich well, thank goodness.
Do you have a target reader for this book?
People who like fast-paced, action-packed crime thrillers that incorporate events ripped from the headlines, with a badass female lead. The subject matter is dark, although I made sure to include some humor. As per the first two books in the series, The Body Market has adult language, guns, plenty of dead bodies, and sex, so those who usually read tamer fare may not enjoy it as much.
How was writing this book different from what you’d experienced writing previous books?
It was harder, but so, so satisfying. From what my author friends who have children say, writing books is a lot like childbirth: you forget the pain once the kid’s born. Same with a book-once you’re done and that baby’s out in the world, you forget how much it hurt to produce the thing.
What new things did you learn about writing, publishing, and/or yourself while writing and preparing this book for publication?
I was just chatting with another author about this the other day. I decided to offer the book as a pre-order, which meant I had to have everything ready to go ahead of time: cover art, blurb, formatting, reviews, etc. Not my usual MO. Once all that was done, I still had time to do a couple of guest blogs, create the book trailer, update my website, do a GoodReads giveaway, and work on the back matter in the previous books in the series. For such an impatient person, it taught me how to be prepared and gave me time to do what had to be done. Usually I publish and then play catch-up. I’ll be the first to admit it’s not the most efficient way to launch a book. I also learned to trust my subconscious a lot more when it came to story. Things may have been harder this time around, but the flashes of insight I had while writing were amazing. I’ve learned to go with whatever comes up in my imagination, trusting my subconscious to know how to wrap things up in the end.
End of Interview: