Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sarah Davies: THRILLERS

That's not a conference badge—that's a knife! Sarah Davies with her latest victim
Sarah Davies is a thriller addict. Her first taste was as a kid in England, she loved books by Willard Price, Agatha Christie. Some of you purists will say those are adventures and murder mysteries, not thrillers, but Sarah is here to tell us that action and ammunition alone will not make a good thriller, they need mystery and intrigue.

How do you make a thriller for kids? It's easier to do in young adult: YA thrillers can have elements of sexy romance, and bloodier action, which allows for bigger stakes.

A middle grade thriller is more action adventure, clue solving, and platonic friend relationships, with external vs. internal danger taking main roles in building the book's thrills.

The best thing you can do to learn how to write a great thriller is to read a great thriller, here are two Sarah recommends (and reps!) (Sarah also gave attendees a great handout on tips for thriller writing.)

Sarwat Chadda's (available in UK, edited by fellow faculty member Cheryl Klein for forthcoming edition) SAVAGE FORTRESS: 

And Megan Miranda's FRACTURE:

For something less scary, but just as intriguing and thrilling: follow Sarah on Twitter to see pictures of her dachsunds sleeping.

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