Today I’m talking with a fellow Immortal Works author, Allan Evans, about his brand new release, a crime thriller titled KILLER BLONDE.
Every serial killer has a type.
But what if that type is part of a larger, more dangerous agenda?
This tagline alone hints at layers and complexities beyond the typical crime thriller. I, for one, am super excited to read it. Let’s hear what Allan has to say about it.
Your new thriller, Killer Blonde, is a departure from your debut genre. How was writing an adult thriller different from your middle grade horror, Abnormally Abbey?
It may have been easier, actually. I’ve grown up reading thrillers and I find the pacing and plotting to be a lot of fun. There’s a perverse sense of satisfaction pitting your main character against a killer who’s either unable or unwilling to follow society’s rules—and knowing their struggle pulls the hero uncomfortably close to crossing the line.
When plotting a thriller, do you complete a full outline beforehand or do you let the characters take you on a surprise journey?
I’m a hybrid. I create a rough outline of where I want the story to go, but at times the characters have their own say! Especially when I’m writing dialogue, things can so often head in different directions.
You’re a fan of John Sanford, Stephen King, and Orson Scott Card. Who is your favorite character created by these greats?
Who doesn’t love Ender Wiggan! What a great character from Ender’s Game. For Stephen King, forget Pennywise the clown, it has to be the characters of the Loser’s Club from It: Beverly Marsh, Bill Denbrough, Ben Hanscom, Stanley Uris and Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak and Mike Hanlon. King detailed their younger and older lives so well; you couldn’t help but care for them. Author John Sandford has created a character of such depth and likability in Lucas Davenport that I will never miss one of his Prey series—even after 31 books.
In your opinion, what makes a successful thriller — a twisty plot, a shocking ending, or unreliable characters?
There are several things that make for a great thriller: It’s the counterpoint between unreliable characters and the reliable ones. Also, an epic ending never hurts either. But, for me, it’s the breakneck speed of the twisty plot as protagonist and antagonist race to thwart each other that is so vital. Unlike a mystery, thrillers are not about solving a puzzle, but rather about the pressure of high-stakes scenarios as good and evil battle it out. A thriller like Killer Blonde works because of the sense of dread as the killer searches for his next victim while Cade Dawkins races to stop him. In this case, the serial killer has a thing for knockout blondes.
What skills as a copywriter have translated into your novel writing?
Copywriting has taught me to write memorable copy that reaches out and grabs the reader. It’s knowing who your audience is, so you craft a message that resonates with them. It’s also taught me that writing that incorporates emotion and humor captivates people more than simply trying to be clever or informative. Using those skills in novel writing has made my writing stand out.
More about Killer Blonde
Every serial killer has a type. But what if that type is part of a larger, more dangerous agenda?
With virtually identical women being murdered in Minnesota, panic is causing huge political pressure to get the killer off the streets. Celebrated investigator Cade Dawkins is given the hot potato case and hopes to get it wrapped up before the governor has his head. But the killer has his own agenda—one that goes beyond simply murdering knockout blondes. As it becomes a cat and mouse game between killer and investigator, Dawkins begins to realize he just may be the mouse.
About Allan Evans
Although Allan Evans has made his career as an advertising copywriter, he’s been finding publishing success as of late. His debut YA novel, ABNORMALLY ABBEY, was published in September. A short story, SILENT NIGHT, is in the Haunted Yuletide anthology published in December and a serial killer thriller set in the Twin Cities, KILLER BLONDE, is publishing in early 2021. All are from Immortal Works Press. Evans lives in the Twin Cities of Minnesota with his family and unusually cute puppy, Tucker.