January 2014 through December 2014 - Page 22

JAMES GRIPPANDO by Susan Reichert isn’t afraid to send chills down a reader’s spine by Annette Cole Mastron W “ by Annette Cole Mastron north and south.” alking through an old Bahamian cemetery in As a former trial attorney, James Grippando is one Miami’s Coconut Grove, where bodies are with his protagonist Jack Swyteck, a criminal defense entombed above ground in crypts, precisely at lawyer. “Jack Swyteck has been in 11 of my 21 novels. midnight, was more than worth the trip,” says James Grippando. “It’s how I came up with the title for my novel I’ve been hearing his voice in my head since my book The Pardon debuted in 1994. It does become a problem in my Afraid of the Dark.” The New York Times bestselling author of over twenty standalone novels. One trick that works for me is once a legal thrillers, Grippando draws inspiration for his tales of week or so I start my writing day by reading, at random, suspense wherever it is to be found, whether it’s browsing one of the earlier chapters I’ve written. It’s a great way cemeteries or cyberspace. “The internet is every writer’s to test for consistency in that lead character’s voice. I never roll right out of bed best friend and worst enemy. Yes, I use the and go to the keyboard. I “I never outline beyond the point of walk the neighborhood. internet extensively. It’s important to go to the conflict in the story. The resolution It really does help you realize that the dream you places you write about always comes out in the writing.” had last night was not that and meet the type of good, and that it’s probably people who will be the family, friends and neighbors of the characters you create. not the seed for the next Gone with the Wind. I start my “The most effective way to develop dialogue is to hear writing day by self-editing whatever I wrote the previous day. It helps clean up yesterday’s mistakes, but it also people talk. I wrote a book called Intent to Kill, partly gives a running start into the next chapter. set in Rhode Island. Dialogue didn’t work until I went “I used to write into the wee hours of the morning, at there, sat in a diner in Pawtucket, and heard how people in Rhode Island talk. There’s nothing more gratifying than all hours of the day, whenever the inspiration moved me. Or maybe it was that the rhythmic tapping of keys helped to get letters from readers who live in a place you write about and have them ask, ‘Are you from here?’ That praise put our crying babies to sleep. Now, my approach is very happens when you write authentic dialogue, not just when different. Morning time is my writing time. If I’m on deadline, I usually target a certain number of pages rather you check Google Maps and determine Main Street runs 22 Southern Writers