The 9th Hour…

I do write some of my own blog posts, I promise, but today, I’m handing over the reins to Claire Stibbe…

Claire Stibbe
Claire Stibbe

Hi Jennifer!

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog this chilly, snowy December morning. Well, it is here in New Mexico, USA, where cedar fires are burning in every hearth and people are already slugging down that eggnog by the jug.

I just want to say WOW, is it December already? That means National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has ended. Congratulations to some of the Crooked Cat Publishing authors who took part in it and finished.

Crooked Cat Publishing released the first in my Detective Temeke series, The 9th Hour, in November of this year. One of the hardest obstacles of writing is the perfectionism we authors have with our books. Does it read well? Does it makes sense? Is it even interesting? We know every word counts and venturing onto that blank page with words that either stick or get deleted the following day is a daunting task. I’m always wandering between the park and my office in the search for scenes, words and great dialogue. I brainstorm, tell and re-tell. I watch the weather for signs, smells and sounds.

Cover artwork for The 9th Hour
Cover artwork for The 9th Hour

In my fictional world, the characters are the ones who lead the book. They take me to places my structure never knew existed and trample on any specific sequence of events I may have penned in advance. With fiction, it’s all smoke and mirrors and outlines… Eh? What’s an outline anyway?

I loved writing The 9th Hour because it became spontaneous, exciting and nothing like I imagined it would be. Detective Temeke strayed off those pages into a world of his own and I had to run to keep up. He can be downright stubborn and thoughtless, but his sniffer is the most accurate yet. The only problem is, Temeke is the one who, by hook or by crook, always raises the stakes. Any conflict with him is going to be high.

Malin Santiago becomes larger as the series grows. In the second book, Night Eyes, she is more settled in her role as Temeke’s partner. She watches and learns as one does in a new job. It’s not until the third book that she literally jumps off the page.  I have tremendous respect for her and Temeke as I do for real detectives in the real world. If it wasn’t for the detectives I’ve spent valuable time with, these characters would be as flat as a cow pat.

When I finished the second book, Night Eyes, there was a round of applause in my house and a time of great celebration. As I embark on the third in the series over the next nine weeks, I’m reminded of a small voice saying – finishing is the single thing that separates those who want to write from those who actually have. So I keep learning and I keep writing. There’s nothing I’d rather do.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers mixed with a little Scandinavian noir, The 9th Hour is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Smashwords. It is also on sale for 99c / 99p for a short time over the Christmas season.

Thank you for hosting me!

Thank you for joining me, Claire!

The 9th Hour is available here (covering all regions). Claire is also the author of Chasing Pharoahs and The Fowler’s Snare. You can find her website here, and sign up for her newsletter here. You can also follow Claire on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally from England, Claire lived in Hong Kong for three years before eventually finding a second home in New Mexico, USA. Her genres include Historical Fiction, Action and Adventure, Psychological Thriller, Mystery and Suspense.

She has also written short stories for Breakwater Harbor Books Publishing. The collection won Best Anthology of 2014 in the Independent Book Awards hosted by eFestival of Words. She has completed the second in the Detective Temeke series and is currently working on the third book in which she explores how even in the darkness of criminal depravity the light of faith is never entirely extinguished.

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