Carole Cummings interviews Luchia Dertien at The Novel Approach!
Hey, we’re back, and this time we’ve got DSP Publications author Luchia Dertien here to tell us all about her new Mystery-Suspense novel Gnomon, hot off the presses and available right now. She’s brought us an excerpt for a little later, but right now, let’s have a look at what Gnomon is all about:
Emile Delaurier is a beautiful militant revolutionary, a living beacon of righteous justice for the world. For Renaire, an artist in a constant battle against the demons in the bottle, it was obsession at first sight. His devotion led to two years of homicidal partnership as Renaire followed Delaurier in his ruthless quest for equality through the death of the corrupt, like a murderous Robin Hood.
Then Delaurier breaks his pattern, leading Renaire into Russia to kill a reporter with no immoral background, and gives no explanation for his actions.
When Interpol contacts Renaire, he already has enough problems—keeping Delaurier alive, dealing with the shift in their relationship, and surviving the broken past that still haunts him. But when he learns what Interpol wants from him, Renaire must face the truth about Delaurier: that a noble man isn’t always a good one. He’s left with a choice no man should ever have to make—to follow his heart or his morals.
Carole: So let’s start with the obvious: tell us about your genre.
Luchia: The suspense/thriller genre is about creating a fast-paced blend of action and mystery, and the goal is to write the kind of book that you need to read in one sitting. That’s exactly the sort of novel I want to read. I love getting sucked into a story, and always want to write something that hooks me. If I get bored reading my own work, it needs more work, and after a while that accumulated into what is a suspense novel! If I’m not excited to get to the next page, I’m not doing it right.
Carole: That says some promising things for Gnomon! So give us a look at what it’s all about.
Luchia: The book is a classic tale of boy meets boy, boy kills for other boy, boys then go kill people together – it’s not a very nice story. Not at the beginning, at least. The main characters are extremely messed up, but they managed to have a mostly-functional partnership for two years, running around Europe and trying to force the world into being a better place by killing bad people. And then, something changes. Our fearless leader Emile Delaurier is suddenly acting wildly out of character, obviously hiding something, and things get more and more out of control. Questions of devotion and morality are raised, and there’s no avoiding that the characters (and the world) will never be the same.
Gnomon is a blend of action, tragedy, sex, humor, mystery, tension, and romance. It’s everything I want to read in a book, and I really hope everyone enjoys it!
Carole: It sounds like they won’t have a choice! Now, Gnomon is being published through DSP Publications, Dreamspinner Press’s imprint for nonromance genre novels. Tell us about the relationship in Gnomon and why it doesn’t fit the accepted definition of Romance in the M/M genre.
Luchia: Well, for one, the romance part isn’t really about romance so much as it’s about addiction. It really is about obsession, and it’s an extremely unhealthy relationship at the start. The relationship is intense and extremely unhinged. The entire book is, really!Gnomon is a lot more like Gone Girl than a Nicholas Sparks novel. It also includes things like mass murder, suicide, and terrorism, so marketing it as a romance does seem sort of inappropriate.
Originally I was shocked that it wasn’t considered a romance, since the relationship between the two main characters is an absolutely essential plot point, but I agree more and more with the suspense genre label as time goes on. It’s not your usual suspense novel, and it’s definitely not your usual romance novel, so Gnomon is probably much safer to put in the suspense/mystery section. I’d rather have someone step away from the book because of romance instead of someone step away from the book because of violence.
Carole: Tell us about the evolution of this story. What was its earliest incarnation as a concept and when did it begin to take the form of Gnomon?
Luchia: The central question that sparked the plot is where the line is drawn between rebellions, freedom-fighters, and terrorism? Is it all a matter of public opinion? Is it all just history being written by the victors? Do people even know when they’ve tipped over the line from revolutionary to terrorist? And what sort of mindset and worldview does someone need to have to even start an uprising? I wanted to try to understand what drives someone to organized violence. I saw someone willing to kill and die for their beliefs. They had to be almost obsessively devoted to their convictions, had to be passionate and a little bit terrifying and extremely charismatic if they were going to lead others into this with them.
The concept was fascinating. I had the major scenes crystal clear in my mind within hours, and wrote it in about six weeks. It changed on me while I wrote it (the original ending was not a happy one), but it changed for the better. I’m happy with it, and actually being satisfied with my writing is a very rare thing for me.
Read the entire interview here!