FEATURED AUTHOR: AB PLUM - Crime Fiction Writer

Our Featured Author this month is Crime Fiction writer, AB PLUM.
Learn more about the author and her books. 
7 novels in her Misfit series are available on Amazon.

Tell us something about the woman, AB PLUM. Who are you?

Curious—to the point of being nosy. I once acted in a summer melodrama just to feel what it was like to wear a 19th century corset. 

Laughter is a favorite pastime. The Android TV commercial with the Orangutan and Blue Tick Hound is my go-to favorite at least once a week for a guaranteed laugh. 

Puppies and kittens also leave me psyched. I no longer have four-footed furry companions, but I cope by watching the Budweiser Clydesdale beer commercials featuring those amazing horses and the Golden Retriever puppy. 

Discussing—and cussing—American politics can keep me going all night. 

Writing ten-syllable descriptions of books, people, places or just about anything challenges my little gray cells to the max. 

Spending Sunday reading the newspaper or my favorite blogs usually takes the whole day b/c I go wild checking one link after another. (that curiosity gene, I guess).

Aerobic dancing, twice a week, offers the opportunity to focus on my feet instead of on my hands on the keyboard.

And, of course, reading. More and more, I read on my Kindle b/c my office bookshelves overfloweth. As do bookcases in my bedroom and living room. Still, I buy hard copies when I really need a reading fix (usually children’s illustrated books).

And who's the writer? How was The Broken-Hearted Many conceived?

Psychopaths—especially their neuroanatomy—fascinate me. The Broken-Hearted Many traces the continuing damage experienced by a psychopath’s family. His brutal, unsolved murder guarantees the kids will have problems adjusting to life after he is no longer physically present. I felt pretty sure the oldest child, a teenage girl, favorite of her father, would step onto a path of self-destruction. Her behavior would leave many broken hearts.

Why did you choose the thriller/suspense genre?

While I read across all genres, I’ve read mysteries and psychological suspense forever. Bloody and suspenseful sit side by side on my bookshelves next to literary novels. I like the challenge of showing how close to the edge we so often teeter. I also believe that the scariest monsters don’t hide under the bed. Or in the closet. They walk among us. And often we don’t recognize them. Far scarier, IMO.

Is there a book or author that inspired you to be a writer?

Charlotte Armstrong wrote about very sympathetic 50’s heroines who got into some unbelievable situations. She wrote with a clarity I thought I could emulate. Margaret Millar intrigued me because she wrote about so many psychological yin and yang of being a woman in the 50’s, raising a family, building a career. She opened my eyes to characters who weren’t all that likeable but who kept me reading. She wrote with Charlotte Armstrong’s clarity but with more depth into the human psyche. Her husband, Ross Macdonald, also made me believe I could write—especially about wounded families whose past sins come back to create havoc in the present. Stylistically, I always preferred F. Scott Fitzgerald over Hemingway. Hawthorne, Poe, and Henry James influenced my love of story and putting it together word by word, sentence by sentence.

What can readers expect when they read The Broken-Hearted Many?

Dark, gritty depiction of a family coming apart. But a feisty mutt and a nine-year-old boy offer glimmers of hope.

Where can they buy a copy?

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2FyKoxZ   

Are you releasing a new book anytime soon?

The Whole Truth, scheduled for release in late April, will end my seven-book series dealing with this same dysfunctional family.

What do you love about being an author?

Where to begin? Telling a story with twists the reader never saw coming keeps me writing. Creating a story with nothing but bits and pieces of characters, setting, motivation, theme is like putting together a 10,000-piece jig-saw puzzle without the picture on the box. Exhilarating.

What is your message to readers and fellow authors?

Read everything. Read outside your comfort zone. (I challenge myself to read at least 6 books a year in a genre I would rarely look at:  witches and werewolves, sci fi, women’s fiction, action thrillers, poetry, latest research on the human brain, literary fiction, history, biography, YA and children’s picture books. In the latter, I look for illustrations I like first.

Tell us where we can find you.

WEBSITE - www.abplum.com
AMAZON | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG (My blog post appears every 2nd Tuesday)

AB PLUM grew up in Southern Missouri believing monsters lived under the bed. And in the closet. And in the dilapidated shed in the woods behind her aunt’s house. What’s more, they walked around in broad daylight. They prowled everywhere in search of little girls. Evil lurked in the human heart.

Too many ghost stories told at night, plus horror comic books read during the day, fueled AB’s imagination. Packs of cousins and relatives who thought jumping out of hiding places and yelling BOO created some issues with trust. 

The word psychopath never entered her childhood vocabulary, but she absorbed the idea early on of murderers and misfits and monsters.

Teaching adolescent boys, she learned a lot about misfits. Working in Silicon Valley, she learned a lot about testosterone-driven egos. AI, an emerging technology, spurred her to learn more about the human brain. Neuroanatomy and behavioral psychology piqued her curiosity about nature and nurture. This duality goes to a basic question about misfits and murderers and psychopaths.

Her dark, psychological thrillers probe the impact of the family on wounded hearts.

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