Monday, 20 January 2020

Release Day Spotlight: 133 Hours by Zach Abrams

133 Hours by Zach Abrams
I’ve often heard about authors complaining they have writer’s block. I don’t know if I’m unusual in this respect but it’s something I haven’t ever suffered from (to date) while writing a book. True, there are times I’ll sit deliberating over how to use a particular word or expression. More often I’ll rack my brain, seeking to remember a particular word where I’m having difficulty recollecting what I know should be there, somewhere. But I’m fortunate, I haven’t ever had the trauma of being unable to think of something to write – quite the reverse. My head is full of ideas, sitting on the back burner - things I want to write. This sometimes causes me a problem. I can be in the middle of writing one story, when I find it a struggle to concentrate, because my thought process is plagued by ideas for the plot on something that I don’t want to work on at that time. My dilemma is, while on the one hand, I don’t want to lose continuity on the current project, neither do I want to risk forgetting and losing the new idea I’ve come up with. My compromise is to take a few notes on the new ideas before resuming working on the current project. However, as I’m sure you can imagine, nothing is ever so simple.
It’s now roughly ten years since I started writing fiction. My first novel, Ring Fenced, started off when I had the idea of a powerful and controlling character, who uses multiple personae to manage his life. He keeps each of the different aspects compartmentalised. The story wasn’t pre-plotted. Instead, when I started, I had no idea where it would end up. My technique was to imagine myself as my protagonist and let him tell me his own story. It developed with plots and sub-plots and ended up a thriller rather than a character study.
My Alex Warren crime series was different in that I was writing a police procedural about a murder investigation where I had a good idea of where it would end up. Nevertheless, I used the same technique to let my characters tell me their own story.
The process on my latest thriller, 133 Hours, was more like Ring Fenced. It started with my lead character coming to the realisation that she’d lost a period of time (133 hours), where she had no recollection of where she’d been or what had happened to her. The story developed from there with a police investigation running in parallel with her struggling with her inner demons as she trys to find out what had happened. However, this book is a departure from anything I’ve written before as it’s written in the first person, present tense and has a young female protagonist.  

Arriving at work to find she’s lost more than five-and-a-half days (133 hours), Briony Chaplin, has no recollection of where she’d been or what had happened to her. She is distraught. Has she been ill, or had a breakdown, or could she have been drugged and abducted?
Doubting her own sanity, Briony is fearful of what she’ll find. Yet she’s driven to discover the truth. When she trawls her memories, she’s terrified by visions, believing she may have been abused and raped.
Assisted by her friends Alesha and Jenny, and supported by a retired detective, she’s determined to learn where she’s been and why.

Having the background of a successful career in commerce and finance, Zach Abrams has spent many years writing reports, letters and presentations and it's only fairly recently he started writing novels. "It's a more honourable type of fiction," he declares.

Writer of the Alex Warren Murder Mystery series, set in Scotland, Zach has also written the psychological thriller 'Ring Fenced' and the financial thriller 'Source', as well as collaborating with Elly Grant on a book of short stories.

Zach is currently producing a non-fiction series to help small businesses -using the collective title 'Mind Your Own Business'. The first, 'So, You Think You Want to be a Landlord' is already available.
Twitter: @authorway

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