I am happy to host author Glenn Haggerty on my Spring Suspense blog series today. He is telling us about his middle grade/young adult novel Chase, Intense Book 3. Welcome, Glenn!
Chase, book 3 in my Intense Series, combines teen issues like friendship, drug abuse, parental divorce and first crushes with heart-pounding adventure and suspense. Thirteen-year-old Tyler Higgins lands himself in another mess that requires faith and resourcefulness as he goes nose to nose against the dark side of society.
Writing good suspense isn’t easy for me. Sometimes I wonder how I do it at all! And of course, I don’t, rather as I construct my stories, and inevitably run into the wall, God somehow provides the insight and inspiration to pull it together. But I am a plotter, so I have to start with the story question and then simultaneously develop plot and character. For Chase, my story question is:
Tyler, a middle school newbie, must shadow drug runners to rat out the methamphetamine dealer before his friend turns into a brain-dead druggie.
To apply danger and uncertainty to a likable character in increasing spirals, I write with a tight third person point of view. About 80% of the book is then written from the protagonist’s point of view so that I can establish a likable character and solid stakes. But for me, the best way to produce screw-tightening suspense is to add scenes from the antagonist(s)’ point of view. For some reason I seem to be good at thinking like a bad guy—so this comes easier to me. I try for a looser point of view so it’s more natural to introduce uncertainty in the villains’ motivation and plans. Dropping hints that something bad is about to happen to the hero keeps readers turning pages.
I also use a prologue in this book where the villains do something nasty and unexpected to one of Tyler’s neighbors. The threat of some similar action hangs over the hero and his friends throughout the story until it becomes a reality and the stakes escalate from there. Here is the BCC for Chase.
“There they are.” Chase’s voice rolled up the slope. Even hollering his voice sounded flat and lifeless like someone had drilled a hole in his body, and his soul had leaked out.
Drugs infiltrate Tyler Higgins’ middle school turning ordinary kids into brain dead druggies. When his friend is infected, Tyler decides to cut the small town drug flow by ratting out the dealer before it’s too late.
Shadowing drug runners is risky business. A bowhunter has already disappeared, and Tyler’s true adversary remains veiled. After his first spying mission misfires, Audrey, his classmate, volunteers to help, but Tyler can’t imagine where this mission will lead. Everything goes sideways, but he doggedly follows the twisting trails, risking his friendships and his own neck. In the end, he isn’t sure who he can trust or if he can rescue anyone—including himself.
This is great information, Glenn! I love how each author tends to do things just a tiny bit differently. Thank you so much for sharing about your novel and your writing process.
Glenn writes inspiring adventures with an edge. No matter how dark the day, finding hope to pursue the prize is the core of all his novels and studies. He is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a graduate of Vision Loss Resources and Bethel Seminary, the father of six and grandfather of seven. Glenn likes tandem biking, kayaking, and daydreaming and lives in Minneapolis with his wife. He is also an award-winning author with short stories published in Splickety, Havok, Cadet Quest and Partners. Chase, the third book in his Intense series is scheduled for release April 1, 2018. You can visit him at www.glennhaggerty.com, and reach him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GlennHaggertyAuthor, and on Twitter, @grhaggertyjr
Kindle Link www.amazon.com/dp/B0792JP7Z2
Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo and iBooks https://books2read.com/u/3yZOW6
I will see you all next week with another installment of Spring Suspense and author Ada Brownwell.