Tuesday, June 03, 2014

A Conversation with Thriller Writer D. M. Annechino

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with D. M. Annechino
with D. M. Annechino

We are delighted to welcome back novelist D. M. Annechino to Omnimystery News, courtesy of iRead Book Tours.

Daniel's new medical thriller is Hypocrisy (CreateSpace; March 2014 trade paperback and ebook formats). He visited with us last month to tell us about "plot vs. character" and we wanted to follow up with a few questions about his books.

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Omnimystery News: You've written both series and non-series books. When starting a new book, do you know in advance which it will be?

D. M. Annechino
Photo provided courtesy of
D. M. Annechino

D. M. Annechino: I'm somewhat conflicted on this issue. On one hand, many novels written in series do very well, particularly when the main protagonist is unique or unusually interesting. In fact, many of the most well known authors in the world have been extremely successful creating a series character. Does J.K. Rowling ring a bell? On the other hand, I do like the flexibility afforded me by not being limited to a specific character. I wrote my first two Sami Rizzo novels — They Never Die Quietly and Resuscitation — in a series. However, I Do Solemnly Swear and Hypocrisy — novels three and four — are stand alone novels. For the most part, my decision whether or not to write a series primarily relies on the plot. Once I loosely outline the story, I decide if the book will be part of a series. Sami Rizzo will return in my next book: A Piece of You.

OMN: How do you categorize your books?

DMA: All of my books fall under the thriller/mystery genre. They Never Die Quietly and Resuscitation are hard-boiled serial killer books. I Do Solemnly Swear is a political thriller, and Hypocrisy is a medical thriller. My latest book, A Piece of You, is another serial killer novel. I like to mix it up and not be pigeon-holed into one specific sub-category.

OMN: Tell us something about your books that isn't mentioned in the synopses.

DMA: This may or may not be relevant, but in all four of my previously-published novels and in my latest, a woman plays the lead role. I haven't yet written a novel with a male protagonist. Why? Not sure. But at the risk of upsetting all of my male readers, I think that woman are more complicated than men. This gives me a greater opportunity for characterization. Sorry guys.

OMN: Describe your writing process for us.

DMA: I've tried to outline the plot, define the characters, and write a flow chart that delineates the scene flow. But I've never had much success with this method. I write by the "seat of my pants" so to speak. I start with a very basic premise, and when I start writing, it just flows. One scene leads to another; one twist leads to another turn. Other than the main characters, the secondary and tertiary characters magically appear. Once I start a book, ideas just pour out of my head. So much so, that I keep a pad and pen on my nightstand, because sometimes my most creative ideas blossom in the middle of the night.

OMN: How do you go about researching the plot points of your stories?

DMA: Before the birth of the Internet, I would spend hours and hours in the local library. But in the new millennium, nearly everything a novelist needs is at his or her fingertips. On a few occasions, I've consulted experts. For example, Hypocrisy is a medical thriller. When dealing with such a complex topic, I consulted several doctors about certain issues I simply could not find answers for on the Internet. My wife works for the biggest hospital network in Southern California, so thankfully, I have many outstanding resources for medical thrillers/mysteries.

OMN: How true are you to the settings of your books?

DMA: I would say that I stay true to 90% of the geography and local environment when I write a novel. For example, Hypocrisy takes place in New York City. Why would I want to take liberties with one of the most fascinating cities in the world, a city that's so rich with culture, history, and a unique way of life that even the most creative mind would have a hard time making the city more interesting?

OMN: Tell us more about the covers of your books.

DMA: I happen to like clean, uncluttered book covers. I really believe that less is more. With the covers to all of my novels, my goal was to convey one message that gave the reader a hint of what the story was about. For Hypocrisy, the cover is a collection of empty test tubes. The one in front, however, has a fluid in it that appears to be blood. What I thought when I first looked at this cover design was, "laboratory experiments". And basically, this cover conveys the right message, because Hypocrisy is about a conspiracy to suppress or possibly exploit a new treatment and potential cure for cancer.

OMN: What is the best advice you've received as an author? And what might you say to aspiring writers?

DMA: I think one of the most important lessons I learned is that rarely does a writer become an overnight success. It's a long hard road. If you're writing for fame and fortune, you might want to rethink your career path. But if you write because you have no choice, because your mind is flooded with ideas that need to be recorded, because you have a burning desire to write, then keep on writing. And you better fasten your seatbelt when the reviews start coming in. The first 1-star review I ever received tore my heart out. It kept me up at night and I felt as if the reviewer insulted my children. But then I realized that appreciation for any art form is highly subjective. Writers, musicians, artists, sculptors, actors, singers — all deal with criticism, because everyone who reads your work, or listens to your music, or looks at your painting is a critic. So you really need to have thick skin. The best advice I can offer any aspiring author is to accept the reality that rejection is the prerequisite to success. Even some of the most successful writers in history endured years of rejection long before they were recognized for their craft.

OMN: In general, what kind of feedback have your received from your readers?

DMA: Call me crazy, but I learn more from criticism than praise. Don't get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoy when a reader loves one of my books; I revel in it. But I grow more as a writer when a reader tells me what I could have done to improve the novel, or if I made a factual mistake. When reading some of these comments, I often find myself nodding my head, saying to myself, "Yep. Missed that one," or "That's a good point." Productive criticism is one of a writer's best friends.

OMN: Create a Top 5 list on any subject.

DMA: It might surprise to learn that even though I write mystery/thrillers, I read many other genres. Here is a list of the top five books you should read:

1) The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy;
2) Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier;
3) The Godfather by Mario Puzo;
4) A Secret History by Donna Tartt;
5) Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris.

OMN: What's next for you?

DMA: I'm about halfway through my fifth novel entitled, A Piece of You. In this novel, Homicide Detective Sami Rizzo, the main character in my first two novels, returns. Once again she is faced with tracking down a serial killer. But this killer is much different than the killers she previously hunted down.

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Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor specializing in full-length fiction, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, in 1992 while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his debut novel They Never Die Quietly.

A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.

For more information about the author, please visit his website or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hypocrisy by D. M. Annechino

D. M. Annechino
A Medical Thriller

Dr. Lauren Crawford is a brilliant research scientist who discovers a revolutionary treatment for cancer that not only extends life, but much improves the quality of life for terminal cancer patients. The treatment, in some instances, can even cure certain cancers. On the evening before Dr. Crawford holds a press conference to announce that the FDA has given preliminary approval of her new cancer treatment, somebody follows her to her car and puts three bullets in her head. Was it a planned murder with a motive, a mugging gone badly, or merely a random act of violence?

Two New York City homicide detectives, Amaris Dupree and T.J. Brown, are assigned to the investigation. The detectives evaluate the circumstances surrounding Dr. Crawford's death, and follow a trail of clues that exposes a sequence of startling facts. One by one, the detectives carefully examine each suspect and piece together a puzzle with unimaginable implications. As the investigation gets more intense, and the detectives get closer to solving the murder mystery, someone threatens Dupree's life. The detectives now realize that Dr. Crawford's murder was much more than a homicide. And if they don't arrest the murderer soon, Dupree might be the next victim.

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)  BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for posting our interview. I appreciate your time and efforts.
    Best Wishes,
    D.M. Annechino


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