J Carson Black is an indie phenomenon. Her latest novel, The Shop, broke into the Amazon.com Top 30 and she has sold over 100,000 ebooks in a few months despite doing hardly any promotion. Her books have fantastic covers and she has a great website. Finally, she writes brilliant books. I read The Shop a couple of months ago and was blown away. The opening chapter is one of the strongest first chapters I have ever read. And it never lets up. Her prose is lean and muscular, her themes dark and original. And she’s a really cool person too.
J Carson Black’s The Shop is the focus of the Summer Book Club this week. See the bottom of this post for more details about her live webchat this Saturday on Facebook. Here she is talking about how she came up with the idea for The Shop:
How the Cult of Personality Inspired My Thriller THE SHOP
When I decided to write a new thriller, I had several ideas on the table. None of them made the final cut. The idea for THE SHOP came out of the blue, thanks to a cable TV news show.
Come to think of it, most of my ideas come out of left field. When one of these ideas strikes, it’s like being hit by lightning. I get a tingle in my gut and then my mind starts working a hundred miles a minute.
This time, my husband Glenn and I were watching cable news while eating dinner. John Mark Karr’s plane was coming into Boulder, Colorado, where he would face charges for killing JonBenet Ramsey. He’d been flown over from Europe, dining on shrimp cocktail and entertaining his captors—federal marshals, I believe—and generally having a great time of it. Now the press was lined up along the airstrip in Boulder to cover his arrival. Picture the private jet coming in for a landing, with all the pomp and circumstance of the Space Shuttle. The reporters, the news vans, the cameras, the microphones, the breathless reporting on the ground and in the studio: an absolute frenzy!
Glenn and I looked at each other. This was a farce worthy of commentary. This is the new American way: celebrity from nothing. It turned out later that John Mark Karr was playing everybody. He didn’t kill JonBenet Ramsey. But he’d fulfilled his purpose—he’d fed the hungry maw of the media for a short time.
Something could be done with this—the distraction of celebrity. That was the seed for my story, THE SHOP.
In the opening scene of THE SHOP, celebrity Brienne Cross is killed in her Aspen chalet, along with the four finalists of her reality show, SOUL MATE, and the producer of the show.
I knew right away who killed them. But why?
Even the killer wants to know why. And so he sets out to find the truth.
Getting a plot idea from the instant celebrity mode of television news. Who knew?
Learn more about J. Carson at her website and blog at jcarsonblack.com
Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/jcarsonblack
Fan her Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/J-Carson-Black-Author-Page
J. Carson Black will be doing a live Facebook chat on Saturday July 16th at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time at http://www.facebook.com/summerbookclub
Please join us with your questions for J. Carson.