My guest today is author Robin Spano.
Robin loves to write crime. She loves the plotting, the pacing, and the character arc of her protagonist. Her first novel, Dead Politician Society, will be available Sept. 1, 2010. She is currently working on her second novel, where Clare is undercover as a poker player. She lives in Steveston, BC with her husband, Keith.
To learn even more about her and her book and her main character, please visit these links:
Clare’s Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/ClareVengel
Take it away, Robin!
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When Marian gave me this topic to write about, I thought 2 things:
- That’s really cool of her to ask me to blog about my own book.
- What a massive topic: Blog about the whole book? How will I do that?
I looked at the topic again. Maybe she wasn’t asking me to talk about my whole book. Maybe I could home in on the secret society IN the book: The Dead Politician Society.
The obvious reference is Dead Poets Society. And while the stories don’t have much in common genre-wise (Dead Poets Society is a deep and beautiful coming of age story; Dead Politician Society is cold crime fiction), there are similarities. There’s a clandestine student group, a teacher who energizes his students and empowers them to think outside the box, and a murky blend of idealism and moral questions.
The secret society springs from a poli sci course I would have loved to have taken in school, if it had existed and if I’d been majoring in poli sci. (Writing really is the best form of wish-fulfillment.) The course is led by Matthew Easton, a cynical, womanizing professor who feels that life has passed him by unfairly. I can’t tell you whether Matthew is in the society or not—that’s all part of the mystery—but we know early on that the club is inspired by his teachings.
Of course they don’t call themselves the Dead Politician Society—you’d have to be fairly psychotic to name a club for a killing spree, and I’m not writing about dark-minded madness. (Well, I suppose I am, in the sense that there’s at least one killer in my cast of characters, but the tone of this book is on the lighter side, a la Janet Evanovich.) Their official name is the Society for Political Utopia (SPU). Their mandate: to make the world a better place by whatever means necessary, including (sometimes) breaking the law.
The society leaves calling cards whenever they’ve “acted,” and one of their cards is found among the murdered mayor’s possessions with a message on the back: Your death will be your greatest public service. An obituary is emailed to the newspaper claiming credit for the mayor’s death; this is also signed by the society.
Enter Clare Vengel, the 22-year-old undercover cop who will drive the series going forward. She is given her first assignment: to pose as a student, penetrate the society, and find the killer.
Is the secret society actually behind the killings? Has one member, past or present, gone rogue? Or is someone else in the city using the society as a face to hide behind?
I had a lot of fun writing this book. It’s dark, but it’s light at the same time. I hope readers have fun with it, too.
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Thanks, Robin! I’ll be guesting on Robin’s Toastmaster group blog September 13. Hope to see you there! Meanwhile, check out THE DEAD POLITICIAN SOCIETY. Sounds great!
WRITING PROMPT: What sort of secret society would your main character join? OR write a paragraph about a character who is thinking about joining or leaving a secret society.