A warm welcome to my very first Mystery Thriller Week Blog Tour guest author, Christina Philippou. I love her name! Anyone who’s ever read my blog or my Undercover Romance Series knows that I’m a tad bit obsessed with spies, so I have to admit I was more than a little disappointed when she flat out states she’s not one…..or is she? At least, she has deniability on my blog.
Christina Philippou’s writing career has been a varied one, from populating the short-story notebook that lived under her desk at school to penning reports on corruption and terrorist finance. When not reading or writing, she can be found engaging in sport or undertaking some form of nature appreciation. Christina has three passports to go with her three children, but is not a spy. Lost in Static is her first novel.
Hello and thank you so much for having me on your site today as part of the Mystery Thriller Week blog tour!
I’ve decided to talk a little on point of view (POV) today, so here goes:
When I set out to write my debut novel, Lost in Static, I started with a single seed of what I wanted to do: write a multi-POV story. I’ve read a few over the years, including Lawrence Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and I devoured them. I hunted for multi-POV stories everywhere (which is how, incidentally, I started reading outside my crime and adventure comfort zone and even started reading – shock, horror! – romance and other genres).
I loved seeing things from differing points of view as, when done well, this gives an added layer to any story and an insight into more than one character’s thinking. But it does have to be done well. I have, unfortunately, read many multi-POV stories which alternate between different characters that sound exactly the same. This, as you can well imagine, is not a good thing as, unless the characters are identical twins, them sounding alike is incredibly unrealistic and therefore detracts, rather than adds, to the narrative.
So how do you make them sound different? I had (please don’t laugh) a spreadsheet with common words, phrases, and mannerisms that my four protagonists used and made sure that they were sufficiently alike to be believable (they came from similarish backgrounds, after all) but also sufficiently different to be real. And, from the reviews I have read of Lost in Static to date, this seems to have worked. Other people I know use character sheets or notes, but the main thing is to have somewhere where you can chart each character to help make them three-dimensional.
But that wasn’t all. I’m also fascinated by the idea of what are classed as unreliable narrators. Ask my husband and me (separately) to tell you the story of how we got together, and you’ll get two very different accounts of events. Ask an entire team to tell you the story of one group event or night out, and you’ll get multiple versions of a single occurrence. I wanted to read books that made you question points of view and understanding of events but, the harder I hunted, the less I found. Fine, I thought, if I can’t read it, I’ll write it. And so I did.
I threw my characters into the deep end, put them in situations that could, potentially, appear completely different depending on which way you were looking at things or what knowledge you had of the events leading up to the crash. I dragged them through violence, manipulation, jealousy, stupidity, and everything in between, and scarred them as best I could. Because only then did I feel that could I really show what it is I wanted to do from the start: that, no matter how much you think you know about a person, you can never know everything they are thinking, and therefore you can misinterpret their actions ever so easily. And this can have some very dangerous consequences…
Lost in Static
Sometimes growing up is seeing someone else’s side of the story.
Four stories. One truth. Whom do you believe?
Callum has a family secret. Yasmine wants to know it. Juliette thinks nobody knows hers. All Ruby wants is to reinvent herself.
They are brought together by circumstance, torn apart by misunderstanding. As new relationships are forged and confidences are broken, each person’s version of events is coloured by their background, beliefs and prejudices. And so the ingredients are in place for a year shaped by lust, betrayal, and violence…
Lost in Static is the gripping debut from author Christina Philippou. Whom will you trust?