Cristelle has visited with us a couple of times before. Welcome back, Cristelle! Would you tell us a little about your newest release that isn’t in the blurb?
The story is set a few weeks before Christmas, so private investigator Alexandra Neve trades her Converse sneakers for faux-fur boots, as she and her partner Ashford Egan are hired to find a missing ballerina. The dancer’s mother is certain her daughter wouldn’t simply run away like the police have suggested and everything Neve and Egan manage to find suggest she may be right.
In the meantime, young girls keep turning up dead in East London and both investigators soon fear their missing ballerina could become the next victim if they don’t find her fast enough.
What was your favorite scene to write in this story?
At some point, Neve and Egan find one of the missing girl’s body. It’s pretty gruesome crime scene and the aftermath of that discovery was delightful to write. I love writing big emotional scenes. The parts where Neve and Egan go down into the closed-off lines of the London Underground were pretty fun too.
If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I wouldn’t mind being Neve for a couple of days. Her life is much more interesting than mine, and I’d love trying to solve one of her case. Although I’d chose a simpler case; one that is less life-threatening. Maybe following a cheating spouse, or spying on someone while wearing a disguise.
How did you create your characters, where do their personality traits come from?
I started by creating Neve. From the get-to, I knew I wanted her to be tough, but she had to have flaws too. I wanted her to be smart, but to make mistakes sometimes. I wanted her to be fierce and strong minded, to a fault and that would get her in trouble. I wanted her to be young so that she would still have a bit of a naivety to her, and the possibility of growing into one remarkably fierce woman.
Then I created someone who’d walk the streets with her. I wanted a man, but not a potential boyfriend. I wanted someone older, more mature. I thought Neve could be a student and the man could be one of her professors. But I didn’t want this to be too one-sided. If his role was to help her grow and reach her full potential, then I wanted her to be able to bring him something in return — and I didn’t want him to be a perfect, well rounded person either; he had to have flaws too. This was the point where I thought, why not make him blind, and ill-mannered, and closed-off? And so… Egan came to life.
As such Lexa could be his eyes, and he would be the ears. And because she’s so fierce and fiery, he would be the exact opposite and be cold and collected. That’s how I ended up with two co-protagonists who complement each other in a completely dissymmetrical way.
Originally posted @ It’s Raining Books