Friday, July 9, 2010

TAKE TEN: Author Nesrine Joseph


Australia's own Nesrine Joseph might be the quiet type, but she has gotten people talking with her debut novel DANGEROUSLY INNOCENT. Listening to the characters as they spoke to her, she has woven together a story that is full of mystery and intrigue. She talked with Cyrus Webb of Conversations about the process of writing the book, how she balancing the creative and business side of publishing and what's next for her.


Nesrine, thank you for speaking with Conversations and Take Ten. Before we get into your book DANGEROUSLY INNOCENT, let's talk about you. How would you describe yourself?

 I am a fairly quiet person. I do enjoy getting out into the world by exploring it and expanding my horizons with various things, but at this precise moment my main focus is on my career and with my up coming new novel.

 When did you realize that writing was something you were interested in?

 I have been fond of writing since high school where I personally feel I excelled in English, but I realized I could become a writer a few years back when I found several of my old journals and read the many stories I had written during my late teens.

 It was fascinating to know how different time and I was then. You could say I was intrigued to write about my adventures after my sisters had encouraged me.

 Has your family and those who grew up around you been surprised about your literary career?

 Indeed, they have been surprised, particularly since they only found out about my book after it had been published. They were also shocked at my decision to write a thriller and with my choice of graphic context which was portrayed in the novel, DANGEROUSLY INNOCENT.

Tell us about your novel and what inspired it.

 DANGEROUSLY INNOCENT is a novel set in Sydney, Australia in the new millennium and it reflects on two detectives who are out to capture a killer that is using gruesome force to take the lives of innocent men . . . or so it seems the men being murdered are innocent.

 Detectives James (Luther) and Trevelyan (Rochelle) are partners and at the beginning of the novel when readers are first introduced to the pair, they are in conversation about their current case, which has been dubbed the 'Slicer' case. As they continue to chatter, they receive a phone call stating their killer had struck again and so the mystery continues, only this time linked with their latest married victim is his mistress (Marissa) who suddenly becomes their killers' next target and the detectives' new suspect.

 As the 'Slicer' case becomes national headlines with more fatalities, Luther and Rochelle find themselves linked to another case from a years prior which had been ruled an accident, return and unfold before their very eyes into what it really is. With a surprising conclusion, I cannot reveal who will survive and who will not.

 I have always been a fan of various crime shows such as CSI and NCIS, among others. I guess my inspiration also comes from reading about the worlds true crime stories such as the Tate/LaBianca murders, Jack the Ripper and the Green River killer.

 I suddenly wondered what would happen if I combined the innocent appearances of the real-life Tate/LaBianca murderers with the horrifying methods Jack the Ripper used to kill his victims and the determination of Dave Reichert, the man responsible for apprehending the Green River killer all into one book. 

 Suddenly it happened and DANGEROUSLY INNOCENT was created.

 I have heard authors say that the characters speak to them about the direction of their story. Was that true for you?

 Definitely! Not only was I thinking about Detectives James and Trevelyan in my waking hours, but even in my sleep I felt as though I was present at each crime scene and the law enforcers were explaining the whole ordeal to me.

 When authors say their characters speak to them, trust me they're not lying.

 What has surprised you the most about the reaction to the book?

 The thing that has surprised me the most is the good feedback I have received from the many people who have purchased and read my book. Although there have been a few negative reviews, it has mainly been  positive news.

 When people come up to me and tell me they adored reading 'Dangerously Innocent', and that the ending was not as they had expected, it is a satisfying feeling to know that I wrote something which was not predictable, yet enjoyable.

 Many authors find the writing process to be easier than the marketing aspect. What about you?

 I would have to agree with them. Although writing could be difficult, marketing the book can be a real nightmare. First of all, your book may not meet the expectations of many readers, therefore they will certainly choose to boycott your future ones when they are launched.

 Secondly, if you don't have the right person publicizing your book, then all your hard work is suddenly placed onto a shelf until one day the right person picks it up or you write another manuscript that will suddenly capture peoples' imagination and curiosity about your prior projects.  

 With the first book on the market, what is next for you?

 As I had stated before, I do enjoy expanding my horizons therefore with that said, I am in the process of writing a drama. The title has not been set yet, but it is almost complete and will be out soon, God-willing.

 Without giving too much away, the new novel will be set over three decades and introduces various characters, all of whom find themselves living in sin and carrying a secret too much for anyone to handle. Once their secrets get out- all hell will break loose.     

 Nesrine, what advice do you have for aspiring writers that are reading your interview now about how they can be successful?

 Don't give up! Just because someone thinks you're not good enough, it doesn't mean they are right. If you have a dream, make it real because in the end the only person you are meant to satisfy is yourself because only you know what you really want in life.

 If you choose to write, just make sure you get a good editor, literary agent, publisher and PR. Trust me, when you have the right people who've got your back, you certainly won't fall and definitely won't fail.

 Thanks for your time. How can our readers keep up with you online?

 I can be reached on, and FaceBook. I would sincerely like to thank you very much for having me. It has been a great pleasure.

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