The publication of my latest book Little Big Boy, heralds the beginning of my next adventure. My fifth book will be my first attempt at a sequel (to Darkly Wood) so it presents a whole new challenge for me. Normally my books are very different in content and genre, so it is important for me as a writer to have a distinct voice that readers will identify as belonging to me and importantly, enable them to be drawn to my other books.
So how do I do that? At a base level, each book comes from my imagination, so of course there is that common thread. But if you read Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood or Little Big Boy and then read a second one from this list, you will begin to understand just how different each book is. In general terms, readers usually find something they like and go back for more. For me, because I switch theme and genre so much, I have had to find something else to connect my work.
Now some of what I do is quite subtle, but here are more obvious devices that I use. There will always be a whiff of sulphur in a Max Power book. Danger inevitably lurks somewhere in between the covers. Darkly Wood should have you turning on the lights. Larry Flynn creates his own world of danger that spirals out of control. Bad Blood is designed to keep the danger at a high level from early on and never let up. Little Big Boy is about a small boy who lives a life surrounded by danger, real and imagined. I want the reader to root for him through his struggles.
Of course I have blogged before about love or the absence of love, as being the true heart of my books. Darkly Wood, despite appearances is a true love story for me. Larry Flynn is about familial love, regardless of the Dublin gangsters and American politicking. Bad Blood certainly has love at centre of the book. It may not be instantly recognisable to everyone, but the blood in the title refers to family, again referenced by the strand of DNA on the cover. As for Little Big Boy, well that only arrived today so no spoilers, but this one has a small boy’s love for his mother as a central theme.
Heroes are made not born in my stories. Daisy May, Larry Flynn, Martin Doyle and Little Big Boy. They all have to find out whether or not they have the courage within, to face whatever dilemma I put before them. None of my characters, major or minor are safe until the last page. I have killed off some fine people for the sake of the ultimate goal, which is to tell a good story and that is the key really. For me, it is all about the story. I want my readers to sit by the fire with me and then I want to begin to tell them all personally what I have in my head.
To achieve this I write every single story, with a voice in my head as though I am telling it to just one person. I write for every reader but as I write, I am telling the story to that individual and I want them to feel that this story is especially for them. I am a very emotional writer. My books are character driven. That helps me to express the story and personalise it for you when you read it. I became quite frightened at times writing certain passages of Darkly Wood. There are parts of Larry Flynn that saddened and disturbed me, as I began to reveal the true nature of some of my characters. Bad Blood quite literally kept me on edge. Little Big Boy made me cry more than once and I hope those tears stuck to the pages.
A final commonality is a sprinkle of fairy dust, but just a hint and only sometimes. It is most obvious in Darkly Wood, but there are soft sprinkles scattered through the other books also. There are certainly other little devices I use, but I think I have revealed enough of my secrets for now. If you have yet to be enchanted by Darkly Wood, shocked by Larry Flynn, excited by Bad Blood or brought to tears by Little Big Boy, then go on find a Max Power Book, dip in and hopefully you will see just what I mean.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy, all available on amazon to download or in paperback.
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : – http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower