Let’s welcome Melissa Simonson to the blog today. We will be discussing her thriller, Pretty Waste.
“Welcome to the New Year on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where talk might be cheap (though nothing else is), scheming and manipulation are second nature, intentions are never pure as driven snow, and not even the shrinks can be trusted.
None of the names have been changed, because no one is innocent.
You’ll have to look hard to find redeeming qualities in what is surely a bleak cast of characters, and we’ll start with the conception of a clever ruse and a chameleon call girl lacking both sleep (of the restful variety) and original thought (that comes from her adoptive madam mother).
A parasomnia disorder and a surprising client introduce our escort to a psychiatrist neither caring nor empathetic, but he cleans up well and is an accomplished actor (not unlike his nemesis, Madam Miranda Crosland). Can he work out the kinks in this twisted web of secrets, cons, and lies? Without a doubt. The real question might be can he be bothered to do so. Listening to tragic backstories isn’t high on his list of entertainment, but then watching master plans explode in faces is a pastime Dr. Carrington enjoys.
Choosing a side is difficult when most everyone involved is morally bankrupt. It’s going to be a wicked winter.”
1. Can you tell us a little bit about Pretty Waste?
2. What made you want to write a book that delves into the human psyche?
“I never set out to write anything in particular, and I’d hesitate to say I’m even qualified to delve into any kind of psyche, but I began writing this book after a year of having been caught up writing a crime/thriller/suspense series. I love that genre, but I’d gotten so sick and bored of being stuck with those themes, and the main character in those books is exhausting to write. I’ve always loved literary fiction but had never tried my hand at actually writing it, so I guess my only reason for writing this book was “well, why not?” The exploring psyche stuff had to become part of the package after the characters had been created, because pasts and the scars they leave have a lot to do with present-day motives and actions.”
3. Was there any research you did in order to write about about the thoughts, actions, or attributes of the characters you created?
“No real research, exactly, unless watching far too much true crime and truly terrible reality TV counts. I actually met a madam at a gas station of all places about a day before I started writing Pretty Waste, so maybe I owe her some credit, though from all I could gather, she was nothing like the madam in this novel.”
4. Who is your favorite character in Pretty Waste? Or one that you find you relate to the most?
“It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if forced I’d have to say Luke. As far as relating to the characters go, I can relate to each one of them in different ways. I think it’s the only way you can make a character believable.”