Toby Lichtig writes in The Guardian about how all writers repeat themselves. That is, they seem to return to the same themes again and again.
When I wrote SOMETHING MISSING, I had no idea what I was doing. No idea what I was trying to communicate other than Martin’s story. I just allowed the character to show me the way, and low and behold, I had a novel.
My second book proceeded along these same lines, and my third is proceeding similarly: Find the character and the rest will come.
But along the way, I have uncovered some of the themes that seem to interest me. Oddly enough, there was no conscious decision made when identifying or choosing themes. I had no grand vision of the ideas that I wished to express. I write like a spelunker in a cave without a headlamp or a lantern. I’m just chipping away at the rock and hoping to find something. So these are just the themes that have unconsciously emerged from my work.
I seem to be obsessed with the secret lives that people lead. Each of my protagonists possesses a profound secret that they strive to keep hidden at all costs, and its upon these secrets, and their potential revelations, that the plots of my books hinge.
I also seem drawn to abnormality. None of my protagonists are conventional human beings in any sense of the word. Each possesses oddities, quirks and degrees of non-conformity that make their lives challenging and unique. I couldn’t imagine writing a book about someone relatively normal.
Lastly, I appear to be drawn to characters who have become disconnected with society. They are lonely people: isolated, unrecognized and ignored by the world around them. Each is seeking acceptance, appreciation and love.
Why have I been drawn to these themes? I wish I know. But they seem to be working for me.
Will I continue to make them focal points of my novels? The Guardians’ Toby Lichtig seems to suggest that I will. I do not know. I will simply continue to listen to my characters and allow the stories to take whatever direction they so choose.