Tag Archives: writing

How I Accidentally Wrote My New Thriller

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I didn’t set out to write INCOGNITO, my second thriller novel. I accidentally stumbled upon it. The experience was bizarre, I tell you. It started after my encounter with two different women in Switzerland.

The first story took place in Geneva. I was looking out my hotel room window one cold night when I noticed a tall, large woman in black standing stiffly under a street lamp.  Later, I decided to go downstairs to talk to the hotel receptionist  in an adjoining office as he had invited me for coffee. I took the stairs instead of the ancient traction elevator since my room was only one floor down.

Descending halfway, I saw the same woman in the lobby. She glared at me. There was no one else. I realized she was mentally challenged, but her behavior gave me the creeps. I ran back up and locked myself in the room. Something about her reminded me of a character in a horror movie.  And how the hell did she get in? Every guest had a password to open the digital door lock. She was not a guest. Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00068]

In the second story, I was hiking up a snowy mountain in Saint Moritz. There, I met another woman. I asked her for directions as I wasn’t sure of my surroundings.  She then introduced herself and told me she visited the alps regularly for inner peace. She added that she followed a certain religion although she was not born into it.  She also complained about how Switzerland was no longer the same. She even denigrated the country’s politicians and bankers. Then, with a finger pointing at Italy, she ranted about the Vatican.

All this while, I was praying the woman wouldn’t ask me about my faith. I was concerned she might also have issues with it. I got the impression she had issues period. She was carrying a hiking pole unlike me.  I was worried she might get a bit creative with the stick.  If I had to defend myself, it’ll be my word against hers since there were only the two of us on that mountain section.  How fast could I run with snow boots on, anyway? But the idea for a story had transpired. Some 3,000 feet up high on the Swiss alps, I suddenly realized I was looking at the vista of a new thriller novel!

Then I visited Italy, which gave me more ideas about what to include in my manuscript.  It was like picking fruits in the garden. I had visited several other countries that I felt would be relevant to the plot and theme. So I began crafting with all the ingredients in the pot. Trial and error, rewrites, back and forth… and then it was all done.

In weaving the tale, I wanted a cocktail thriller set on the international scene without the usual players. No CIA, no Mi6… none of those kind of people. I wanted something different – something fresh. So I added a few new elements that in my view sounded plausible.  I am happy with the outcome. Honestly? I didn’t think I would ever finish writing the manuscript. But I did.  Phew!

I’ll skip the boring details about how I went about writing the story. Every author does the same thing. We research (lots of research), fact check, interview people, make observations — that kind of thing. Nothing glamorous about that. But I knew the story had to be different

Well, I hope you’ll read INCOGNITO when it’s released. And yes, l couldn’t help it, the novel does contain a secret message.  Please don’t tell when it’s finally revealed to you … that’s the fun part about sharing a secret.

Over and out.

p.s. A special thanks to Jörg-Thomas Weidtke who worked at Hotel Stille, Saint Moritz for letting me take as much chocolate as I want from the bowl at the reception desk.

How writers shop when they travel

There are some images based on my upcoming thriller, INCOGNITO,. These images were taken during my trip between the Italian-Swiss border.  Some people buy souvenirs, I stock up ideas in my mind. These pictures were taken during a train journey between Italy and Switzerland.  So what do you think?
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