Monday, March 30, 2020

IWSG Book Club: Questions for Chill Factor


Disclosure: If readers purchase a copy of the book through the above link, I receive a small commission from Amazon. I really wasn't a fan of this book, and I don't recommend it. I gave it two out of five stars. But you're welcome to check it out if you like.


1. In the opening of Chill Factor, I love the way Sandra Brown begins with setting, weaving in character activity and then details to create this uncertainty when we meet Ben Tierney. He is out in the open air of snowy mountains with a shovel where there are four unmarked graves. Then, as it continues, his thoughts detail the event and mystery of the graves, as he finds his way back to his vehicle. The introduction of the character, setting, and mystery are powerful. It makes you quickly flip the page to find out what happens next.

QUESTION: The first chapter ends in uncertainty. At that point, did you think Ben Tierney was a hero or a killer?

I thought there was a fair likelihood that Ben was a killer (or one of a group of killers) at that point.

2. In the second chapter, Brown is in the female POV and she reveals the thoughts of the ex-husband in such a subtle way through the female's thought summary that you almost feel like you are hearing his thoughts, not hers. It’s so seamless it feels like you are in the room with them.

QUESTION: How do you handle deep point of view between characters?

I don't think I really give it much thought. If it works well, then it's a good technique.


3. A. Which characters did you like the most in Chill Factor? Why?

I liked Scott the best. He seemed like he was trying to do the best he could with a horrible situation.

B. Which characters did you like the least in Chill Factor? Why?

I thought every male character except for Scott was awful. Dutch and Wes were both abusive. Ben was passive-aggressive. William was a nasty little weasel.

4. Throughout Chill Factor, we’re not positive if Ben is a good guy or a bad guy. Have you ever put your readers on this roller coaster ride, tricking them into thinking a good character might be bad, or vice versa? And what techniques did you use?

I've written characters who were somewhat ambiguous. I never start out with any particular technique in mind. My characters are pushy jerks who write themselves.

5. As a fellow asthma sufferer, it was nice to see that as part of the heroine's character development and nicer to see that it didn't stop her from being depicted as strong. Too often asthma and allergy sufferers are portrayed as weak.

QUESTIONS: What other characteristics often make a character seem weak? What other characters have overcome weaknesses to be portrayed as strong?

I really don't feel that Lilly was a strong character. The line about her "not wanting to play the feminist card" made me say "oh boy, here we go" early on in the book. I have asthma, and I found it rather insulting that the author used Lilly's condition as a plot point to make her "need" Ben.

I was not a fan of this one. My review is here.

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