Interview and Review with Allison Cosgrove

14 Oct

Happy Monday, folks! Today, I am pleased to bring you an interview with the lovely Allison Cosgrove! We will learn more about her and her novel, “Sacrifice of Innocence”.

A brief description: A cult has been killing children for its rituals and only one cop knows who they are. But, Detective Stan Brookshire’s past keeps people from believing in him. Can he rise above the stigma that shrouds his past and stop a cult from taking yet another innocent child from her mother’s arms before its too late?

And the interview!

What was your favorite part of the book?

The chase scene was my favorite scene. Not entirely sure what made it feel more alive but of all the different parts of the book that was the one that felt most alive to me.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

The final fight scene for me would have been the hardest.  It was hard to end it off in just the right voice.

What do you wish was different about the book?

I don’t know that I wish there was something different per se. There are some parts in hindsight could have been altered some and put a different spin on things but in the end I don’t know that I wish that I had done something different.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Put it plainly I LOVE Stephen King, and have been reading his books since I was about 9 years old (shh! Don’t tell the librarian that I was sneaking books ok? LOL) and I own a copy of nearly all of them.

What sparked the idea for your novel?

Not sure about the actual plot line but I have always written detective novels since I was a kid and have always had a main character that was in dire need of some personal redemption.  I do love my underdogs!

How personal is your writing?

As I said before, I love my underdogs and being an underdog that everyone doubted when I was younger I have great joys in making sure the underdogs come out on top.

How strict are you with plotting? Do you outline or go where the story takes you?

I have my basic thought, beginning middle and end but I’m not super strict when it comes to putting it all together. Near the end of the book I may plot the last few chapter to make sure I have tied up all the loose ends but not really aside from that.

What is your writing routine?

Coffee. Cat. Laptop. Headphones. Those four things and I am good to go for a while. But really I can write and compose just about anywhere. It wouldn’t be odd for me to be at the gym on a stationary bike and plotting out a scene on my phone.

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

The bad guy is where all of my tales begin. I love creating the monsters that go bump in the night and making my poor detectives chase after them. My writing works much the same way as reality would work. Bad guys commit crime leaving the good guys to go and solve said crime.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

Classic theme of good versus evil is why I enjoy writing good guy versus bad guy books in general. As for detective novels I am not entirely sure of why I started it when I was younger. I’m sure it was something I saw or read about that inspired me but as for what I am not entirely sure.

How did you come up with the title?

I have a secret list of possible book titles and I just pick one and start writing what comes to mind when I see that title for the most part and then tweak the title at a later point if need be.

What project are you working on now?

I’m in the editing process of the second book in my detective series. The book is called Dragon Twins and is hopefully coming out Spring 2013.

Are there certain themes you like to address in your writing?

The evil in human nature. There are lunatics everywhere now a days and I like to remind people that one can never be too safe.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Never give up. Ever. Always keep plugging away, hone your craft and don’t ever give up on yourself or your work.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

One of the first agents I queried told me to go back to school if I wanted to be a published author. That was a bitter pill to swallow for sure. Best compliment?  Being told that my characters were “brilliantly flawed”. It reassured me that I had done right the way that they had been portrayed to the reader.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Stephen King. He is awe inspiring. My maternal Grandfather. He was a big supporter of me when I was younger and I would love to show him how far I’ve come.  Jack the Ripper. Just so I would finally, (after years of personal research) know who the heck it REALLY was.

Now the fun questions:

Favorite junk food?

Lays BBQ Chips…. Om nom!

Tea or coffee?

Coffee! What is this TEA thing you speak of?

Favorite superhero(ine)? Why?

She-Ra or Wonderwoman. They are both my heroes when I was growing up. They always saved the day!

Favorite color?

Purple!

Favorite place you’ve visited?

Lately— Algonquin Provincial Park here in Ontario.

And now for my review!

I was initially drawn to this story by the premise. I love a good, solid thriller. Sacrifice of Innocence delivers on this front.

Ms. Cosgrove has created a character in Stan Brookshire that has the potential to rival that of Connelly’s Harry Bosch. But, I wanted more from him. He is a character that is likeable and relatable, which is why I expected more. He came across to me with all the hallmarks of a suspense novel detective, but I was struggling to find what would make him stand out. I liked, but I didn’t feel that I knew him. However, this may be intentional on the part of Ms. Cosgrove in order for the reader to see where Brookshire grows. I would keep reading to find out. The interaction between Stan and his partner Jane was good, but I felt their dialogue could have been a little more natural.

Often, there was a lot of backstory before action was introduced. That was sometimes difficult to wade through, as it slowed down the action for the characters. I enjoyed the overall feel of this book, but there were quite a few moments that gave me pause. For instance, when Lily’s mother receives the message on her answering machine, the reader is simply told what happens. I feel it would have been more powerful if the reader could seen the mother’s horror and her reaction through an action-oriented scene.  There were several scenes like this where I felt more action and more dialogue would have cemented a connection with the reader.

When action drove the story, things picked up and I was pleased to become immersed in the suspense. This story depends heavily on its chilling premise with villains that make your blood run cold. That kept me turning pages until the end. I found a few editing flaws, but nothing that had me bothered.

Overall, I enjoyed this story enough to be interested in another Stan Brookshire offering, simply because I would like to get to know him better.  Since I can’t give half-stars, and three stars doesn’t accurately convey how I feel, I’m going with four. A solid read from an author with great potential.

A little more about Allison:

Bio: Allison Cosgrove was born and raised in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. A married mother of three daughters, she works in accounting by day and creates her own worlds by night. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters hiking in the woods or sitting by the fire reading a good book. She has had the love of reading and writing detective mysteries from the age of twelve but it has only been since the birth of her youngest that she has gotten serious about crafting some of her own works for others to enjoy. She credits her family and friends with being the driving force that has given her the strength to breathe life into her books.

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3 Responses to “Interview and Review with Allison Cosgrove”

  1. authorshiralynjlee October 15, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    I would love to be seated at a table close to you so that I too could see who Jack the Ripper actually was 🙂

    Like

    • Natasha Slight October 15, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      Great interview and review! The book description sounds like something I’d love to read, will be looking it up. And that dinner. Wow, I’d love to be a fly on the wall….only because I’d be too scared to sit at the same table as Jack. 🙂

      Like

  2. Chrystina Williams October 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Great interview & review 🙂

    Like

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