Submitted by Susanne Bacon.
Who doesn’t like a good mystery story or riveting thriller every once in a while? And even better when they are about things we can relate to? What is going on in the heads of mystery and thriller writers so they come up with ever more twists in their plots? You can find out some such secrets when you talk to authors A.C. Fuller and Toni Kief at the 6th Annual Lakewood Film, Arts, & Book (FAB) Festival.
One of the Pacific Northwest’s most assiduous thriller authors is certainly A. C. Fuller. Once a journalist in New York, now living on Kitsap Peninsula, A. C. Fuller writes novels full-time, and as a former adjunct professor of journalism at NYU and an English teacher at Northwest Indian College, he also lectures on different aspects of the art of writing. His thrillers are filled to the brim with allusions to contemporary politics. Especially when you consider A. C.’s just recently finished trilogy “Ameritocracy”. “The Ameritocracy series is based on a simple idea: an online political competition in which anyone can run for president and the winner receives instant fame and a campaign war chest to battle the Democrats and Republicans in 2020,” A. C. Fuller lets on. “So, there’s not a single, simple message, but I wanted to capture the insanity of modern American politics in a high-concept series that would allow me to go wide and deep on American political landscape. What I’m hoping is that the series will entertain while also allowing readers to look freshly at American politics, particularly the way technology, media, and politics are colliding in alarming—and yet to be understood—ways.”
Of course, this happens with lots of twists and turns around the female idealist protagonist and another character from another different novel series by A. C. Fuller. It becomes clear, that the author is an incredible juggler of all his plots and characters, as he ties up the web of his stories neatly knot by knot. “To keep my stories straight, I work from detailed outlines, “says A. C. “Of course, things do change as I write, but I find that I make most of the hard decisions before I begin. If I can’t see the novel playing out like a movie in my head before I begin, I don’t begin.”
Targeting senior readers (and especially those of the female gender), mystery author Toni Kief from Marysville calls herself a child of the 60s, Midwestern by birth, Northwestern by choice. Her characters are all of sedater age … but, of course, they are all feisty and curios. “I like the idea of reading about someone in my age group, characters who had a life before, “Toni Kief says about her choice of protagonists. “There is so much more of life offered up, but, especially as a woman we are virtually invisible. We have more to do, fewer responsibilities and changes that aren’t always in our control. I’m not done living, and neither are my main characters.” Her very successful first novel called “Old Baggage certainly shows that the concept succeeded with a large audience.
What has kept fascinating Toni with mystery over decades of reading are twists, surprises, and usually a deep main character the reader actually gets to know. Interestingly enough, she didn’t start her latest series as being mysteries – but that’s exactly what they are. “The story came to me as I wrote,” Tony says. “Much of the story was a surprise to me also.” Toni’s newest release is the second about an elderly widow starting a career as a casino’s undercover surveillance. “Mildred in Disguise: Romancing the Odds” is the sequel to Toni’s highly recommended “Mildred in Disguise: With Diamonds”. And who knows what more Mildred may discover in Las Vegas? Perhaps you can coax some hints out of Toni, while visiting at her table.
The 6th Annual Lakewood Film, Arts, & Book (FAB) Festival takes place on September 28, 29, and 30, 2018 from 12 through 9:30 pm (author/book section noon through 6 p.m.) at the Shirley McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Boulevard SW. A. C. Fuller will be signing his books all three days, Toni Kief will be doing so on Sunday. Please, find further information at www.facebook.com/lakewoodfilmartsbooks/.