See Me Hardcover – October 13, 2015
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From the Publisher
Nicholas Sparks, photo credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Photo Credit: Leonardo Cendamo.
Nicholas Sparks on writing "See Me"
Interviewed by Tess Gerritsen, author of Playing with Fire
Q: See Me has elements of suspense that seem a bit different from your previous books. What made you want to write a thriller? Do you read a lot of thrillers yourself?
A: I do read a lot of thrillers – in fact, I’ve read many Tess Gerritsen thrillers! It’s my favorite genre as a reader, but I find it incredibly difficult to write ones that I think will satisfy sophisticated thriller fans. The Guardian was the first book in which I experimented with elements of suspense, and wrote about the dangers of obsessive love. With Safe Haven, I went a little further down that path. In See Me, I wanted to create a threat that emerged as an outside, completely unknown force – all the more disconcerting because the source of the threat could be anyone. I'll admit that I struggled mightily to get the suspense elements right while still delivering an original love story. I really admire you – and other writers of this genre – even more now!
Q: One of the themes of See Me revolves around the price we pay when trying to escape our past. How does the past inform the decisions of many of the characters in See Me?
A: The past plays a very integral role in the decision-making process of the characters in See Me. Colin and Maria are both haunted by their pasts but they deal with it very differently. Colin uses his past as a daily reminder of how to better himself as an individual, while Maria has withdrawn into what feels like a safe, familiar environment, and does her best to repress all thoughts of what came before. Other characters are fueled by their personal histories to inflict pain on others.
Q: Your books are often categorized as love stories, a genre that’s been traditionally dominated by female writers. ..and See Me, in particular, is written in part from Maria’s perspective. How do you write from a female perspective?
A: I've been lucky to have been shaped by many strong, interesting and emotionally complex women. Although she died when I was in my early 20's, my mother was a hugely influential person in my life – she was a voracious reader, who imparted her love of reading to me. My sister Dana also died when she was a young woman, but we were very, very close (we shared a birthday too); her sweetness and simple joy remain an inspiration for me. And then there's Cathy, with whom I shared a marriage of 25 years and who will always remain a good friend of mine; my longtime editor and longtime agent (both women whom I have worked with for 20 years); and dozens of other female colleagues and personal friends who have been my advisors and mentors over the years. Their perspectives and emotional lives have had an indelible impact on me, and consequently on my writing. You also write in a genre that’s traditionally dominated by the opposite sex. What challenges do you face?
Q: Thrilling stories aren't just about men chasing (or running from) bad guys. Spies and cops may also be women, and they must operate with a special set of challenges – and sometimes in high heels! I write with a woman's perspective of danger: how vulnerable we feel in society, and how we have to use our wits and instincts because we don't have the muscle power that men have. I also use my background in science, bringing in the medical details that I know as a former doctor. Scientific facts are gender neutral. You always write with such clear emotional understanding of your characters. Was it harder to bring that emotional acuity into a darker and more dangerous place?
A: Thank you. To be honest, following the thread of those darker and more dangerous emotions was not what I found most difficult about writing this book – I strive to cover a whole range of emotions, even in my more traditional love stories, so tragedy, fear, and horror don't feel like foreign elements to me. The hardest part was trying to achieve the right pacing for a thriller while still giving the love story its due. The evolution of a deep personal relationship doesn't have the same timetable as the rapid escalation we expect from a thriller, so that took some careful thought and calibration.
Q: One of the pleasures of this novel is the portrait of the Sanchezes, the Mexican-American family at the center of See Me. What was your inspiration for all of these wonderful characters? Are they based on anyone you know?
A: Not directly – although their family dynamic and closeness is one that I've seen amongst many families that I know. The parents' protectiveness and deep attachment to their children (and extended family) is pretty universal, but in this case the Sanchezes' personal history of hard work and immigrant achievement only serves to bind them more tightly. I liked these characters so much, as they are a vibrant version of All-American success, reflecting our diverse, enterprising and uniquely pluralistic society.
"A journey filled with love, anger, family drama, and revenge."―Harlequin Junkie
About the Author
- ASIN : 1455520616
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; First Edition (October 13, 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781455520619
- ISBN-13 : 978-1455520619
- Lexile measure : 830L
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.5 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #71,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The mystery part is plain boring.
Mr. Sparks is a brilliant romance writer as you can see in the first part of this book, he should keep doing that and leave the mystery stories to someone else.
Maria is a beautiful Mexican girl that comes to mean a great deal to Colin because she listens to his life story and cares for him anyway.
Mystery comes. Who is trying to hurt Maria? You must read this book. I do think this is Mr. Sparks first real mystery.
Top reviews from other countries
I get so excited when I see a new book coming out by him because I know regardless of storyline or theme or background or locations, I know I'm going to enjoy it. He's one of the very few authors who have remained this steady for my over the years. Some start out wonderful and then seem to feel the pressure and it shows through their new writes whereas Nicholas always has us get attached to his characters and the worlds he opens up to us in his writing.
See Me is no different. His books do usually follow the same format - man meets woman (or boy meets girl!), they start to fall for each other but there's an obstacle in their path and try as they might it takes all their will to overcome it, and someone usually dies in the process. BUT! But! The above process sounds cliche when I write it out, and I have to say I sobbed during Dear John, The Guardian, The Rescue & The Last Song.
This one is a little new for Nicholas in that it has darkness, and mystery, suspense and more than a little fear. It wasn't the usual for him but yet I still enjoyed it and would recommend to fans of his books but it wouldn't be in my top ten favourites of his.
i have just finished reading See Me , a different book entirley from the rest of his stories .
I was gripped from begining to end , phycologial thriller, that kept you guessing to the end.
Every night i would read some staying up far later than i should have, but it was so gripping i did not want to put it down.
a well written story, well done , i for one cannott wait for the next book.
I’d certainly read some of the other books by this author.