Silverberry: What is Vigilante about and what inspired the story?
Bouchard: Vigilante, as the title implies, deals with a serial killer who has taken on the task of ridding the city of violent criminals and the police investigation led by Lieutenant Dave McCall to apprehend this self-appointed executioner. Though the story bears no likeness to it whatsoever, the O.J. Simpson legal fiasco in the mid-90s is what set the wheels in motion to write about someone intent on dealing with offenders who had managed to slip through the inadequate net of the justice system.
Silverberry: What does your hero, Dave McCall, yearn for?
Bouchard: Dave McCall is the definition of the honest, by-the-book cop and with this mindset his is a mission to enforce the law according to procedure to ensure offenders face the consequences for their crimes. He doesn’t believe two wrongs make a right so, although the Vigilante’s targets consist of murderers, rapists and the like, McCall cannot morally condone the killer’s actions and must bring him to justice.
Silverberry: Did the book require research and if so, how did what you discover impact the story?
Bouchard: Since I initially wrote Vigilante, ahem, a few years ago, I don’t recall exactly how much research was required or via what platforms such research was done *wondering if I even had Internet then…* That said, I have always strived for accuracy and plausibility in my details so I know research was involved for geographical and other aspects. One reader called me a lazy author along the way because I mentioned a Montreal Expos win on a specific date when, following his quick Google search, they had actually lost that game. Fact is, I had obtained the game date and visiting team through schedule research but, since I wrote the book a year before the actual game took place, I couldn’t predict the outcome. Worry not; this element had no impact on the story barring a couple of my characters being happy fans.
Silverberry: With eight novels penned, what themes do you see emerging in your work?
Bouchard: The underlying theme in my books, particularly the seven of the Vigilante series, is the age old topic of good versus evil liberally seasoned with ‘an eye for an eye’ reasoning. Fiction is a medium through which readers, and writers for that matter, can live experiences which they likely wouldn’t in real life. This is what I do and offer to my readers with my writing.
Silverberry: What do you think makes for a good suspense thriller?
Bouchard: I’ve been asked this question before and was happy with my response so I will now cheat and present that answer: A good thriller has to move. Descriptions of characters, places and events should to be present only enough to make them seem real in the reader’s mind. Overdoing it slows the pace and simply becomes filler for increased word count. Elements throughout the story should support the final outcome such that the reader can think back and validate the outcome. Consider “The Sixth Sense” with Bruce Willis as an illustration to this point. One realizes nothing was at it seemed yet it all makes sense. This has much more appeal than briefly mentioning a minor character early in a story then making him the culprit and laying out the behind the scenes explanation at the end, none of which was presented to the reader along the way. Finally, a good thriller has an unexpected twist at the end.
Silverberry: What makes for a great series?
Bouchard: My novels. 🙂 Seriously, recurrent characters which grow with time and non-repetitious plots to keep each book unique. One must also include enough history in any given book to situate new readers all while avoiding too much rehashing for those familiar with previous novels.
Silverberry: How do you approach crafting you novels?
Bouchard: To date, all my novels started with my coming up with a general idea to get me going. The first thing I typed for each of my eight novels as well as my two current WIPs was the title, which always seemed to be an attachment to the general idea. From that point, it’s time to write and see where things go. In my case, the process involves no planning, mapping, charting or plotting. I occasionally have to sit back and wait a bit while my characters figure out what’s going on or what to do but they generally get things in order quickly enough. When they do, I’m there for the typing duties. Once my characters are done, the whole thing is reviewed, revised and rewritten as many times as necessary to make it a finished product.
Silverberry: What’s ahead for you?
Bouchard: More installments of the series, including my current WIP, Thirteen to None, an eventual stand-alone, The Last Party, and, hopefully, continued growth of my reader-base.
Silverberry: Thanks for stopping by, Claude!
Readers, grab a copy of Vigilante, and learn about Claude’s other books at the links below. And in July, look for a chance to win a copy of Vigilante in my Thriller and Suspense Giveaway Contest, right here on my website.
Follow Claude Bouchard on his Website
Purchase Vigilante on Amazon
Claude Bouchard was born in Montreal, Canada, where he still resides. His first stab at writing was in 1995, the result being his novel, Vigilante. More titles in the series followed: The Consultant (1996), Mind Games (1997), The Homeless Killer (2009), 6 Hours 42 Minutes (2011), Discreet Activities, and Femme Fatale (2013). Asylum is his first stand-alone novel (2012).