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Interview with author Chris Lemme

What should readers expect from one of your novels?

All of my novels start out as character studies. I'm fascinated how people interact, especially damaged, complex and usually contradictory characters. Dialogue, how people speak to one another, is critical to my stories. So is every form of interaction, especially sexual encounters. I feel that honest and explicit depictions of sexual interactions reveals a tremendous amount about my characters and how they relate to each other.

Do your novels fit into a genre or category?

Not really as far as I can tell. Most might be considered some form of psychological drama or even thriller. Some (The Sex Therapist) might even be categorized as erotica, although they contain other elements like a suspenseful plot and complex characters. The Gardens of Eden probably fits into environmental thriller or possibly pre-apocalyptic disaster novel. Each novel evolves on its own and sometimes may cross the boundaries into several genres at once. But no, I suppose in general I can't say I write in only one specific genre.

Where do you get the ideas for your novels?

Usually it starts with the characters. Only Finding Bartholomew was loosely autobiographical, not unusual for a debut novel. But even then, the characters told me the story in a way that sometimes feel like I'm channeling spirits who tell me what to type into the computer. Mostly, I'm intrigued by complicated people who I meet in real life and I use them as templates for characters in a story. Sometimes, current or recent historic events provide the backdrop in front of which my characters express themselves and live out their lives.

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