All of us at Read It Forward are fans of Taylor Stevens and her debut thriller The Informationist. Huge fans. We devoured the manuscript when it came in and couldn’t wait for it to be published so we could share it with all of you. We were captivated by the book’s heroine, Vanessa “Michael” Munroe – she’s smart, she’s fast, she’s dangerous. Read It Forward sat down with Taylor and asked her how she came up with such a remarkable character. Her answer may surprise you.
I didn’t set out to create a world-class, kick-ass heroine, it sort of just happened.
And it wasn’t until feedback started arriving from test readers that I even clued in to how strong – and perhaps unusual – Vanessa Michael Munroe is. With the reviews have come the comparisons: Jason Bourne, Lara Croft, Lisbeth Salander, and Sidney Bristow.
Born and raised into the Children of God, an apocalyptic religious cult that didn’t allow education beyond sixth grade, or access to television and books from the outside, I’d spent most of my life insulated from popular culture, and I’m still sorely under-read and rather painfully oblivious to current trends. I had to Google to discover Lisbeth Salander and Sidney Bristow.
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By the time I started writing, I’d read perhaps thirty novels, most of them thrillers, and most of them, like Robert Ludlum’s books, not at all current. I had no idea what I was doing.
My initial desire in developing The Informationist, before there were characters, or plot, or any idea really of what I would write, was to bring to life some of the foreign and exotic worlds I’d lived in.
Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and predator, a woman with her own brand of morality and a take-no-prisoners form of justice, gradually came alive as a result of the demanding environments she was thrown into.
Download an excerpt of Taylor Stevens’ The Informationist
“One of the best thrillers of the year!”
—Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Ice Cold
“A high-octane page-turner.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A fast-paced, gripping, edgy mystery with a heroine whom even Lisbeth Salander would admire.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“Dazzling…Munroe is a model of an emerging action heroine: like Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.”
“A heroine grittier than Lara Croft.”
“Underneath all the action is an even more powerful story of a woman trying to make peace with her personal demons.”
“A thriller of the highest caliber.”
“Smart, sexy, fast-paced — and impossible to put down.”