Greta Boris has made a splash with her Seven Deadly Sins series and the third book (“The Sanctity of Sloth”) releases in days. (Pre-orders available now) I got a sneak peek at the book and it is great! The action starts in a walled-in anchorite’s cell, where a woman witnesses a crime. She can’t get out, and then… Okay, I won’t divulge more.
Greta is a very busy woman — you’ll see from her bio at the end — but she very kindly took some time to answer a few questions about her writing process and what’s coming next.
What inspired this particular story?
I’m contracted to write seven books with my publisher, one for each of the seven deadly sins. I was struggling with sloth. It’s not the most exciting sin, if you know what I mean. Then one day my husband handed me an article about an archaeological find in England. They’d recently uncovered the ruins of a medieval anchorhold.
Anchorholds were cells built onto the sides of cathedrals in which people, often women, locked themselves for life for religious reasons. I became fascinated with the subject. After researching, I decided this was the perfect solution for my sloth book. The description of the novel says, The Sanctity of Sloth answers the question: What happens when a good woman does nothing?
What made you want to base a series on The Seven Deadly Sins?
I love psychological thrillers, stories that revolve around normal, everyday people who run into unexpected and harrowing circumstances. The circumstances challenge everything they think they know about themselves and the world.
I’m also of the belief that we each have our own BS, or besetting sin. This is our Achilles heel, our fatal flaw. If you think about it, these flaws generally stem from one of the seven deadly and often lead us astray and into difficulties. Exploring the different ways the same flaw might impact both the protagonist and the villain sounded like fun and seemed a tidy way to link a loosely linked series of novels together.
What sort of research did you do to write Sanctity of Sloth?
I did a lot of research on the anchorites of history and their stories. In fact Abby, my protagonist, has locked herself in a cell at the San Juan Capistrano Mission to write a book about anchorites and what it’s like to be in the world, yet not a part. Snippets of those women’s stories show up as excerpts from Abby’s book in The Sanctity of Sloth.
I’ve also just written the first three chapters of Abby’s book. It will be available in digital form as a free download on my website after it’s published.
Why did you choose mystery as your genre?
I chose thrillers and mysteries because that’s what I read. I do dip into the occasional ghost story, or apocalyptic scifi, but I like thrills, and chills, and puzzles. I lose interest in a book if I can predict everything that’s going to happen early on.
What’s your approach to writing? Are you a plotter or follow your characters flow (pantser)?
I’m a plantser. I do character sketches using the Enneagram types. I also attempt to sketch out the tent pole scenes of the story using the three-act model as a guide. Then I get going.
What are you working on now?
I just finished the first book in a new dark humor mystery series starring a hairdresser who gets called upon to do the hair and makeup of a dead client for the client’s funeral. It was a ton of fun.
And this week I started The Color of Envy – book four in The 7 Deadly Sins. This one is about an interior designer who ends up working for a horror author whose stories are being acted out in the real world. Gruesome murders are being committed using the same methods as his villains. I don’t know much more than that at this point, but I’m looking forward to finding out the details myself.
Let’s have fun with a speed round. One-word answer only, Greta:
Last book read: Wicked River
Coffee or tea: Coffee, duh
Ebook or audiobook or paperback: Audio
Pencil or pen: Pencil
Champagne or gin: Champagne
Hot or cold: cold
Greta Boris is the author of A Margin of Lust , The Scent of Wrath, and The Sanctity of Sloth, the first three books in The 7 Deadly Sins—a series of taut psychological thrillers that expose the dark side of sunny Southern California.
Her nonfiction work includes the Amazon Bestseller The Wine and Chocolate Workout – Sip, Savor, and Strengthen for a Healthier Life and PUBLISH: Take Charge of Your Author Career. She’s also the Director of O.C. Writers, a community of over a thousand published and aspiring authors in Orange County, California.
You can visit her at http://gretaboris.com. She describes her work (and her life) as an O.C. housewife meets Dante’s Inferno.