By Dan Levy
Joshua Corin described himself as “restless” and “antsy”, which is what initially drove the award-winning writer for stage and screen into the new authorial territory of the thriller. “Thrillers, by their very nature, are structurally restless and antsy and provide constant stimulation,” said Corin. “In that, they are most akin to sports, and as I lack any athletic ability whatsoever, the closest I can come to that adrenalized lifestyle is thriller writing.”
Corin not only found stimulation in the writing of thrillers, but in the challenge of creating in a media that was somewhat foreign to him. “Writing for the stage, writing for the screen, and writing for the page all require many of the same tools, but it is their very differences as media that make adaptation so tricky.”
Corin makes it look easy. His debut novel, Nuclear Winter Wonderland, was named byBooklist as one of the top ten debut crime novels of 2008. Corin returns to bookstore shelves in September 2010 with When Galileo Preys.
Corin’s latest thriller opens with, If there were a god, he would have stopped me. That’s the message discovered atop an elementary school in downtown Atlanta. Across the street are the bodies of fourteen innocent men and women, each quickly and cleanly murdered. The sniper Galileo is on the loose. He can end a human life from hundreds of yards away. And he is just getting started.
The notion of divine intervention drew Corin to create the assign who is the namesake of his newest thriller. “Galileo commits violent, vicious atrocities in part to prove that God doesn’t exist, that murderers don’t get struck down by lightning bolts. He honestly believes himself to be doing important work.”
Corin also finds himself equally, if not more, “riled up” by the burning question facing his protagonist, superstar FBI criminologist Esme Stuart. Corin explained, “If you ask me, life is too short and death is too long for someone not to pursue a dream. Esme Stuart chose family over work, but a passion for criminology like hers doesn’t just go away. When her husband criticizes her for returning to it, when he suggests that she can only have a family or a vocation but not both, well, I just want to reach into the pages and smack him upside the head.”
The good news for Corin’s fans is that this question isn’t limited to a single novel. “Can she be an excellent wife and an excellent mother and an excellent criminologist? That’s the heart of the series,” said Corin.
The next installment, Before Cain Strikes (February 2011), finds Esme Stuart and the country still dealing with Galileo’s aftermath six months later. Corin explores how the families and the country try to repair the damage caused by Galileo. Corin noted the coming novel also ponders, “What about those who find infamy to be an inspiration?”
Admittedly shy despite writings that can be at times “forthright outlandish,” Corin is benefitting from another, perhaps unexpected, kind of stimulation while pursuing the craft of thriller writing. “I think what I love most about being a thriller writer is the tremendous sense of community. Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging, and I know that without organizations such as ITW, my life as a thriller writer would be far less rich.”