Blog Tour: Author Q&A: Valentina Giambanco, Sweet After Death

Sweet After Death


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Valentina Giambanco’s latest novel Sweet After Death! This is the 4th book in Giambanco’s Alice Madison series. Keep reading for a synopsis of the book and a Q&A with the author herself!


The critically acclaimed, breathtaking thriller: perfect for fans of Angela Marsons.

In the dead of winter Homicide Detective Alice Madison is sent to the remote town of Ludlow, Washington, to investigate an unspeakable crime.

Together with her partner Detective Sergeant Kevin Brown and crime scene investigator Amy Sorensen, Madison must first understand the killer’s motives…but the dark mountains that surround Ludlow know how to keep their secrets and that the human heart is wilder than any beast’s.

As the killer strikes again Madison and her team are under siege. And as they become targets Madison realizes that in the freezing woods around the pretty town a cunning evil has been waiting for her.

Synopsis via Goodreads

Valentina Giambanco


The Alice Madison series is set in Washington State; what first drew you to writing about it?

I first visited Washington State in 1991 and fell in love with it and with the Pacific Northwest. It was immediate and utterly wonderful. When the idea for the first Alice Madison novel came together I knew I had to find a location that inspired me and at the same time would be exciting for a reader. Washington State has everything: urban environments, beautiful and dangerous wilderness, and the opportunity to balance characters between the two. The relationship between Madison and Seattle is one of my favourite elements in the stories.

How does your background as a film editor influence your writing style?

Well, how long do you have?

Film editing is about storytelling therefore working in films has had a huge impact on how I develop a story. On a very basic level, film is a visual medium; it’s about showing something in action.  As a result I don’t like telling the reader something when I can show it. Why tell the reader two office workers don’t like each other when you can show one tripping and spilling his coffee all over his desk, and the other one hiding the tissues.

The next thing is timing: when you edit a film you decide when to get into a scene and when to leave it – my preference is usually ‘get in late, leave early’. And the same applies to a scene in a book, especially when you are writing crime fiction which is about creating a sense of urgency and fast flowing action.

  One more thing, in films you have the choice of where to point the camera: one character, the other, a stranger walking past during an argument. When I write I make those choices too deciding what I want the reader to see as they read that sentence.

Do you have an idea of how the Alice Madison series will end? Will it be after the 5th book?

When Company Productions optioned the television rights for the Alice Madison series and the three short story prequels, they asked me where the story would go next so I had to think about it in a way that I hadn’t before. I have stories for Alice Madison and her friends, and enemies, up to Book 8. I’m sorry to give her such a difficult life but it is just too much fun.

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