Stamp is another word for voice. It's that indefinable something that readers (unconsciously) and agents/editors (consciously) look for in a writer.
Training: A novelette is short form (about 15k words) and I've been studying that form as the e-book revolution has taken off. All writers now should be producing short form work in addition to full length novels.
It was Audacious. Risk was involved. I did not know enough about nuns when I started. But I found a couple of experts (i.e., nuns who were willing to talk to me) for research. I wanted to be respectful and not devolve into a cartoon. And writing from the POV of a thirty-year-old former child star who went into the devoted life was a cool challenge.
The Moments I wanted to write were, first, the fight scenes. Also, there's a wonderful moment in FORCE 2 that came out of the blue for me, so I just wrote it to see what would happen. Then beta readers told me they loved it. Thus, the wonderful alchemy of "the boys in the basement" worked again. (Hint: a celebrity is involved).
And Passion. I've always been interested in things philosophical and theological—the big questions of life. And in these stories I stumbled upon an issue: the use of violence to stop evil. Talk about something that is on a lot of minds these days! In the Catholic tradition there is a long-standing debate over the “just war.” Well, I brought that down to the personal: what if a nun could stop someone from doing evil by laying them out cold? And found out she was good at it? Indeed, what if part of her enjoyed it, while the other part wondered if she was entirely normal?
And: are you taking enough risks?