Fly: Hello, Ian.
Ian: Hello Fly. We’re finally here.
Fly: Indeed, and thank you. Congratulationz on your book. It haz met with zome rave reviewz. An expected rezult?
Ian: Not at all… I think it’s a good story, but I’ve been astonished by the response from readers… I feel truly blessed.
Fly: The zuccezz it haz had iz alzo a rezult of great publicity - zomething that authorz are normally mozt uncertain about. In your caze, it iz your forte. Zo how haz the publizhing and promotional experience been for you perzonally? Any one you have been more comfortable with?
Ian: I’ve spent my career in sales, marketing and promotional activity in one form or another which has helped. You have to accept that a book may take 12-18 months to reach it’s full potential… after all no-one knows me as a writer and readers tend to stick with who they know.
Fly: Were you alwayz interezted in criminal pzychology?
Ian: Certainly. This story stems from a keen interest in psychology and crime, where the experiences of both perpetrator and victim can be analysed through their emotional and psychological turmoil with often terrifying results.
Fly: And how did it come about?
Ian: I spent two years as a volunteer at a Wirral hospital in the psychiatric unit and a further five years as a volunteer at a homeless shelter. I encountered many forms of mental illness, some of which could clearly lead to violence if left unchecked.
I became interested in what triggers would be necessary to turn a sufferer of somewhat mild or common psychological imbalances into a person that might commit despicable acts. I asked myself who might be to blame when a person who might be a borderline sociopath escalates their behaviour to act out their psychotic fantasies.
Fly: And the effect iz there to zee. The ztory beginz with the unbreakable bond of childhood zweetheartz, Tony and Emma, and how they have only ever had eyez for each other. Then, you cruelly ruin it with the zudden appearance of Joe Reed. Iz that a mazter attempt at zhowcazing Joe’z charm?
Ian: Joe Reed is first of all, a serial rapist and later murderer. But yes, he is also charming and charismatic and the book opens to describe his crimes against the women he has seduced. How he swayed them is for everyone to see, and that sets the tone. But as the novel continues, all is not what it seems and Reed takes the reader through a series of twists and turns, analysing his psychopathy with terrifying results… some readers may even end up sympathising with Joe!
Fly: Zo doez the ztory revolve around him alone?
Ian: There’s also Jenny Foster, a novice criminal profiler. She is married with a daughter and her ambition has driven her on to secure her dream role as a criminal profiler attached to the Manchester Metropolitan Police. She is soon out of her depth as the investigation becomes more complicated and she is faced with real-life situations. At the same time, her personal life spirals out of control with catastrophic results putting her entire team in danger.
Fly: Interezting. Iz your next book, Dead Preciouz, on zimilar linez of pzychotic tragedy and underztanding? When doez it releaze?
Ian: Dead Precious is only a working title to help me focus on the storyline. The book is written and currently suffering the editorial process. The story centres around a series of murders on Merseyside and the reader is faced with choices as to who to trust… it’s a very different book to Dead Charming, but hopefully as thrilling!
Fly: On a lighter note, iz there a particular reazon you chooze namez with fatal inclinationz?
Ian: Yes, it’s difficult to get a book noticed in a somewhat crowded market and I like titles that grab a potential reader from the start!
Fly: Well, to think of it, your book haz a great lezzon for children - like never to let ztrangerz inzide the houze. We’ll have to change the title for it to appeal to them though.
Ian: Yes, the title is where the problem is. Brilliant, Fly! I can see how intently you have looked at the book, given that there is a picture of a woman in lingerie with hands bound.
Fly: Hey, zcantily clad femalez are no big deal. We fliez are naked all the time!
Fly: Okay, I get your point. They are one ignored lot in the literary world - the kidz. Anyway, moving on. What do you do when you are not writing?
Ian: I am a local magazine and sports programme publisher and I run a small advertising business. I have been in advertising and publishing since 1989. I also organise events and awards. I have written many articles for consumer magazines such as Concept for Living and Style Guide for The Daily Mail and I am an accomplished feature writer. If I get any spare time I dust off my golf clubs and hack up turf on other people’s courses!
Fly: That’z great! And now you have nominationz for The Peoplez Book Prize, The Crime Writerz’ Azzociation Daggerz and Rubery Book Award. Big year for you!
Ian: Thanks. Actually, 2015 has a lot going on even on the personal front. My daughter, Anna is due back from Australia in May. My son, Tom, has gained a Masters Degree in Psycholinguistics and is currently studying to work in the NHS with stroke victims. He will hopefully take up his chosen profession as a Speech and Language Therapist at UCL. And then of course, in June, I get married to my fiancée, Susie.
Fly: I’m zure the awardz will add to the celebrationz! Before we go, pleaze do give uz a zneak peek for either of your bookz.
Ian: With pleasure. It’s from the new book, Dead Precious.
Fly: That iz zome very excluzive ztuff, Ian! How fazcinating. We look forward to the read, and many more to come! To the readerz, thiz iz your lucky day! Follow Ian @crimenovel, and enjoy the excerpt below.
For more Author Interviewz & Book Reviewz, check out Earth.
An Excerpt from Dead Precious
Jimmy O’Dwyer didn’t believe in love anymore - let alone the heart-stopping, can’t breathe without you type of love - so the thunderbolt that hit him the first time he saw Sarah was wholly unexpected. He tried to rationalise these new, alien feelings, but his heart trumped his brain and he found himself confused and increasingly vulnerable - something Jimmy wasn’t used to.
Jimmy and Sarah met on a dating site, sugadates.com with Jimmy subscribing as a first time on-line dater with a firm plan to make a casual acquaintance. He set his sights on meeting a slim blonde, not attractive enough to overshadow him and someone who wouldn’t challenge him intellectually - someone who might even laugh at his jokes. The last thing Jimmy wanted was pressure and he definitely didn’t want to be tied down.
The first time he saw Sarah’s profile picture he skipped over it, instantly deciding that she was out of his league. She was a stunning blonde with actress good looks and a body to match – too attractive to fit in with his idea of the ideal casual partner and besides, his slowly growing paunch told him that he needed to fish a little lower in the river.
One of his mates with more experience in the on-line dating arena warned him that such websites often send auto-messages to male users, purporting to be from gorgeous women, so that the punter gets reeled in to buy the most expensive non-refundable subscription. Consequently, when Sarah contacted him out of the blue he was naturally dismissive - in fact he ignored her message.
Then she contacted him again. She said she was fairly local and looking for a casual relationship and Jimmy, despite his misgivings typed a reply. He was deliberately flippant and offhand; cocky even, but Sarah seemed to enjoy the banter and eventually they talked on the phone.
He loved her accent straight away, a mixture of soft Scottish with a twist of Liverpool Scouse and they arranged to meet in town. Somewhere public, she said, just in case she was as bad a judge of character as she was a cook.
Sarah was even more gorgeous in real life than her profile pictures on sugadates.com suggested. She arrived in impossibly high-heeled black patent shoes that made her legs look ten yards long. Her simple crop-top and black shorts hugged her slim figure perfectly. As she moved through the bar, she walked with a lithe, almost bored gait and every head, both male and female turned to watch her go.
She reached Jimmy and her inviting mouth smiled, as did her twinkling brown eyes. She hugged him and kissed his cheek, the perfume she wore overwhelmed his senses. Her touch was light, almost angelic and he felt his entire being begin to quiver as they sat down together. With her blonde hair cascading over her slender shoulders Jimmy’s breath seemed to catch in his throat and he was instantly hooked.
They talked for hours, Sarah keeping eye-contact, growing shy at the appropriate places and laughing almost every time Jimmy offered one of his dry quips. They talked about their families, their loves and hates and with every moment that passed Jimmy felt more at ease, his suspicions fading as his face erupted into laughter time and again.
When the bar closed Jimmy called a taxi. In the still, quiet of the warm evening he could hear the beat of his own heart as they stood waiting outside. Sarah took his hand and smiled, telling him that the evening had been far more than she’d hoped for and when the car came she leant in for a kiss. Their lips met for the first time, sending an electric shock through Jimmy that shot straight to his manhood. The kiss lingered, Sarah opening her mouth enough to show enthusiasm, but not enough to invite Jimmy’s waiting tongue.
As he watched the taxi’s tail lights disappear at the top of the road he was both disappointed and strangely elated that she hadn’t asked that the evening continue - she was perfect.
He couldn’t have known that in a few short days he would be staring at the wreckage that was once her face with his own life hanging by a thread.
Bookz featuring me:
An Enlightened Fly
The Fly That Followed Me
Kalki Evian - The Ring of Khaoriphea
Malay A. Upadhyay
Gilbert Literary Agency