Without giving any spoilers, can you give us a hint of what the book is about?
The Watcher follows the journey of DI Jack Grayson, as he tries to track down an obsessive stalker and serial killer, who’s currently cutting a swathe through London, slaying young female victims in the most brutal manner. Grayson’s job is made especially difficult because the person he is tracking doesn’t leave much of a trace, and there are no discernable leads from which he can hone in on a suspect, at least not at first.
The novel also takes readers into the mind of a master predator, showing them the motivations of a monster and how he became that way. It is quite dark in places but then so are psychopaths, at least when they turn violent.
Describe the hero/heroine of your book in three words.
Stressed, chivalrous, well-meaning.
Describe the antagonist of your book in three words.
Manipulative, vengeful, brutal.
What inspired you to write this book?
Before I ever sat down to write The Watcher, I made a study of several infamous psychopathic killers, such as Ted Bundy, Zodiac and The Green River Killer to glean what their possible motivations might have been and to learn a bit more about what made them tick.
The antagonist in my novel The Watcher, definitely draws on traits from these kinds of psychopaths, but as readers will discover the antagonist in The Watcher also has his own very unique reasons for doing what he does. As well, I wrote the book to answer a question I had always wondered about, which is, just how much does environment shape a psychopath.
In other words, if someone is predisposed to a psychopathic personality, can an abusive or neglectful home environment, or an especially traumatic formative incident tip them over the edge, into violent madness?
Do you ever base your characters on real people?
No, all my characters are composites, complete mixes of traits and behaviours that I’ve observed in others. None of them are faithful studies on any one individual, that’s not how they come to me. So I suppose you could say I try to make each of my characters truly unique, a new and hybrid creation that’s part product of observation, part the result of my imagination. I suppose it’s up to my readers to let me know whether that works or not!
What's your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?
Once I get in the flow of it, my favourite part of writing is the writing itself, as the story comes together and the characters reveal themselves to me. I must confess, I abhor the editing part, although I am quite meticulous over it, which is probably one of the reasons I always try and put it off. Once I start editing something I’ve written, I cannot leave it until I’ve picked over everything and probably rewritten it once or twice, and that’s before I’ve even sent it off to the publisher.
Given current political activities, many of us in the US feel that it is our responsibility, as individuals, to take up the slack in terms of environmental protection and prevention of climate change. Do you have any tips from "across the pond" that might be fun for readers to try at home to be more environmentally conscious?
Well, what we put in our bodies naturally has an impact on the environment around us as well as a direct result on how healthy we are, so one of the most important things I would stress would be to select the food we eat with care. I know it’s more expensive but if you can afford it, I think it’s extremely important to try and buy local organic produce wherever you can, as not only does it support independent business rather than propping up global corporate franchise, but it also cuts down the amount of chemicals, toxins and pesticides both our bodies and the environment have to cope with.
You can make a start by checking out your local farmer’s market, or independent whole foods store and paying them a visit. It’s enormous fun to go round selecting tasty produce you’re later going to cook and eat actually, and particularly interesting to notice the dramatic difference between organic and non-organic produce.
As well, what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in them. Start reading the back of the toiletries and household cleaning products you select, and see if you can begin by making the switch to more eco-friendly alternatives, with less toxins and pollutants.
This doesn’t have to cost the earth, as you can also do a bit of research online and compile a list of basic ingredients that you can purchase, such as stocking up on a few multi-purpose essential oils, and common household products such as baking soda. Then you can start making your own eco-friendly toiletries, such as home-made mouth wash, washing up liquid, and natural disinfectant.
THE WATCHER is officially released on June 21st by Crooked Cat Books and is available for purchase now in paperback or for pre-order for e-copy at getbook.at/thewatcher
Readers can stay updated on release news, bonus content, and promotions regarding THE WATCHER at http://www.elicarros.com