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
It's launch day for The Silence by Katharine Johnson, a psychological, coming of age story set in Tuscany.
What's the book about?
Ok, here's the elevator pitch:
Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle - and a secret that could destroy everything. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity. In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open...
There is also a short video trailer you can watch which gives you a good idea of what the story is about.
How are you feeling about the launch?
Excited - and a bit terrified. It's like how I felt seeing my children go off to school on their first day. I'm thrilled to see the final published version - I love the cover and am especially pleased with the spine because it's so simple. But I know I've passed the point of no-return now. I can't suddenly grab it back and rewrite anything!
Where did you get the idea for the book?
I just wrote the book I wanted to read. I love stories about houses with secrets and I love coming of age stories where someone makes a choice that will change the course of their life.
Why did you choose Tuscany as the setting?
I wanted it to be set somewhere beautiful to contrast with the events which are quite dark. I know Tuscany well because I've lived in Florence and had a home in Lucca for several years so it was quite easy to describe. I also felt the remoteness of some of the Tuscan mountain villages would make it easier for an event like this to be covered up and forgotten for many years. But also, with so many old houses being bought up and restored, it was quite likely that the secret would be discovered at some stage. A skeleton was found in a house near us when it was being renovated which gave me the idea.
How are you celebrating the launch?
I'm having an online launch party on Facebook today and would love to invite your readers along. Here is the link to the page. There will be information about the book, visiting authors and giveaways. The main event is at 8pm UK time but the page will be up throughout the day and the following day so people from other countries or who are busy this evening can join in and enter the giveaways.
I will also be having a launch/book signing in my village on 22 June.
How can we buy the book?
It's available from Amazon on this link
There is more information on Amazon author page
and my website