Interview: Mel Sherratt

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I am pleased to present an interview with Mel Sherratt: a writer of murder and mayhem…and a hoarder of killer heels!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

MS: Emotional, loyal, obsessive, creative, determined.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your latest book:

Excerpt: At eight thirty that evening, Ella grabbed her handbag and almost bounced down the front steps to the pavement and into a waiting taxi. She slid into the back seat and closed the door.

‘Rendezvous, Marsh Street,’ she told him.

They set off for the city centre, and she gazed idly out of the car window as they drove down Trentham Road. She ran a finger up and down her leg from her knee to the hem of her short skirt. In anticipation, her hand moved to the neckline of her sheer blouse, fingertips running over the naked area of her chest. She couldn’t wait to get into Hanley now. It had taken her a few hours to control her anger today but, God, she needed to be screwed.

She turned slightly to see the driver studying her through his rear-view mirror. Not taking her heavily made-up eyes from his, she ran her tongue suggestively over red-coated lips, fingers trailing across her skin. While he adjusted the mirror to get a better view, she moved her hand down inside her blouse, splaying her fingers and rubbing the palm of her hand back and forth across her nipple.

Already she could feel it erect, sense the heat building up between her legs. The driver crunched his gears and she laughed silently before looking away. Who was she to give a free show? And besides, she was saving herself. It was her night tonight.

Blurb: Following the death of her husband and unborn child, Charley Belington sells the family home and bravely starts life over again. On moving into a new flat, she is befriended by her landlady, Ella, who seems like the perfect friend and confidante.

But, unbeknown to Charley, Ella is fighting her own dark and dirty demons as the fallout from a horrific childhood sends her spiralling down into madness—and unspeakable obsessions.

As Ella’s mind splinters, her increasingly bizarre attentions make Charley uneasy. But with every step Charley tries to take to distance herself, Ella moves in a tightening lockstep with her, closer and closer and closer…

What do you enjoy about the genre in which you write?:

MS: I can murder people – it’s a license to kill… Seriously, people are complex, good and bad – there is literally nothing as queer as folk. So I like to write ‘whydunnits’ as well as ‘whodunnits.’ I love creating dark, dangerous characters – with lots of sexual tension, fear and violence. Yet, you’ll always find emotion in my books too – I like to root for the underdog. It all makes for interesting plots. It’s what I’m known for, which is why I aim for a particular market of readers who like that type of thing.

Seriously, apart from staying within the realms of reality as well as, with some of my books, police procedures, it’s fiction so anything can happen.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

MS: As long as the grammar and structure are good, it’s all about story for me. What I mean by that is, I want a good book that I can lose myself in, immerse myself into its characters and enjoy timeout in a world that someone else has created. I read a lot of books in different genres – literary and easy read, but it’s the story that I think defines good writing.

Please share your #1 tip for writers in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre:

MS: Write the book you always wanted to read.

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MEL SHERRATT is a writer of murder and mayhem…and a hoarder of killer heels. Taunting the Dead, her standalone crime thriller, was an Amazon Kindle Top 100 Bestseller of 2012.

Mel Sherratt Online: Website (new URL) | Website (current URL) | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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Writing a Psychological Thriller

WRITING A PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER
Guest Post by Maria Savva

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Image from EWZine

Whenever I write a book or story, I always try to see things from the point of view of my characters. I like to think about every action in the book from the character’s perspective, and imagine how he or she would be feeling, what they would be thinking.

My latest novel, Haunted, is a psychological thriller. The novel is a character study and it’s a very dark book. Nigel, the main character in the novel, is living with the consequences of something he did in a moment of rage. Throughout the novel we see the deterioration of his mind. There are elements of horror, paranormal, and drama, as Nigel tries to come to terms with what happened and he is haunted by the mysterious woman from his past.

Getting into the mind of a murderer is quite an intense thing. When I was writing Haunted I had to almost become Nigel, so that I would know how he felt. I had to imagine what he would be thinking, how he would be behaving, and considering the dark nature of the novel, this was quite an emotionally draining thing to do.

HauntedI have been told that Haunted is the kind of book that stays with the reader long after they have read it. I see that as a great accomplishment because when I decided to write the novel, I had a particular aim and that was to make people think about how one moment of anger could change a person’s life for ever.

I was inspired to write the novel after hearing a news snippet on TV about a random murder. In London, it’s not unusual to hear news about murder, but for some reason that particular story stayed in my mind. It was a young boy, teenager, who had stabbed a nurse. It was disturbing because the boy didn’t know the nurse, so I started to think about what the boy would feel like if he found out about her background, if he knew what she was like, if he met her family, would he regret what he had done? The key element in my novel and one which I wanted to portray at the forefront of Nigel’s character was regret.

In my novel I have also added possible reasons as to why Nigel ended up committing the crime. It is clear that he is not a bad person. He was quite ‘normal’ before the incident that changed his life. In his upbringing there were possible signs that he might end up rebelling. He grew up to be quite an angry young man, but at the time he committed the crime he was quite settled in his life.

I wanted to portray a man who was ‘normal’ but who commits an unforgivable crime. I wanted to explore in the novel how that affected his family and the victim’s family.

The psychology of crime is a very interesting area. One thing that I hope to get across in Haunted is that often the criminal is also a victim, and that what happened to Nigel could happen to anyone.

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MARIA SAVVA was born in London on 19th March 1970. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga (although she has not written a courtroom drama to date).

Maria Savva Online: Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads