Interview: Brian McGilloway

I am pleased to present Author Interview #4 with Brian McGilloway! Part of the Partners in Crime blog tour.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

BM: Husband, father, former teacher, writer.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your latest book:

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Synopsis: Just before Christmas, the body of a sixteen-year-old girl is found along the train tracks on the outskirts of a small town. As Detective Lucy Black investigates the teenager’s tragic last hours in search of clues to her death, she realizes that some of the victim’s friends may have been her most dangerous enemies—and that whoever killed her is ready to kill again. Haunted by the memory of a case gone wrong, and taunted by a killer on the loose, Lucy finds herself pitted against a lethal opponent hiding in plain sight.
Someone You Know, Brian McGilloway

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…And one fine morning —
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
— The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

BM: I was a crime reader before a crime writer so I love the genre. There’s something immensely satisfying in a good thriller and, for me, the thrill lies not in the violence, but in the solving of the crime and the assertion of some form of order at the end. Mind you, from Greek Tragedy onwards, we’ve been concerned with stories that move from order to disorder to new order – especially where that disorder is caused by the killing of an individual. Thriller writing is the modern iteration of that concept.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

BM: That’s an interesting question. It all comes down to ‘value’, which is, of course, completely subjective. Everyone values different things. Good writing for me is writing which somehow expresses an emotion or feeling which I recognize but would never have been able to put into words so succinctly. I think we all have those moments of recognition when reading – those moments that connect us through our shared thoughts, feelings and experiences.

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

BM: I’m in no position to be giving advice to others! My number one rule for me is to write everyday when I am working on a book. Stopping for a while makes me begin to doubt what I’ve written. If I just keep the momentum going, I’ll always come back at the end and redraft anyway.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

BM: I’m online at www.brianmcgilloway.com, on Twitter @BrianMcGilloway and on Facebook. And I’m always delighted to hear from fellow crime fiction readers.

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BRIAN McGILLOWAY is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of DS Lucy Black thrillers and Inspector Devlin mysteries. He won the BBC Tony Doyle Award 2014 and is a father of four.

Brian McGilloway Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Interview: Benjamin King

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I am pleased to present Author Interview #3 with Benjamin King: a writer, world traveler, sculptor, and professional musician!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

BK: A thousand lives in one.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your latest book:

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Excerpt: With the window sash scraping the skin off my back I finally wiggled my upper body through the small window and lay half­in and half­out of the house and sucked oxygen into my burning lungs.  And then, in the ghostly, musky quiet of the attic, I heard the heavy crunch of tires on gravel from the driveway in front of the house.  That’s when the stupidity that had brought me here to die like a criminal loomed like a billboard in my mind.  If they caught me, I had no doubt they would kill me.  How I wished I could go back to that night when I should have quit my job and left town.
When a Lady Lies, by Benjamin King

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

“Every man has a religion or totems of some kind.  Even the atheist displays an enormous act of faith in his belief that the universe created itself, and the subsequent creation of intelligent life was merely a biological accident.”
— James Lee Burke

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

BK: Mystery/murder thrillers give an author the best chance to utilize the only two real plots for the genre: chase and capture and delayed revelation.  A good one is about a hundred chases and captures capped off with a surprise, delayed revelation.  It’s also a very inventive genre – you can get away with unusual characters – in fact they make for a better story.  My hero in my series is a young country singer who overcomes defeat and depression in each volume by losing himself in the soulful process of writing a new hit song.  I record the song in my studio and put a link at the end of the book to the MP3 file on a website.  When the mystery is solved and the heroine is rescued, the reader gets to hear the hit song inspired by the adventure.  I think I’m onto something unique.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

BK: The highest quality of any art form is its believability.  The best writers make the reader forget he is looking at a page filled with words and convince him he is part of the action.

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

BK: Don’t give away your secrets too easily.  Don’t make your characters blabbermouths.  Make the reader follow your hero through hell to find the real answer to the puzzle.

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BENJAMIN KING is a writer, world traveler, sculptor, and professional musician. He had his first country song published in 1971 and followed that with numerous magazine articles, a volume of short stories, and a future-fantasy novel. His colorful characters are drawn from the eventful life he has pursued.

Benjamin King Online: Website | SW | FacebookAmazon | Goodreads | Guest Post

Playmates, Book Review

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Reviewed by D. Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, MBR

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PLAYMATES (Wilde Twins, Book #1)
by Jess C Scott

Playmates is the first book in the ‘Wilde Twins’ trilogy — a psychological thriller about abused siblings who turn into a serial killing team.

The story opens with a bang: the bang of children seeking to escape, and the bang of family violence that dominates their lives: “My birthday wish was simple: run away with my twin sister….(sic) There was a loud yell from the living room then — Dad’s voice — and the familiar violent jolt of the sound of glass shattering. Someone had once again broken a bottle on the wall just outside our room.”

Because their parents inflict psychological and physical pain upon each other and their children, Tania and her twin Trevor learn that violence and pain are normal everyday events inside a house where, to the outer world, their parents are respectable citizens: “I would see him nicely dressed in the morning for work, looking every bit the studious professor he was. Black rectangular glasses, trimmed beard, ironed shirt, nice shoes…He was all smiles at his workplace, with a pleasant face and greeted all around by smiley faces. He was happy during the drive back home too…”

Because they live in fear of the alcohol and violence which dominates their lives, the twins have never had a normal, happy childhood. Their mother only wanted one child (a son) and takes out her frustrations on daughter Tania; and this is where Tania learns that humans are selfish by nature. Most people, she perceives, don’t care about children. Add her mother’s prostitution when their father is away and you have a frightening home filled with secrets, violence, and extraordinary measures required for survival.

But Playmates isn’t just about survival: it’s about how these early lessons take root in a child and themselves beget warped human nature. Tania discovers the only person she can really count on is her twin … and so begins a relationship born of a survival instinct and reaction to danger (“That was when I first realized Trevor was always there for me when I needed him. He was the only person I could trust with anything. He was my best friend. He was my everything”) which evolves into something more sinister.

Unlike The Bad Seed and other classic novels of psychopathic behaviors, Playmates delves into the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the evolutionary process. The children absorb their parents’ violence and insecurities like sponges, then find themselves attracted to the power and compulsion of violence in their own lives — first with small things (such as ants); later with victims more their size.

Games revolving around violence, television documentaries of killers and psychopaths, and an emotionally charged home environment filled with abuse on different levels (emotionally, physical, and sexual) all conspire to cultivate the seeds of homicide, rage, and (ultimately) empowerment.

Playmates provides alternating viewpoints between twins who share experiences and build their own conjoined perceptions of murder, violence, and power. From warped views of justice to ideas of safety and violence, the story line delves into the winding mental processes of each twin and provides riveting perceptions: “I needed to do that first one — murder — so I’d be able to compare that with Rick and Dad doing “what they did” to me. That way I could compare sex and murder directly. I might learn something. I loved the idea. It helped create a sense of justice in my view on this silly little thing called life.”

Events progress to a crescendo — and offer no predictable conclusion. This means readers should be prepared for the second installment of a slowly-building psychological thriller of the emergence of evil and sociopathic responses to an impossible life.

Review Posted: October 2013

ISBN: 978-1492818328

MORE INFO: jessINK.com/playmates.htm

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