My guest today is UK author Ian Jackson. I recently read and reviewed his debut novel DEAD CHARMING, a psychological crime thriller I found confronting but, paradoxically, compelling.
Alana: Ian, welcome. First a little about yourself if you don’t mind. You were born in Liverpool but now live in Cheshire. Why Cheshire? Did you choose it for a particular reason?
Ian: My father moved us from Liverpool to the Wirral when I was about ten years old and when I became old enough to buy a house myself I moved closer to Chester. I think of Cheshire as my home now rather than Liverpool.
Alana: The Wirral, you’re going to have to explain that.
Ian: The Wirral is a peninsular on the opposite side of the River Mersey from Liverpool…it’s a beautiful place!
Alana: And you’ve just been married—am I right in thinking that?
Ian: Yes, June 6th this year. It was a wonderful day and I married the girl of my dreams!
Alana: That’s what I like to hear—a besotted bridegroom. ☺
You’re not new to the writing world. You’ve been a magazine and features writer for over 20 years. What was the catalyst for turning to fiction?
Ian: When you write to a contract the content is pretty much set and whilst you can be creative there’s no room to explore themes. Writing fiction means that I can write as I feel and then answer to readers, which is refreshing.
Alana: And why did you choose the crime genre?
Ian: I’m fascinated by the relationship between criminals and their crimes. I wanted to explore the psychological driving-force and the necessary impact that crime has on both perpetrator and victim—plus I love a great crime thriller myself!
Alana: DEAD CHARMING, your debut novel, is set in Manchester. Why did you pick that city for its location?
Ian: I know Manchester very well having worked in the city for a number of years. I love the city and the people and I wanted to set the novel in a place populous enough to help make the narrative believable.
Alana: I have to say that I found the subject matter difficult to read at times but even while thinking that I found myself thinking how well you dealt with it. How did you decide how graphic you should be?
Ian: I was careful to balance the murders with emotional response and bring in private lives as a shield against the natural horror of the crimes. I contemplated the psychological effect of the crimes on the characters themselves, thereby insulating the reader to a certain extent—I hope I managed to do that!
Alana: Thinking back on it I’d say you did a pretty good job of that. You have a new novel out I believe, in ebook format at the moment but a paperback edition isn’t far away. Would you tell us a little about it.
Ian: Yes, it’s called DEADLY DETERMINATION and is available throughout the world as a Kindle download. The paperback will be ready before the end of July and I have arranged book signings at Waterstones across the North West of the UK for late July and August—visit www.ian-d-jackson.com for further information.
The story is set in Liverpool and follows the trials of DI Karen Bellows as she navigates her way through a difficult investigation where honesty is not necessarily synonymous with the truth—I’ve written the book as a fast-paced crime story with an un-guessable and breathtaking ending—I hope!
Alana: It sounds like another good one from you! It may be a bit premature to be asking this, but have you started on a third novel yet or, if not, have you one in mind? And can I ask whether you’ll be continuing in the psychological crime genre?
Ian: Yes, my third novel Deadly labels will be out for Christmas this year and readers of DEADLY DETERMINATION get a sneak preview as the introduction and first chapter are at the back of the book.
Alana: Ian, thank you so much for talking with me today. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed finding out more about you and your work.
Ian: Thank you Alana and thank you for your comments and review of DEAD CHARMING. I find it truly inspirational hearing readers’ thoughts.
Where to buy DEAD CHARMING: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith and all good book stores.
Go to Ian’s website and follow the buy links.
Take this link to my review of DEAD CHARMING