They all have a common theme: surviving the elements. It doesn’t get more basic.
Which is why I dare to mention my story imbroglio in the same breath.
Imagine the fear of going overboard 25 kms out to sea, at night.
I’m serious. Really imagine it.
Knowing that although you’re completely alone, you’re not alone. You might have survived the fall, but will you survive the predators beneath your feet? Will you survive the unrelenting tides and weather?
But let’s face it, it’s the thought of those predators that are making your toes curl right now.
Enough to give you nightmares, isn’t it.
Could you possibly survive? What would you need to attempt it?
A sense of direction? The will? The ability to swim? Strength? Endurance?
You would need all of those and more.
Noel Valentine. Does she have those qualities? Any of them?
Maybe, but will they be enough?
On a dark night 25 kms off the coast of Sydney, Australia, she goes over the side of a luxury yacht. She doesn’t want to. It’s a choice between a quick death aboard at the hands of criminals or a slow one overboard. Instinct impels her to the slow option.
For an atmospheric glimpse here’s my new half minute imbroglio trailer.
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.