Stephen B King
Author of the Series:
Three Deadly Glimpses
Glimpse, The Tender Killer
Release date:11th September – Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Editor: Melanie Billings – Cover Artist: Kim Mendoza
Criminal psychologist Patricia Holmes is now a detective paired with Detective Sergeant Rick McCoy. Together they hunt The Biblical Killer, so named for the quotes left on walls written in the victim’s blood. To lure the murderer out they join the Tender Nights internet dating site, openly making themselves targets. Rick and Pat have fought their desire for each other for months. Can they now survive their lust and an insane murderer intent on vengeance?
Hello everyone and welcome to the spotlight. We’re switching it up a little and going for some mystery! Hi Stephen! First question, what have you put most of your effort into regarding writing?
Hey J, character development. I work my derriere off on that, and here’s why. I write about ordinary people (and everyone I know is flawed in some way or another) and put them in extraordinary situations. So, I’ve got to get the reader invested in the characters, otherwise, they won’t care what happens to them, and would probably never finish the book. Now, if I can paint you, the reader, a picture of my protagonists so well you invest in them….watch out because then I’m going to take you by the hand on a roller coaster. I’m a massive believer in the best piece of advice I was ever given by an author. That is, whenever the story is flagging, take your hero and put them up a tree and have people throw rocks at them. Think about it J!
That is great advice! I love it! What is your favorite part of The Tender Killers?
Oh, I’m so glad you asked me this. In this trilogy, I wanted to tell a story of two people, across three books, who are in dysfunctional marriages. When they are thrust together to investigate a serial killer (he is a cop, she is a criminal psychologist, the attraction for each other is instantaneous. But if they act on their desires, what will the outcomes be for their working relationship, the hunt for three murderers, their marriages, and themselves? The three books are nearly 300,000 words in total, and it took me 250,000 words or so to reach the point of will they, or won’t they, and I loved it. I’m biased, naturally, but readers have told me two things….1, it is a great story, and 2…..what the heck happens next?
I love those kinds of stories, and that level of tension! I’m halfway through book one and will do a report on it soon on my book club. So far, the story has been excellent! Now your name has a close resemblance to another well-known writer, have you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I did, but I’m not going to tell you it’s the title. My previous editor was putting together an anthology in a genre I wouldn’t usually write in, and she asked me if I would contribute a story. After I picked myself up off the floor and stopped laughing, I felt so touched that she thought me good enough to invite, I said I would have a go. So, I wrote a story of around 18,000 words, (it’s hard to stop me once I get started), and I thought it was a bit of fun, that she would reject. Imagine my surprise when she told me it was fantastic, the best that had been subbed and she wanted to have it published as a stand-alone. Sadly, I parted with that publisher when they got bought out before it could be contracted and I forgot all about it. I joined my wonderful current publisher; The Wild Rose Press of NY and I was chatting with my editor Melanie and the story came up. She asked to read it so I found it on an old memory stick and sent it off. She said it was one of the finest stories of its type she had ever read, and (here’s a clue to its genre) that she had never read a story so well written from a woman’s POV by a man. TWRP published that story and every quarter I look at my royalty statement and it appears selling a few copies every month with little or no promotion and picking up some very nice reviews.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start younger. My goodness for so many years I made all the excuses under the sun not to write. I was too busy raising a family, working and playing hard until one day, watching a TV show, or to be more precise, listening to the theme song during the credits of the show, a lightning bolt of inspiration struck, and I felt compelled to write. That became my first book, Forever Night, and the contract was signed at age 59. I’m now working on books 11 and 12 and often wonder how many could I have written if I’d only started younger. The other point is that the more a writer writes, the better they become at the craft, so another reason to start young.
I totally agree! How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Too many LOL. My favorite, that I never work on these days, is at around 35,000 words and has been idle for three years. Bon Scott, the deceased lead singer from ACDC wrote a song about a road here in Western Australia which runs between Perth and Fremantle. He nicknamed it, The Highway to Hell, and the song was a massive worldwide hit. My book, sitting on the memory stick, which one day I will finish, is called Breakdown on the Highway to Hell.
Ah, the good ole days! Now tell me, what is your favorite childhood book?
When I was a child I lapped up every Enid Blyton thriller I could get my hands on. Famous Five, Secret Seven, and others were wonderful stories of children finding adventure, and solving crimes dumb adults couldn’t. I don’t think I’d be a writer today if I had not discovered those books as a child. Several years ago, children all over the world rediscovered reading with the release of Harry Potter. What a wonderful achievement for JK Rowling. She didn’t write for the money, she wrote for her enjoyment, and to entertain her readers. That would be my idea of Utopia
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do read them, and I reply to each and every email, DM or FB question asked of me. Bad reviews hurt to the bone. A writer’s books are much like our children; insult them and you insult us. The people who criticize the worst, and say the daftest things, couldn’t ever write a book themselves, let alone find a publisher. That said, I love to get constructive criticism. Sometimes, I can’t see the wood for the trees because I’m inside the story looking out, and a reader is outside looking in. That is why I adore my editor who challenges me and helps me see the things that are not working, and the poor grammar choices. Naturally, I love to see good reviews, because, at the heart of it all, I write in an attempt to entertain the reader. And if I succeed, and can take them out of their lives for a few hours and take them into my imaginary world – there isn’t any better feeling in the world.
Great answer! Okay, million-dollar question, are you working on another book?
I am working on two. I was bashing away at a book called Winter At The Light, a romantic thriller set on a remote lighthouse in 1952 with the tagline: There is nowhere to hide on a lighthouse. But I was distracted from being able to finish the last 17,000 words by a few people who read advance copies of Glimpse 3, Glimpse, The Tender Killer which was to be the final book in the trilogy. Those people absolutely loved the story but told me repeatedly I couldn’t possibly leave it there. They wanted to know what happened next, but for me I had finished. It is very humbling to have written something that has affected people so much they pestered me for a sequel. And so, after my wife unwittingly gave me the inspiration for a serial killer (no – I didn’t want to murder her after an argument), I began to write Glimpse 4: Glimpse, The Angel Shot, which has now just passed the thirty-thousand-word mark and going as, we Aussies say: Gangbusters. My editor can’t wait to read it as she was one of the people who told me, yeah, 3 is fantastic, but what happens next?” Can I get my million dollars now?
What is your advice to Indie Authors? On writing? Marketing?
Great question. Ok, here it is, the best two pieces of advice I can give: 1…Write. That’s it, just write, then write some more, and keep writing. The more you write, the better you will get. Oh, and what you think is fantastic when you start……isn’t. Sorry to rain on your parade, but it needs work. 2…..(this one I could charge $50 for J) Write from your heart but edit from your head. When you’re ‘in the zone’ don’t stop to edit, there is LOTS, AND LOTS of editing rounds to come, so just write what your heart tells you to get on paper. Then when you’ve typed THE END, get the red pen out.
Fantastic advice! Okay, my curiosity is peaked, let’s read an excerpt:
She glared at him in response; he had said the wrong thing. This was her dream; to be at the coalface, and of being an investigator in a major crime. Nothing was going to stop her seeing the body. He smiled and winked, then yanked the hood up over his hair, and pulled the draw-string tight. He slid the face mask over his nose and mouth and waited patiently for her to catch up. Once they resembled scientists in a germ-free lab, the put on white latex surgical gloves, and Rick led the way through the front door, where another officer stood guard.
Inside the entrance hallway he stopped suddenly and Pat walked into his back and rebound off him. In front of them on the wall, was a message which looked as if it had been written in blood, complete with runs and droplets so that rivulets from above ran into words written below.
But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction;
Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days
“What do you make of that, Pat?” He asked in a hushed voice.
“Hmmm, worrying on several fronts. Some sort of God complex? Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord; that kind of thing. It’s not going to be pretty; I’d know that from the message, even if we hadn’t been told what to expect. It’s not just this is boasting; it’s a warning to others, and that, is scary.”
He turned to look, her face was flushed around the mask she wore, her eyes shone, and it was almost as if she were turned on. “What do you mean by that?”
“Men, plural, more than one. Also, them, again plural. This is like telling everyone who is a liar or cheat they will face his wrath; he will kill them half way through their lifetime. On the other hand, he is saying that God, not him, is the one killing. That infers schizophrenia, and a very angry one at that. I wonder what deceit our victim is guilty of. Clearly, our Mr. Byron Banks has upset someone by being violent, or by lying to them.”
Rick shook his head in amazement, once again, she had surprised him with being able to make sense of something that could have taken him days of investigation to uncover. “Should be easy to catch him, or her then, if they know the victim well enough to know he’s a liar.”
(answer in ONE or TWO words)
Would you prefer living in the city or country?
What color best describes your personality?
What are you most passionate about?
Love and Family
What do you consider your best attribute?
What’s your favorite beverage?
What song best sums you up?
If you Start me Up (I never Stop) Rolling Stones
What does your desk look like right now? Clean or messy?
Are you a night owl or an early bird?
Early Bird (love worms)
What book are you reading at the moment?
Silence of the Lambs (audio)
What would you take with you to a desert island? (three items)
1 A Library (see what I did there?)
2 Solar powered laptop
3 A wine cellar (I did it again)
If you could invite anyone, dead or alive, to dinner, who would it be?
What would be your ideal holiday destination?
South Island NZ (staggeringly beautiful place)
What time in history would you have liked to be born in?
Happy as I am
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
DIY or call an expert?
What is your favorite fruit?
What is your favorite thing to learn about in your free time?
Be a better writer
What is your favorite time of day?
6 am when I’m at my laptop
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Music or silence.
Where do we buy, Glimpse, The Tender Killer?
Links for purchase iTunes:
Where do we find you?
Stephen left Perth, Australia to go East and find fame and fortune in the music business as a long-haired rock guitarist. He wrote poems and music, and his band used to open for some pretty big groups in his wild days. He gave it all up for love and got married (as one does when the right one comes along). Then, real life took over, children came along and he threatened to write a book for so many years his long-suffering wife eventually pushed him into it by buying him a laptop, saying, “No more excuses, do it.” And so began this amazing journey.
His first book, Forever Night, was contracted and published by now defunct Totally Entwined Group ‘s Evidence Press. It features a returned veteran soldier who has suffered horrifically, physically and mentally to become a serial killer while hunting for his runaway wife. As an SAS soldier he is far more highly trained to kill and survive, than the cops are trained to stop him. If you enjoy dark, Scandinavian type crime thrillers, you will love this story.
That was followed by a trilogy, about the rise of a cop through the ranks from Detective to Detective Inspector, when his world falls apart. Domin8, is about a married man who is drawn into the dark world of online dating, until someone who starts murdering his lovers. The Vigilante Taxi features a man who knows tragedy, his life has been full of it and with nothing to live for he becomes a vigilante during the night shift while driving his cab. When he falls in love, and wants to stop, it’s too late; the cops and an underworld figure are closing in. Burial Ground, is about newly appointed Detective Inspector Sam Collins, who is handed the job of finding a serial killer who has been killing and burying his victims in an old disused gravel pit for seventeen years. He is a close to a pure psychotic evil as you will find, worse then Hannibal Lecter, or anything from the mind of the great Stephen King.
Repo saw Stephen return to two characters from Forever Night. New private investigator husband and wife sleuths trying to save a man from jail for a murder he did not commit. He returns home from working in a mine to find his wife gone, bank accounts empty, and fully restored classic muscle car repossessed. When his wife’s body is found, he is arrested for murder. Dillon and Jayne enter a world of illegal poker games, protected by the underworld, to find the real killer and free their first client.
Next, he wrote a beautiful love story/thriller about Jenny, who travels in time to come back to save the world from an all consuming blight that was genetically modified. She falls in love in the past, but can only stay for thirty-three days. This was picked up by his new publisher: The Wild Rose Press of NY. They have also contracted a trilogy, called The Deadly Glimpses. Book 1 is called Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer, and has just been released. Book 2, Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths is due out soon and book 3, Glimpse, The Tender Killer will be released in three months. The trilogy follows the fortunes of two married colleges who are attracted to each other while working together to track down three murderers. What will the effect be on their marriages, and their relationship if they act on the desires they have? I was thrilled when a recent reviewer likened Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer to Seven, and the Saw films, and I take that as very high praise indeed.