Ever wondered how you make the leap to become a writer? This month sees Paul Finch recall the transition from his days in the Police to his time as a scriptwriter for The Bill in his fourth blog piece for Killer Reads.
The first time I ever put pen to paper to write a serious thriller, it was just after I’d finished serving as an actual police officer. The piece of work in question was a speculative teleplay entitled Knock Off Job. It concerned a murder inside a suburban police station, and presented every member of the shift, both uniform and CID, as potential suspects, none of them knowing who to trust.
Now that I look back on it, it was very talkie: lots of tense conversations in dim corridors and cramped offices, lots of frank, fraught interviews, lots of suspicions being cast in every direction. It wouldn’t work today simply because modern police stations are filled with CCTV, and the comings and goings of staff and non-staff are more carefully monitored. But the concept was of sufficient interest to the production team at The Bill to make them ask me to come in and see them. I accepted the invitation, and though I didn’t realise it at the time, my life changed as a result.
Hello and Happy Halloween from the Killer Reads team. In the spirit of today’s festivities (and also the release of the new Bond movie), my question to the KR team this morning was “Who’s your favourite bad guy?” Read on for their brilliant answers and your chance to win a special treat…
Sarah Hodgson: Blofeld remains the all-time classic supervillain. As well as vast wealth and far-reaching influence, he also has a very cool cat.
Kate Stephenson: Best villain (not sure it’s correct to say my favourite, because I hated this guy with the passion of a thousand suns): Col. Hans Landa as played by Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds. That apple strudel scene with Shosanna – so incredibly unsettling. Actually, just all the scenes with him in them. Such a talented actor.
As we are leading up to Halloween I decided it was the prime opportunity to ask the Killer Reads team what books they have each recently read that gave them nightmares. Being a group that love thrillers, crime and anything that means you spend the next week leaving the lights on just so you can sleep, they all proceeded to pull at least one book out of their bag that had given them the heebie jeebies.
So we thought we would share them with you so that you, like us, can start preparing your scare-o-meters for the ever looming fright night…
Chosen by Emad Akhtar
Blacklands is a story that unsettled me for a long time – it’s an unusually absorbing and affecting story. This is partly because Blacklands, as Belinda Bauer says in her afterword, ‘was never intended to be a crime novel’. It began as a way of exploring ‘the impact of crimes such as Avery’s, how they affect people for years, lifetimes – maybe even generations’.