With the recent paperback release of Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar, a book that each member of the Killer Reads team has been hooked on at some point over the last year, his editor decided it was about time to spend a few extra minutes at the end of a meeting with Zoran to ask him the questions that the KR team have been wanting to know. Below is the result. So, if you’re a fan of Zoran, you’ve recently read Sorry or you just want to know how crime thriller authors manage to come up with such spine-tingling plots then delve into the following Q&A.
1. What prompted you to write your first novel?
You must of heard of James Smythe by now. What? You haven’t?! Even though we’ve been banging on and on and on about him? Well, in that case, let us refresh your memory. James Smythe is a fantastic new addition to our brood, and his incredible apocalyptic thriller, The Testimony, is one of our top picks for this year.
Why are we telling you all this? We’ll let James explain…
“My name’s James, and I’m a writer. (I feel a bit like I’m in a self-help group when I tell people that…) I’ve just had a novel called THE TESTIMONY published by Blue Door – it’s an apocalyptic story about the world hearing what they perceive to be the voice of God, told through the testimonies of 26 different characters from every walk of life. Each character brings something different to the table, be they priests, murderers or businessmen, and it’s through their eyes that the reader watches the repercussions of hearing the voice of the deity. And next year, there’s two novels: one from HarperVoyager, called THE EXPLORER (about death and astronauts) and another tentatively titled THE MACHINE from Blue Door again (about post-traumatic stress disorder and memories).
In the spirit of Halloween I asked the team to answer the following question:
What book would you never read alone in an empty house?
Don’t forget to look below for your chance to win two of our most terrifying reads…
Laura: I have started Misery by Stephen King many times. I have only ever finished it once, in broad daylight, in a park full of people. My reason for this was simple. Passers-by could come to my aid should Annie Wilkes decide to jump out from behind a tree and smash a typewriter over my legs before dragging me off into the wilderness. When reading Misery you cannot help but picture the film. But I urge you to read the book. It is the kind of read that has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish as obsessive fan Annie flits between the personas of, carer, tormentor and would-be murderer to author Paul Sheldon. The build-up of suspense between Annie and Paul is staggering and when you reach the end I guarantee that your heart will be in your mouth.
Helen: Anything by Neil White! I love Neil’s books, I really do, but he sure does know how to set up a gruesome murder scene. He’s a master of suspense, and as his killers stalk their victims, you know that someone’s about to meet a seriously sticky end.
I’m currently working on his new book, Beyond Evil, and it’s opening scene stayed with me long into the dark October nights. Imagine, if you will, the victim tied to a bed. Behind him, a wall daubed in his own blood. And his body, with blood, guts, bones and sinew on show to the world, after having had a full autopsy carried out on it. Whilst he was still alive…
Chilling? Gruesome? Oh yes. But I couldn’t wait to find out who was behind it all. Brilliant stuff.
Hannah: When I’m not checking every single cupboard and wardrobe in the house for skulking murderers, double-checking under my bed for the odd rapist, closing the curtains tight so that the lone eye of a madman can’t peep through, and convincing myself that I can hear breathing coming from underneath my bed, I am reading crime and thriller fiction. I can’t help it, I’m obsessed, and nothing will dissuade me from plunging into the latest in the genre.