Having at last found a publisher for one of my own books, I have had the good fortune to find myself in the company of a bunch of great writers lately. Its great to be part of a community of writers sharing ideas and general chat. Its also a great way of finding new books to read!
One of the novels coming out this year is right up my street ; a serial killer on the loose in London with a detective hot on his trail. The Watcher, the debut novel of Eli Carros is being released by Crooked Cat Publishing on 21st June.
Being a bit of a true crime nut and crime fiction fan and always excited by any London based books, I thought I’d have chat with the author to find out more about what inspired him.
Tell us the basic premise of your novel?
The Watcher is about an obsessive serial killer who stalks his victims before violently attacking them. It takes readers into the mind of a true psychopath, exploring what makes him tick and learning how he became who he became. It’s a novel about alienation, prejudice, abuse, and shame and how formative life experience can tip the balance of an unstable mind. It also takes readers behind the eyes of DI Jack Grayson, who’s been tasked with the unenviable job of stopping a brutal killer who leaves no trace before he strikes again.
Did you take any inspiration for your serial killer from any real life crimes?
The lead antagonist in my novel is a composite character, incorporating traits from real life serial killers I studied and also some fictional and screen creations. Before writing, I made case studies of several serials, including Ted Bundy and the Green River Killer, and I did draw on certain commonalities that I found. Though the actual character I have created has his own, very distinct, and possibly fairly unique motivations for doing what he does.
I’m also an avid crime fiction reader, and a big fan of the novels of the late Ruth Rendell, as well as crime queen Patricia Cornwell, and the books of Mark Billingham, Val Mcdermid, and Leigh Russell, among others. No doubt I have been influenced to some degree by what I’ve read from those amazing authors.
Why did you choose London as a setting and do the locations hold any real life significance to you?
I lived and worked in London for seven years, and also studied journalism there. I love the hum and throb of the place, as well as the tolerance and culture, and it definitely feels like my spiritual home. I don’t live there currently but I want to, and, as soon as I can afford to, I’m moving back there for sure.
Are you a Londoner or did it take a lot of research for your locations?
As I was a Londoner for seven years, while I was there I was able to go to some amazing and very atmospheric locations. The Watcher was actually written while I still lived in London, in fact, one scene of the book in actually set in a café in Old Compton Street that I was writing the book in at the time, though I don’t name the place in my novel. I can tell you now though, it’s Patisserie Valerie, a lovely place where I’ve spend many a wonderful afternoon, people watching.
Crooked Cat are an independent publisher, what can you say about your experience with them so far?
I admire independent publishers like Crooked Cat for the high standards and professionalism in a market that is orientated towards big business. I also think the authors they have in their stable are absolutely amazing, I’ve read some of their talented writers already and am steadily working my way through the rest.
Can we expect more from Chief Inspector Jack Grayson?
I think Grayson will be making a comeback soon, as I’m in the planning stages for my second crime thriller at the moment. This one’s about a very different killer than the one featured in The Watcher, because this one actually wants to stop. The second novel will cover themes of virtual reality and autism, and will contain lots of surprises and twists because I do think those are the some of the best things about reading crime fiction.
The Watcher’s officially released on June 21st by Crooked Cat Books and is available in e-book and paperback from getbook.at/thewatcher. Readers can stay updated on The Watcher and receive news of bonus content, exclusive competitions, and the online launch party by visiting the facebook page at https://facebook.com/elicarros or Eli’s website at http://www.elicarros.com