Interview with Kevin Murray (author of Blood of the rose)
Author of Blood of the rose today we are interviewing Kevin Murray: enjoy our conversation…
[Q]: Hi Kevin, welcome to Thrillerbooksjournal.com. Our first question is very easy: who is Kevin Murray as a person and as a writer?
[A]: Basically I’m just a storyteller. I started life as a journalist working as a crime reporter, finding and telling stories. I’ve been doing the same thing ever since, moving into magazine editing, marketing, public relations and eventually strategic communications and leadership coaching. Some of my most joyous moments these days come when I get to sit down with my grandchildren and make up stories with them. I’m a film lover (stories) book reader (stories) TV watcher (stories) and joke teller (stories).
[Q]: Where did you get the idea for Blood of the rose?
[A]: It really came to me in two phases. The first was after I became intrigued by a famous murder in South Africa involving Abe body cut up and put in suitcases in various lakes around Johannesburg. The crime was eventually solved in a partial fingerprint was found on a letter the victim had written years before. I wrote about this case in a feature article I researched for my newspaper. Having started my career as a crime reporter, and having been passionate about reading crime novels all my life, I had long dreamed of writing my own thriller. But, how could you write something different? That was what drove me – the search for a new and different angle on a page turning thriller. One night, driving home from work, I wondered how you would tell a story that enabled a reader to be in the mind of a killer, but without knowing who he was. I had already been trying to think of a plot that involved forensic crime detection, when a breakthrough thought struck me. If you were able to read excerpts from a killer’s diary, interspersed with the narrative, how would that work? That is the construct of Blood of the Rose. You get to know what the killer is thinking and planning, through his diary, but you still have to try and work out who he is. His own dreadful back story unfolds in the diary and compels his actions throughout the main narrative. Both his own story and the main plot have terrifying conclusions. But I’ll say no more…
[Q]: Can you briefly summarize it (without telling us too much, of course)?
[A]: London, 1986. A newspaper editor is horrifically murdered, his death quickly followed by a series of more brutal, and often bizarre, slayings. The police are baffled, the only clear link between the murders being a single blood red rose left at the scene of every killing. Why? What does the rose mean? What connects the killer to each bloody corpse? Scotland Yard detective Alan Winters leads a hunt for the elusive prey. As the body count rises, Jennifer Chapman, renowned investigative journalist and daughter of the murdered newspaper editor, sets out on a personal quest for revenge.
Drawn together in their pursuit of a deadly quarry, Winters and Jennifer unwittingly face a fatal surprise, for the killer is closer than they think. As they close in on the truth of the blood red rose, their unseen foe plots a shattering end to his reign of terror.
[Q]: Why readers might like it? Is there anything they might find difficult to accept in the book?
[A]: If you are a crime reader then you will not be put off by gruesome murders. But quite a lot of people comment to me about an incident that happens in the very first pages, in which the utter ruthlessness of the killer is demonstrated.
[Q]: Is Alan Winters character based on someone you know?
[A]: He’s the kind of guy I would love to have been – handsome, clever, fit, a karate expert and a hunter. When I wrote the novel I cut photographs out of magazines and I took a long time to find the character that I pictured Alan Winters as. There is no one particular person, but of course, as always, he has tiny bits of me and him too. I’m not telling you which ones…
[Q]: Are you already working on a new book?
[A]: In fact am working on two. I have been fortunate enough to have two bestselling books on leadership and inspiration, and I have a third in the pipeline. However I have also completed a chapter of my next novel. There are so many stories I want to tell.
[Q]: What’s your opinion regarding ebooks and traditional books?
[A]: Actually, I believe there is a place for both. I’m not one who believes that the printed book is going to die. I see my grandchildren interacting with electronic books on an iPad, but I also see how much they love and appreciate printed books too. I’m sure that both will coexist happily for some time to come.
[Q]: A suggestion to wannabe writers. A suggestion to passionate readers.
[A]: I work really hard to keep my writing style from getting in the way of telling the story. I was trained to keep it simple as a journalist, and that is still in my blood. I see myself as a storyteller, not a writer. My whole design, even in my management books, was to try to keep the reader turning the pages. The best feedback I have been getting on Blood of the Rose is that it kept people up at night! I love that they can’t put it down until they’ve read to the very last word. However, when you are writing, don’t allow the search for perfection to bog you down. Get the story out – all of it. You can polish it and edit it later, but don’t slow yourself up by trying to make every sentence perfect. That will happen after you’ve got your story on to a page. That search for perfection, sentence by sentence, could result In your book suffering and dying in translation from head to paper.
[Q]: If you want to say anything, this is the moment…
[A]: I’d really just like to say I hope readers will not just buy the book but enjoy it. It was written in the style that I like to read classic crime book – fast-paced page turners that keep the reader guessing. I hope everyone thinks I’ve gone some way to achieving that.
[Q]: Would you like to say hello to our readers?
[A]: Absolutely. As my publisher at Urbane keeps telling me, community and engagement is everything and I’m always keen to hear from readers. If readers have any questions they want to ask please send them c/o my publisher Matthew Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me on twitter @kevinmurray
[Q]: Thanks for having accepted our invitation: it’s been a pleasure having you.
[A]: Thank you. It’s always fun to talk about books and the writing process and I appreciate the opportunity.