… gives a fascinating Interview about his Crime Fiction and why he loves to get inside the Head of a Psychopath!
– Welcome, Eli Carros! Please tell us a little about your debut novel, “The Watcher”.
Hi Isabella, thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog. Mind if I sit down and have a bit of cake or something? I hear you make a lovely Pavlova…
– Cake is a given in any of my Q and A’s, help yourself to a slice of Death by Chocolate… well, we are talking about crime.
– What inspired you to write “The Watcher”?
My book, The Watcher was inspired by a couple of things, London, where I worked and lived for over seven years, and my fascination with disturbed minds, in particular psychopaths. I’ve long wondered what it is exactly that makes a psychopath, why they are unable to empathise like the rest of us. I also wondered whether a psychopathic nature is predestined; are they that way from birth for example, or does nurture, emotional abuse and neglect, formative life experiences, and the environment they grew up in play a larger role?
-When you are a nice person… (which we are sure you are!) how easy is it to get into a bad person’s head?
I think part of my interest in individuals that lack empathy comes from the fact that I’ve always been a bit of a social activist. From as long as I can remember I’ve firmly believed in equality and fairness for everyone on this planet and I still constantly wonder why the heck we haven’t got it yet. I’ve toughened up a bit now but I used to be so sensitive, it got to the point where I was literally burning up with anger every day at all the injustice that goes on in this world.
It seemed to me that the psychopathic attitude society encourages sometimes, that winner/ loser and me, me, me thing doesn’t help. Also when you have a society that’s a bit like that, plus certain individuals who are always going to be wired to be more selfish than the rest of us, then you have a recipe for disaster in certain cases because malignant individuals will be embraced sometimes instead of shunned like they should be.
But as well as that, I must confess, I’ve also been rather intrigued by the other, those things us (fairly) normal folks would never dream of doing, or ever remotely want to. It’s like a guilty fascination, we humans have, we do like to explore the dark side, perhaps to reinforce quite how abhorrent it is. I think that’s why so many people read serial killer novels and the like, because it’s just so alien to them, it’s like a peek into a strange, new twisted world.
– Which crime writers have you been inspired by over the years?
I love Patricia Cornwell, she’s the definitive Crime Queen and Mark Billingham and Harlan Coben are my Crime Gods. All of those writers know how to keep a reader up all night turning the pages. I also greatly admire Steven King for his vivid imagination and immersive character portrayals, and for his admirable work ethic, which I could never even hope to aspire too, I’m far too lazy.
– Can you give us any clues as to what you are working on next?
I have another serial killer novel in the pipeline, it’s currently marinating in the planning stages. I like to sketch out a loose chapter by chapter outline before I start and get the characters firmly nailed down, so that’s where I am at the moment. This one’s very different to The Watcher, just as twisty and turny but a brand new antagonist and protagonist, and a whole new story. As soon as The Watcher’s launched, I’ll turn my attention fully to that.
– Favourite cake?
Victoria Sponge actually. It’s a massively underrated cake but when done well, nothing can beat a light, airy and creamy good ole Vic Sponge and a cup of Earl Gray in my opinion.
-Ohemgee, I totally agree with you there, but I’d probably be substituting the Earl Gray for good old regular Tetley.
– Favourite place you have ever visited anywhere in the world?
I have several, I love Puerto Banus in Spain, with all the boats and the lovely waterfront. In the UK I love Oxford for its history and architecture and Glastonbury in Somerset for its picturesque scenic beauty. I also love Toronto, the people are great and the museums and culture is absolutely thriving.
– Okay, now I am ever so slightly freaked out at the synchronicities… my debut novel is based in Glastonbury… and I currently live about 20 minutes from Puerto Banus!
– Your one piece of advice for anybody writing in your genre?
Don’t reveal everything at once. Make sure you keep the suspense going. When you know how to do that, it’s half the battle.
The Watcher releases June 21st from Crooked Cat Books and will take you behind the eyes of a master predator with a deadly secret and into the mind of the harried detective who must stop him. Find out more at https://facebook.com/elicarros or stay updated by signing up to the mailing list at www.elicarros.weebly.com