1. How did you get started writing
I started writing on the train to work after I hit a bad run of reading a few crime novels that bored me – by my favourite authors too. So instead of complaining (and who’d listen to me anyway) I thought I’d have a bash at writing my own.
2. What drew you to crime fiction
I love the genre. And I’m not smart enough to do an intricate spy novel!
3. Which crime writers past or present have influenced your style of writing.
Ben Elton. He’s not normally listed as a bone fide crime writer, but he is in my book. I like his plots, characters and more importantly his humour. My book Killing With Confidence has a lot of humour.
4. What was the inspiration behind the storyline of Killing With Confidence
I had one idea only – a serial killer who uses self-help material to make him a better killer. I then threw in all these different characters I have worked with and interviewed over 25 years in newspapers, and hey presto, I think (and hope) I’ve come up with something different form what’s already out there.
5. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest
I’ve always written – from when I was a kid – and I always will. Bet yes, getting a publisher was murder. I landed mine through pure luck (someone I was interviewing for the paper recommended me).
6. How did it feel to be involved in the Bloody Scotland Festival, Fresh Blood Event
Honoured. But also I feel at home with the crime writers, especially the new authors like myself who are all trying to make it.
7. Why did you decide to set your book in Glasgow
Simply because I live and work there. But the one I’m currently writing has a more international feel.
8. Killing with Confidence has been given glowing reviews from the likes of Tom Morton and Lorraine Kelly how did that feel when you found out
Again honoured. Even the First Minister Alex Salmond gave me a glowing review and recommended it to his cabinet. But I can honestly say I feel chuffed to bits when anyone likes my book. I never thought it would get such a wide audience.
9. What kind of research did you have to undertake for your book
None. It’s purely experience.
10. Are the characters in your books based on any real-life
For legal reasons I’d have to kill you if I told you the truth.
11. Since you have started writing crime novels have any known authors given you any advice
Mark Millar (who wrote Kick-Ass and Wanted) told me that the characters are EVERYTHING as many people don’t even remember the plots.
12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa
The reporter Connor Presley is my voice in the book. But he’s not my favourite. That’d have to be Detective ‘Bing’ Crosbie – the cop with Tourette’s!
13. What do you see for the future of April Lavender and Connor Presley in your books
Hopefully continuing as they were. I have plans for them. Big plans.
14. At the moment there are numerous authors setting their books in Glasgow, what do you think sets yours apart from the rest
Quirkiness and the fact that I have experienced what I’m writing about (well, apart from the murders…)
15. As a blossoming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Write every day. Don’t try to copy anyone else’s style. And the characters are what will catch the eye of a potential agent and publisher. Also, good luck – you’ll need plenty of that!
Information and prices about Killing with Confidence can be found here
Matt Bendoris Chief Features Writer
The Scottish Sun
57 Queen Street
Amazon Author Page