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February 2015 Tea toast and Thriller interview with Stephen Edger

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1. How did you get started writing?
I always thought I’d like to write one day, as I can remember writing stories as a child and my teachers telling me I had a vivid imagination. In June 2010 our holiday home was burgaled whilst we were out for the evening. It was really scary when we returned as we didn’t know if the burglars were still inside. Thankfully they weren’t, but the feeling of dread stayed with me and the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would make a great opening to a book. Three months later I decided to write that opening scene (you’re alone in bed, in the security of your own home and you hear someone breaking in; how would you react?). That 4K word scene developed into my first novel Integration.

2. What drew you to write a thriller novel
I’ve always loved reading and in particular I like a good thriller, so when I decided to give it a go, there was only one genre I could choose.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I’m a huge fan of Simon Kernick and Stephen Leather and I’d say they definitely influence the intensity of my writing. Growing up, I read a lot of Stephen King and John Grisham, so I think they’ve influenced my character writing.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
I wrote to twenty or so agents for Integration and wasn’t surprised when there was no interest. I found it frustrating that some agents didn’t even reply (despite including stamped return envelopes). After I self-published Integration, I decided not to bother trying to find an agent / publisher. I self-published 5 further books and was about to publish Crosshairs too when a friend of mine told me to speak to Endeavour Press. They offered me a contract to take that book on and my follow-up and are also due to publish the third book in the series this June.

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?
I will always have a place in my heart for the first character I ever wrote. His name is Mark Baines and he appeared in my first series of books. I suppose he is the character who is most based on me (thoughts, opinions, reactions etc.). Even though his story has finished, I am tempted to bring him back for a short story…

6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels?
It depends what the story is about. My 6th novel ‘Trespass’ deals with the topic of sexual assault and I must have read umpteen books on the subject (from both the perpetrator and victims’ viewpoints). I was keen to make my character’s thoughts and actions as close to the truth as I could. A lot of what I write is made up, but I do spend a lot of time on the internet when I need to be factually accurate.

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
No. I’m not sure readers would believe the characters if they were based on the crazy people I know.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Thriller Fiction Novels out there
I’d like to say it’s because they are good stories. I designed all the covers for my self-published titles and I still think they look pretty good too.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa? Only Mark Baines. The great thing about writing a character is the ability to explore the darker recesses of my own personality. I think most of my characters have extreme versions of my own views and can say and think things that I cannot. It’s actually quite cathartic being a writer.

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
I am currently editing a book called ‘Double Cross’, which is the final part of ‘The Cadre’ series. That should be out in June. I am already plotting for my tenth novel, which I aim to release in December. It will be a missing person case, involving a private investigator called Johnson Carmichael. He has appeared in two of my other novels to date and he’s a man prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done. I am really, really excited about writing this as it will be a whodunit with a festive theme. It promises to be dark, thrilling and emotive.

11.What was your favourite scene to write in your Novel and why
The opening burglary scene in ‘Integration’ was probably my favourite as it was the first. If I hadn’t enjoyed the process, I probably wouldn’t still be writing today.

12. As a up and coming thriller writer do you have words of advice you can share
Write the book YOU would want to read, otherwise you’ll never be happy with it. Also, try not to get too upset by any criticism youreceive (it can be VERY hard!). It’s important to remember that not everybody will like it.

BOOKS

Integration
Published June 2011

Remorse
Published November 2011

Redemption
Published May 2012

Snatched
Published October 2012

Shadow Line
Published May 2013

Trespass
Published December 2012

Crosshairs
Published August 2014

Complicit
Published December 2014

SHORT STORIES

The Perfect Tonic
Best Served Cold
Absolution
The Getaway

http://www.stephenedger.com

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stephen-Edger/e/B0057HQTHE

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