It’s Wednesday! It’s time for Author Influences! Today I’m joined by Chris Thomas to talk books.
Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
To be honest, I didn’t really read much as a child, but if anyone remembers them, I was massively into the Choose Your Own Adventure series. As I got older, I started to get into the Star Wars expanded universe books.
Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
No, I utterly detested it. I disliked the books they forced us to read (Shakespeare mainly), couldn’t get to grips with analysing poetry and was fairly awful at creative writing. It was only once I found myself writing complaint letters to companies (it’s always good to complain, you never know what free stuff they might send you!) that I started to become creative and tried to inject humour into what I wrote. That, and writing official business emails made me realise that, actually, putting words down on paper about what I want to write about, not what I’m told to write about was actually quite fun.
What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
Thrillers obviously, but something with an edge. A lot of my reading, and my degree course, was non-fiction based around criminal psychology and serial killers so I try to include as much ‘real-life’ into my writing as I can.
If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
Children’s books. Sounds weird and the complete opposite end of the spectrum to gruesome, dark, disturbing writing, but I’ve had a go at writing a children’s book for a writing competition and it was a lot of fun. I could think like a big kid and basically be as silly and outlandish as possible.
Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
In all honesty, not particularly. It may seem strange for an author, but I actually struggle to sit down and read novels for any great length of time. I can happily sit at a computer and type away at a story for 2-3 hours, but my attention span doesn’t seem to work for reading novels. I have authors whose books I have read more than others (Dan Brown, Brett Easton Ellis, Mark Billingham). Although having recently started to read Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris’ writing style and story-telling did encourage me to try to ‘write better’- it’s very intelligently written.
Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Dan Brown. Probably not the book purist’s choice, but I just enjoy all his stories. There’s something about having Wikipedia open at the same time as reading a book, so that you can look up his references to buildings, works-of-art etc, just in order to know what the hell he is talking about, that makes them quite satisfying.
Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
I’m going to base this answer on the fact that, as it is one of my all-time favourite films, I will assume I wish I had written the book for it. I’ve not read it yet, it’s there waiting, but Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Lector is just about the perfect villain: intelligent, evil, violent but in a sophisticated way.
Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Absolutely. I’ve only written one so far, and the main protagonist is based on me, a lot of it is set in the exact place where I work and my house. It made it easier to write from a point of view I knew well, my own (of course, the other things that happen to him never happened to me thankfully!). In terms of other people, most of the bad guys who end up as victims on the dark web show, are based on real people that have committed horrific crimes in real life (I won’t say who, but readers might have an inkling).
Thanks Chris for taking part. I really enjoyed reading your responses. Chris’ debut novel Enter The Dark is out now and published by Bloodhound Books.
A chilling Dark Web thriller
An anonymous website, a few clicks, and Joe Henderson’s life is changed forever.
‘The Red Room’ is the only place where the failings of a weak justice system are righted and where the line between good and evil becomes blurred. When the lights go up, viewers bid, criminals are punished, and the Brotherhood of the Righteous broadcasts a show like no other.
The room has remained hidden until now, when a video arrives in the inbox of the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit. But outclassed, outplayed, and torn apart by corruption, is there anything Detective Pete Harris andhis team can do except watch?
Their only lead may be the room’s latest bidder, Joe Henderson. Because when Joe found the Red Room, it found him too, and now the Brotherhood are watching through the wires, willing to do wrong for a righteous cause.
As they pull Joe deeper into the dark web, will he find any mercy or a way out? And could he be the Red Room’s next volunteer?
Find out more about Chris Thomas by visiting his author page at Bloodhound Books: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/chris-thomas