Saturday, 13 November 2021

Alex Knight Q&A

Janet Emson at the fab From First Page to Last blog kindly asked me to do a Q&A on Darkness Falls

You can read it below, or better still go over to From First Page to Last and read it along with some other great interviews.





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1. Tell us a little about Darkness Falls

It opens with the protagonist, Thessaly, driving on the highway late at night in Pennsylvania. She stops for a break at a 24-hour diner and hears a voice she recognises in the booth behind her. It’s the voice of the man who killed her brother 20 years ago, and then disappeared. Is it really him? Where has he been hiding all this time? Thessaly has to make a split-second decision of what to do, and her choice draws her into a dangerous mystery…

2. What inspired the book?

I’m always fascinated by those chance meetings and coincidences that happen in real life. Like you can be on holiday thousands of miles away and run into someone who’s related to your best friend from high school. I thought it would be an interesting hook if one of those coincidences brought a survivor of a traumatic event into contact with the perpetrator, and what lengths she might go to to get resolution.

3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?

Kind of a bit of both. I like to write out a 4-page synopsis that has the main beats of the story, the characters, important scenes, and hopefully an ending, but it’s not set in stone at that point. The book always changes and develops as I write it, and I often come up with a completely different ending. That was the case with this one, which went from a climax set in New York’s Grand Central Station to a more intimate ending with four people in a house. I think lockdown may have influenced that change!

4. Having been through the publishing process a number of times, is there anything about the process of creating a novel that still surprises?

Really just that it doesn’t get any easier. Each novel is a struggle and it feels like it’s not going to work, but you just have to push through and trust you’ll be able to do it again.

5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?

I like to read and watch movies, of course, but I also love getting outside and going for walks and runs. When the world gets back to normal, I’d like to go back to travelling again. I love visiting cities and exploring them on foot and by train.

6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?

Too difficult! It would have to be a big book so I could take my time with it. I love Raymond Chandler, and the Everyman edition of his collected stories is pretty chunky, so I’ll go with that.

7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?

Good question!

How about… Could you get away with a murder in real life?

To which the answer is, probably not as I’m pretty disorganised, don’t plan in enough detail and I wouldn’t have the ability to go back and edit the things I did wrong or the inconsistencies in my alibi. If my editor helped me from the beginning on the other hand…

***




Twenty years ago, her brother was murdered. Tonight, she’s found his killer.

Thessaly Hanlon is four hours into a long drive home through the night when she pulls into a 24-hour roadside diner to take a break. She’s exhausted, but when she hears a chillingly familiar voice from the next booth, she wonders if he’ll ever sleep again.

The voice is unmistakable. It belongs to Casper Sturgis, the man who murdered Thessaly’s brother two decades before, and then disappeared without a trace.

Thessaly makes the decision to follow the killer. As Thessaly begins to unravel the second life of Casper Sturgis, she finds that digging into the past can have deadly consequences…

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Darkness Falls - UK publication day

 


Darkness Falls is published today, the second standalone thriller under my Alex Knight pseudonym. Unfortunately, just like last year, Alex won't be getting a book launch, thanks to the pandemic, so this book will have to make its way out in the world unlaunched. 

I hope it finds its way to people who will enjoy it, and I am getting to do at least one event, at Bloody Scotland this Friday. 

If you want a taste of the book, you can read chapter one on the Alex Knight website, and here's the blurb...


Twenty years ago, her brother was murdered.

Tonight, she’s found his killer.

Thessaly Hanlon is four hours into a long drive home through the night when she pulls into a 24-hour roadside diner to take a break. She’s exhausted, but when she hears a chillingly familiar voice from the next booth, she wonders if she’ll ever sleep again.

The voice is unmistakable. It belongs to Casper Sturgis, the man who murdered Thessaly’s brother two decades before, and then disappeared without a trace.

Thessaly makes the decision to follow the killer. As she begins to unravel the second life of Casper Sturgis, she finds that digging into the past can have deadly consequences…



Trade Paperback

ebook

Audio

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Hunted - US publication day

Hunted, my first standalone book under the Alex Knight pseudonym is out today from all good bookstores in the USA.

I had a lot of fun writing it, particularly as the research took me to one of the cities I love most, San Francisco, and beyond to explore northern California. So far, people seem to like it. 


You can read chapter one on the Alex Knight website, and if you like it, you can get the book from these places:


You can also order Hunted wherever you are with free worldwide postage from Book Depository.

*

You’re woken early by banging on the door. It’s a young girl, the daughter of the love of your life. She’s scared, covered in blood, she says her mother is hurt.

You let her in, try to calm her down, tell her you’re going to get help. You reach for your phone, but it lights up with a notification before you touch it.

It’s an Amber alert, sent to all four million phones in the Bay Area – a child has been abducted by a dangerous suspect.

The child is the girl standing in front of you.

The suspect?

You.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Nur Eine Chance - Hunted German edition

 


Hunted is going to be published in Germany by Lübbe, and I LOVE this cover. One of the best I've had.

Here's the blurb in German, with Google translation below...

Für den Polizisten Jake Ellis ist es ein Tag wie jeder andere. Bis Molly, die Tochter seiner Freundin, blutüberströmt vor seiner Tür steht. Im selben Moment gibt es einen Alarm: Ein Mann hat einen Überfall begangen, bei dem eine Frau schwer verletzt, ein Passant getötet und ein Kind entführt wurde. Der Name des Täters: Jake Ellis. Jake ahnt, was auf ihn zukommt – und dass jemand versucht, ihm etwas anzuhängen. Daher packt er Molly und flieht. Er weiß: Seine Unschuld zu beweisen ist seine einzige Chance ...

It's a day like any other for policeman Jake Ellis. Until Molly, his girlfriend's daughter, stands in front of his door covered in blood. At the same moment there is an alarm: a man has committed a robbery in which a woman was seriously injured, a passerby was killed and a child was kidnapped. The name of the perpetrator: Jake Ellis. Jake suspects what is in store for him - and that someone is trying to pin something on him. So he grabs Molly and flees. He knows: to prove his innocence is his only chance ...


Published on January 28- find out more here 


Sunday, 8 August 2021

Darkness Falls

 The new Alex Knight book is published on September 16 in the UK. It's called Darkness Falls. This is another standalone, following on from Hunted, and I think you'll like it.





It starts out on a quiet highway at 2am. 

Thessaly Hanlon is driving back from a funeral through the driving rain when she pulls into an all-night diner for a break. When she hears the voice of the man in the next booth, a chill runs down her spine that's nothing to do with the weather. She last heard that voice two decades ago, but she'll never forget it. 

The voice belongs to a man named Casper Sturgis, the cold-blooded killer who murdered her brother and then vanished.



If you want to know more, you can read chapter one at the Alex Knight website.

If you're in the UK, you can pre-order from all the usual places.


If you're from elsewhere on the planet, you can order the UK edition with free worldwide delivery at The Book Despository.





Thursday, 4 March 2021

Hunted - paperback


 

Hunted, my first standalone thriller under the name Alex Knight is out in UK paperback today.

I'd love to tell you it's available from all good bookshops, but as we know, all good bookshops are closed right now.

You can get it online of course, from the usual places. I know a lot of independent bookshops have really upped their game on online sales this year, so if you're buying the book, I'd love it if you support one of your local shops by ordering direct from them.

It's available in all the other online places too, of course, and if you don't happen to have a local bookshop, it just so happens that Hive is offering the lowest price as of time of writing, so that's a great way way to support the little guys.

I think it's one of the best books I've written so far. I hope you love it...


Paperback
Hive
Waterstones
Amazon

Ebook
Kindle
Kobo
Google
Apple

Audio
Audible
Kobo Audio


You're woken early by the doorbell. It's a young girl, the daughter of the love of your life. She's scared, covered in blood, she says her mother is hurt.

You let her in, try to calm her down, tell her you're going to get help. You reach for your phone, but it lights up with a notification before you touch it.

It's an Amber alert - a child has been abducted by a dangerous suspect.

The child is the girl standing in front of you.

The suspect? You.


“I loved it. This has an astonishing opening and just gets better and better. A stunning thriller. ” – Steve Cavanagh

“Brilliant. Opens at a breakneck speed and does not let up.” – Lara Dearman


“Jolts and shocks like a claustrophobic rollercoaster. Knight could be the Hitchcock of the 21st Century. Hide-behind-the-sofa compelling” – Denzil Meyrick


“A smart, tense, edge-of-your-seat thriller with characters you’re desperately rooting for.” – SJI Holliday


“They don’t come better than this. One of those thrillers that really and truly thrills! A masterclass from Alex Knight.” – Tony Kent


“Amazing opening, and just got better and better.” – Jenny Blackhurst


“A well-crafted, tightly-plotted thriller that races from the streets of San Francisco to the coast without pausing for breath.” – CJ Carver

Hunted is also available in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Click to check if it’s available where you are in paperback or Kindle.


Friday, 1 January 2021

A 2021 project

Happy New Year! 

I hope you all had a safe and relatively enjoyable one. Fingers crossed the vaccines are rolled out quickly enough for us all to leave the house a little more this year.


I had a reasonably productive 2020, despite everything, and there will be news about my 2021 book soon. It's not out until the autumn, but the Hunted paperback will be out in early March

As always, I'll be writing another novel, but this year I'm going to try something new. Inspired by a technique Jenny Blackhurst told me about, I've made a chart of all 365 days in 2021, and I'm going to try to keep an unbroken chain by crossing off a day every time I write at least 100 words on a side project.

What's the side project? I'll tell you on New Year's Eve.

I tried this for a few months last year and it worked pretty well until I got hopelessly stuck, so I think the secret is to plan ahead a little more. It showed me that even small amounts of writing can build up to a lot of words pretty quickly. A bit like a micro-version of my 500 words technique.

Maybe this will be all on one project, maybe it'll be on more than one. The only rule is, I have to do 100 extra words on something that isn't the main book every day, all year.

If you'd like to do this yourself, feel free to download my chart.

All you need to remember is what Fleetwood Mac (and indeed Adrian McKinty) said: 

Never break the chain.