Today, it is my pleasure to welcome to my blog Paul Harrison author of Revenge of the Malakim.
“Tell us the main ups and downs on the road to seeing your book published”
Writing, was something I excelled at in my schooldays, my teachers used to comment that I was able to tell a good story. As good as that was, I never seriously picked up on it, until my police career. I was giving evidence in a Crown Court trial, and was commended by the Judge, for speaking so eloquently, and painting an accurate picture of events, with words.
That was it. It wasn’t long before my love of writing returned, and I wrote a thesis on the Jack the Ripper murders, for a conference. This was so well received, that a publisher approached me, and asked me to write a non-fiction book on the subject. I honestly didn’t believe I had it in me, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. It felt like quite an achievement, just finishing the 90,000 word manuscript. That was the easy part. When it was published, I found out how ruthless true crime writing can be. I was a mere novice, and my book received some glowing reviews, but was slammed, unfairly, in some quarters. The so called ‘experts’ who knocked it, were more vicious than the ripper himself. For a time, they literally destroyed my writing confidence.
Now, having written and had published over 30 non-fiction books, I have turned to writing crime fiction. Revenge of the Malakim, being my first novel. There’s a huge difference between the two genres, and the transition wasn’t easy. I’ve interviewed many serial killers during my time writing true crime. I know this going to sound silly, but after a while, it became boring, repetitive even.
My aim, had been to gain a psychological understanding of them, why, and what, made them kill. The reality is, they aren’t really that different to one another; they all crave the attention and soak up the power it generates. They aren’t super intelligent, nor do they look different, they simply don’t have boundaries when it comes to killing.
With that in mind, I decided to write my first crime fiction book, Revenge of the Malakim, and create my own serial killer. This is loosely based around the different personality traits of the killers I had met. Having also worked in the field of child abuse, I wanted to blend the two. Creating realistic characters, plots and twists that will keep the reader gripped throughout the book, right until the last word. I’ve loved writing the book. There is one murder scene that is totally unique in the realms of crime writing. I’ll leave that as a surprise for the reader. The publisher, the fantastic Mike Linane of Williams and Whiting, doesn’t yet know the final twist in the tale. For now, it’s being kept secret.
I was initially concerned, that the bridge from true crime to crime fiction, might be too difficult to cross, and I might falter. However, when I sent a draft to Mike at Williams and Whiting, he called me, and we spoke at length about my writing and the content. It was Mike who instilled confidence in me, and gave me the opportunity to write crime fiction. He’s probably the nicest, most knowledgeable person I’ve met in publishing. He’s a genuine inspiration.
One final thing. Revenge of the Malakim, doesn’t delve into child abuse itself, so readers need not be concerned about the content, it merely gets mentioned. It is, however, from a police procedural perspective, realistic, atmospheric, and dare I say, just a little bit scary.
I’m currently hard at work on book two in The Grooming Parlour trilogy – The Dark Web, which will be published by Williams and Whiting in the summer of 2017.
Thanks Paul. you can buy a copy of the book here