Monday, June 10, 2019

Steven Thompson, Author of BRUTAL

Thriller novel, detective book, suspense novel, literary thriller, brutal thriller, steven thompson, steven thompson author
Today we are interviewing Steven Thompson, author of a thriller/suspense novel, titled "BRUTAL."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m in my forties, having worked in so many jobs in my life. I see the varied life I have lived as the perfect background to become a writer. I started ghostwriting books for other people and have taken this practice with me into writing for myself.

Describe the plot of your new book, “BRUTAL,” in a few sentences.
The team of detectives that failed to catch Alaaldin Hussein in the first book have been in disarray over the Winter. The book starts with a killing that sparks them back into life. After 6 months of recuperating from the horrors of the summer before, they have to get back into the swing of things with no notice and under a new leader.

The book is all about relationships. We see most thrillers as books about crime, but that really isn’t the case. The team trying to catch the killer are complex, like all teams.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
It is perfect for fans of the genre but looking for something a little different. There isn’t the deep focus on the crimes, but an exploration of the people who are involved in the story. I’m told this makes the book more of a literary thriller than a crime thriller, but wither way the suspense is there.

The team’s leader, Augustine Boyle, is bedridden, recovering from injuries. How does the team cope without him? Does his absence make them even more inspired to catch the killer?
His absence is a major factor in how the team deal with everything thrown at them in this book. He is always there at the forefront of their minds. They want to do it for Augustine, bring to justice the man who put him in that hospital bed.

Tell us about the villain, Alaaldin Hussein.
Alaaldin is a complex character that we didn’t get to unravel much in the first book. Here, he isn’t a mystery any longer. The police know exactly who he is. This has given me the freedom to delve deeper into his psyche. He sees himself as on the side of good, educating the world on their sins.

You come from a unique background, having studied Linguistics. How has your deep understanding of language has impacted your writing style?
Great question! My degree in linguistics has helped me to think about language in a different way. At university I studied speech as well as the written word. A great book just sounds right on the ear. As you read a thriller book in your head, it should hit the right spots in terms of intonation and pitch as well as story and language.
Thriller novel, detective book, suspense novel, literary thriller, brutal thriller, steven thompson, steven thompson author
Steven Thompson, author of BRUTAL.

Have you always been interested in the thriller genre? Or is it an interested that developed later in your reading/writing career?
It was something that I developed in later life. Jo Nesbo is the one author that really got me going in this genre. Once I started to read his books, I was hooked. It inspired me to start writing short stories of my own in the same mold. From there, I suppose novels were inevitable. The wheels of progress were already in motion!

What inspirations contributed to this book in terms of plot, setting, and writing style?
It is the sequel to INITIAL, so much of the inspiration came from the events of the first book. It is set in the North East of England, where I live. My home is Washington, where George Washington’s family came from. It is a place with a mix of old and new, which felt like the perfect setting for the novel to play out.

Is there an author that had a major influence on you while you were growing up?
I think like many kids, reading Roald Dahl opened my eyes to the wonder of language. His characters and storylines were the thing of childhood fantasy. 

Who was your favorite character to write?
I love writing the character of Gary Hole. I think people who aren’t good in their heart are much more interesting to write, as they can do things that other characters just can’t.

What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite book of all time is 11.22.63 by Stephen King. The story grabs you and takes you by the hand. I’ve never been a massive fan of King, but this is an absolute classic as far as I’m concerned.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
We evolve every day. I think that the best practice to become a writer is to write. I used to shy away from dialog when I first wrote, finding it difficult to sound real and believable. I wrote dialog time and time again to get it just right for BRUTAL.

How have your readers responded to the book so far?
The initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. People tell me they can’t put it down, which is always a good sign and so warming to hear. I just want people to have as much fun reading it as I did writing the novel. That’s the thrill of being a novel writer.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?
I’ve never had writer’s block. I don’t get it. As far as I can tell, language comes from the same place in the brain. Nobody suffers from speaker’s block, so I don’t know why writer’s block would be a thing. Sure, there are days when I write fewer words than my daily target, but that’s down to outside factors rather than writer’s block.

What do you have in mind for your next project?
I am taking a break from Augustine Boyle and the team for the next book. I love writing thriller novels, but I feel that becoming a better writer is about testing myself. So, the next book is set in the near future, when there are only a handful of people left on the planet. They live in a facility, trying to eke out an existence on next to nothing. But one man decides that there is more to life than this. I won’t give any more away, but it concentrates on the difference between living and staying alive.

An excerpt from "BRUTAL":
Alex reached as far right as she could see, across towards Roker Pier. There were two more hazy silhouettes at the other end of the beach, and these were the last of the people she counted. As she compared this number with the undoubted multiple that they would encounter on a sunny beach in a tourist resort on the island of Majorca, Alex heard a thud. The next thing, she screamed like she had never screamed before. The thuds kept on coming. Alex thought there were scores of them. Later she would be told that there were eight sounds – seven short thuds and her one continuous scream. Every part of that morning on the beach would stay with her for the rest of her life. The sounds would come back in her dreams that night. 
What Alex had seen was more than any girl of her age should be exposed to. The bodies fell from the sky and landed on the beach. Each one disintegrated into pieces on impact. As she looked away from one body, she witnessed another falling, landing, disintegrating. It was pure horror in a place she had always associated with innocence. She didn’t want to go to the beach ever again.
More Information
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