Please enjoy the blurb and excerpt from Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths below, followed by an engaging interview with Stephen B. King!
Rick McCoy of the Major Crime Squad is trying to repair his marriage when he is sent to the South of Western Australia. A young girl’s body has been found in a cave, with flowers on her chest. A search finds five more bodies.
Beautiful criminal psychologist, Patricia Holmes, has recovered from her stab wounds inflicted by the serial killer PPP, and is brought in. Pat believes they are hunting a man who is addicted to beauty. When another school girl goes missing, they have only days before she too will die.
As their desire for each other grows and the pressure on their marriages increase, they close in on the man responsible for the beautiful deaths. Meanwhile, in the high-security wing of the mental health hospital, PPP plans his revenge on Rick.
She smiled, “Oh Tyler, I do so love a challenge when it’s thrown down. Here goes: Our man has led a sheltered life. Loving, not cruel, but he had overbearing parents, and one, or both, are probably still alive. He visits them often. I would think because by doing so it anchors him in his past, and he likes being there. He has always been on the submissive side, and one or both of his parents have used that side of him forever. I do not mean sexually submissive, I mean he is malleable, and a stronger personality will use that. His life changed, when he grew up and he moved on, but sometimes he hates the way that it has changed. I think he is married to someone who is, or was once, beautiful, but who also has a quite domineering personality. Submissive men are generally drawn to strong personalities, because they feel better when decisions are made for them. From time to time though, he would rebel against that dominance. It could be in small ways, but occasionally he needs to re-assert himself, to remind himself he is a man, and not a mouse, if that makes sense.”
Rick was fascinated, but Tyler appeared less so. He seemed to Rick to be bored. If Pat noticed, she ignored it.
“Our man likes beautiful things, in fact, it’s more than like. He is drawn to beauty like a moth to the light. Flower arranging is one of the ways he does this. I think he makes the wreaths himself, I’d say he is a keen gardener, and his flower beds will be stunning, and when you visit his home, as I am sure you will, you will find arrangements displayed predominantly. I think he has also been a collector, it would be something like stunning African butterflies, exotic postage stamps, or porcelain china dolls, something like that, things that look exquisite. I can’t stress this enough, beauty is his thing, but in an obsessive-compulsive way. So, he loves beauty and in a way, his wife, and parents before her, stopped him from enjoying all the beautiful things that he craves. His day to day, mundane life gets in the way, if you like, so he lives in a bit of a fantasy land dreaming of all the beautiful things he could possess, if only he were allowed.”
“Pat, are you saying he wanted to collect these girls because they were beautiful?” Rick asked, incredulously.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Stephen.
I’ve had a long and varied life, thankfully, and I feel my experiences helps me write, especially when it comes to creating characters. I’d like to think (and I SO hope I’m right) that the characters I write about are my strength. I left school at fifteen, despite my lovely English teacher begging me not – she thought I had a modicum of talent. But it was 1969, I was in the UK and the late sixties were the center of the universe for rock music. It was also a time for making love, not war, some very appealing hallucinogenic drugs were available, and cheap, so school was the last place I wanted to be.
Between 1969 and 1971 was the best time of my life, but then luckily for my sanity, my family migrated to Australia. I fell in love, but still followed my rock music ideals and joined a rock band as a guitarist and songwriter, Of course, all good things come to an end, a wife, then children, and working for a living, but my writing dreams never left me.
Fast forward a few years I was married for the second time, my three children were adults and I pestered my wife one too many times about an idea I had for a book, so she and my children bought me a laptop, and so it began. My tenth book will be published in three months, so I sometimes think she regrets that decision.
How do you find time to write?
“Ah, if only there was more time,” as Jenny my protagonist in Thirty-Three Days says (a time travel romantic thriller). I have to make time to write, which I do at 5.30 every morning. At night while my wife watches TV, I’m banging away at the dining table. I manage a large car dealership, so if I didn’t force myself to make time, it wouldn’t happen. Writing is not only enjoyable, it’s more of a need to let these stories out – I sometimes think that if I didn’t, I’d burst.
What are your publishing tips?
If you mean what advice can I give to new authors trying to get published, my answer is be persistent, and get used to rejection. Unless you are incredibly gifted, it takes time to learn your craft, and the only way to improve is keep writing. Naturally, when you write something it’s natural to think it’s the best things since sliced bread, sadly it rarely is. Many a fantastic story idea has been poorly told, so keep writing, learn your craft and keep submitting work. Remember the movie, Field of Dreams; if you write it, they will come.
Any promotional and marketing tips?
I’m probably the worst person to ask about marketing tips; all I want to do it write. But promotion is a necessary evil so must be done. There are millions of books out there, all scrambling to get bought and read, and it’s up to the author to do what they can to lift their own profile, as well as the book’s. Trouble is there is so much you can do with Social Media and the more books you have published the more you have to do, and the less time for writing.
When you get up in the morning, what is it that makes want to keep on writing and tell a story?
Well, the way I write, which works for me, is that when I have an idea, I write from that point forward with zero pre-planning. I know some authors like to plot and research everything, but that doesn’t work for me. So, as it’s all new, and I am exploring the inspiration by writing it, I find I want to find out what’s going to happen next. Sometimes when I get in the zone, I don’t even know what I’m typing until after I type it. Then, I wonder where it all came from. For me, storytelling is something I need to do, and I love doing it.
Lastly, tell us about your recent book.
Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths is Book 2 of the Deadly Glimpses Trilogy which explores the mutual desire for each other between a cop and glamorous criminal psychologist across three separate investigations of serial killers. They are both married, and each marriage has problems, which amplifies their desire for each other. Book 1, Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer, was well received and picked up some great reviews, and book 3, Glimpse, The Tender Killer is in the editing rounds now. Each book gives a glimpse into the psyche of the killer and shows why and how he became that way.
Thank you Stephen and we all look forward to your next book, or shall I say several books!