I found this article online today and it got me thinking. It’s about the daughter of a notorious serial killer and the question she’s always asked is ‘how could she not know?’. It is, I suppose, a fair question. How could she have grown up with a father who, over roughly twenty years, murdered ten people (that can be proved – may well be more), brought home ‘trophies’ and yet she had no idea. Is that really possible?
We tend to think of these killers as being distinctly odd, or obvious in their behaviours and I suspect that may well be that television and books have played a large part in this misconception. We all like a villain to look like a villain; it gives us an object to hate, to focus on and maybe on some level, helps us to think that we would have spotted them. We would have known them. We would have been able to tell and yet, how many times do we get friends and neighbours giving interviews saying, ‘he was a lovely man’, ‘a really good guy’, and ‘just can’t believe he’s done it.’
That’s because many serial killers live ‘ordinary’ suburban lives; hold down jobs, go to their kids’ PTA meetings, go shopping to ASDA on a Saturday, help the neighbours dig the garden over (probably experienced in that…) and a million other things that make sure they stay hidden in plain sight.
Have a little read of the article and let me know your thoughts.
Earlier in the week, I was privileged to be interviewed by Gareth Stevens, a fellow writer, for his blog. After he contacted me and asked for an interview I popped along to have a look at his site. What a little treasure trove of information it is. Apart from Gareth blogging about his own experiences as he writes and publishes his own work, there are numerous interviews with authors who write in different genres and a look into other aspects of the industry.
I’ve always found it interesting and inspirational to read about how other authors work, the path they take to publication and how it’s worked out for them and I lost myself in reading some of the stories on the site.
There’s literally all sorts of interesting stuff to read on there and I recommend you go have a look.
My interview can be found here.
Gareth’s website address is GJStevens. com and this is his first book.
Often, when we hear of youngsters being arrested for crimes, sometimes quite abhorrent crimes, you will get the glut of soundbites – ‘Oh, he was a good kid.’ ‘He kept himself to himself.’ ‘He was quiet, never thought he would do that.’ You know the sort of thing I mean.
In America, someone has questioned the ‘good kid’ scenario in the case of a young man arrested by police for trespassing (amongst other things) and the community are arguing that he’s a good kid and the police have got it wrong. Is he? Have they?
My second book, The Lost Children, deals with faith-based abuse of children and in particular, African Witchcraft. I posted up a few videos on this blog a while back along with a post I’d written to try to open the eyes of those who don’t want to acknowledge the problem. And it is a problem that seemingly continues to grow in the UK.
This article from today’s Guardian newspaper talks primarily about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and its increase, but it also acknowledges the continued rise in abuse related to witchcraft.
Things are being done but not nearly enough. In fairness, these sort of crimes are difficult to detect due to their nature – they are ‘hidden’ crimes, but if changes are to be made then people need to be made more aware of what goes on.
Please, be aware and spread the word.
During my research for Book 3, I started digging around into naughty villains from across the sea and their effect on crime here in Britain. I always knew things were bad but I didn’t quite grasp the scale of it.
I found an article on Albanian gangs and people trafficking. Not going to give too much away but, my next book involves Albanians, but not people trafficking. That’s it. That’s yer lot. Oh, and to give you an idea what these chaps are like, have a little read of this.
I listened to a BBC podcast with Miles Jupp the other day and he was talking about a book called Plotto.
I must admit, I hadn’t heard of this until the other day. Plotto is a book that came out way, way back in the day and it allegedly contains every plot known to man (and a few more). I may have to get it… just because. If any of you writers have read it or better yet, used it, I’d be interested to hear what you thought of it.
You can have a listen to Miles Jupp’s podcast here. Val McDermid’s on there too.
Okay. So, as I’ve been saying, Book #2 is due for release soon. This one has me a bit apprehensive. Why? Well, the content of this is, I’m sure, going to upset certain factions and send them into an immediate knee-jerking frenzy. I wrote it hoping it wouldn’t but expecting it would.
I can’t tell you what it’s about at this stage but I believe that as well as being a good story (so, I’m told), it highlights a growing problem not just here in the UK, but globally.
I’ll be interested to see what happens.