A few weeks ago I was contacted my Mark Edwards, co-writer of the wildly best-selling book, Killling Cupid. At the time, Cupid was just starting to have enormous sales in the United Kingdom. Mark asked me if I might be interested in being part of an anthology of best-selling writers from the United Kingdom and the United States. Of course, I was thrilled to be part of this anthology. It is entitled Summer Book Club and is available in on Amazon in the US site and the UK site. The anthology consists of sample chapters from the books of J. Carson Black, Saffina Desforges, Mark Edwards, Louise Voss, Sibel Hodge, Victorine Lieske, H. P. Mallory, Scott Nicholson, and myself – Cheryl Shireman. In addition we have each included an original short story or article to the anthology.
Killing Cupid is the first book to be featured in the Summer Book Club. Mark Edwards, who co-wrote this darkly-funny stalker thriller with Louise Voss, will be on Facebook on Saturday evening to answer questions and chat. He will even answer questions about the controversial Dan Brown/Stieg Larsson subtitle scandal if you are nice. Please drop by as his psychiatrist has warned him several times about talking to himself… Go to www.facebook.com/summerbookclub for more information.
Can you sum up your book in no more than 25 words?
Killing Cupid is a stalker thriller in which a wannabe writer becomes obsessed with his tutor. But then she turns the tables, with devastating results.
How important is a book’s central character?
Vital. Killing Cupid has two central characters. I wrote Alex, who starts off as a creepy stalker but, I hope, becomes more sympathetic as the novel goes on. Louise wrote Siobhan, a lonely writer who it turns out, has a lot of issues. The central idea of the novel is that there is someone out there for everyone – no matter how crazy you are.
What are the central themes of the book?
Love. Or rather, obsessive love. Both of the central characters in Killing Cupid are lonely and frustrated; they feel that their lives would be complete with a significant ‘other’. But neither of them know the best way to find that other person so they act in increasingly bizarre ways. Of course, we all do stupid things when we’re in love, but Alex and Siobhan take it to the extreme. If this makes Killing Cupid sound like a serious book, it isn’t. It’s a dark comedy with lots of twists and turns and a great joke about haemorrhoid cream.
What was your motivation for writing it?
Killing Cupid was co-written by Louise Voss and me. When we started, Louise was in the middle of a four-book contract with Transworld. I had recently been dumped by my agent. We got drunk one night and came up with the idea of writing something together as an experiment – and also because we thought the idea of a stalker novel in which the stalker becomes the stalkee (I think I just invented that word) was compelling. Two months into writing it, a lucky meeting attracted the attention of a BBC producer who optioned it. It never got made in the end but it gave us the motivation to make sure we finished it.
What parts of the book are you most proud of?
Apart from the fact that we managed to pull off the tricky act of co-writing a novel without any tantrums, tears or throwing of teacups, my favourite parts of the novel are the scenes where Alex is creeping around Siobhan’s house, inspecting her possessions, reading her diary, sitting on her toilet seat for a thrill.. And I love the second half of the book, in which everything turns around and starts moving really fast. And I love Louise’s chapters because I just love reading everything she writes. It was like simultaneously writing and reading a novel. Great fun.
What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
I love the first draft because my favourite aspect of writing is plotting, although we never work out the full plot before sitting down to write. We enjoy working it out as we go along. The characters tend to take a life of their own and tell you what they would do next. With Killing Cupid I wrote a chapter which I sent to Louise with some notes about what might happen next. She edited my chapter then did the same. We had no idea how it would all turn out.
Can you tell us something about being an indie writer?
The best thing about the rather insane few months we’ve spent as indie writers – apart from hitting the No.1 spot on Amazon.co.uk with our second novel, Catch Your Death! – has been the opportunity to ‘meet’ lots of other writers who have been incredibly supportive. That’s where the idea of the Summer Book Club came from: the idea of creating a mutually-supportive group to celebrate the fact that we’d done it for ourselves, and to show readers out there how many great self-published books there are on Amazon.
Bio: Mark Edwards lives in south London with his girlfriend, their daughter and, arriving this August, a son. He is the co-author, along with Louise Voss, of Killing Cupid and Catch Your Death, a conspiracy thriller that was the first novel by British indie authors to reach No.1 on Amazon. You can find him on Twitter @mredwards.
Anne R. Allen says
What a great interview. Excellent questions. This really makes me want to read the book. I had no idea it was a comedy. I think fiction readers are starved for comedy–especially of the dark variety. The agent/editor gatekeepers block them because “humor is subjective” and might offend.
Just came over from Mark Williams blog. I look forward to Kindle Summer Club (gotta get me one of them Kindle things first.)
Thanks for your comment, Anne. And beware! Buying a Kindle can be dangerous. I have sooo many books waiting to be read on mine. So easy to buy them. Just a “click” away. LOVE my Kindle. Crazy thing changed my life! You can also read ebooks on your computer until you get your Kindle. But not quite as much fun! The Summer Book Club anthology is now FREE on Smashwords. Free is good! Here is the link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70762