1) So, who are you and what have you written?
I’m Will Carver. I have written the January David supernatural thriller series – Girl 4, The Two and Dead Set. (And the digital novella The Killer Inside.) I’ve a couple of short stories published. Tempus Fugit in The Mammoth Book Of British Crime and Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Hellbound, Flesh-Eating Sub-humanoid Zombified Living Dead Part 2 – in Shocking 2-D in Off The Record. My latest novel is stand-alone thriller Good Samaritans.
2) Why crime fiction?
I fell into it. And I stayed. I had written a black comedy called Suicide Thursday, it never made it to full publication but an editor suggested that my style might suit a thriller. I’d never thought of writing in that genre but decided to give it a go as I had some interest from a publisher before I’d even started. I finished Girl 4 in about twelve weeks. That editor didn’t like it (of course) but a few others did. It was picked up. I was asked to turn it into a series, so I did. I wasn’t sure Good Samaritans was going to fit into the crime fiction genre when I started it but I seem to have found my way there again. In fact, if Suicide Thursday had ever made it, that would probably have found a crime pigeonhole of some kind. Something appears to be pulling me in.
3) What informs your writing?
I don’t know why but I get most of my ideas in the shower. I think I am often inspired by the things that I see in real life. I watch people. I listen. People are always talking. In this age of social media, people are talking more. Things that were once thoughts are now out there. All the time. People have two personalities. You get to see them at their worst and their best – and their fake best. I like to write people at their worst, things are more interesting at the extremes. Good Samaritans was initially spawned from my own fight with insomnia but I was interested in the dynamic of two people existing together at their worst and how far they would go to preserve that dysfunction. I often find myself telling stories from the victim’s point of view because they don’t usually get to tell their story. The police do. The perpetrators do. If I see something in the news I’m always wondering about the other side of that story. The part we don’t hear. That we have to imagine.
4) What is your usual writing routine?
I don’t sleep much. So I try to fill that time productively rather than lying down frustrated that I can’t doze off. I start writing at midnight, usually. I keep going until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer or I have a thousand words that I don’t want to delete immediately. (I’ll often write a lot more than that but will cut a lot out.) Each writing session starts with reading back what I have written the day before. Sometimes it stays. Sometimes it all goes. I always try to read through what I’ve written before I fall asleep and I always think it’s crap. On Tuesdays, I also write during the day. It’s just a thing I have always done. Whatever is going on in life, however awful things may seem, that day is for me to write.
5) Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?
I don’t have this desire. If I say I wish I’d written The Silence of the Lambs, I’d have to have written it in my style and it probably wouldn’t work and it certainly wouldn’t be as good. I wish I had written my second book better. I wish I hadn’t agreed to get rid of the things that made the first book what it was. I wish I hadn’t added a fucking love interest storyline to make it thicker for holiday-goers. I wish I hadn’t changed the ending from the one I had originally written because I ‘couldn’t have my detective fail’. I wish I could’ve said no. Still, I appreciate how I screwed up and I’m not sure I’d change the lessons I learned from that. So, as I’m here, I guess I wouldn’t mind if I had written American Psycho.