Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A Glimpse into the mind of Stephen B. King

In honor of Stephen's release today of his second book in his Glimpse trilogy, I wanted to give my guests a glimpse into his mind. Before I show his books and links to my reviews I had a few questions. 

Hi Steve! I hope you don't mind my curiosity, but your books have greatly intrigued me.
Hi Sandra, thanks for hosting me, I’ve read the questions; this will be fun J

1-I love to watch crime dramas on television, true or fiction. I believe you share the same addiction. Which are your favorites?
Crime TV and movie dramas are what I prefer to watch above anything else. Especially dramatic, gritty stories with great, but flawed characters. There are so many that have been truly memorable, for example, who can ever forget Anthony Hopkins portrayal of Hannibal Lecter? I can never eat Fava Beans or drink Chianti again.
In terms of TV, my all-time favorites (not in order – because I can’t choose between them) are. British: Waking the Dead, Wire in the Blood (I paid tribute to this show both in DOMIN8 and to some extent the Deadly Glimpses Trilogy) and Prime Suspect – Helen Mirren at her best back when she smoked. Scandinavian: Wallander; great stories and Kevin Brannaugh OMG what an actor! The Bridge was another and talking of all things Scandinavian my all-time favorite books are the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. US: This is a no-brainer, True Detective showed just how good TV can be, unbelievable script (I wish I wrote it) and Woody Harrelson and Mathew McConaughey’s acting abilities were so good; I think because they had eight episodes to get the characters right. This aspect is one reason why I wanted to write Glimpses as a trilogy because I had the time that three books give to work on the characters and the effect of their desires on them.

2-Rick McCoy, the detective in your glimpse series, has a few personal flaws, inner demons, and he’s very single-minded when it comes to solving a case. How much of your self is in Rick’s character? Did you have someone in mind to model him after?
Wow, great question. I’ve been sitting here for ten minutes thinking about the answer. Is he like me? in some ways yes, though I never realized that before. I had an affair during my first marriage, which caused it to end, and there were consequences, though not as drastic as they were for Rick, thankfully. Thirty years later and I am still married to the woman I had the affair with. We have three children, and to be honest, it was the best thing I ever did, but…..should it have happened?  This is what I am trying to write about. Lots of people have affairs with work colleagues, but should they? Of course, when they are married, no they shouldn’t, yet it seems to me it has become like a plague. Each book in the Glimpse series is a stand-alone thriller, and each story gives a glimpse into the troubled mind of the serial killer Rick and Pat are hunting. But, across the three books the story is very much about the relationship between Rick and Pat, should they, shouldn’t they, and if they do, as they are both married, what will the consequences be? Spoiler alert – catastrophic in this case.
Rick is, in my opinion, pretty much like most men, he sees an attractive woman whom he desires, and he thinks about doing something about it. It doesn’t mean he will actually do anything, but he wants to, if that makes sense. Rick has been forgiven for one affair and is trying to repair his marriage but is then forced to work with a woman who is not only beautiful, but incredibly intelligent, and shares his deep-seated desire for catching murderers because she is a criminal psychologist and profiler. If they were not married it would be a match made in heaven, but they are. Rick respects, admires as well as desires Pat, so the temptation grows and grows despite him trying his best to fight it. Professionally, he is a good cop, totally honest and dedicated (like most police detectives), who is driven to lock away murderers. The problem is, he has been doing it so long he is beginning to realize that the more of them he catches, the more there are for him to catch, so he is wavering between wanting to retire or keep going…….until he is paired with Patricia Holmes.

3-Patricia Holmes is a criminal psychologist and psychiatrist. Her strongest interest is in criminal psychopathy, much to her family’s displeasure. What kind of research did she require?
I mentioned earlier my love of Wire in the Blood which featured a psyche named Tony Hill who was not only very good at his job but flawed emotionally, and could empathize with the killer so help understand him (or her). Patricia Holmes is in the same mold, but a woman working in a male-dominated era (around the year 2000) and when most police had no time for psychologists, whom they saw as only wanting to free mentally incompetent murderers. I have always been drawn to psychology, in many forms, and I used to lecture as a sales trainer – believe me, great salespeople need to understand psychology.
I did a lot of research on Pat because to me it was important to get her right. A good friend is a psychologist, and my daughter is at university studying criminal psychology and justice. I spoke to them extensively – most especially for Glimpse 3 (Glimpse, the Caring Killer). For all of that, I am a fiction writer, and can, at times, for the benefit of the story and entertainment value, bend reality, just a tad. Could the events I describe happen? Geeze, I hope not.

4-Next, I have to ask you about the killer, (using the term loosely in this case). The victims in this book are young girls. Being a father, it had to be tough to look through the killer's eyes and have his actions justified in his thoughts. What can you tell us about that?
Boy, this is tough, thank you for asking – it’s made me think, though the answer may take a while. It’s a confronting question but I want to do it justice. I abhor, with every fiber of my being, any form of cruelty to children. I cannot watch crime shows for example if it features the death or abuse of children, I just can’t and won’t do it.
In Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths, six late teenaged women, some school age, are the victims. They are found dead, adorned with flowers, in a cave. But the perpetrator is summed up by Pat when she delivers her profile of the killer by asking a riddle: “When is a serial killer NOT a murderer?” I try to show a man (in part from his own POV) who is addicted to beauty because his life from childhood has been the opposite of that. Yes, six girls die, but, I only describe the cause, and effect of their deaths. What is shown, is the mental cruelty dealt to the killer as a child, and then later as an adult which has sculptured him into the man he became and caused him to deliver The Beautiful Deaths.

5-One thing I’ve noticed in the books I’ve read by you—you’re excellent at writing in the female POV. Do you get any advice or direction from your wife, editor, or critique partners?
Sincerely, thank you for the compliment, that is high praise indeed. OK, in general, I don’t have critique partners or beta readers, and while I talk to my wife about what I’m writing about, that’s about the extent of it. I have my eldest daughter from my first marriage, Tania, who is acknowledged in every book I’ve ever written and always will because she reads everything I write first. I write chronologically from my heart (then later edit from my head) and for me, it’s all about the characters – male or female. I believe if I can get them right, and get the reader to invest in them, care about them…then watch out, we are going on a roller coaster ride and you’d better hang on tight.
One of the reasons I’ve always believed my wife and I get along so well is she has quite a lot of ‘bloke’ in her (she was always a tomboy) and I’ve always had a lot of feminine side in me (I can wear a pink shirt anytime). She loves it when we go shopping for clothes for her, and she too picks out most of mine.
My lovely editor with TWRP, Melanie Billings, once paid me a very high compliment which I value to this day when I submitted a short story to her which was entirely from a woman’s POV. She said in all her years of editing she had never read a man who could describe a woman’s feelings so accurately as in that story. For me though, it doesn’t matter if I’m describing the thoughts, feelings, and actions of a man or woman, what matters is that I get it right. I hope I do.

6-I can’t wait to read the third book in this trilogy. What do you have planned for your next project?
Thank you again, sincerely. I promise you if you liked 1 and 2, Book 3, Glimpse, the Caring Killer you will love. My editor is the only person to have read it, in this case, I kept it from Tania because I want her to be surprised - she is gagging to read it. Mel says unequivocally, it is the best thing I’ve ever written. It has a killer, in my humble opinion so well drawn he will chill the reader as well as evoke their sympathy. The reader will finally get to see the culmination of the relationship aspect between Rick and Pat, and there are the escape and revenge of PPP, the serial killer from Book 1. But there is another aspect too. The murderer is a situational psychopath, that is, he is compelled to do what he does because of a situation that happens to him which left him with unbearable guilt. It has run in his family, firstly his uncle, and then his sister; they all saw the same imaginary character, named Jolly. But, is Jolly imaginary, or is he somehow real and chooses who he appears to? Jolly is the scariest character I’ve ever created; a bible thumping evangelist, who extols our killer to rid the world of liars on a sex dating website – and there are lots of them who lie in their profiles to attract a partner.
As for the next project, well, something different – I need a break from serial killers. It’s a romantic thriller called Winter at the Light and it’s at around 40000 words and going strong. It is set in 1952 and tells the story of 21-year-old Molly who agrees to look after a remote island lighthouse when the keeper, her father, is injured and will lose his job if she doesn’t. Molly, used to the hectic life of the city, fears she will go mad with boredom, but instead, she finds peace and serenity at the light, along with a love of a book called Moby Dick. That is everything is fine until the storm of the decade hits and washes a life raft ashore with a man in it who has lost his memory, or has he? Molly nurses him and falls in love with the mysterious man, but when two more armed men turn up looking for him, Molly discovers on a lighthouse, there is nowhere to hide.
Yes, hehehehe it’s another story from a woman’s POV, so sue me.
Thank you for asking such great thought-provoking questions, I’ve had a blast, and learned some things about myself.

This is how you can find Stephen:

Twitter: @StephenBKing1

Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

Now let's hear about his new release: Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths (Deadly Glimpses book 2)

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.

 A short Excerpt: 
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.

To buy on Amazon

I also recommend the first book, Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer (Deadly Glimpses book 1)

In 1999 Australia, Sergeant Rick McCoy investigates the murder of a woman found packed inside a suitcase.

The Killer abducts another victim and threatens to dismember her slowly. His life is further complicated by a marriage in tatters. Frustrated at every turn, he is paired with glamorous Criminal Psychologist and profiler, Patricia Holmes.

While trying to rebuild his marriage, he finds himself in a desperate race against time to free the victim and fight his desire for his new partner. 

Buy it as well  

If your tastes run milder, (or just your mood), I also loved Thirty Three Days

Jenny is a lonely university lecturer who's consciousness has traveled back in time to her younger body to try to save the future of the world. A young microbiologist is going to release a genetically modified wheat that will mutate and ultimately destroy all plant life, leaving nothing but barren windswept dust bowls. 
In the past, Jenny finds a love that has been missing from her life; the kind that comes just once in a lifetime. But Jenny can only stay in that time period for thirty-three days. 
Meanwhile, in the future, fearful Jenny will fail, plans are made to send another back in time--an assassin. How can she choose between saving the man she loves or saving the future? 

I really loved this post because I know Stephen has a great future as a writer. Be one of us who can say--I knew him when...


  1. Very interesting interview. While I admit your books give me the chills, the characterization is great. Which is why the wound up in characters I never want to meet blog this week. Wishing you lots of sales for your new release!

  2. Fantastic interview! I can't wait to read this series.

  3. Wonderful "glimpse" into your mind! Congrats on the new release - sounds like a fascinating read!

  4. Great interview Sandra and Steve. Thanks for being so open.

  5. Great interview Stephen. You are a writer of many talents. All the best with you newest novel. It sounds like a hit!

  6. Fascinating story and enjoyed getting to know you more, Stephen. Wishing you continued success.

  7. Loved your interview Stephen! Your book sounds fascinating. Best of luck for many sales!!

  8. Great interview and congrats on the new release!