Ian Jackson has just had his debut novel published by Percy Publishing. He has kindly taken the time to answer some questions for me.
You’ve written your debut novel. How do you feel?
Ecstatic! I love the process of writing fiction and have always wanted to complete a crime thriller. I’m very pleased with the finished result. Ruth Killeen my agent says that the book will ‘challenge a readers’ emotions and test their morals’ and I think she’s spot on.
Can you tell me a little bit about your book please?
Dead Charming is a psychological crime thriller based in Greater Manchester. The book tells the story of two central characters, Jenny Foster a novice criminal profiler and Joe Reed a serial rapist and later murderer.
Joe Reed is charming and charismatic and the book opens to describe his crimes against the women he has seduced. As the novel continues, all is not what it seems and Reed takes the reader through a series of twists and turns, analysing his psychopathy with terrifying results.
Jenny Foster is married with a daughter and her ambition has driven her on to secure her dream role as a criminal profiler attached to the Manchester Metropolitan Police. She is soon out of her depth as the investigation becomes more complicated and she is faced with real-life situations. At the same time, her personal life spirals out of control with catastrophic results putting her entire team in danger.
How long did it take you to write?
I began writing Dead Charming in February 2013 and finished in October 2013, so about nine months. Perhaps that’s why they call a finished novel, the writer’s ‘baby’.
Where did you get your ideas from?
I have always been interested in psychology and crime. The characters portrayed do not resemble anyone I know, but each of us has the capacity to be unkind, with that trait developing into evil for some people.
I spent two years as a volunteer at a Wirral hospital in the psychiatric unit and a further five years as a volunteer at a homeless shelter. I encountered many forms of mental illness, some of which could clearly lead to violence if left unchecked.
I became interested in what triggers would be necessary to turn a sufferer of somewhat mild or common psychological imbalances into a person that might commit despicable acts. I asked myself who might be to blame when a person who might be a borderline sociopath escalates their behaviour to act out their psychotic fantasies.
That journey of discovery continues.
What are you working on now if anything?
I work full time, running my own business in Chester and write when I find the time.
I am currently writing my second novel, with the working title Dead Precious and have committed to a completion deadline of April 2015.
Where is your favourite place to write?
Someone mentioned to me recently that many novelists tend to write sitting up in bed, but I would be asleep with my head lodged into my laptop keyboard after ten minutes.
I enjoy writing in public when there’s a great deal going on. Somehow, it helps my train of thought to look up every now and again and perhaps see a glimpse of one of my characters’ personalities in a passerby.
Would you like to see your book made into a film?
Of course, I think every writer dreams of having their characters come to life on film. If casting was up to me, I would choose Sheradin Smith (Cilla, Mrs Biggs) to play the part of Jenny Foster and Richard Armitage (Spooks, The Hobbit) as Joe Reed.
Is 2015 going to be a good year for you?
I sincerely hope so. My daughter, Anna is due back from Australia in May, my son, Tom will hopefully take up his chosen profession as a Speech and Language Therapist at UCL and I get married to my fiancée, Susie in June. This all means that 2015 should be a very special and memorable year.
About Ian Jackson
I was born in Liverpool in 1964.
I am a local magazine and sports programme publisher and I run a small advertising business. I have been in advertising and publishing since 1989. I also organise events and awards.
I have written many articles for consumer magazines such as Concept for Living and Style Guide for The Daily Mail and I am an accomplished feature writer.
My debut novel, Dead Charming, stems from a keen interest in psychology and crime, where the experiences of both perpetrator and victim can be analysed through their emotional and psychological turmoil with often terrifying results.
I have two children, Tom, 23 who has gained a Masters Degree in Psycholinguistics and is currently studying to work in the NHS with stroke victims and Anna, 20 who is currently working and travelling in Australia.
Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/ian.jackson.5811
Twitter – @crimenovel
Publisher – www.percypublishing.co.uk