Heidi's Pick Six
Richard Jay Parker
1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Although he's reprehensible I really enjoyed creating the mystique of Bookwalter - the serial killer with his own website in Stop Me. Everything about him is initially what the main character finds on his website (i.e. all of it generated by Bookwalter). I think a lot of people hide behind avatars and creative misinformation on the Internet and Stop Me illustrates what happens when that's slowly peeled away and two individuals meet in the flesh. Because Leo wants to believe that Bookwalter has his missing wife there's an interesting dynamic. I didn't know exactly what Leo would find, so it was fun deciding exactly who Bookwalter would turn out to be. He's a manipulator, so constructing the mind games was interesting but I felt it had to pay off in a satisfying way.
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
Have just finished writing my second book and the final chapters were the most satisfying and hence the most difficult. As in Stop Me, I wanted to deliver a very unexpected twist and tie up loose ends without things being too neat (i.e. it had to be exciting but believable.) It's a difficult balancing act - trying to convey a lot of explanatory dialogue while retaining the suspense of the scene.
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
I think I draw a lot of inspiration from movies. I'm a compulsive movie watcher and it was this background that kicked off my script writing career. I think I still construct my book outlines as I would a script.
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I had the twist set up for Stop Me and my latest book but everything between that and the opening chapter was flexible territory. My own personal belief is to try and confound expectations. I think thriller readers hate being served up something formulaic or predictable, and although there's great satisfaction to be had from figuring out the conclusion to a story, I personally prefer to be blindsided at the last moment.
13. Celebrity crush.
Yes - there are a number of celebrities I'd like to crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Am a huge Family Guy fan. It's the show that makes me laugh the most. Stewie Griffin is an inspired creation. MacFarlane is clearly an anglophile and there's a lot of British darkness in Stewie.
Richard Jay Parker was formerly a TV script writer, script editor and producer before turning his hand to penning dark thrillers. Stop Me, his darkly fiendish debut, was shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2010. He has just finished his second novel. Visit Richard's chilling website: www.richardjayparker.com.
'STOP ME is a tightly written, fast paced debut that keeps you turning the pages...'
- Simon Kernick (Author of Relentless and Severed)
Buy STOP ME with 30% off plus free shipping anywhere in the world here: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9780749007072/Stop-Me