Today I’m pleased to welcome Linden Chase to the blog. Linden’s novel, Killer Instincts was published by Fahrenheit Press on 7 August 2016.
Linden kindly answered some of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about Killer Instincts
Killer Instincts is the first in a trilogy that follows Zane King, a wants-to-be-famous news reporter, when he arrives at Tranquility, an island occupied solely by psychopaths. Zane has been led there by a mysterious individual who warns him things are not as they seem. The books are set slightly in the future when a brain scan can tell if someone has obvious or latent psychopathic tendencies – something we’re actually quite close to in reality.
It’s is a scary (and exciting) psychological thriller that looks into the darkness that can manifest within humans. And it’s a twist on the usual murder mystery in that almost everyone apart from Zane is a murderer. It’s therefore not surprising there is a high rate of attrition.
2. What inspired the book?
Gosh, that’s a hard one. I’ve always been fascinated by how people ignore death and carry on as if they will live forever. I’ve written murder mysteries where characters are put in a crucible and forced to examine their true selves and others. However, once the murder is solved they go back to their usual ways. But on Tranquility there is no getting away the raw realities of life, and so the characters live knowing their demise could be around the next corner.
I have also always been fascinated with the darker aspects of humanity; in who becomes the villain and why. There is an invisible line society draws to delineate acceptable morality. The big questions is once you cross it can you ever come back? I believe that 99% of people have it in them to kill – especially if they need to protect a loved one or themselves. But once you’ve killed does it become easier? And what stops most people crossing that line?
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you? How long does the process take you from first line to completed novel?
How I plan depends on the book. With a trilogy I need a tight plan, and with any conspiracy or mysterious demise I need to know the backstory long before I start writing. The actual process of writing doesn’t take that long. I write around 4,000 words a day, but there have been times when I’ve spent thinking about a book for three years before I start the first line.
4. Linden Chase is your alter ego, or as your publishers describe it, your nom de Fahrenheit. Does having a pen name allow you more freedom to write? Do you find yourself thinking differently when you are writing as Linden?
Linden is different from me. Linden swears more and isn’t afraid of anything. Linden allows me to push boundaries in my writing. People know Linden will be challenging when they buy a book.
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
I am that rare breed of full time writer. I read everything. Sitting at breakfast I find myself reading the back of a cornflake packet if I haven’t brought a book down with me. I also read across all genres.
My other relaxation is hot tubs. Whenever we go on holiday I have to have a hot tub and champagne. Simple tastes.
6. Having been through the process of creating a novel and having it published is there anything that still surprises you about novel writing?
When I finished a novel I get a great sense of satisfaction. I also tell myself I will take a break before I start another one. Then about a week later I start feeling rather sad and a little lost and begin another one.
7. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
Weirdly, one of the books I love the best is The Secret History by Donna Tart. It’s a book about remorse and I have always loved the way the characters are portrayed.
8. I like to end my Q&A’s with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
What would I have done if I hadn’t been a writer?
I tried working in an office (marketing department) and lasted three weeks before I walked out. I’d have liked to be singer, but my voice was never good enough. Also I feel I made a big mistake never going to drama school, but took the expected academic route, although I am listed on IMDB as a voice actor under another name, but that’s a different story. I did do a stint as a journalist, but I was too young to be hard and cynical enough for the role. So if I hadn’t been a writer, with luck, you’d have seen me on the silver screen.
About the book:
“There’s darkness in the heart of Tranquility.
Society has developed reliable tests to detect psychopathy in individuals. Those with the disorder are re-classified as victims rather than monsters.
The question remains though, how does a liberal society deal with the inherently violent impulses of human predators who live among us.
In response a government think tank is launching an experiment, Tranquility; an island where psychopaths will be isolated and left to form their own community.
Zane King, an investigative journalist, has been given a tip-off by a high-level government source that something big is happening on a remote island. After a heart-stopping journey Zane manages to infiltrate Tranquility by persuading the citizens that he’s a psychopath just like them.
It doesn’t take Zane long to realise that something has gone very wrong with the experiment but by the time he fully understands what the island is really all about the community is already imploding in a wave of monstrous violence. ”
Fahrenheit Press have currently reached the milestone of their first birthday. I was one of the first blogs the Fahrenheit Press visited and you can read that first interview here. I’m therefore honoured that they’ve allowed me to help mark their first birthday. In order to celebrate they have generously offered a year’s subscription to The Fahrenheit Book Club. Worth £48 the prize is every single book published by Fahrenheit Press in 2016 delivered right to your inbox in ebook format. At present count Fahrenheit Press estimate that’s around 50 books, with the possibility of more. If it’s published in 2016 then you’ll get a copy. This is a fantastic prize and if I could then I’d enter too. You can read more about the Book Club here.
To be in with a chance of winning answer this question: Fahrenheit Press author Lauren Henderson is also a well known author under another name. What is Lauren’s other pen name?
There will also be a chance to enter on Twitter, make sure you look out for my Tweet and follow @FahrenheitPress (I’ll be checking to make sure you do!).
Competition closes at midnight 15 September 2016. The winning name will be selected from all entries received here and on Twitter. Our decision is final. There is no cash alternative – if you don’t want the prize, don’t enter. The books that will be received are ebooks. If you don’t have an ereader you won’t be able to enjoy the books – and paper copies won’t be substituted. If you don’t win here then fear not, there may be chances to win on other blogs if you keep you eyes peeled and your wits about you.