Today I’d like to welcome Mark Edwards, author of Killing Cupid, which recently hit Amazon’s Top Movers and Shakers list. If the title and the awesome cover don’t get your attention, the premise will:
A frightened woman turns the tables on her stalker – with devastating results. Alex Parkinson is obsessed with his writing tutor, Siobhan. He will do anything to be with her. Like buying her designer lingerie with her own money. Like breaking into her house and reading her diary while she’s in the bath. Like threatening her ex-boyfriend and watching his love rival plummet from a rooftop. It’s not stalking. It’s love. But when Alex is finally scared off, Siobhan decides to take revenge. How dare he lose interest? As their lives unravel and the past closes in, Alex and Siobhan embark on a collision course that threatens to destroy both them and everyone around them.
Filled with suspense and dark laughter, and with a unique twist at its conclusion, KILLING CUPID is written in alternating chapters, showing the male and female viewpoints.
Different, isn’t it? I thought you’d like it. I recently asked Mark a few questions about himself and his work. Here’s the interview…
Hi Mark! Thanks for being here today. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks – when people ask me about myself the first words that come to mind are busy, stressed and ever-so-slightly on the edge. I live in a leafy part of London, where I have a full-time job as a marketing director, managing a large site for students and a big team of people. I have a three-year-old daughter who NEVER stops talking (and is totally adorable). My girlfriend is pregnant with our second child, a boy, who is coming in August. My cat is also pregnant. My other cat follows me around all day and never stops mewing. I drink too much red wine. And I write.
My first book, Killing Cupid, was co-written with my friend Louise Voss. It’s a stalker thriller that is also a dark comedy; most of the reviews we’ve had have described how funny it is, which I’m delighted about. It’s been on Amazon for two months and is doing pretty well in the UK – currently just inside the top 200.
The premise sounds so deliciously dark and fun. How did you come up with the idea for Killing Cupid?
The premise of Killing Cupid is that the stalker becomes the stalked which, when we came up with the idea, we thought must have been done before. But we haven’t been able to find anything else like it. The idea came to us on a dark and stormy night… No, it actually came to us while we were on a drunken night out. I have no memory of who thought of it first. But the idea survived our hangovers and we started writing it the next day.
I see you co-wrote Killing Cupid with Louise Voss. Can you tell us a little about that?
Louise and I first met after I appeared on a documentary in the UK about wannabe writers. She wrote to me through my then-agent. We were in the same boat; a small rowing boat with broken oars. Then Louise got a massive book deal but fortunately didn’t forget us little people. The full story of our friendship and partnership is on my blog.
Writing the book together was shockingly easy – I wrote a chapter as the male character, Alex; then she wrote one as Siobhan. We passed them back and forth with notes on what happened next. I recommend it to anyone, if you can find your creative soulmate.
What part about writing Killing Cupid was the most difficult?
Probably the fact that Louise was in London and I was in Tokyo so the whole thing had to be done by email. We barely even spoke on the phone. Actually, the hardest part was trying to get a broadband connection in Japan when I didn’t speak the language and the router’s instruction manual was in Japanese. That probably caused the only delay in writing it. The rest was a breeze. Oh, apart from all the agonising writer-ly soul-searching, of course!
I see that Killing Cupid has been optioned by BBC television for a 2-part drama. That’s so exciting! How did that happen?
Luck. Louise had a meeting with a BBC producer who had read and loved one of her other books. We gave her a copy of Killing Cupid and it blew her away. However, it then went into development hell and didn’t get made. Excitingly, though, that producer, who has since won a BAFTA, has set up her own film production company and wants to option it to make a movie. We also have another TV producer interested.
Killing Cupid is doing amazingly well. Aside from writing one hell of a book, what would you attribute your success to?
I’m not sure about ‘amazingly’! I would say modestly. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations but I won’t be satisfied till we are in the top 10. I think we have a great cover and I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking the book description. And I have networked like crazy. My girlfriend is on the verge of banning me from using Kindleboards and Facebook writing groups because I have got a little addicted. The only real way to sell lots of books is to find readers, not just other writers.
It’s not easy being an indie author. What made you take the leap of faith?
Nobody else wanted us! Seriously, I love indie publishing because it puts all the power in the hands of the writer and allows you to connect directly with readers.
Best writing tip you’ve learned?
Choose the best ideas. It’s so easy to waste months and thousands of words on the wrong story. You need to write a story that people will want to read, that whacks them over the head and makes them either laugh, cry or wet themselves with excitement/fear.
You and Louise are working on another novel, Catch Your Death. I love the title. Can you describe it in a sentence or two?
It’s a thriller about a Harvard virologist who goes on the run from her husband and uncovers a scientific conspiracy involving a deadly virus. It’s like Dan Brown and Michael Crichton teaming up to write a novel set in the English countryside.
When is Catch Your Death due out?
We are aiming for May 16th… if all goes well.
And there you have it. So, check out Killing Cupid. Right now, it’s just $0.99 US (70p UK) on Amazon.