– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Forgive Me’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Kateri Stanley graduated from The Open University with a degree in Arts and Humanities and worked for the National Health Service for eight years. She started off writing fanfiction as a kid, moved to short stories, created some audio plays and eventually sat down to write her first novel. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge-watching films and TV shows, making tons of playlists and dabbling in the occasional video game. She currently resides in the West Midlands, United Kingdom with her partner, they are hoping to be cat parents.
A secret video tape. A painful truth. A quest for revenge.
Investigative journalist, Susan ‘Stripe’ McLachlan, is constantly hounded by eager documentarians for interview requests about the Night Scrawler murders. One of the victims of the mysterious serial killer was a member of her own family, her father.
At the peak of her career, her services are sought by Isaac Payne who commissions her to write an article for his website. Usually, her projects delve into more uncomfortable, questionable topics, but there’s a deep, almost hauntingly familiar pull about her new client that intrigues her.
As she learns more about Isaac, Stripe digs up fresh secrets about the murders, arousing her suspicions. After an awkward confrontation, she wakes up in Isaac’s bed — with a chain around her ankle.
Isaac shows her harrowing footage on an old VHS tape. The contents hits close to home…closer than Stripe ever imagined. Now, she has to wrestle with her own moral compass and unpick the truth from the web of lies that turn into a crescendo where memories created from misery and suffering cannot be silenced.
Will Isaac ever lay the past to rest? And how will Stripe cope with the revelations that challenge everything she has ever known?
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Hi there. I’m Kateri Stanley. I’m an indie writer from the Midlands in the UK. I’m a big media nerd, love my telly shows, movies, music, documentaries, video games and I adore comedy. It’s a great tonic when you’re sad. My debut novel, Forgive Me, a sci-fi horror was published on Tuesday 20th April 2021 by indie press house, darkstroke books.
I’ve been writing for a long time since I was young and I loved the idea of becoming a writer. My Mom used to say that she’d find me asleep as a kid with a book lying on top of my face. That was how much I loved reading. 😊
I started writing Forgive Me in 2015 and uploaded earlier drafts of the novel on a website called Wattpad which was recommended to me by a friend of mine. The novel had a different title back then. After receiving brilliant feedback from beta readers, I worked on several edits over the years and then I started to submit the novel to literary agents. It got rejected several times but I kept going. I came across darkstroke books and I really liked the novels they published. I sent a sample of the novel to them, they wanted to see more… and they published it!
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Hannibal by Thomas Harris, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman –I consumed all of these books as a teenager and I’ve reread several times as an adult!
I love reading non-fiction book, On Writing by Stephen King, it’s part memoir, part writing advice and I can read over and over again. If you’re a dark fiction writer like myself or a King fan in general, I highly recommend you check it out.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’d pick Thomas Harris’s brain because he writes such fantastic thrillers. He created the characters, Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling! The dynamic, the tension, it’s messed up but I love it, haha!
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I’d probably invite, Susan ‘Stripe’ McLachlan from my novel, Forgive Me. She’s an investigative journalist, she’s been through a wave of misery in her early years but she has a great sense of humour. We have similar interests in anything dark themed and she investigates the weird and creepy. It’d be great to discuss what she’s found out from her assignments. Stripe would be drinking red wine. I’m not a wine drinker myself so I’d be downing the coca cola.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I listen to music when I write. It really helps me concentrate and get in the zone, especially if I’m writing an emotional or fighting scene. I keep a list of songs for each project. I see them as the ‘soundtrack’ to the novel.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I’ve got my ideas for novels/short stories/audio projects from everywhere. I’ve got them from dreams, listening to songs, watching telly or a movie. Sometimes I’ve got ideas from sitting on the train, travelling to work or visiting family and sometimes, I’ve got ideas when I’ve been doing absolutely nothing. A fully formed character or situation will just pop into my head like a mushroom.
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t based characters or situations from real life experiences or people I’ve met…
I definitely have haha 😉
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’d say I’m a bit of both. Normally I have a general idea of where I want the story to go. However, when I’ve been writing certain scenes or a character’s dialogue, nuggets I didn’t plan will just pop out of nowhere. I love it when this happens because it feels like the characters are truly alive and they are channelling themselves through my fingertips! Haha!
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Write what you want to read. Write what’s interesting to you. Follow your gut instinct. If you feel something doesn’t work for your character or the situation/scene then you’re probably right. If you feel your draft needs another edit, do it. You know your story and your characters better than anyone.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m looking into producing an audiobook for Forgive Me. I’m also editing the second draft of my second novel. It’s a supernatural thriller with mystical elements set in a made-up town in the UK. I got the idea to write it after I watched the harrowing documentary, The Cove about the killing of dolphins in Japan.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Below is a mini extract from the opening chapter of Forgive Me. When this novel was being editing, beta readers loved this part of the story!
I see the click and switch when you turn off the television. I hear your heartbeat when you climb up the stairs. I can feel your soft bare feet on the carpet as you walk into your bedroom.
The night is peculiarly tranquil when I come to visit you. I try to keep my tread light as I step across the arms of the branches. The closer you are to me, the more I want to see you. I should know better. I shouldn’t be here, but I guess I’m just like any hot-blooded man. I’m weak. I’m drawn to you. I can’t stay away.
I hold on to the branches, easing my way across so I can see you. I smell the perfume you wore today, the wine you drank lingers on your lips. My heart pounds in my chest. One single snag and I’m done for. You’d know I was here, creeping around, spying on you.
I wouldn’t visit during the day because you of all people should know that I was made to be
hidden, to pounce when the moment is right. I’m not here tonight to track and trace. Remember, I wouldn’t ever… ever harm you.
You waft out from the darkness, staring from your bedroom window. You tap your finger against your chest, you’re worried about something and I know why.
The authorities are hunting for me.
I know you’ve been tracking my every move. You’ve been searching and reading and ringing
people. You’ve kept a keen eye on the news. The stories are rife. I know what they call me. But they don’t know the true tale or what my makers did.
I know about the urban legend. Some say I’m as tall as a tree, others say I wear a gas mask when I mutilate my victims. Some of the details make me laugh and frankly, some of them make me sad.
If I were to rewind the clock and undo the past, then I wouldn’t have met you. You wouldn’t
know what you know and we wouldn’t have…
I tremble as I think about it.
Your words, your skin…
Do you remember it? Do you ever think about it?
Hang on, forget what I said. Look, I took something precious from you many years ago. I stole it, ripped it from your heart. If things were different, I’d be inside this house, beside you, loving you – but you probably hate me. I don’t blame you at all if you do – and if you don’t, you should. I wish I could leave this alone, but I have something to do and I can’t ignore it, not this time.
Neglecting the wounds will just make the infection worse.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Kateri Stanley.
Thank you for having me!
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!