– ‘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 ‘How To Spot A Psychopath’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
MQ Webb has always believed in the transformational nature of words, and a medium to utilize them. How to Spot a Psychopath is the first book in the Oscar de la Nuit Psychological Thriller series.
Born without a Middle name, Q is such an undervalued letter of the alphabet, only appearing with u, so thought they would give it some respect by acknowledging it in their name.
A fascination with human behavior and motivation led them to study psychology. They once worked in a building that was converted from a gaol and is a marketing consultant for NFP’s, universities, and the public sector.
Could you tell… Would you?
When four-year-old Mia Edwards goes missing on a play date, everyone suspects Jessica Green knows what happened, especially Mia’s mother, Holly…
But Jess won’t tell anyone.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Oscar de la Nuit, is perceptive and determined to save Jess from the same regret and secrets he lives with.
Oscar thinks he has Jess figured out, but will she lead to Oscar’s redemption, or will she be his downfall?
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?
I’ve always written. When I was about eight years old, I handed in a 28 page story to my teacher at the end of the year, much to her amusement… thinking back she was probably wondering if I really expected her to read the whole thing hehe. I got serious about writing when I went on maternity leave. I was planning on going back to work but my daughter was born with a condition called craniosynostosis, which meant that her skull had prematurely fused together and she required a complete skull reconstruction, so I wanted to be there with her due to risks of the condition, (she’s now four and a half and is doing well) so I kept writing and stayed with her.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I read everything I could get my hands on, but my absolute favorites were spooky stories like RL Stine. Now, I love psychological thrillers, and my long-running inspiration probably comes from Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice—what a concept!
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Great question! So many brains I’d like to pick. Anne Rice, for the complexity and humanity she brought to the horror genre. Chuck Palahniuk and Stephen King, for craft, because I’ve read fantastic, actionable writing advice from both. And Liane Moriarty because she is the balance queen of the plot/character scales!
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Will Graham from Thomas Harris’s ‘Red Dragon’ because he seems like he’d have some interesting schemas about the world.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I don’t really have rituals or habits while writing (at least that I’m aware of) except maybe sipping coffee as I write. I always have a stack of notes beside me or on my screen as I’m writing.
Never mind… I’ve just been informed that my HUGE notes board counts as part of a ritual.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)?
A lot of my ideas develop by finding a character with a strong voice or motivation and exploring how they might react in a given situation. Some believe ‘The Silent Patient’ inspired some of the ideas behind ‘How to Spot a Psychopath’ but funnily enough I hadn’t read until after the 3rd or 4th draft, (I’ve since discovered it’s a great book).
It was actually inspired by a Ted Talk I’d heard from Susan Cain, the author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’ which got me thinking about the power of choosing not to say anything in a situation where you’d expect someone to be screaming from the rooftops, proclaiming their innocence.
Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Maybe! Though I did give them some tips on the kinds of things to look out for… so maybe not 😉
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m definitely a plotter, but in an agile process kind of way. My characters surprise me and force me to shift things around all the time!
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’t)?
Write. Get comfortable with uncomfortable feedback, it will make you a stronger writer.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Believe in your work and don’t be embarrassed to get others involved (beta readers, editors, the cat if it likes listening to tricky paragraphs)!
There will be drafts—get the story out and refine it later.
What are your future plans as an author?
Developing more of the Oscar de la Nuit series. I’m also have some stand-alone psychological thriller / suspense novels in the works.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on
my blog, please?
She’d caught Oscar’s attention as soon as he saw her. Jessica Green, fingers laced together under her chin like a locked puzzle. She didn’t fit the typical killer profile. Suburban journalist with a four-year-old and a husband.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, MQ Webb.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds