I am SO happy to have been able to ask Andrew Mayne a few questions about Angel Killer (Available now from Faber and Faber – link below) – a simply superb book that I read earlier this year and will be reviewing as part of my “Books for Christmas” feature towards the end of November. Here though is a great little interview to wet the appetite…and I really can’t WAIT for the next instalment, this was one of my absolute favourites. I really appreciate him taking the time from his busy schedule to do this for me – Thanks Andrew!
The inspiration behind “Angel Killer” speaks for itself, but what made you decide to write a novel – is it something you have always wanted to do?
I’ve always been interested in telling stories. One day I decided to give my friends a rest from having to listen to me describe them, and just started writing.
The story is SO addictive I loved it, can’t wait for the next – have you mapped out a full plan for Jessica? Angel Killer suggests the beginning of a wider mythology.
I have a path on mind for Jessica and what I want her growth to be. While she’s good at figuring out how things are done, I’m looking forward to having her explore why people do the things that they do. This brings with it different villains and more complex motivations, as you’ll find in Name of the Devil.
What made you go with a female protagonist – and is she inspired by anyone you know in real life?
I think the clever male magician archetype has been seen a lot and doesn’t have immediate relatable vulnerabilities. There are so few female magicians, for a variety of factors, so I decided to explore those themes with Jessica. I have a number of highly intelligent female friends and realize that being the smartest person in the room or the one “who gets it” is different with women and being heard comes with it own challenges – especially in male-dominated fields.
The magic side of life must be fascinating – I’ve always loved magicians and illusionists, can you tell us a little more about that? What reaction are you trying to inspire when you create.
I like wonder. I love science. When I can fool somebody with them know what I did was impossible, yet it just happened, it can be highly entertaining and educational.
Your family has a law enforcement background, again an obvious inspiration for the story – did you utilise that skill and knowledge during the writing? Drive them a little crazy maybe?
Having grown up around it, you just soak up a lot and I didn’t go to them with too many specific questions. But a lot of the day to day stuff that comes up in casual conversation certainly found its way into my writing.
Finally, are you a big reader yourself? If so what sort of novels do you enjoy?
I don’t read nearly enough as I should. When I do it’s usually non-fiction. I’ve been reading a lot about ancient empires lately.
About the book:
FBI agent Jessica Blackwood believes she’s left her complicated life as a gifted magician behind her . . . until a killer with seemingly supernatural powers puts her talents to the ultimate test.
A hacker who identifies himself only as “Warlock” brings down the FBI’s website and posts a code in its place that leads to a Michigan cemetery, where a dead girl is discovered rising from the ground . . . as if she tried to crawl out of her own grave.
Born into a dynasty of illusionists, Jessica Blackwood is destined to become its next star—until she turns her back on her troubled family to begin a new life in law enforcement. But FBI consultant Dr. Jeffrey Ailes’s discovery of an old magic magazine will turn Jessica’s world upside down. Faced with a crime that appears beyond explanation, Ailes has nothing to lose—and everything to gain—by taking a chance on an agent raised in a world devoted to achieving the seemingly impossible.
The body in the cemetery is only the first in the Warlock’s series of dark miracles. Thrust into the media spotlight, with time ticking away until the next crime, can Jessica confront her past to stop a depraved killer? If she can’t, she may become his next victim.
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Happy Reading Folks!