I was lucky enough to be contacted by Alexandra about the book Dead Gone by Luca Veste about reviewing and interviewing the author. I jumped at the chance and this is the first interview to feature on Wandering Angie, but I hope not the last.
Hi Luca! Welcome to Wandering Angie, I really enjoyed reading Dead Gone, would you tell us a bit about the book?
Thank you! Great place you have here…is this real pewter?
Anyway…the book. It’s part police procedural, part psychological thriller. It follows DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi as they attempt to stop a serial killer who is killing people using infamous historical psychological experiments. Set in Liverpool, and it’s university base, it encompasses discussions about life, grief, and death…and what the moment before the end is really like.
2. Where did you get your inspiration to write the book?
The idea came from a psychology lecture. I’m a mature student, studying psychology and criminology, and in my first year we had a lecture on ethics. In the final couple of slides the lecturer gave us examples of what used to go on decades ago in psychology, and the psychologist Dr Harry Harlow was mentioned. He would conduct experiments on monkeys with regards to the topic of isolation. I was at first horrified by what he would do in these experiments (google at your own risk!) and then wondered what the effects would be on humans…I went home and wrote the first chapter. (I googled and Luca is right, it’s disturbing!)
3. There aren’t many books out now that involve psychological experiments that I know of, what made you chose to write about these in this book?
I think the fact that there aren’t many around helped, as you want to try and find an original angle for this genre of book. Also, they’re just fascinating to learn and write about. Some of the most intriguing studies in psychology occurred almost 100 years ago and could never be replicated again…mostly for good reasons! Making these experiments palatable and immersive within the story was a challenge, but it was one I enjoyed.
4. Did you base the character on someone you’ve met or a character you are particularly fond of?
DI David Murphy was kind of based on my uncle. Certainly looks wise. My uncle is a six foot four, bearded, now retired copper. He was who I thought of instantly when I created the character. His morality and views on life probably come from myself. He’s very much a modern copper, (whereas someone like the detestable DS Tony Brannon is a throwback to a different generation) so I can bring my own thoughts out through him. To a point, anyway. I probably would have made vastly different decisions than he did for much of the book!
5. I would love to read more about David Murphy and his life after such a tragic event. Will you be writing more about him?
The next book in the series is written and will be released later this year. I think there’s much more to come from both Murphy and Rossi, so hopefully I’ll get the chance to write them!
6. What can we expect from you next?
The next Murphy and Rossi novel tackles the topic of youth in Liverpool. Rather than concentrate solely on their exploits, I wanted to look at how the older generation view them. Specifically, when they decide they’re a problem that needs to be dealt with…
7. What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Do you have a favourite book or author you would recommend?
I read a few different genres – Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy – but mainly crime fiction. I love character based stories and crime fiction lends itself to those extremely well. There’s a few authors I’d recommend instantly – away from the always excellent stalwarts of Billingham, McDermid, and Rankin – such as John Rickards (aka Sean Cregan), Neil White, Stav Sherez, Eva Dolan, Will Carver, and Helen FitzGerald. My favourite crime author is Steve Mosby. Our most talented writer in the UK working today IMHO. Favourite book of his is The 50/50 Killer closely followed by Dark Room.
7. Have you got any tips for aspiring writers out there?
Finish. That’s the hardest thing to do. Writing a novel is a massive undertaking (many thousands of words…), but finishing is the best way to make it better.
Write what you want to write, not what you think will sell or what you think people want. You’re your first reader. Impress and entertain yourself first.
Don’t listen to tips from writers with only one published novel under their belts…
I would like to thanks Luca for taking the time to answer my questions and I truly recommend his début novel as it was trilling ride and an interesting concept and subject matter. I also wish him luck with his degree and future writing.