Nigel Price has MURDER on his mind.
If that line grabbed your attention, you need to read Maria Savva’s new book Haunted. This is a chilling look into the mind of an ordinary man with an extraordinary secret.
Maria is here to talk to us about her new book. For those of you who’ve yet to have the pleasure of meeting Maria, here is the woman behind the words:
Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. Her most recent novel is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller.
Connect with Maria in the following places:
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/Maria_Savva or @Maria_Savva
He can run but he cannot hide. Nigel’s past has come back to haunt him. The truth is, his past has never left him… it follows him without remorse, catching him at every turn. There is no escape.
Regret, guilt, nightmares, despair… these fill his every waking hour and disturb his sleepless nights.
Take a trip inside Nigel’s mind, in this dark, psychological thriller with a paranormal twist.
On to my chat with Maria:
Haunted is psychological suspense and darker than your other books. What inspired this one?
This is definitely darker than my other novels, but I do have some pretty dark short stories in my collections. I think I tend towards writing about the darker side of life because writing is often like a form of therapy for me. A lot of the things I write about evolve from my own personal experiences or the experiences of those around me, and often in my writing I am trying to work out, perhaps subconsciously, what makes people do the things they do, behave in the way they behave. I have always been interested in the psychology of human behaviour. Haunted was inspired by a news story I heard about 8 years ago; from that news story the seed of the book sprung in my mind. I had the idea to write something about what motivates people to commit crime, about innocent victims, and also about how the perpetrator of a crime can sometimes be a victim too. That idea stayed with me. I was too busy with full time work to really commit the time to writing Haunted back then. Last year, I was in a part time job, so I had a bit of extra time on my hands and I also witnessed a road rage incident that rekindled the flame for writing this type of book. I saw how rage can be destructive, and it reminded me why I wanted to write a book about this sort of thing. It’s a message really, about anger, about rage, about how we can all easily slip up and lose control, like Nigel in Haunted. When I started writing Haunted, my intention was to write a book about 3 separate crimes that would somehow be intertwined and linked – it was originally called ’3 Crimes’; but when I started writing Nigel’s story, it took on a life of its own, and demanded all the attention. I then changed the title to Aftermath, but settled on Haunted when the story was complete as I think this most genuinely fits Nigel’s state of mind.
Nigel’s story demonstrates how one person’s actions in the heat of the moment can damage not only that person’s life, but the lives of others not directly involved in or even aware of the event. This is often referred to as the butterfly effect. Did you have this in mind when you began writing Haunted?
Not that effect in particular, but I wanted to show the effects of crime that the perpetrator had not considered when committing the act. That point in particular was inspired by the news item that originally gave me the idea. It was the idea that a random crime can happen anywhere to anyone, and the criminal knows nothing about the background of the victim, doesn’t stop to consider how many lives he or she is affecting by this one act of violence.
One of the common factors I noticed between this book and your other writing is the depth of the characters. We see their strengths and their flaws. You portray them in a way that any reader is able to relate to. This is a gift not all authors have. What do you feel are the important factors in character development?
Thank you, Darcia. I try hard to build a character in my mind so that I almost become that person when I am writing a dialogue or a piece of prose from that character’s perspective. I think that writers should take time to get to know their characters and ask themselves how each particular character would react in a given situation given what we know about his or her background. Not everyone will react in the same way to something that happens. So I suppose my advice would be, try to walk in the character’s shoes, work out how you’d react to something that happens to them, then think about that character… would he or she react in the same way, given that his or her life experience is different? I have heard you say before that characters will take over the book at one point and from then on they write it. I think that’s true. Once you get to know your character, it becomes easier to know how he or she will act in a certain situation so the writing flows without too much effort. It’s the getting to know the character part that is the hardest part.
What do you find hardest to write – beginning, middle or end? Why?
I actually find the first draft easy to write. Once I get an idea for a story it’s like a tap has been turned on and the story flows without too much effort on my part. What I find difficult is being consistent. Most of my novels range between 60,000-90,000 words. That is an awful lot of story to remember and I can be a bit scatty at times. It’s like that saying ‘if you always tell the truth then you don’t have to remember anything’, well in fiction writing it’s all lies of course, we are liars by occupation… sometimes it’s hard to remember some of the lies. So, I would say the editing is the hardest part for me. I don’t particularly find beginnings, middle, or endings, hard; but just getting them to all fit together like a puzzle is hard for me.
You painted the cover for Haunted. Tell us a bit about your passion for art. Did you take lessons? Is there a particular artist that inspires you most?
I’ve always loved art. I found at a young age that I could draw things quite well, for example I’m quite good at portraits, sketching people’s faces. I suppose art, like my writing, is another way of expressing myself. I took art lessons at school up until about the age of 16. I did intend to study art further, but then decided on the legal career path. Art has always been a passion of mine. I used to do a lot of drawing and painting at home, but not so much in recent years. I love looking at paintings. Some of my favourite artists are L.S. Lowry, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh. When I was thinking of a cover for Haunted, I really wished I could use The Scream by Edvard Munch. If there wasn’t such a thing as copyright I would have, as I thought it would be perfect. A funny thing happened after I revealed the art work for the cover, author Susan Buchanan told me that the cover was ‘very Edvard Munch’. It seems that subconsciously I must have been inspired by that painting more than I knew.
Please share any five things about yourself and/or your writing that you would like readers to know.
1. Along with Darcia, I can be found most days on BestsellerBound.com, a place where indie writers discuss everything about writing. We love to interact with readers too, so please join us
2. I have found quite a few unpublished short stories on my old computer, and some on an old floppy disk, so one of my next projects will be editing those and publishing them. I haven’t decide whether I am going to publish them individually or as a collection.
3. I will be working on a second edition of A Time to Tell, my second novel. I recently ended the contract with the small publisher I used to publish that book. I will re-release the book with a new cover, and check through to see if there are any editorial issues before releasing the second edition.
4. I am currently working on a joint novel with another author; it’s very hush hush at the moment. It might surprise some of our readers.
5. I’d just like to say thank you to all my readers. I appreciate the fact that you’ve chosen my books to read. That means a lot to me. I hope that you will continue to enjoy my books and stories.
Thank you, Maria, for hanging out with us here!
I’ve created a trailer featuring all Maria’s books, as well as a series of ‘Getting To Know You’ video interviews with Maria. You can find those on my YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/QuietFuryBooks
You can find all Maria’s books on Amazon, in both print and Kindle format:
I hope you’ll take the time to connect with Maria and explore her fictional world.
Thanks for reading.
Tags: A Time To Tell, author interviews, Authors Who Paint, Coincidences, Crime Fiction, Dark Fiction, Edvard Munch, Fusion, Haunted, indie authors, Love and Loyalty, Maria Savva, Pieces of a Rainbow, psychological fiction, psychological suspense, Second Chances, Short Fiction, short stories, The Butterfly Effect, The Dream, The Scream