After his wife loses interest in him, fifty-year-old Dave Barndon turns to the dark side of the Internet and sex chat rooms. There he finds willing partners who are happy to fulfill his needs with no strings attached. But they aren't the only ones looking to play.
When a woman he had an affair with is murdered he becomes the prime suspect. He thinks his alibi is solid until a second woman is murdered, and then a third. He fights for his freedom and redemption while the body count rises. He must figure out who is framing him and why before the killer str ikes again.
Where did you get the idea for your new novel?
All my other twelve books came to me by way of inspiration, but Domin8 was an idea that gnawed away at me for a long time – years even. The difficulty was the juxtaposition of a mature, successful, happily married man but for one thing: his wife doesn’t want sex anymore. He discovers internet chat rooms after some unusual circumstances. Linking that with a murder/mystery/whodunnit and allowing him to find redemption was a challenge that took a long time to solve.
Why did you choose this genre?
This genre chose me. I’d like to think I can write an effective story in any genre. At school I loved writing challenges, but I am drawn with a morbid fascination toward serial killers and showing why they do what they do.
What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?
Finding a balance. My publisher and editor wanted the project, but my initial submission had too many graphic sex scenes in it (not that I enjoy writing them – far from it). I found it difficult to write about a man who is a self-confessed sex addict discovering a treasure trove of willing submissive women and NOT write sex scenes. For me the story was like an eighties Brian De Palma movie. By that I mean a straight-out thriller with sex, but the publisher struggled to find the right line to place it in. It was too much of a thriller for the erotic, but too many sex scenes for a thriller. It took a lot of rewriting and help from my wonderful editor to find the right balance.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?
Two things. I’d love for them to be entertained first and foremost. Then, if possible, I’d like them to consider their own marriage and ask a couple of questions. 1..Was Dave justified in fooling around when his wife refused to have sex with him for so long? Many men I know in their fifties would say yes. 2..Is cyber-sex as bad as having an affair if there is no physical contact? I listened to a radio chat show about this very subject.
If you could change something about one of your books that’s already released, what would it be?
This book was released earlier and has gone through a major rewrite and I am delighted with the changes made to how this story is told. Four years of working with a brilliant editor has taught me a thing or two. I have three other self-published works, maybe I should check those too?
What was the hardest part about writing the story of an unlikable protagonist? What was the easier part?
Dave is likable, but he does things that most of us think is unlikable. The fact he got away with it so long is testament to the fact that he is such a likable person. He is tall, handsome, self-assured and flirtatious, so women find him attractive. That was the difficult part. I know most of my readers are women and they wouldn’t like what he was doing, so to find balance and help them keep reading was very difficult. The easy part is that I relate to Dave. I’m that age, happily married, work in that industry, and have seen a lot of men and women my age have affairs for the very reasons Dave does. So, I felt I wrote with some authority on what is a very difficult subject – yet hopefully built into it a thrilling, suspenseful whodunnit.
You told me that the editing process for this book represents about a year of work. Why did you decide to revamp and re-edit Domin8 and take it from being self-published to being published by The Wild Rose Press?
Readers have told me, and I passionately believe too, that Domin8 is a story that should be told because there are some life lessons people could learn while being entertained by a gripping, interesting story. Because of its complexity once written, I needed time away from it to get it right. When D8 was first published, I wasn’t happy with it, the editor I used loved the story, but I don’t think she was good enough to handle such a contentious issue. When I picked it up over three years after it was released, I was horrified at the errors. It was like the book was screaming out to me to make it better. I mentioned it to Melanie, my TWRP editor and she asked to read it and said yes it was possible for them to re-release a book, if it was good enough. So, I presented to her my re-written version. Then other editors read it to decide which line it suited so I was able to get lots of fantastic support and direction to make the story as good as I could, The book doesn’t scream at me anymore, it’s content now and I love it. As does everyone I asked to read it during the twelve months it took to edit.
In your serial killer series, you weave in a love story, and you tell me that Domin8 also contains two love stories? Why do you add romantic elements to otherwise dark and gritty stories?
Great question, why do I? I think if you write about the dark side of human nature, there has to be a balance of light and dark. Otherwise it’s too horrible. Plus, the thing I work hardest on is creating characters the reader can invest in. If I can get you to like and care about the characters, and want them to have a happy ending, then hold on tight, we are going for a ride. I think we all deserve a happy ending, but in life, we don’t always get it. Not all of my characters get to keep the love they found; just lie in real life, but I think we all want to feel love and be loved.
What do you like best about your hero in Domin8?
Dave Barndon is a good man, flawed yes, but a good man who makes some poor life choices with catastrophic results. He wants to find redemption, if he can.
What do you like best about your heroine?
Shannon is a no-nonsense woman who has been hurt by her husband who left her for a younger woman, and then Dave Barndon comes into her life. She is attracted to him, but hates what he has been doing, yet she is his nurse and must nurse him back to health after he has been shot.
In looking at all the books you've written, what book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
Easiest: Glimpse, memoir of a Serial Killer. Boy the words poured from me, and that’s a worry as half the book is from the killers POV. That book felt like it came through me, not from me – if that makes sense.
Hardest: Without doubt, Domin8, yet this is the book that means most to me in terms of the story I’ve been able to craft.
Most fun: Glimpse, The Tender Killer. So many aspects of that book were such fun to write, my female protagonist Patricia Holmes; my favorite female lead ever. A fabulous schizophrenic killer that was brilliant to write for. And then there is Jolly; the killers imaginary alter ego, or, is he imaginary?
What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I left school at age fifteen to follow my love of rock music, and girls. Yet I have won two literary awards for my book Thirty-Three Days – that proves anyone can follow their dream.
Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?
I manage a large Kia Dealership and worked in the motor trade for many years. I meet so many people I get lots of ideas for creating characters.
Name one person, book, or song who/that inspires flights of fantasy.
Leonard Cohen wrote a song called Nevermind, which was used in one of the True Detective series. The words in that song reached inside my soul and grabbed a firm hold. In particular, one line: ‘I live among you well disguised.’ That line inspired my first book, Forever Night which was picked up by a publisher on my first attempt and started this journey
If you could get rid of something in your life that would give you more writing time, what would it be?
My full time job. I have a saying: I work for a living and write for a passion. I’d love to be able to write for a living; that would be Utopia.
Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?
We have a rescue dog, named Snowy, a West Highland Terrier. When our children moved out of home there was a huge hole in our lives and Snowy filled it. He is so attached to my wife they are like Siamese twins; it’s a beautiful thing to see them together.
Name two authors we might find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Michael Robotham and Val McDermid. Both write about criminal psychologists who are flawed and I love their books
Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?
I do; two things. Firstly, never give up. The more you write the better you get at the craft, and Domin8 is proof positive of that. Secondly, write from your heart, and edit, edit, edit with your head.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
I’m in editing rounds with Winter at the Light, a romantic thriller set in 1952 on a remote lighthouse when 19-year-old Molly agrees to look after it for her father when he is injured. Unfortunately, she discovers, there is nowhere to hide on a Lighthouse. I’m also about 75000 words into Glimpse 4, called Glimpse, The Angel Shot. I thought I was done with Glimpse as a trilogy, however readers wanted more, in particular to know what happened next to my protagonists. That was so flattering I started thinking about where they both would be three months after G3 ended….
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
Well if you enjoyed a more romantic thriller, I’d begin with Thirty-Three Days, about 68-year-old Jenny whose consciousness has come back in time to her thirty-five-year-old body to save the world from an all-consuming blight. In the past she falls in love for the first time in her life, but she can only stay for thirty-three days. However, if your taste is for more psychological thrillers, Domin8 is a good place to start, or my darkest, is Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer.
Do you have an event coming up you’d like to tell us about?
Domin8 is released on April 13th and I can’t wait to see what readers think.
Tell us about your next release.
Here is the (unofficial) blurb for Winter at the Light which should be released in three to four months:
In 1952, 19-year-old Molly agrees to run the Forbes Reef Lighthouse for her father who has broken his leg. She leaves the city and her nursing career behind, dreading three months of loneliness, trapped on a remote island. Once into her routine, Molly discovers she enjoys the solitude, the radio check-ins with the mainland, fishing from the jetty, and the joy of reading. When a massive storm arrives bringing a life raft, Molly risks her life to save the unconscious man inside. On waking he says he has lost his memory but as Molly nurses him back to health she wonders if he has. When the storm finally clears, Molly has fallen for the mystery man, but still has doubts about his honesty. A boat arrives with two men to kill him and anyone else who can identify them. Molly quickly learns there is nowhere to hide on a lighthouse.
Buy Links, DOMIN8:
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2Qe0vaI
Stephen B Kingwww.stephen-b-king.com