Today we have Author JC Martin on the blog, talking about her novel ORACLE, which has just been released. I thought it would be fun to share an interview and a little about the book with you all. You’ll find links to connect with JC and to buy her book at the end of this post.
|links to buy are below|
What inspired you to write Oracle?
I had the idea a couple of years ago when London won the bid for the 2012 Olympics. The big news in all the papers then were problems with infrastructure, budget deficits, transport chaos, etc. I figured, why not add a serial killer to the mix? That would really give the organisers something to fret about! Coupled with some research into the origin and history of the ancient Olympics, and references to Greek mythology, Oracle was born.
What do you see as the major theme/s in Oracle, and do these reflect some facet of your own life?
Family is a recurring theme in the story: we constantly visit the relationship between Detective Lancer and his daughter, between Lancer and his brother, even the killer’s childhood. Whilst all events in Oracle are purely fictitious, I come from a large extended family, with dozens of aunts and scores of cousins. Family is important to me, and I can’t imagine not having a big one to rely on. I chose to make Lancer’s family tiny, because big or small, it’s the strength of the bonds that counts.
If you had to choose, which author in the world would you say is your greatest influence?
Although I’ve only read one of his books, Boris Starling’s Messiah is the gold standard for the kind of gripping, twisting thriller I aspire to write.
What are you reading now?
The Fall by Claire McGowan, a fellow writer I met a couple of times before at conferences. This is her debut novel, and apparently I was the first person to approach her to sign the book. Smile It’s an interesting story told from the point of view of three very different people who share just one thing in common: all three are somehow connected to one senseless crime. It’s been pretty interesting reading.
Quick, you’ve been asked to stand up and read an excerpt of Oracle in this crowded book shop. Which scene would you choose to share with your impromptu audience?
I would read a scene in the middle of the story, as Lancer confronts his brother Reggie about the latter’s involvement in criminal activities. I feel it’s a powerfully emotional scene, a scene that represents betrayed trust, of expectations and disappointment, and it leaves you wondering if the relationship between the brothers would ever be the same again.
It starts this way:
A white van blared at me as I veered into its path and committed no fewer than four traffic offences as I took a turn on squealing tyres. If my mind had a speedometer, it would probably have displayed the same speed I drove.
How long had he been involved with gang crime? Why hadn’t I realised? What kind of big brother am I?
What else is he hiding from me?
Did you learn anything (about writing craft or about something you researched) as a result of writing this book? If so, what was it?
This being my first book, I learned tons about the publishing process: the rounds of edits and proofreading, book cover design consultations, marketing aspects, etc. All exciting, and some rather mind-boggling stuff!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what YOU want to write, not what’s all the rage at the moment. ‘Hot’ genres fall out of fashion just as quickly, but a story told with passion, straight from the heart, will be a timeless classic.
Thank you for stopping by, JC!
serial killer stalking the streets, but they’ve got one anyway.
a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police force is no closer
to finding the latest psychopath than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer
is in finding a solution for his daughter’s disability.
into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single
parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family
with the safety of a growing population of potential victims.
One of whom could be his own daughter.
point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and
Lancer’s only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at
each crime scene.
About the Author:
writing, she teaches martial arts and self-defence to adults and
After working in pharmaceutical research, then in education as a
schoolteacher, she decided to put the following to good use: one, her
2nd degree black belt in Wing Chun kung fu; and two, her overwhelming
need to write dark mysteries and gripping thrillers with a
Her short stories have won various prizes and have been published in several anthologies. Oracle is her first novel.
Born and raised in Malaysia, J.C. now lives in south London with her husband and three dogs.