A Quickie with MJ Arlidge

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

Love Me Not is the most adrenalised Helen Grace thriller yet! This series is known for the pace of the stories and Love Me Not cranks it up another notch. All the action takes place over 24 hours – it tells the story of one crazy day in which a pair of spree killers terrorise the people of Southampton, seemingly killing at random. It falls to Helen Grace and her team to work out the method behind their madness and attempt to stop them before more blood is spilled. But events soon take a shocking and tragic turn…

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

“Graceland”. Not just because of Helen’s surname, but because I like to sing Elvis at Karaoke – I do a mean version of Viva Las Vegas.

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

I’m going to plump for one that’s strange in a good way. When I was signing copies of Eeny Meeny in Waterstones, a young woman approached clutching her art folder. It turned out that she was a Performing Arts Student and had used Eeny Meeny for her graduation piece. Not only had she written a play based on the book (!), but she had also designed the sets and costumes and had brought along her artwork for me to sign. The thought of this still gives me a warm feeling inside.

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

Have to be Thomas Harris. If only to get him to write another book! I’d definitely consider Patricia Highsmith too, but she was such a misanthrope I doubt I would have been allowed through the front door.

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

I have a deep scar – well more of a hole really – on my left leg. This was the product of my head long crash through a glass door when I was a kid. I was playing “It” with my sister, she slammed the door behind her, I tripped. I blame her obviously, but she still dispute this…

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – the story of Chicago’s World Fair in 1893 and H H Holmes, the serial killer who stalked it. Fascinating history of a city I love and a character study of a truly psychotic killer.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. A brilliant, twisting, head bender of a crime novel, which will make an amazing movie.

On Writing by Stephen King. Words of advice from a master craftsman.

Who is MJ Arlidge: M.J. Arlidge has worked in television for the last fifteen years, specialising in high end drama production. In the last five years Arlidge has produced a number of prime-time crime serials for ITV, including ‘Torn’, ‘The Little House’ and most recently ‘Undeniable’, broadcast in spring 2014. He has written for ‘Silent Witness’ and is now also piloting original crime series for both UK and US networks.

To read another interview with MJ Arlidge – click here

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