THEY say that one is shaped by the events of the past, but that’s not always true. For me, it’s the future that holds the fear.

Specifically, fear of loss.

And it was this fear that sparked the idea for my début crime thriller RATTLE, the story of a psychopath driven by a desire to ‘collect’ two young children for his macabre museum of medical oddities.

Family and friends have often teased me about my preoccupation with death. But can there be a more terrifying scenario than losing those closest to us, especially at the hands of another?

As a former Daily Mirror journalist, I’ve worked on my fair share of heartbreaking stories, and I wanted to explore the impact of abduction on two families, including one whose missing child suffers from a life-limiting illness.

That darkness that lingers, ever-present, at the edges of our lives.

But at the same time, I was committed to creating characters who might live beyond the page. Characters with quirks and conflicted thoughts. Decent men and women who are flawed and weak; a killer with the capacity to feel love, to display humanity, even in the depths of depravity.

I’m interested in that struggle between light and shadow; redemption and revenge. The sense that the palette of our lives will never be black and white, but a dirty mash-up of grey.

I have always loved books. They have sustained me during difficult periods of my life, and uplifted me too. They have been entertaining friends and informants. They have opened doors on worlds and ideas that I never knew existed.

I never dared hope that one day I might hold my own book in my hands.

But now it’s my turn.

Perhaps the future isn’t so frightening, after all.

Rattle is published by Macmillan

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