I first met Simon a few years ago in Crime in the Court, an event in London at Goldsboro Books. Way back then, I had just self-published Taunting the Dead after years of rejections and he was very encouraging to me. We’re now both members of the International Thrillers Writers Association so I thought I’d invite him on to my blog to answer a few questions and talk about his latest book, Solomon Creed (which has one of the most awesome covers I’ve seen in a good while.)

Hi Simon – can you describe your latest novel in one sentence.

Solomon Creed is about a man – who knows nothing about himself but everything about everything else – who has to save other people in order to ultimately save himself.

 What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Tall. Grey. Funny.

What is your main character called? What three words would you use to describe them?

He’s called Solomon Creed. Thin. White. Fathomless. 

What inspired you to write crime fiction?

I would say I write thrillers more than crime fiction, though inevitably there’s always lots of crime in them. I was always drawn to thrillers from very young, I like their pace and scale. They’re also very cinematic and I love cinema so those were the kinds of stories I wanted to write.

Who is your favourite crime author? (and why)

Thomas Harris. In Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs he wrote a couple of masterpieces that set the bar for every crime thriller that followed.

What is your favourite book of theirs? (and why)

The Silence of the Lambs. I re-read it before writing each of my first three books like a kind of ritual, just to remind myself what could be done and what to (try and) aim for. If you want to see an example of the best way to do anything – develop character, plot, suspense, action – it’s all in there. It’s like a textbook exemplar of how to write the perfect thriller.

Who is your favourite crime duo – film, TV, play or book (and why?)

This is probably a cheat but, Jack Foley and Karen Sisco from Elmore Leonard’s ‘Out of Sight’. I think they are the perfect manifestation of the classic Elmore Leonard, complex, slow burn love interest – roguish, charismatic, ‘gentleman’ bank-robber Jack and feisty, no-nonsense, Federal Marshal Sisco. I love the fact that when they first meet they’re thrown in the trunk of a car and somehow discover a mutual love of classic Hollywood movies.

Can you tell us one positive and one negative trait of your main character?

Positive – He’s extraordinarily perceptiveSimon

Negative – He’s prone to feelings of deep and violent rage

What is the book you wished you’d written and why? (any genre)

Fifty Shades of Grey – because I’m shallow.

Finally, tell me one weird and wonderful fact about yourself.

I’m a leap year baby, so, technically, I’m only 11. My 12 year old daughter finds this hilarious.

You can find out more about Simon and Solomon Creed at his website here

Murder they wrote – Simon Toyne
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