We continue the Scriggler Author Spotlight series with a quick interview with Marshall Hughes — the author of The Revenge Series.
5 Sentences about you.
I like to view myself as a fresh, exciting new writer and have just completed the first book in The Revenge Series - Out Of The Dark. The inspiration and motivation behind the compelling story transpires from the experiences, psychological challenges of life and somewhat morbid fascination with some of the most notorious serial killers the world has ever seen. However, the main character is more like Dexter Morgan than Theodore Bundy. A dark romance theme also runs through the entire book between the main character (serial killer) and his love interest (criminologist).
5 Sentences about the book.
Written in the first person present/first person past, the main character (Jayden Edward Scott) is also the narrator, inviting the reader into the life and mind of a serial killer. At the deeper more fundamental level, it is a deadly battle between good versus evil — the antithesis of these polar opposites. I take the reader on a journey through the ‘voice’ of a sophisticated but deluded killer, spinning a web of lies, through a tale of revenge, death, murder, sex, love and intrigue.
5 Sentences about one of the books’ characters.
The main character’s (Jayden Edward Scott) story interweaves throughout the book using multiple narrators; allowing the reader deeper insight into other characters’ points of view; Jayden Scott’s nemesis (Inspector Canmore) and his criminologist love interest (Kristina Cooper). Another strong character in the book - Reverend Charles McIntyre - represents the symbolic nature of the story in terms of good versus evil.
Who is your ideal reader?
As the book is already self-published on Amazon (eBook and Print on Demand), the readership interest is emerging. It transcends across a wide demographic category. The ‘ideal’ reader is between 18-60 years old including both genders with a keen interest in the subject matter. The book is risky in terms of the content and does include adult themes such as murder, sex and revenge.
Other authors you admire — especially contemporary. Anyone stands out in particular?
Although my work is contemporary crime fiction, my interests lie in the classics - Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. On reviewing the book for this interview, perhaps subconsciously, this has played a larger role in the construction of my novel than my conscious mind realises:
“From the opening pages, Dostoyevsky attaches us unreservedly to his hero, creating an intimacy that is claustrophobic, full of tension, and as haunting and relentless as a love affair. Begun as a novel concerned with the psychology of a crime and the process of guilt, it surpasses itself to take on the tragic force of myth.”
However, my main character has no guilt and his downfall is not of his own actions, but the action of others around him; Inspector Canmore, Kristina Cooper and Reverend Charles McIntyre.
How are you approaching the promotion of the book so far?
I am a marketer by trade - but a considerate one - as I teach the subject area. On reflection, my book marketing has taken me on a journey to a completely different stratosphere! It has been a painful, steep learning curve that much I know. To gain a better insight into my tumultuous journey, please feel free to read my series of Book Marketing for New Authors (Part 1 - 7) on Scriggler. As I am exclusive to Amazon/KDP Select, I use this platform to distribute my book through multiple channels. I also have my own website/blog, use Facebook, Twitter, 500px, created my own Facebook Group called WriteStuff (creative space for writing, art and photography) and in the process of receiving feedback from reviewers via Twitter. I have also connected to online publishers through Twitter for future consideration of the second book in The Revenge Series - Into The Light.
Cover design - who did you use and how was the experience?
I am a firm believer in co-creation and use a local photographer for my book covers (Scott Jessiman). The book has a distinctive Scottish flavour and as such, the photography reflects the context, perfectly. This was then uploaded to Amazon Create Space (Print on Demand) and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to edit for the front book cover.
How did you find the editing process?
I spent eight months writing the book and over two years on the editing process, continuously seeking out mistakes, going over and over the text from start to finish, again and again and again! I have just re-edited the book using Grammarly Premium and Pro Writing Aid, preparing for a new launch and free Kindle download from 13th April to 17th April 2017. Using a platform such as Amazon KDP/Create Space, you do have the opportunity to edit after publication, although not ideal, this may be necessary at the early stages of the launch.
Do you have a newsletter, what do you normally include there?
As I am at the start of my book marketing promotion, the concept of a Newsletter is for future consideration. At the moment, I am trying to manage my social media strategy and this is extremely time consuming, so much so, that I am not getting enough time to write the second book in the series. The Newsletter will have to wait!
Favourite author/publication on Scriggler.
Without a doubt, my favourite Scriggler author is Jo Ahlberg (anothemadidea) — a beautiful mind with a kick-ass attitude. My favourite article is “People can’t write: A kwik overview”. This article is observant yet controversial perhaps, but that is what makes it more appealing. Jo Ahlberg is also a regular feature on my Facebook Group (WriteStuff) and has huge potential as a writer, now and in the future.
Print or eBook? (both in general and how do you approach this for your book?)
Personally, I use both an eBook and Print on Demand with Amazon/KDP. This was an interesting journey in its own right. I started and finished the book using my own template, but once I uploaded the document to Create Space, it was all in the wrong format! I ended up using a template provided by Amazon which gives a professional appearance to your book. The format for the eBook is a slightly different layout. Please read all instructions before you upload!
Marshall Hughes on Scriggler:
Out of the Dark on Amazon:
COME. COME HERE. COME CLOSER. LET ME WHISPER IN YOUR EAR…
Let me tell you my secrets and take you on a journey that will chill your very soul. I want to invite you into the life and mind of a serial killer. My story may fascinate you or it might disgust you, but only you can decide. My name is Jayden Edward Scott; a killer with no remorse, no guilt and no fear of retribution. I am too clever to be caught, too meticulous in my method of killing and too smart to care. At thirty years old, I am a self-made millionaire; businessman, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. My story starts seven years ago on a foggy night in Edinburgh — my victim unaware of his fate. With one swipe of my blade, the knife slit his throat with precision. I bundled him into the boot of the car. He stared at me with familiarity before I slammed the door shut. I left him there to bleed to death. He was my first kill, but certainly not my last. So… come with me. Let me tell you my story. It is a tale of revenge, murder, death, sex, love and intrigue.
“This is the first instalment in a trilogy and I can't wait for the second as this one finishes on quite a cliffhanger!” (Reviewer: Goodreads).
“The book evokes a constant sense of unbearable suspense that keeps your heart racing and sends chills down to your spine until the last page. The tantalising atmosphere created by the author transforms this page-turner book into an unforgettable experience. I can't wait to read the second book!” (Amazon UK).
“This book... has a huge punch of twists and darkness.“ (Amazon UK)
“Within the first few pages, I was pretty much hooked... The storyline is great! It's an "easy read" but does not lack substance! It will keep you on your toes and won't disappoint. Looking forward to the next one.” (Amazon US).