Sunday Times bestselling author Chris Carter chats to us about Marilyn Manson, serial killers and the books that are currently on his mind. 

As an author, I get asked quite a lot about what books I’m reading at the moment, or what books I would recommend to others. The funny thing is that soon as I am asked those questions, my one thought is, Oh damn, that’s going to be a tough task. Not because there are so many, but because I don’t read nearly as much as I should. Please allow me to explain why.

The first reason is because I’m one of those sad people who cannot concentrate on someone else’s novel while writing my own, so I just can’t read while I’m writing. Now, let me add here that it takes me around eight months to finish writing a book.

Reason number two is that I’m a very, very slow reader. I know that’s sad for someone who makes his living from writing, but unfortunately, it’s true. I usually read about one, that’s right, one book a year.

With all that now out of the way, allow me to finally answer your questions.

 

What’s currently on your bedside table and why?

The Last Night at Tremore Beach, by Mikel Santiago. The reason why the book is on my bedside table is to remind me to read it once I am finished with my latest novel.

 

Which book would you recommend to your closest friend right now, and why?

That one is easy because I've been recommending the same two books to everyone who asks me for quite a few years now. The first book I would recommend is I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. It really is one of the best books I have read in recent years. The story is fantastic and despite the nature of the story, it’s told in a very entertaining manner.

The second book I always recommend to friends and readers is Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. The book has been made into a film, but I always tell everyone, “If you've watched the film, please don’t let that put you off the book.” The book is incredible, but the movie, in my humble opinion, missed the mark by a long shot. The inspiration for the book came from one of the most prolific serial killers in Russian history—Andrei Chikatilo—one of the most disturbed documented minds that has ever walked this earth.

 

Which book are you planning to take on your next journey, and why?

The book that I've put aside for my next holiday (no one knows when that's going to happen, as I haven’t had a holiday for two years now) is The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, which is an autobiographical book by Marilyn Manson. Given that he is one of my favorite music artists of all times, I should’ve read this book a long time ago, but I keep postponing it, or reading something else instead. This time I have told myself, “No excuses”. So whenever and wherever I go on holiday, the book is coming with me. That’s a promise, Mr. Manson.

 

Tell us about your latest book?

My latest novel, The Caller, which was released in hardback on February 23, is the eighth book in the Robert Hunter series, and I am very proud to be able to say that in its first week of sales, it has entered the Sunday Times Bestsellers chart at number one. I’ve had four books in the top ten Sunday Times Bestsellers chart, but The Caller is my first ever number one.  Needless to say, I am completely over the moon with how well it has done so far.

The plot of The Caller sees Hunter and Garcia chasing a killer who is much more than what he initially seemed to be. Much more than just a stalker. A predator who scouts the streets and social media networks for victims, taunting them with secret messages and feeding on their fear.

If you like your crime thrillers scary, please got check it out.

 

Do you discuss your own work-in-progress with anyone?

I do, but only with my girlfriend, who has the patience of a saint, because I’m constantly reading chapters or extracts to her. Chapters and extracts that will make absolutely no sense on their own.

 

Which book made you want to write?

None.

The truth is that I had never planned on writing a book. I never thought about a career in writing and I never spent any time thinking up stories or developing characters in my head that I would one day want to write about. My submersion into the world of books—writing books that is—came out of a dream I had back in 2007.

 

If you weren’t writing you’d be...?

Probably the most prolific serial killer ever.

 

The Caller by Chris Carter is published by Simon & Schuster Ltd

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