If you’re starting to climb the walls on lockdown a good book can take your mind off things so why not read something by a local author?
Peterborough is blessed with some great local writing talent and ESP has been catching up with some of them. We grabbed a word with city author Ross Greenwood about his most recent release, The Soul Killer…
You’ve written several books now – where do you keep getting your inspiration?
“I worked in our prison for four years, so that obviously helped. In all that time I never met anyone completely bad. It seems humans are generally decent people who can respond in terrible ways. Anger, rage, envy, lust, etc are all normal emotions. It’s how you respond to them that counts, and that’s what I like to write about.
“The Snow Killer was released last November with The Soul Killer released on May 7th and my next one, The Ice Killer, to complete the trilogy, will be out on November 5th.”
Is the DI Barton series similar to your other novels?
“My first few novels very much had a prison theme. They are about normal lives in Peterborough that go wrong. The Killer series on the other hand are procedural detective novels. The Snow Killer is a riveting ride set in the Ortons and has a great twist. People who have loved it have particularly enjoyed the fact they can imagine the areas where the nastiness occurs! I had to use poetic licence with the amount of snow the city receives. My son’s six, and I think he’s only ever built a snowman once.”
How well has it gone since release?
“It’s been my best performing book, garnering nearly 400 Amazon reviews in just six months and I spoke to my publisher and it’s sold over 45,000 copies now, which is fabulous.”
What’s your ambition?
“I’ve always wanted to see my book at WHSmith in an airport. It would be brilliant to stand next to it with a big smile. The Snow Killer will be in The Works later in the year, so almost there!”
It’s the Year of Reading in Peterborough where our literacy levels are low – why do you feel it’s important to get kids more engaged with books?
“Reading opens up the world to you, and for children it can teach them how it operates. Different books can help kids understand how people’s lives and cultures are different, and also the history they may have experienced. Many families have less around the world, but are still happy. Learning about wars, genocides, and how the planet is changing can be as important as learning about how people have strived to beat the odds. Books teach the readers new words, improve grammar and generally it helps with communication. Having those skills means your chances of success in life are enhanced.”
Would you like to see any of your stories televised or turned into a film?
“I’ve always thought The Boy Inside would make a good movie. It has a thrilling start and is a good lesson to youngsters: If you slip into a life of crime, it can be very hard to get out of it.”
Do you think it’s easier for new authors to find a platform now?
“No. Every year hundreds of thousands of books are published and they don’t rotate on Waterstone’s shelves anymore. They live in eBook form forever. That’s a lot of competition. But it’s not impossible. If you write a great book, your audience will find you.”
How did you first get started and what tips would you give to someone starting out?
“I wrote because I wanted to. I felt I had a story to tell, and I loved the idea of creating something. The chances of making a lot of money from writing is slim, so if you are going to do it, enjoy it. There’s a whole writing community out there who’ll welcome you with open arms. Make friends, compare ideas and keep writing. It’s like anything, the more you do it, the better you get. A book starts with it’s first word. That’s how close you are to being a writer.”
You can purchase Ross’ latest books online…