Name Stephen Edger
Where are you from Born in Darlington, raised in London, lived in Southampton since 2000.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc Okay, well my parents ran a private coach company in Darlington when I was born, but sold the business a year later and headed back to London (where they’d been living when they met). I grew up in a town called Northwood with my parents, brother and German Shepherd dog. I left home to attend the University of Southampton in 2000, to study law, and met my future wife a year later. We moved in together when I graduated in 2003 and married in 2005. My daughter Emily was born in 2010, and we currently have two dogs (one Westie and 1 Westie-cross)
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I signed my first professional writing contract in August with Endeavour Press, and have just finished work on my 8th novel ‘Complicit’
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It certainly wasn’t for the fame or money! I started writing in late 2010. I had always liked the idea of trying to write a book one day, but wasn’t convinced I’d be able to do it. Then on holiday in Spain in June of that year, we were burgled, returning to our villa to find our money, phones and cameras had been stolen. We were devastated (my wife was pregnant at the time!), but had been petrified when we’d first seen the villa’s bedroom window open. We had stood outside for ages wondering whether the culprits were still inside, and what they would do to us if we disturbed them. The place was empty when we finally plucked up the courage to enter. A few days later, still traumatized, I begin to think the situation would make a great opening to a thriller: imagine you are asleep in the security of your own bed when you hear burglars breaking into your house. How would you react? Cower in bed or confront them? Anyway, a couple of months later, the idea was still in my mind so I decided to try and write the scene. Four thousand words later, I had the first two chapters to what would become my first book ‘Integration’.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when I published book 3 (Redemption), as then I knew it wasn’t a fluke.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to write fast-paced thrillers, compelling the reader to turn just one more page before putting the book down. I write what I’d want to read.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My first book is about an ordinary guy blackmailed into laundering money. Integration is a stage of the money laundering process.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Most of my stories don’t have happy endings, as that’s what life can be like sometimes.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Each of my stories are based on my own experiences, and then my imagination fills in the rest…I try to research police procedures when I need to.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My second book ‘Remorse’ is about a man with a four month old daughter, who is struggling to adapt to becoming a father. It was written when my daughter was about six months old.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
‘Relentless’ by Simon Kernick got me hooked on the crime-thriller genre. Also the Frog and Toad stories by Arthur Lobel. These were the books that captured my imagination as a child and made me an avid reader.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Simon Kernick. I love his books and, when I first started he gave me a lot of helpful advice and encouragement.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
‘Never Go Back’ by Lee Child. I don’t read books when I am in the middle of a writing project, so when I’m not I try and cram them in.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve become good friends with Alex Shaw, whose books are particularly good.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
‘Complicit’ is the second book of a 3-book series and I’ll be submitting that to my publishers imminently. I’ll begin work on the final part of the series ‘Double Cross’ in December.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Kindle. If I hadn’t discovered how easy it was to independently publish books, I may have given up by now.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not yet. I have a day job in a bank, but I hope that writing might one day pay the mortgage.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’ve just re-written the ending during editing, so I guess I’d try and get it right first time.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always had a very active imagination, I guess that’s where it stemmed from.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’ll tell you that it’s a twisty conspiracy…
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Editing my own work. I always do a review when I finish a project and hope to find all my mistakes. I then send it out to my core proof-readers, who point out all the errors I missed. I’d be lost without my 4 proof-readers!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Simon Kernick as he writes with a relentless pace, and captures my imagination.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Prior to ‘Complicit’, all my books have been set in Southampton, so not really. ‘Complicit’ is set around where I grew up in London, so I’ve travelled back several times this year to refresh my memory.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve designed all my covers, though the publishers redesigned the cover for ‘Crosshairs’.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping the ideas fresh.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I’m a lot more disciplined than I ever thought. I also learned my personal grasp of grammar wasn’t nearly as good as I thought.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Plan, plan, plan. It’s important to have a structure of what will happen when and why in your story, and you can let your imagination do the rest.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your continued support and promotion of my work. I will keep writing if you keep buying my books.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not really though the Frog and Toad books by Arthur Lobel still stick in my mind.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My daughter. She is my continued sense of joy and humour.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would want to meet and why?
Dynamo (the magician): he absolutely blows my mind!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I watch a lot and play a bit of football. Other than that, I’m a family man, so love spending time with my wife and daughter.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love Homeland, Orphan Black and The Following
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Pizza / Blue / Pop
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d love to have been an actor, but I lack the looks, talent and charisma for that.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?