Author Interview: Keri Beevis

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Today my interview is with author Keri Beevis. Keri is an award winning author from Norfolk, England, who has been writing for over twenty years. In previous incarnations she has worked as a video rental store assistant, the world’s worst hairdresser and as a caricaturist, but the love and need to write has always been in her blood. Her debut novel, “Dead Letter Day”, an American set, twisty serial killer thriller came runner up in the Rethink Press New Novels Competition 2012.

Keri lives with her two pampered cats and is busy working on the sequel to “Dead Letter Day”. When not writing she can usually be found watching movies or frequenting the beer gardens of the Norfolk countryside.

Brad Covey: Thank you for joining me for the interview today Keri.

KB: Thank you very much for having me.

BC: Tell us about more about “Dead Letter Day” and what it was like crafting it as your first publication.

KB: The book is a straight thriller mystery with plenty of twists, turns and red herrings and involves the Alphabet Killer, Professor Rodney Boone, who murders eight of his students. His victims – ‘A’ to ‘H’ – are found with their surname initial carved into their neck. Victim ‘I’ narrowly escapes, leaving the killer to burn to death in his house.

Eight years later, rookie police officer, Rebecca Angell, is thrown headlong into assisting an FBI investigation when a body is found floating in the sewer with the initial ‘J’.

I wrote Dead Letter Day when I was in my twenties. Although I had written three novels previously, it was the first one I thought was actually good enough to be published. I did the rounds of agents and publishers and came very close to securing a traditional publishing deal twice, but both times things fell through at the last minute. I had pretty much given up on the book when I got word of the Rethink Press New Novels Competition. Deciding to give it one last shot, I entered and Dead Letter Day was runner up.

BC: What inspired you to write a thriller?

KB: Thriller has always been my favorite genre, both in books and in movies. I grew up on a diet of Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock and it was always the route I wanted to go on. I appreciate storytellers who build up the suspense, keeping the reader perched on their edge of their seat, not knowing how things are going to pan out. That was always the kind of writer I wanted to be.

BC: As someone from England, what brought you to the decision to base “Dead Letter Day” in America?  

KB: I grew up in the eighties and during this time my dad owned a couple of video rental stores. As a complete movie geek, this was heaven, as I got to watch everything for free. The British Film Industry was in decline and so nearly all the movies I watched were American.  Likewise, all of the books I read were by American author – Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Nora Roberts. With my head into so much American fiction, it always felt more natural to set my books in the same world.

BC: Are there other genres you want to write in?  

KB: At the moment, no. I have considered writing a supernatural novel and I’ve been told I should do comedy, but I enjoy the type of books I write and at the moment am happy to continue in the same genre.

BC: For everyone that follows your updates on Twitter/Facebook, we know you have a great sense of humor. Is this an important part of yourself that you want your readers to see?

KB: Thank you. That’s a really nice compliment to receive. Humor is hugely important to me. I think it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself as well as the many situations life throws at you. I like making people laugh and so I try to keep my social media entertaining.  Although Dead Letter Day is a straight thriller, it still has moments of humor. I think it’s important to throw a little light relief in between the scares and the thrills.

BC: Do you think this helps or hurts as an author being so open with your personality?

KB: I believe we no longer have a choice if we want our books to sell. Before the Internet, authors were enigmas. Okay, so you had the really famous ones, but mostly the only thing you knew about the person who had written the book you were reading, was their blurb on the inside cover. Now things have changed and I honestly believe an author is as much a brand as their books. If we want them to sell we need to be out there interacting with the public. The more of your personality you reveal, the easier it is for people to identify with you.

BC: You are currently working on the sequel to “Dead Letter Day”, can you tell us a little bit about it?  

KB: The sequel is set six years on from Dead Letter Day and revolves around a thriller author who becomes the target of a serial killer after he decides to start enacting murder scenes from her books. As well as introducing a few new characters, it has the same team back to investigate the crime. It’s been great getting reacquainted with the gang and I’m really enjoying writing the book. I feel I’ve definitely matured as a writer, however, I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to top the twist from Dead Letter Day.

BC: When can we expect to see its release?

KB: I’m hoping to have it finished and ready for release before Christmas.  That may be wishful thinking as there is still another hundred or so pages to write, but I’ve always been a girl who likes a challenge.

BC: Are there more books planned in the “Dead Letter Day” series?

KB: Yes, very probably. I have a few established characters who are continuing to grow and certainly have plenty of mileage left in them. With the sequel I have introduced two new central characters and I have the players from the original story now in support roles. I think if I continue along the same path the series could run and run.

BC: What do you hope to achieve most from your writing?

KB: I think the number one achievement for any author has to be having people read their books and enjoy them. I would love to one day be able to do this writing gig full time, and of course I would like my novels to be bestsellers and turned into movies. I’m realistic though, so I won’t hold my breath. Getting my book into print in the first place and seeing it sell is a huge enough kick.  

BC: Thank you again for joining me for the interview today Keri and I look forward to reading the sequel!

KB: It’s been a pleasure and thank you once again, Brad.

Make sure the check out Keri’s link below and join me once again next Friday for another author interview.

Author Links:

  Dead Letter Day Amazon (UK):

Dead Letter Day Amazon (US):

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