“Be careful before answering your next call. It could be the beginning of your worst nightmare.
After a tough week, Tanya Kaitlin is looking forward to a relaxing night in, but as she steps out of her shower, she hears her phone ring. The video call request comes from her best friend, Karen Ward. Tanya takes the call and the nightmare begins.
Detectives Robert Hunter and Carlos Garcia are thrown into a rollercoaster of evil, chasing a predator who scouts the streets and social media networks for victims, taunting them with secret messages and feeding on their fear.”
I love being a book blogger. Absolutely flipping love it. You’re reading your books, writing your reviews, then one day a lovely PR person drops you an email. It happens on a fairly frequent basis and I always count myself lucky. But when that PR person is from Simon & Schuster and they are asking you to interview CHRIS CARTER…..well! Yup, that’s what I said, THE CHRIS CARTER.
To celebrate the paperback publication of the latest Robert Hunter novel, The Caller I was given the opportunity to ask Chris a few questions, which he has kindly answered for our delectation. So, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road…
DP: I am delighted to welcome you to damppebbles today as I have such a treat in store (it’s a treat for me too!). Today I am thrilled (and a little bit giddy) to welcome Chris Carter to the blog! Chris is by far my favourite author and his Robert Hunter series is always the first collection of books I recommend.
First of all Chris, welcome and thank you very much for joining me today. If you could please introduce yourself and tell us a little about Robert Hunter.
CC: My name is Chris Carter. I was born in Brasilia, Brazil where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After graduating from high school at the early age of 16, I moved to the USA where I studied Psychology with specialization in Criminal Behavior. During my University years I held a variety of odd jobs, ranging from flipping burgers to being part of an all male exotic dancing group.
I worked as a Criminal Behavior Psychologist for several years before moving to Los Angeles, where I swapped the suits and briefcases for ripped jeans, bandanas and an electric guitar. After a spell playing for several glam rock bands, I decided to try my luck in London, where I was fortunate enough to have played for a number of well-established artists.
I left the music business a few years ago to write full time. I now live in London and have written eight novels – The Crucifix Killer, The Executioner, The Night Stalker, The Death Sculptor, One By One, An Evil Mind and I Am Death, The Caller. My ninth novel – The Gallery of the Dead will be published in February 2018.
In a nutshell, Robert Hunter is a criminal behavior psychologist turned detective for the Robbery Homicide Division of the LAPD. Though, inside the LAPD, Hunter has a much more specialized task. He’s the head of the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. A special unit that deals solely with homicides where the perpetrator has made a point of utilizing overwhelming sadism and brutality against his/her victims.
DP: Your books are known for being a little gorier than other crime fiction titles. Have you ever been asked to tone down the amount of blood spilt and/or the suffering? Or vice versa, of course!
CC: No I’ve never been asked to tone it down. Actually, I was the one who asked if I should tone it down. None of my first five novels were picked up in the USA, and the reason I kept on being given was that my novels were too violent for the American market. (Yes, you read it right – too violent for the American market) . My editors in the UK told me never to tone it down 🙂
DP: If the Hunter series had its own soundtrack, who would you choose to play the title track? And would you insist on joining in and playing guitar?
CC: Wow, great question. If I could choose – Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, A Perfect Circle or Nine Inch Nails. And yes, I would love to jam with any of them.
DP: Out of the eight books and one novella in the Hunter series, which is your favourite? Who do you consider to be your best bad guy?
CC: I really don’t have a favourite novel out of the series. I put so much effort into all of them, but I do have the ones that I had a lot of fun writing. Out of those, my first novel – The Crucifix Killer – I had a great time writing because there was no pressure and I was writing for fun. I really had no ambitions of getting it published when I started writing it. That alone makes writing fun, not a job.
The villain I had most fun writing was Lucien Folter from An Evil Mind. I guess I went nuts on him. And he’s coming back.
DP: I expect you’ve been asked this question before but can you tell us a little more about your writing process. Where you get your ideas from, do you plan or are you a pantser? Do you have half-finished stories scattered around your writing space?
CC: I’m definitely not a plotter. All of my stories are very organic. My main problem is that I never have a whole story in my head when I start writing. I usually only have the basic idea for the main plot, so as I am starting a new novel I have no “how’s, why’s or who’s” really. Most of that develops as I write. Even Hunter, I did not have the entire character in my head when I finished The Crucifix Killer. I discovered more and more things about him as I progressed through the series.
All the half finished stories I have are in my head. I never write anything down, except when I start writing a novel. I really do have zero notes. Everything stays in my head.
DP: Which authors books do you like to read? Is there one author who inspired you from an early age?
CC: The truth is that I don’t really have a favourite writer and I was not inspired to write by anyone. I never even thought about being a writer until I had a dream about a story, which turned out to be The Crucifix Killer, my first novel. I do respect every single author out there, because this is a tough job, I just don’t have a favourite one.
No author has inspired me to write. 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.
I used to love reading Frederick Forsyth.
DP: I always enjoy the wonderful plot twists and inventive ways you have of killing victims, how do you make sure your books stay one step ahead of others in the same genre?
CC: I am always looking for different ideas. Sometimes I will read something on a newspaper, or see something in a movie or on the streets, or hear something on the radio that will sparkle some new idea in my brain. I then usually add to it to come up with something a little different. I also do a lot of research, especially medieval torturing. A lot of mad ideas can come from that.
DP: What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?
CC: Probably The Analyst by John Katzenbach
DP: Would it be a dream come true to have the series made into a movie (or televised) or something that you’re not really worried about? If they did make, Robert Hunter: The Movie who would play Hunter and who would play Garcia?
CC: I would love to have one of my novels made into a film, or even the whole series into a series, but unfortunately it’s not up to me. A movie studio needs to have enough interest in one of my books to option it for a movie. It hasn’t happened yet, but I do live in hope.
As to who would play Hunter and Garcia, I really have no idea. I guess I will cross that bridge when and if I get there. 🙂
DP: What character traits do you share with Robert Hunter? In other words, how much of Hunter is Chris Carter?
CC: I do share a few. Being a loner, being into rock music, the debilitating insomnia, single malt Scotch whisky, ex-criminal psychologist, being quite a calm person, good listener, but he is definitely fictitious. My outer ego, maybe.
DP: On the back of the previous question, what don’t you like about Robert Hunter?
CC: The fact that he is fictitious. He would’ve been a good friend and probably helped me out in a variety of scenarios.
DP: Does the Hunter series have an end date for you?
CC: There’s none planned. Just like my agent keeps on telling me – as long as readers want to read Hunter stories, keep on writing them.
DP: And finally, what question do you wish I had asked, but didn’t (and what’s the answer?!)
CC: Actually there’s nothing else I can think of. All of them, great questions. Thank you so much. 🙂
My most heartfelt thanks to Chris Carter for joining me today and allowing me to have a total #fangirl moment. I’m thrilled we got the heads up on The Gallery of the Dead being published in February 2018. I can’t wait!!! My thanks to Jamie Criswell at Simon & Schuster for making this interview possible.
The Caller by Chris Carter (Robert Hunter #8) was published in the UK by Simon & Schuster on 27th July 2017 and is available in hardcover, paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | Goodreads |
I was born in Brasilia, Brazil where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After graduating from high school, I moved to the USA where I studied psychology with specialization in criminal behaviour. During my University years I held a variety of odd jobs, ranging from flipping burgers to being part of an all male exotic dancing group.
I worked as a criminal psychologist for several years before moving to Los Angeles, where I swapped the suits and briefcases for ripped jeans, bandanas and an electric guitar. After a spell playing for several well-known glam rock bands, I decided to try my luck in London, where I was fortunate enough to have played for a number of famous artists. I toured the world several times as a professional musician.
A few years ago I gave it all up to become a full-time writer.