'Not only did I findthis book tantalising, engaging and thought provoking - it allowed me the rareindulgence of reading something I was not going to rush through, finish andquickly move onto something else. I read parts of the novel again and felt verycomfortable with all the characters and issues mentioned. It even made meinvestigate some topics of interest and allow my own knowledge to grow. I wasextremely impressed with this secret little gem of a book, and I know anyonelooking to read something dense with emotion, imagery and imagination will notbe let down.'
'Finally! A wellwritten, thoughtful murder mystery! Monks, murders, knights, inquisitors and acracker ending!'
'Historic Fiction atits best.'
From the Author
Who is your target audience?
AK: I writebooks that I would read myself and I like complex mysteries, multilayered thrillers that are textured; books that need your fullattention. My goal is to engage the reader and to have him or herparticipate in the imaginative process. I also love playing around withlanguage and usually try to tailor it to the era of my story. So, Iguess this means that those who are after a fast read don't usually'get' my books. I suppose I write for people who like milieu andatmosphere, who love language and historical mysteries tinged with thesupernatural and religious.
What do you hope your readers will get out of your books?
AK: I hope that at the end of reading my books my readers will havequestions about the world we live in, about history and what we consider truth and fiction, because they have been given a differentperspective.
Is there more coming?
AK: I am writing the fifth book in the series right now, making my Quartet a Quintet: Ghost Club andthe Devil's Alphabet is a story set in London in 1888 around two realhistorical characters George Albert Smith (the father of UK Cinema) andDouglas Blackburn (who invented short hand). They were both entertainers on the Brighton stage and were involved with mesmerism and hypnotism.In my book they become entangled in a web of intrigue surrounding thedeath of a mutual friend. They stumble unwittingly on a strange clubthat appears to be involved in the Jack the Ripper Murders. I'm having a lot of fun writing it!
What makes your books unique/outstanding?
AK: They are a series but they can be read in any order because they areonly loosely woven together and so each book can stand alone. Theyinterconnect like puzzle pieces.
What is your writing process?
AK: I work a 10 hour day. I have a rough sketch of what I'm going to write, the themes and characters and the plot and then I just write. Afterthat I do a lot of editing and I end up with a multitude of drafts which eventually I hone into a book. I guess my books are narrative drivenand that means I'm often surprised to find out things about mycharacters that I didn't know!
How do you cope with criticism?
AK: Well, that is very hard because we all love our work to be loved, butin truth it is unavoidable. As writers we are creating concepts andimaginations that may not suit all readers. I guess if writing is todevelop as an art then popularity can't always be the focus. Writerslike F. Scott Fitzgerald and Herman Hesse, were ahead of their times and some of their books were unpopular until the readers really discoveredtheir work - sometimes years later. This means that in some cases by the time a book becomes popular and is praised universally it is alreadyoutdated as an art form. But that isn't to say that popularity isn'tgreat - who doesn't want money in the bank? When I first made it to topfive in Pan Macmillan's Best Seller list I was over the moon. But for me I can't make it the main focus of my writing. I write because I lovewriting what I write. Could it be better? Always. Do I listen to adviceand criticism? Yes, but I also remember that I have been frustrated bybooks in my youth that later in life have become life changing. Myfavourite quote is from Lessing's introduction to "The Golden Notebook": Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirtywill open doors for you when you are forty or fifty." Books tend to find us when we need them and we all have different needs.