Today, I feel exceptionally lucky to have Daniel Cole on my blog today. I loved both books in his series, so I feel very fortunate that he has taken some time out from writing the third book in the series (Hint, hint. Nudge, Nudge). So please give him a warm welcome and do check out both Ragdoll and Hangman.
First off congratulations for your success with Ragdoll and well done on the excellent Hangman.
* Where did the inspiration for Hangman come from?
Truthfully, in its very simplest form – the original idea for HANGMAN came from a challenge that I set myself: was it possible to drop my main character, do a cheesy clichéd relocation to New York City, and still write a better book than the first.
*Having read Ragdoll and assuming Wolf would have been the focal point/main character of the series, it came as a pleasant surprise that Baxter was the main character in Hangman. What was the thought process behind this? Was it a conscious decision to do so and why?
One of the things I set out to achieve in RAGDOLL was to create an entire cast of fully realised characters. Although the story gravitated around Wolf, I was constantly changing perspective, following whoever was the most interesting at any given moment.
I like consequences and I enjoy world building on past events. I didn’t want to just reset everything and start afresh as if none of it had ever happened like an episode of The Simpsons. Rather, I thought it far more interesting to immerse myself in the mess left behind after that final scene – to endure the fallout along with those left behind.
It didn’t occur to me until working on book two that although RAGDOLL was Wolf-centric and HANGMAN driven by Rouche’s story, Baxter is (and has always been) the real main character.
She is the constant.
She is the point around which all these other characters’ imploding lives revolve.
*Had you always intended for this to be a series or was it a happy accident?
The original version of RAGDOLL was written as a standalone, mainly because I never realistically expected anybody to read it, let alone for it to be published all over the world. However, the moment I got my agent and had that first glimmer of hope, I started work on book two. Six months later, I had signed three-book deals with most countries and started forming the first ideas of what book three could one day be.
*Who was the most difficult character to write for in Hangman and why?
The villain. It’s always the villain.
It’s something that so many TV shows/movies/books get wrong – spending so much time with your protagonists, you forget that your antagonist needs to be just as believable and complicated, motivated and flawed.
*Can you describe your process in writing your books?
I don’t really plan ahead. I always begin with just a really intriguing beginning and a really shocking end. I know where I need to get to but have absolutely no idea how I’m going to get there. I let the characters decide the direction that the story takes. I suppose I like to be surprised just as much as the reader does.
*If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you want with you?
ABOUT DANIEL COLE
At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing.
He has received a three-book publishing and television deal for his debut crime series which publishers and producers describe as “pulse-racing” and “exceptional”.
Daniel currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two in the Nathan Wolfe series instead.
A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’.
Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.
The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.
With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?
‘How do you catch a killer who’s already dead?’
Eighteen months have passed, but the scars the Ragdoll murders left behind remain.
DCI Emily Baxter is summoned to a meeting with US Special Agents Elliot Curtis of the FBI and Damien Rouche of the CIA. There, she is presented with photographs of the latest copycat murder: a body contorted into a familiar pose, strung up impossibly on the other side of the world, the word BAIT carved deep into its chest.
As the media pressure intensifies, Baxter is ordered to assist with the investigation and attend the scene of another murder to discover the same word scrawled across the victim, carved across the corpse of the killer – PUPPET.
As the murders continue to grow in both spectacle and depravity on both sides of the Atlantic, the team helplessly play catch up. Their only hope: to work out who the ‘BAIT’ is intended for, how the ‘PUPPETS’ are chosen but, most importantly of all, who is holding the strings.