Originally posted on The Nerd Daily.
A Nordic thriller in the vein of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Death Wish, Dragon-award nominated and multi award-winning author Gareth Worthington is back with A Time for Monsters [September 28th 2021], a Nordic thriller in which a female serial killer—who only feels emotion when listening to music—is hell-bent on revenge and must outwit a disgraced detective determined to redeem himself if she is to complete her carefully orchestrated plan and cover up the ultimate secret. We chat with Gareth on Monsters, writing, and the move from sci-fi to crime fiction!
A Time for Monsters is your first foray into crime fiction. You usually write action adventures with a science-fiction twist. Why the change?
My agent and friend, Italia Gandolfo, was looking in her stable of writers for someone to ‘write the next Gone Girl’, and she thought I had the chops to do it. I thought about it for a while, and decided to use an idea I had as the basis and so agreed. The rest, as they say is history.
So, what was the idea?
Well, for the longest time I had wanted to write an autobiographical story about growing up in an abusive environment—I endured nearly twenty years of domestic violence in bad neighborhood in frankly a rough city in the UK. Three times I started that book and three times I stopped. In the end, I took all those memories and all that pain and gave it to my main character Rey Blackburn. I made her my what if? As in, what if I’d chosen a very different path in life? What if I’d chosen vengeance? Importantly, I wanted to highlight domestic violence and how it’s normalized and accepted, even today. In the face of global pandemics, wars and racially driven violence, what goes on in people’s homes can seem trivial. It’s not.
Music is a big part of Rey’s character, where she used them to feel any emotion other than anger. How did you choose the songs?
Each and every song in A Time for Monsters really means something to me. I have songs attached to very specific moments in my life and hearing them can pull me from wherever I am into a kind of dark space. Memories long since buried come back and I become suddenly emotional. It’s an odd sensation. There is actually a Spotify playlist for A Time for Monsters. It is an abbreviated soundtrack to my life. You can listen to it here.
Was writing the book cathartic?
Not really. I left behind my anger and hurt a long time ago. And the arrival of my kids shifted any focus from myself to them. What I will say, is that it becomes exhausting sometimes to explain yourself to people—now people can read the book and know. Saves me a lot of time (laughs).
Do you think you’ll write more thrillers?
So, I am working in the sequel to A Time for Monsters now. Not sure when it’ll be ready. But I do like switching genres. I have a medical thriller that released in April with Stu Jones called Condition Black. And I have a sci-fi fantasy book in the works too. I don’t want to become stale!
Lindy Miller Ryan is an author, editor, and spooky things enthusiast who occasionally makes crafty things and bakes.