About Stephen Collier – Reader and Writer
Stephen’s been an avid reader all of his life, and it’s not all been crime fiction either. The written word though, is a challenge, and he is always concerned when he sees how the English language is developing, but not in a good way,
Much of his early reading centered on Science; fact and fiction, and history. Later, his life in the police service saw a growing interest in true crime and crime fiction. He always thought that one day he would write a novel, but it was only after he retired from the police that he began to write seriously.
Over his lifetime, Stephen has been influenced by many books and many genres, from Gibbons,’ ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,’ to Carl Sagan’s, ‘Cosmos.’ And from a crime fiction point of view, a wealth of authors he may have read in the past, but can’t remember all of them. What he can say for him revolves it around such greats as Elmore Leonard, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan-Doyle, and George Simenon.
A Growing Genre.
Crime fiction is the largest and constantly growing genre in commercial fiction. Trying to fit new authors in among the current crop of great CF writers, like Child, Rankin , McDermid and MacBride is a tall order. When Stephen wrote his debut novel ‘Blind Murder’ he had no idea about the ‘craft’ of writing. But what he did know is that it needed to be different. Being different though does not always get you a publishing deal or an agent.
Modern day detectives in fiction are generally larger than life characters. Sometimes dysfunctional. Most times alcoholic or close to being one, with a failed or failing marriage. And when you think about it to a certain degree the problems of one fictional detective can be a crystallising of the problems of many police officers, but not all the same time and not just one!
Blind Murder is different in that it uses a road policing officer, reluctantly getting himself involved in things he shouldn’t with a detective. The consequences of which will affect the rest of his life, (I won’t say any more in case you haven’t read it). Jake Jordan’s problems continue in the second in the series, ‘Driving Dead,’ published in January 2019.
But what of the future?
Stephen realises that the days in front of him are shorter than the ones behind and sometimes seems to be in a hurry to write as much as he can. But his MA slowed him down (hence having to wait so long for ‘Driving Dead’), and it has taught him that plot, character, structure, setting and point of view, are as important as just getting the story on the page.
He has plans to turn his first book into a TV series with ideas for a stage play, based on a true incident he attended as a cop. Audio versions of both books is another idea for the future, but at this time the book he wrote for his MA, originally entitled, ‘Kill-Switch,’ now been re-titled ‘Crimson Dragon’ and has now been published by Troubador Publishing, under the Matador imprint. You can also get it from my site here
Lots of ideas! Lots to do! Better get on with it then!