Monday, November 10, 2014

Hands of Evil Book Interview

You have two different types of abuse featured through your book, Hands of Evil. These being child abuse and spouse abuse. Do you happen to have personal experience with either of these?

No, I’m lucky that I haven’t been subjected to either form of abuse. When the character of Grace came to me, she came with a dark history and so I spent some time researching until I felt confident to tell her story.

Are these issues close to your heart?

I work in many different areas as a sign language interpreter, and one of the most challenging has been working with women who have suffered through these kinds of abuse. Their strength and courage stayed with me and, I believe, influenced the character. I don’t work within the field of Child Protection because it would be impossible for me to remain impartial. In my opinion there is no greater evil than that which would allow someone to hurt a child.

In our previous interview you stated the family connection that is featured throughout the book was inspired by your brother. Did he also inspire the character Jonathan Jukes, or better known as JJ?

Parts of my brother’s personality can be found in most members of the team. He has JJ’s focus and Justin’s sense of humor  He has Kelvin’s quiet strength and Tommy’s people skills. I don’t base characters on any one person. They usually tell me who they are and it’s only later that I notice certain identifiable traits; people that I know or meet.

Think of your reader as an agent. What would you tell them about your book to make them want to buy it?

It is a story about the strength of the human spirit and the weaknesses we all face in some form or another. It is about family, friendship and people who make it their life’s work to protect and serve others. Roll that all together, add a little mystery and intrigue, action, a few thrills, and you have a pretty exciting adventure!

Many readers at some point through a book find themselves angry at the direction the book is going. Is there any place in your book you feel this way yourself?

At times I wanted to give Charlie a little more time in the spotlight, to show the hard work going on behind the scenes. But in the end I was happy with the balance; the view into two worlds.

Could you tell us if you would go back and change anything in your book? Why?    

I would probably add at least one more scene with Abe Donovan, mainly because I enjoyed getting into the head of his character. He appeared in the first book of the series and will eventually have his own story, but I’m not sure I did him justice – not for the readers who are unfamiliar with him. 

What was your hardest part to write in Hands of Evil? Why?

There is a scene where Grace is attacked, and without wanting to give too much away, this was difficult for me because I had to let it play out. I’m a visual person and it wasn’t a nice thing to have in my head. I was also tempted to bring in a new character to seek justice on her behalf, but then that would have undermined her strength and taken away her power. It would have been the wrong thing to do.   

Would you say Hands of Evil, is a stand-alone book? Or is dependent on the other books in the series to make sense?

I aim to write each book so that it can stand-alone but, if it were me, I’d want the back story and in that respect the series is better if read in order.

Who is your favorite character and why?

I don’t like to have favourites. My daughters laugh when I say that. They tell me the characters aren’t real and give me a long-suffering sigh; the classic role reversal. But in truth the characters are like my children, or certainly old friends and I hesitate to choose one over the other!

If pushed I will admit that I have a soft spot for JJ. I introduced him in Sins of the Father and was always drawn to him. He has some crazy mad skills (sounds like something he’d say), and I would love to explore more of his character. He’s the kind of man you’d want at your back, while at the same time I can imagine having a beer with him and enjoying his sense of humor.  

Do you ever regret the roads you put your characters on?  

No. They are who they are, and are stronger because of the things they experience. 

What can you tell us about your book, without spoiling it for the readers? 

It’s a romantic thriller with elements of murder, mystery and suspense. The novel forms part of a series in which a team of close protection and security experts share their stories. This one focuses on Jonathan Jukes, an Ex Royal Marine. JJ works closely with a few officers within the police force, in order to bring a killer to justice. At the same time he must deal with his growing attraction to a woman who stands at the centre of it all.    

Interview provided by: Kathryn Jenkins


Jonathan Jukes is accustomed to working alongside the police within his role as close protection officer at Morgan and Fairchild. But when Detective Sergeant Charles Macavoy requests the team’s help, JJ finds it’s his toughest case yet.

A serial killer, whose calling card is to remove the hands of his victims, is targeting interpreters. When lines begin to blur and JJ's past comes back to haunt him, he soon discovers the biggest threat comes from a woman who stands at the centre of it all.

Available at Amazon, Kindle and BN

About the Author:

Melissa Barker-Simpson

I've been writing since, well...since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.  I often look back on those earlier stories, and apart from laughing at the heavy-handed drama, or cringing at my inexperience, I am reminded that I have always lived in other worlds.

My first novel was published in 2008, and I love nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside my head invariably pull me in different directions, so although I try to work on one thing at a time, those who know me would tell you it doesn't always work!

I have a full-time job which, though does not involve writing per se, incorporates my love of language. As a British Sign Language Interpreter, I get to translate information between two languages which is (mostly) fun.

I have two beautiful daughters who bring me great joy. They also keep me grounded, because otherwise I would have my head in the clouds permanently!

How to Connect!

Check Melissa out at her: Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads

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