by Susan May
3 massacres, 2 detectives, 1 writer, 0 answers
Freelancer Kendall Jennings writes fluff pieces for women’s magazines. When a horrific massacre occurs at Café Amaretto, she scores an exclusive interview with a survivor. Suddenly, she’s the go-to reporter for the crime.
Investigating veteran detective Lance O’Grady and his partner Trip are tasked with finalizing the open and shut case. Seven people are dead at the hands of an unprovoked killer wielding an axe. It seems simple.
Then another mass killing occurs. This time, arson, and ten eldercare facility residents die in the blaze. Both killers die at the scene. The crimes have no motive, and Lance O’Grady is left wondering how evil can strike twice.
Then it happens again. Even more shocking: a mother with a gun goes on a rampage at a family birthday party.
The killers share one odd detail: none have a murderer’s profile. No history of violence, no connection to terrorists, no vendettas. Ordinary citizens suddenly became killers.
Drawn deeper inside the crime investigation, Kendall finds herself not only clashing with O’Grady but also struggling with old demons. O’Grady resents Kendall’s involvement as her presence provokes memories of a personal tragedy.
O’Grady and Kendall are caught up in a plan greater reaching than the crimes. They just don’t know it. Someone is sending a message. And unless they can decipher the meaning, very soon, many more will die.
Deadly Messengers is a page-turning thriller taking readers into the minds of mass killers in all their disconcerting madness. It poses the question: Is there a killer lurking inside everyone? The answer could prove more frightening than the crimes.
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Expected publication: September 30th 2015 by Digital Contact
My childhood reading diet consisted of Edgar Allen Poe, O'Henry, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, plus horror comics like Tales From the Crypt. Anything out of this world like The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits had me glued to the television.
Inspired by these classics, I attempt to pen tales that are simply about the story and the characters and not about fancy words or beautiful descriptions. At the end of my stories I hope, wonderful reader, that you will feel you've enjoyed a journey into the fantastic with a neat twist at the end.
Every day I pinch myself that I am able to do what I love and be in control of every facet of it. And I can wear my track suit pants and slippers while doing it. Bliss.
Most days I'm just an average mother and wife living in Perth, Western Australia, but this darn imagination of mine keeps constantly venturing into the crevices of dark worlds, whether I want to go there or not.
Kendall Jennings is a freelance writer who normally writes fluff pieces for magazines and websites. You know the ones that tell you how to get luscious lips like movie stars or why you should eat more oranges. Poor thing, she has a tragedy in her past with which she still struggles. When she accidentally ends up reporting on a local mass killing, she ends up covering stories her emotions can barely handle. I love torturing my characters.
Enter Lance O’Grady, a veteran detective, who, along with his partner is investigating the massacre. He takes great exception to Kendall’s approach for some background on the story. O’Grady also has a tragedy buried in his past, and these crimes of multiple massacres he is investigating along with Kendall’s prying also dredge up terrible memories.
Early readers seem to have fallen in love with these two, with many readers already writing and asking for more stories about these characters. We’ll see, several other projects are scheduled into next year. But, I’ll never say never.
Q: Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
Ah, that would be my poor suffering husband who has no formal training, but does a pretty good job. We spend the entire budget on good editing and formatting of the book. The story is what counts, I believe. The process involves us arguing until we seem to agree. No, he’s very patient, actually.
Q: Describe your ideal writing spot.
I have no ideal writing spot. If I allowed myself that luxury then I wouldn’t be able to put out two to three books a year. I write wherever and whenever I can—in the car while my sons’ are at sport practice, waiting at the dentist, in the living room while the television is blaring. You just can’t afford to squander time if you’re an indie author.
Q: What is the best advice you have been given?
My mother gave me the best advice ever when I was only fourteen. I had a story to write for English and she said to me, “Imagine what everyone else will write and write something completely different.” To this day, I hope that is exactly what I do.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
All I ever wanted to be was a writer. At four, with a little bag packed with books, I took off down the road on my own looking for my school. A neighbor found me a mile away on a main road. All I wanted to do was learn to read and write. Somehow along the way, I became waylaid with a business that became very successful, and then children. Then at the ripe age of fifty, I thought, enough of this, now I’m going to see if I really can do this writing thing. That was five years ago. Why did I wait, I ask myself now? The writing process and meeting readers fills me with such joy.
Q: Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I love all formats. I review for all the major publishers in Australia, so they send mostly paperbacks and even hardbacks occasionally. I usually give them away when I’m finished. I do love the convenience of an ereader. I read on a Sony, but I think I will get a Kindle soon to have both.
Q: If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you choose to be and why?
I would love to be a witch like Sam in Bewitched. Every time I’m cleaning the house, I think of her. As much as I twitch my nose, though, the dust just doesn’t disappear.
Q: What book are you reading now?
I read a lot of books and across many genres. The publishers randomly send me books I haven’t requested which is great because then I get to sample new authors and styles. Currently I’m reading the enormous SevenEves by Neal Stephenson about the end of the world and sending people into space to keep mankind alive. It’s 900 pages and bigger than my head.