Updated on August 5, 2015
26. ‘Killing Cupid’ by Mark Edwards and Louise Voss
‘Killing Cupid’ is a story told from two points of view: Alex, the lovestruck stalker, and Siobhan, the creative writing tutor he is stalking. But this isn’t the novel you expect it to be. It’s a book with crime, romance, dark comedy, thrills, and there’s a twist in the middle that turns everything on its head.
Mark Edwards and Louise Voss wrote ‘Killing Cupid’ collaboratively, when they were thousands of miles apart. They self-published the book and also wrote a second novel, ‘Catch Your Death’. With plenty of hard work, Edwards and Voss got both of their novels to the top two spots of the Amazon book sales chart.
So here it is, my interview with one half of this self-made success story!
Who are your favourite writers? What sources of inspiration did you draw upon when writing ‘Killing Cupid’?
My favourites are Donna Tartt, Bret Easton Ellis, Mo Hayder, Peter James… lots of crime writers. Killing Cupid was inspired by Come Together by Emlyn Rees and Josie Lloyd – a romantic comedy told from the points of view of a man and a woman. We wanted to write a darker version of that.
You have said yourself that ‘Killing Cupid’ spans many genres. Was this your intention when you started writing it, and what problems did it cause when you were looking for publishers?
No, it just kind of happened. It was supposed to be serious but humour kept creeping into it. We just couldn’t help it! With Catch Your Death we deliberately set out to write a much more straightforward thriller and kept a tight rein on it. Publishers don’t like things that don’t fit neatly into a category. They are harder to market.
How is writing collaboratively different from writing solo? You were living in Japan at the time, so how did you get over the problem of distance as well?
If you find the right person, it’s great. Half the work, twice the ideas. When we start a book, though, it’s hard as we usually have very different ideas and it can get really confusing. We have to be quite strict about planning the books, far more than we would if we were writing solo. Though we never plan right to the end. Geographical distance isn’t really a problem in these days of Skype – although we still communicate mostly by email.
Did you and Louise write one character each?
Yes, but in Catch Your Death and All Fall Down (the next one) we write several characters each and sometimes swap. I tend to write the psychopaths and Louise writes the nice people!
How do you normally write? Do you write on the computer, but plot or draft on paper?
I haven’t written anything on paper for years. I couldn’t imagine it. My mind works better when I type. And typing up written drafts is tedious.
Your success has largely been down to a lot of work with social media platforms. Do you have any advice for other writers who are thinking of promoting their self-published work this way?
It’s more through blogging and forums than social media like Twitter, which is great for networking but not so great for shifting books. My advice would be to read my site www.indie.com for lots of tips about how to do it right.
Where do you stand in the ‘Kindle vs real books’ debate? I’m sure you’re very pro e-readers, but do you also still buy and read paper books? I love and read both.
Yes, me too. I mostly read paper books; the honeymoon period with my Kindle is over. I tend to use the Kindle to read bargain books, and paper for ones I want to keep and put on the bookshelf. I hope they co-exist in future.
In the book, Siobhan is a writer. How much did you draw upon your own experiences of the publishing industry when writing her? In particular, I loved the quote “There was a time when people were impressed that you’d been published, not sympathetic.”
That came from Louise – some of Siobhan’s experiences, like her disastrous book tour of Amsterdam – came from real life. We would love to write a sequel in which Alex and Siobhan co-write a book and then fall out, but our publisher won’t let us!
It’s a shame – I think that sounds like a great idea for a sequel… Many thanks to Mark Edwards for agreeing to an interview!
If you enjoyed my interview, why not buy the book and become part of the online phenomenon yourself?