I am very pleased to be invited on this Christmas Blog Tour and today I bring you a Q&A from Chris Parker. I am also super pleased that as part of this tour I have a fantastic #giveaway. I have 3 paperback copies of Influence and 3 of Belief to give away. All you have to do to be part of this giveaway is comment on this post or email firstname.lastname@example.org with which book you prefer.
Winners will be announced on 17th December at 18:00
Influence kills…Influence is the greatest force on earth. Influence equals power, the power to affect people and events. The most powerful people alive have the greatest influence. And they can use it for good or bad. Marcus Kline is the world’s leading authority on communication and influence. He can tell what you are thinking. He can see inside you. He can step inside your mind. Yet when a series of murder victims bear the horrific hallmarks of an intelligent and remorseless serial killer, Detective Inspector Peter Jones turns to Marcus for help – and everything changes. As the killer sets a deadly pace, the invisible, irresistible and terrifying power of influence threatens friendships, reputations, and lives. When events appear to implicate the great Marcus Kline himself, everyone learns that the worst pain isn’t physical…
‘I’m going to say a few words.’
That’s the promise made by Ethan Hall, the serial killer and master hypnotist, when he recovers from his gunshot wounds and escapes from hospital. It’s a promise that causes havoc, loss and unending pain. Using language to bend people to his will, influencing others to carry out the most destructive acts, Ethan Hall extracts his revenge on Marcus Kline and those closest to him in the most personal and savage ways.
Six months have passed since a series of horrific murders forced Marcus Kline, the world’s leading authority on communication and influence, into a unique confrontation with Ethan – a battle of words like no other. Now Marcus is trying desperately to save his cancer-stricken wife and rebuild his life, his reputation and his shattered self-confidence. Only Ethan Hall has other plans.
Now, with Marcus Kline’s self-belief at an all time low, the struggle for survival, sanity and salvation teaches everyone involved that things can always get worse.
Belief is the second book in the thrilling Marcus Kline series and the gripping sequel to Influence.
Q&A Chris Parker: ‘Belief’
- Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?
My writing career began in 1986 when my first novel Chaney’s Choice was published. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to have had 14 books published. These include 4 other novels, one collection of short stories, 2 poetry collections, 6 works of non-fiction and a biography. I’m focussing now only on fiction.
Belief is the second book in a psychological crime thriller series. It combines murder and mystery with hypnosis and the power of words. It explores the very real – and sometimes terrifyingly powerful – ways we can influence each other. And the way beliefs determine our actions and shape our world.
The central character in the trilogy is Marcus Kline, the world’s leading authority on communication and influence. When we first meet him he is an arrogant egotist. As Belief progresses, however, and he finds himself and those he loves being manipulated, damaged and destroyed by a person who is an even more powerful influencer, Marcus begins falling apart emotionally and psychologically. I think the outline on the back cover of the book gives a real insight into this part of the Marcus Kline story. It reads:
‘I’m going to say a few words.’
That’s the promise made by Ethan Hall, the serial killer and master hypnotist, when he recovers from his gunshot wounds and escapes from hospital. It’s a promise that causes havoc, loss and unending pain.
Using language to bend people to his will, influencing others to carry out the most destructive acts, Ethan Hall extracts his revenge on Marcus Kline and those closest to him in the most personal and savage ways.
Six months have passed since a series of horrific murders forced Marcus Kline, the world’s leading authority on communication and influence, into a unique confrontation with Ethan – a battle of words like no other.
Now Marcus is trying desperately to save his cancer-stricken wife and rebuild his life, his reputation and his shattered self-confidence.
Only Ethan Hall has other plans.
Now, with Marcus Kline’s self-belief at an all time low, the struggle for survival, sanity and salvation teaches everyone involved that, no matter how bad life seems, things can always get worse.
- Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?
For me, it always starts with a character and a problem they have to solve. And inevitably that problem forces them to address, challenge or change aspects of themselves and their relationships with others. I tend not to plan a storyline in great detail, preferring instead to develop an in-depth understanding of the characters and the places involved and let them interact organically. My job as the writer is then to just watch and listen and decide what, when and how to share with the reader.
At first I found this approach quite nerve-wracking because often I don’t know what I’m going to write (let alone how I’m going to write it) and the most I have is an opening sentence or two. Now I find this ‘not-knowing’ to be really exciting. I just sit down at my desk curious to see what happens next and, by and large, as long as I keep any desire to force the storyline in a certain direction out of my mind, the characters takes the lead and I just follow along.
- Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?
In terms of novelists, I still struggle to get past those who inspired me many decades ago – Hemingway, Heller, Steinbeck and Kesey. I am moved in different ways by a wide range of poets; most probably though by Mary Oliver. Most recently I read the Gift Maker by a fellow Urbane writer, Mark Mayes. It is fantastic!
- Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?
The first novel that had me transfixed was Shane. It’s a western written by Jack Schaefer, published as a novel in 1949. It was published originally a few years earlier as a three-part magazine story titled Rider from Nowhere. I still love the story, the book and the subsequent film starring Alan Ladd!
- Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?
Impossible to choose one…That first publication in 1986 was, of course, very special. Since then I’ve been privileged to study, learn from and write about some amazingly talented individuals including Alan Barnard, one of the world’s greatest influencers (Campaign It!), Diego Masciaga, the world’s greatest Master of customer service (The Diego Masciaga Way) and, most recently, Dr John Sullivan a Clinical and Sports Psychologist whose work with world-class sportsmen and women and, especially, the elite military is outstanding (The Brain Always Wins). I’ve also found seeing my poetry in print to be a moving experience. And I’m extremely committed to the life, times and tribulations of Marcus Kline. He’s been a part of my life for quite a few years now and, whilst I haven’t taught him anything, I know for sure he’s taught me lots. Not least the fact that for the foreseeable future my writing will, as I mentioned earlier, be focused on fiction only.
As a final point about favourite moments, I will always remember the first lunch meeting I had with Matthew Smith – famous now, of course, for his creation of Urbane Publications. It was before he had taken the incredibly brave step to begin his own independent publishing house. I was so excited by his unique vision for how publishers and authors should interact and the nature of the relationship they can – and should – develop. It’s a great thrill to still be part of the Urbane family.
- Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?
Mairi, my wife, is critic, supporter and creative consultant all in one! She’s a lot more too, of course, but in terms of your question my writing career is as much because of her as it is because of me. And, as I’ve just said, Matthew is a unique force and I value our relationship greatly.
About the author
Chris Parker is a specialist in Communication and Influence. His fascination with the power of words and how they can be used to create intrapersonal and interpersonal change began in 1976. It became a lifelong study that has underpinned almost four decades of work in a variety of professional roles and contexts. A Licensed Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Chris is a highly experienced management trainer, business consultant, lecturer and writer. He has more lines on his face than most and is afraid to read them.