Over the last couple of days I have introduced Steve Parker, a new author to Team JOFFE BOOKS. THEIR LAST WORDS will be released on 22nd June. This book was originally released as The Sky is Crying before Joffe Books took over its care and re-edited it and finished it off with a liberal sprinkling of Jasper Joffe’s ‘magic dust’. I thought we would all find it interesting to hear Steve’s writing journey:
I was born in Camberwell, South East London and raised in Peckham (Del Boy country). I was one of those kids that learned to read very early thanks to a steady diet of comic books -Beano, Dandy etc. and have never stopped reading since. I read anything I can get my hands on. When I was a teenager I discovered Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct stories and devoured them all. I also read a book called ‘Policeman’s Lot’ by Harry Cole (these were humourous tales of policing in London) and between Ed and Harry, I got the notion that being a policeman had to be the best job in the world. It was.
I got married at age twenty and moved to a place called Woolwich. Less said about that, the better. At the ripe old age of twenty-one I joined the Metropolitan Police where I served in the Southwark and Bermondsey areas of London. In a strange twist of fate, I was ‘puppy-walked’ by Harry Cole. Turns out he wasn’t quite so funny in real life!
During my time I served in crime, drug, robbery, fraud and murder squads and got to see a bit of life then suddenly I found myself slung out into civvy street. Big shock. A serious back injury saw me pensioned out after twenty-years which threw me into a complete spin as I fully expected to do the full thirty years. I wrote some of my tales down with the intention of trying to get it published but unfortunately, lost the lot somewhere along the line. Whilst I was off work I decided one day that I wanted to write a screenplay. Never done it before but it seemed like a good idea at the time. That screenplay went through a few iterations until life got in the way, I got another job and it found it’s way into a drawer.
A couple of years ago I got the chance to take redundancy from the job I was at, grabbed it with both hands, downsized and buggered off to the south-coast with my long-suffering wife and our ‘off-her-nut, bone-idle’ cockerpoo. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with a complete lack of DIY skills so was legitimately able to get away with swanning around the house doing bugger all, all day long. Finding myself with plenty of spare time and a deep desire to never work for anyone again, I gave myself permission to go back to writing and do it seriously.
I dug out that old screenplay I’d written when I was still in the job, blew the dust off and set myself a challenge to turn it into a novel and within six months, it became ‘The Sky Is Crying’. With no idea of what I was doing I put it out on Amazon and whilst it garnered all five star reviews it sank like a stone and left me wondering what to do next. So, in April of this year (2018) I took a risk and submitted ‘The Sky’ to Joffe Books. For those of you who don’t know them, they are one of the biggest independent book publishers in the country and I nearly fell of my chair when my submission was accepted and I was signed for a series. Thank you, Jasper!
When I’m working on a book I tend to write in short bursts of 40-50 minutes, seven days a week and apart from the seven days bit, I don’t have a set-in-stone routine. I know this might sound odd, but I’ve taken to writing first drafts in my car with my iPad in its case, slung over the steering wheel and connected to a Bluetooth keyboard. I like to think of it as my-go-anywhere-office. Editing is done at home on the dining room table and usually late at night. I have no idea why I work this way…
If you asked me to define my style of writing I would have to say it’s not for the faint of heart. I tend to write stories that are gritty, violent and carry moral messages. The main protagonists in my books, Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson and Detective Inspector Johnny Clocks, and the crap they get themselves into are based loosely on characters and cases I’ve known and as the series progresses I intend to take them into some seriously dark places and hopefully highlight a few social issues along the way. We’ll see. By Steve Parker
THEIR LAST WORDS (Ray Paterson #1) by Steve Parker
Available from 22nd June 2018
Discover a crime thriller full of shocking twists by one of the most exciting new authors you’ll read this year.
A VICTIM. A MUTILATED BODY. A SINGLE WORD.
A young woman is found dead on the streets of London. Her throat slashed, her body mutilated, and one word carved into her flesh: “DON’T.”
Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson is assigned to the case. Young, handsome, and from a well-off background, he’s tipped for the top. He joins a team based out of Bermondsey, South London. It’s meant to be a stepping stone to his next promotion, but this case will threaten to bring down his career and everything he thought he knew about policing.
Paterson is put in charge of the dead girl’s investigation and quickly discovers he must rely on his friend and mentor, Detective Sergeant Dave Jordan to guide him through.
THEN ANOTHER BODY IS DISCOVERED. ANOTHER WORD CUT INTO THE VICTIM’S CHEST.
The police realise they may have a depraved serial killer on their hands. The murderer is trying to send them a message carved in his victims’ bodies. But who’s the message for?
How many more must die? Detective Paterson may be the only man who can stop this vile killer . . . if he can survive long enough.
This is the first in a series of action-packed, edge-of-your-seat crime thrillers, with an ending that will have your heart in your mouth.
Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A HEAVILY REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “THE SKY IS CRYING.”
TWO DETECTIVES WHO HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT EACH OTHER MUST WORK TOGETHER
Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson, is a young and (thanks to family money) wealthy womaniser, separated from his model wife and tipped to be the youngest ever commissioner of police. He knows he’s weak when it comes to practical policing and struggles to find a place among his peers, desperate to be a good policeman and not just a ‘climber’.
Detective Sergeant Johnny Clocks is a foul-mouthed, working-class officer. He grew up surrounded by rogues and villains to become a first-class thief taker with the Met police. However, his childish attitude has short-circuited his career and he spends his days antagonising as many people as he can.
Detective Sergeant Dave Jordan is an old-school copper who trusts his instincts but relies on evidence. He is typical in that his marriage has broken down and he’s been unable to form a relationship since.
Steve Parker is a retired police officer who served for 20 years in numerous high-profiles squads.
Bermondsey is an area of London nestled on the banks of the River Thames. It once had a reputation for housing more armed robbers, murderers and career criminals than anywhere else in the country. Now one of the most upmarket places to live and work in London, it has all but severed itself from its working-class roots. Home to the iconic Tower Bridge and crammed with expensive apartments, art galleries, fancy restaurants and famous residents. But for the police, those who truly know, Bermondsey never lost its roots . . . or its reputation.
Steve Parker author bio:
I was born and raised in South East London (Peckham to be precise – cushty, my son). At the ripe old age of twenty-one, I joined the Metropolitan Police where I served for twenty years before I was pensioned out with a serious back injury. I then went to work as an enforcement officer for a local authority before taking redundancy.
Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with a complete lack of DIY skills so was legitimately able to get away with swanning around the house doing bugger all, all day long. Finding myself with plenty of spare time and a deep desire to never work for anyone again, I gave myself permission to go back to writing (I’d been writing on and off for years).
When I’m not writing, I’m out taking photographs, something I’ve done since I was a nipper and will do until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil.
I live down in the windier part of East Sussex near the sea with my long-suffering wife and my ‘off-her-nut’ cockerpoo. I have two sons of whom I am so proud, I cannot begin to tell you.