Please welcome author Max China, the mad man behind the serial killer thriller The Night of the Mosquito.
SRW: Max, I have to ask…are you British or do you just like writing in merry olde England?
MC: I'm British by birth the son of a Polish war veteran and an English mother.
SRW: I like how you’ve categorized the book as an apocalyptic serial killer thriller. At times, it is indeed quite apocalyptic, bordering on surrealism. In a good way, not an artsy-fartsy way. A solar storm instigates the action. So, are you keeping it green? A true fear of yours?
MC: There was an event in 1859, known as the Carrington event, a solar storm hit Earth and burned out early telegraph systems. That was pretty much the extent of our technology in those days. The thinking these days is that if an event of similar magnitude occurred now, then the effects within our technology-dependent society would be devastating. Can you imagine a world without X-Box? It is a fear of mine, though I'll not be losing sleep over it.
SRW: Hey, if it could do away with a lot of social media, I'd be all for it.
There’s a lot going on in this book. You also include some big ideas. Your lead serial killer (yes, there are several) is descended from Jack the Ripper. What’s your take on genetic “stamping?”
MC: Like father like son, the apple don't fall far from the tree, and so on, are old sayings. Sure a lot of inherited behaviour is learned from within the family unit, but I'm inclined to believe we follow a genetic blue-print and just don't realize.
SRW: We’ve got a few bumbling bobbies running throughout. Emerson’s quite the poser. I’m curious as to how you view this character. Are we meant to loath or empathize?
MC: As the book progresses, we realize he obtained the position by undermining his colleagues to make himself appear better than he is and when push gets to shove he is only able to rise to the level his incompetence allows.
SRW: Ye gads, this book is hyper-violent. And your action/devastation scenes are extremely well-written. At times, I had to “look away.” Are there any extremes you won’t climb?
MC: I don't write gratuitous violence or pornographic scenes, the sex and violence is necessary for the propulsion of the story only, in my opinion and really, it's just a small percentage of the book, which also covers sensitive issues. There's even a love story blossoming somewhere in there! Anything I won't cover? Probably not, but the level of detail will be far reduced in more extreme subjects.
SRW: So, I have to say, it took me a long time to discover who the true protagonist of the book is. I won’t give anything away, but it wasn’t until the finale when he came through. Was this intentional? I must say, your tale had me guessing.
MC: There are heroes and villains in every story. I like to keep people guessing.
SRW: What scares Max? I mean, you’ve got serial killers—of the utmost frightening kind—running rampant throughout your tale. So give…what’re your fears?
MC: That such people are often operating right under our noses, and we fail to recognize them.
SRW: Why serial killers? Something we should worry about?
MC: Absolutely. Every year people go missing, I don't know the figure for the USA, but in England, it's something like two hundred and seventy thousand every year. Of those most turn up safe and well. Up to twenty thousand vanish without a trace. Some don't want to be found. Some have accidents. Some commit suicide. And some fall prey to opportunistic serial killers. Some of these guys are so good at what they do, they've been getting away with it for years. No body, no DNA, no witnesses. Okay, it's probably just a tiny percentage, but even 1% of two hundred and seventy-five thousand is a lot of people.
SRW: Yep, I'm afraid of serial killers, too. Because they're real. Um, it doesn't stop me from writing about them, though.
MC: I'm working on a sci-fi fantasy story that covers mystery and suspense as well as murder and mayhem. It's set in an English country house which a young couple and their children move into, having purchased it for a very good price. It isn't long before they find out that the previous occupants haven't left... It's an expansion of a short story I wrote a couple of years back, and I left it as a cliffhanger. Quite a few people asked me what happened, so I decided to develop the plot into a novel.
SRW: Sweet! Now, everyone read this interview with an English accent in mind, makes it ten times cooler. Sorry, Max, what can I say? I live in Kansas for God's sake.
Check out Max's intense book here: The Night of the Mosquito.