A Nordic thriller in the vein of The girl with the dragon tattoo meets Death wish, Gareth Worthington, Dragon-nominated and multiple-award-winning author A time for monsters [May 18th 2021], a Nordic thriller in which a female serial killer – who only feels emotion by listening to music – is bent on revenge and must outsmart a disgraced detective determined to redeem himself if she is to complete her plan carefully orchestrated and cover the ultimate secret. We chat with Gareth on Monsters, writing and the transition from science fiction to detective fiction!
A time for monsters is your first foray into detective fiction. You usually write action adventures with a sci-fi twist. Why this change?
My agent and friend, Italia Gandolfo, was looking in his stable of writers for someone to “ write the next Missing girl‘, and she thought I had the chops to do it. I thought about it for a while, and decided to use an idea I had as a basis and so I accepted. The rest, as they say, is history.
So what was the idea?
Well, for a very long time I had wanted to write an autobiographical story about growing up in an abusive environment – I endured almost twenty years of domestic violence in a bad part of a frankly bustling UK town. . Three times I started this book and three times I stopped. In the end, I took all of those memories and all that pain and gave them to my main character Rey Blackburn. I made it my What if? As in, what if I had chosen a very different path in life? What if I had chosen revenge? Most of all, I wanted to highlight domestic violence and how it is normalized and accepted even today. In the face of global pandemics, wars and racist violence, what is happening in homes may seem insignificant. It’s not.
Music is a big part of Rey’s character, where she used them to sense any emotion other than anger. How did you choose the songs?
Every song of A time for monsters really means something to me. I have songs attached to very specific times in my life and hearing them can pull me from anywhere I am into some kind of dark space. Long-buried memories come back and I suddenly become moved. It’s a strange feeling. There is in fact a Spotify playlist for A time for monsters. It’s an abridged soundtrack of my life. You can listen to it here.
Was the writing of the book cathartic?
Not really. I left my anger and my pain behind me a long time ago. And the arrival of my children shifted all attention from me to them. What I’ll say is that sometimes it gets exhausting explaining yourself to people – now people can read the book and know. It saves me a lot of time (laughs).
Do you think you will write more thrillers?
So I am working on the sequel to A time for monsters now. I don’t know when he’ll be ready. But I like to change genders. I have a medical thriller released in April with Stu Jones called Condition Black. And I also have a science fiction fantasy book in the works. I don’t want to get stale!
You can find Gareth on Facebook, Instagram and on his website.