Meet the Author: Sharlene Almond

  1. Tell me about yourself.

I live in Auckland, New Zealand with my two dogs. Although I have had training in Beauty and Spa therapy, editing, journalism, animal behavior and photography, criminology and counselling; my main interest lies in writing novels which allows me to explore and learn about other eras and countries, creating characters that have deep rooted flaws, but uses those to achieve the end goal.

 As an author of historical/present day international thrillers, my books can challenge readers, as well as taking the reader on a journey throughout Europe and abroad.

Having studied in Criminology and Neuro Linguistic programming, in addition to doing a diploma course in body language, enables me to give an authentic feel to my characters, and the crimes committed. Because I’ve always been fascinated with human psychology, especially criminal psychology, I always include that element in every book I write.

My books don’t just cover the crimes committed, but what drove that person to commit those crimes? Examining their history, their weaknesses, childhood; all building up to why some of the most infamous crimes were perpetrated.

 

  1. How were you inspired to write Initiated to Kill?

When I was younger, I had a little notebook in which I would jot down ideas of things one day I would like to write about.

One sentence caught my eye one day, and I was determined to get a story from it. A story involving a university and the occult. From there other ideas started to form. Places, names, and characters began to come to life.

My inspiration for the historical aspect of my novels came by accident. When finishing writing my first novel and starting to edit it, I stumbled across a conspiracy theory, in which some believed the Freemasons were involved in the Jack the Ripper murders. From there, the historical aspect took shape, continuing throughout all the novels I write.

 

  1. What inspired you to write?

As cliché as it sounds, writing is in my blood. At an early age, I’ve always enjoyed writing; however, I didn’t really have the inclination to write a full novel, not knowing where to start.

Years later, I finally got the chance to sit down and begin writing. Things really took shape when I set up a word excel/spreadsheet for my chapter outline, making it easier to piece together a novel that made sense. Now I can’t stop writing.

Both a hobby and hopefully one day a job, writing is something I’ve always, and will always love.

 

  1. What is something interesting about you not many people know?

I’m a bit of an exercise fanatic. Morning and evening workouts keeps the body and mind fresh, kick starts the writing process.

  1. What genre do you like to write in?

Thrillers will always be my number one preference. They’re my favourite to read and write about. With the historical aspect thrown in, which is something else I’ve found fascinating. Books that is based on a lot of research, a strong plot and characters, and something a little different from mainstream novels.

 

  1. Have you ever encountered writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

Fortunately, I haven’t encountered writer’s block. Just watching the news or reading history books immediately kick starts the writing process again.

 

  1. Summarise your novel.

Two men from different generations, both initiated into a powerful organisation that throughout history has sought control and uses their power for destruction. They leave behind a wake of murder, manipulation and ancient secrets.

The first man stalks women of the night in the Whitechapel district of London, England in the 19th century. While the other stalks his victims in the cosmopolitan city of Seville, Spain in the 21st century; knowing that only he could uncover the true motives of one of the world’s most infamous serial killers – Jack the Ripper.

Annabella Cordova quickly becomes embroiled in the conspiracy involving the university she studies at. When her roommate goes missing, it becomes very personal. Her past gradually unveils, as she is closer to this than she could have possibly imagined.
A childhood accident causing permanent deafness enables Annabella to use her other senses to read facial and body language; detecting lies in people, including suspects.

Andres Valero, the troubled detective, returns from forced leave, only to be faced with horrific crimes that brings his memories to the surface.

The novel continuously takes the reader back in time to the 19th century; creating a psychological profile of the man that wanders the London streets, his paintings depicting crimes only seen by a killer’s eyes. And a boy that’s continuously tormented by his own sadistic tendencies.

With Annabella and Andres combined, they must stop this person at any cost, and reveal a conspiracy hidden for centuries.

 

  1. Tell me about your characters.

My first main character, Annabella Cordova is a deaf art student at Seville University. She has the extraordinary ability to read people’s expressions, and has the natural ability to tell when someone is lying.

Because of Annabella’s past, her injury and subsequent deafness, she alienates her from people. The art major she strives for allows her to connect to her dead mother, as her mother was passionate about art.

Annabella’s memories of her childhood, and her mother’s death continually haunt her, and the disappearance of her father, whom she keeps on remembering as being abusive.

As the novel develops, Annabella becomes embroiled into the case of the missing girls, quickly bringing memories to the surface that had long since been kept hidden.

The second main character is Andres Valero. Andres isn’t just your typical detective, as you read the novel, you will quickly discover the Andres’ past has lead him to this point. The case of the missing girl reminds him of a case that he longed to forget.

When he meets Annabella, he is skeptical on relying on her talent when she offers to watch interviews, and to tell them if suspects are lying. As the case evolves, he draws closer to Annabella, reluctant at the connection he feels.

Both character’s pasts link to what is happening now. Both a strength and a weakness, neither can be fully prepared for what is about to happen.

 

  1. Do you plan to write other books?

Absolutely. This book is the first in the series of Annabella Cordova. Because of what has happened to Annabella, the next book reveals a completely different side to her.

The first book she is quiet, naïve, somewhat fragile. But you will see a completely different Annabella. Hardened and determined. And instead of a University student, she is manipulated into joining a vigilante organisation; which has links to her father.

I have written three more. All based in different locations, part-historical and part-present; with either a myth or conspiracy theory that surrounds the case.

 

 

Sharlene Almond
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