Words with Brian L. Porter, author of "Behind Closed Doors"

Can you tell us a little bit about "Behind Closed Doors."

With pleasure. Behind Closed Doors came about when I was approached by Sonar 4 Publications with an offer to write a murder/mystery for them, set in the Victorian era, something along the lines of my Jack the Ripper trilogy (A Study in Red - The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper, Legacy of the Ripper and Requiem for the Ripper), which they'd seen and read, giving all three books great reviews. I was happy to agree to their request and set about finding a storyline that would 'fit the bill'. I began researching an idea that came to mind, and Behind Closed Doors is the result. I loved writing the book, and enjoyed creating what I hope are some endearing characters that readers will identify with, and the words just seemed to flow. Sonar 4 have also showed their great commitment to charitable causes by agreeing to donate $1 from every paperback copy of the book sold to The Mayflower Animal Sanctuary, in South Yorkshire, UK, an organization close to my heart, a wonderful gesture, I'm sure everyone will agree. As for the story, well, here's the blurb that I hope will give readers a good idea of what to expect:

Behind Closed Doors
Autumn, 1888. The population of London is transfixed and horrified by the atrocious and horrific murder spree being conducted by Jack the Ripper. The newspapers are full of the details of the mutilations perpetrated by the killer and the apparent inability of the police to apprehend the unknown assailant. As Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Charles Warren throws the bulk of his investigative resources into the search for The Ripper, and the tabloid press scream of the crimes in banner headlines on a daily basis; on the new, ultra modern Underground Railway that has revolutionized travel around the great metropolis for the working man, another, less well publicized killer is at large.

Tucked away on the inner pages of the daily press, hardly enough to raise an eyebrow among discerning readers, one may have found a few, short articles which told of the strange and also, so far unsolved murders which are taking place on board the carriages of the new-fangled and much heralded transport system. Each murder takes place the day after one of the ripper killings, as the murderer appears to be taking advantage of the lack of police resources to tackle not one, but two, major investigations simultaneously.

Inspector Albert Norris is charged with bringing the railway killer to justice, but, as with case of Jack the Ripper, clues are few, the killer's motive unclear, and he is forced to carry out his investigations 'quietly and without causing a public panic' as the authorities seek to prevent a loss of confidence in the safety of the underground railway system. The press are being told even less, hence the minimal coverage, and Norris can count on little help from above as he attempts to solve the inexplicable series of murders.

What's your background with writing?

I began writing when illness forced me to give up my previous career. I began by writing poetry, progressed to short stories and eventually, was persuaded by my wife to try my hand at a full length novel. That book was A Study in Red and it's small modicum of success encouraged me to follow it up with the other books that have since followed.

Who are your inspirations/influences?

Much of my work is influenced by my three favorite authors, namely Tess Gerritsen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Jeffery Deaver, all of whom have created such wonderfully different, but equally enthralling and captivating mysteries and thrillers, with vivid and realistic characterization and story lines that hold a reader sepllbound from first to last page.

What was it like working with Sonar4 Publications?

So far, Sonar 4 have been a dream to work with. they are always on time with any promises they make, and their attitude towards their authors is one of respect and as such, they receive equal respect back from those who write for them.

Who was responsible for the cover/book design?

The wonderful cover design for Behind Closed Doors was created by the super talented Jerrod Brown. The original design was created as a water color painting and he then used that painting as the basis for the cover, adding the text to the finished article. I love his design, which I think really compliments the words contained within the book.

What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?

So far, I've been promoting the book in advance on my website, and on the large number of networking sites I belong to and that I use extensively to promote my books. I've also used my connection with the membership of The Whitechapel Society 188, an organization dedicated to the study of the Jack the Ripper murders, and Victorian and Edwardian society in London, to further promote the book.

Do you have any stories from book signings/radio interviews/etc.?

Due to my disabilities, I don't do book signings, which are, to be honest not very much used here in the UK, and the same applies to radio I'm afraid.

What projects do you have planned for the future?

Due to my current health problems I have no further books planned at present, though I am assisting Sonar 4 in the compilation of an anthology of Victorian short stories, under the title Whitechapel 13, which is due for release in late 2011, and my own short story, Toxic Bitch will shortly be appearing in Sonar 4's anthology, Ladies and Gemntlemen of Horror 2010, which I believe will be released in paperback and e-book editions in January 2011.

Is there anything else about you we should know?

Perhaps I could just mention my other books, apart from my ripper trilogy, in case anyone might be interested in trying my work before Behind Closed Doors hits the shelves? All the following titles can be found at Amazon.com and are:
Glastonbury, Pestilence, Purple Death, Kiss of Life, Dracula Doesn't Live Here Anymore, The Voice of Anton Bouchard and Other Stories, and Murder, Mayhem and Mexico.

1 comment :

  1. Great interview!
    I think Brian is an expert on all things Jack the Ripper and on Victorian London in particular.
    I'm sure this, his latest book, will be terrific.
    He has a superb grasp of his subject always.
    As for his Ripper novels--they are so realistic as to be terrifying at times! I mean I slept with the light on more than once!

    I admire you, Brian so much for your hard work, great committment and great talent.

    I wish you well and I thank you so much for your marvelous books and great stories.

    Thank you!