Genre: Mystery / thriller / crime
Eleanor Raven Series: Book 1
Toronto has become the backdrop to a macabre set of artistic installations: women kidnapped, tortured and horrifically displayed by a killer with a vision.
Only someone capable of understanding the killer's creative desire will be able to stop the murders and D I Eleanor Raven is uniquely qualified. Driven by a complex personality she pursues only the facts, only the things she can see, but never casts a judgement.
But she also has a dark and dangerous secret - one that will threaten her very survival.
B & N
PRAISE FOR THE SAFE WORD
Just read The Safe Word by Karen Long – an unputdownable serial killer tale. James Purefoy
For DS Eleanor Raven It's not so much who, what or when but 'why' that leads this powerful read to its conclusion and Karen Long reminds us that a brutal, vicious and destructive act is not something inherently 'Evil' or derived from Satan but is a rational choice made by a human being. The quirky, offbeat and endearing relationship between Eleanor and her partner Laurence Whitefoot shines a light on this dark compelling world of sexual intrigue and mystery. My imagination was certainly held captive! Robson Green
Most fictional detectives these days have to have a ‘thing’ to set them apart from the others, and Raven’s is one of the most original for a long time. The plot moves in some unexpected directions, and builds to a genuinely exciting climax. The Safe Word is an impressive, confident debut. Convincing characters and some nice twists make for a compelling, satisfying thriller, and I look forward to seeing what’s next for Eleanor Raven. Killing Time
Hi Karen! Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
I’m just completing book three in the Eleanor Raven series. It’s called The Cold Room and although a new story, it weaves elements of The Safe Word and The Vault into the narrative.
What inspired you to write it?
The Safe Room was inspired by a brief article I read in a Toronto newspaper, which detailed how a woman had been snatched off the street and bundled into the back of a van. Helpful witnesses contacted the police, who stopped the van, liberated the woman and arrested two men. The victim, far from displaying gratitude, was outraged at having her ‘Red Letter’ sexy kidnap day disrupted by the police. Now that’s a story!
How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
My son designed the cover and we both loved the idea of a ‘Kidnappings Arranged’ card being held in a dead hand.
If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
I’ve always imagined Eleanor Raven played by the wonderful Jessica Chastain.
Is it part of a series or is it a stand-alone novel?
It’s the first book in a trilogy. I have a stand-alone all ready for post Raven creation.
Where is the novel set and why did you choose to set it there?
It’s set in Toronto, Canada, which is a fabulous city of extreme temperatures, a liberal outlook on life and a people whose steady character belies their passionate interior. I stayed there on three separated occasions, while my husband worked. I’ve never lived in a city before and it was such a dynamic and secretive place, it made me feel as though I could grasp a version of a ‘place’ that eluded me in the UK.
What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?
I love the tension of not knowing the who, the why or the when. The best is when you get the slap of an unseen twist, just when you thought you’d sussed it all out. Crime fiction delivers.
What made you want to become an author?
I can think of few jobs that allow you to make up stories and write them from the comfort of your own sofa. No-one to tell you what to do, or when. Paradise.
How do you come up with character names?
When I think of a name I like, I jot it into my ‘ideas book’. Names have to have a rhythm and give a sense of who owns it.
Do you struggle to come up with book titles? Do they come before, during or after you've written your book?
They tend to come naturally out of the idea. I haven’t started writing a novel that doesn’t have a title but that’s not to say it won’t change as the story progresses.
Name one of your all-time favourite books?
‘The Children’s Book’ by AS Byatt. It’s a slow revelation of family secrets and ties. Beautiful and brutal.
Who, or what, inspires you?
My husband is a writer and we have ‘what if’ sessions. It’s a way of running with an idea to see if it has the making of an interesting story. The weather will give me a canvas for writing. A fair weather story is very different to that of a cold one.
Where is your favourite place to write?
My bed. There are less distractions and it’s very comfortable.
What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
‘Lord of the Rings’. It’s such a good, accessible version of the great books.
Name two of your favourite authors.
William Golding and Charles Dickens.
Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I have never won anything in my life. Nothing!
Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Eeyore. We share the same outlook, personality and expression.
Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
Five crested newts overwinter beneath the slate step that leads into the annex of our house.
What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I’m going to finish The Cold Room and then pick up the stand-alone novel I began before Christmas.
Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
I’ve just ticked one off! On a recent trip to New Zealand, I travelled to the Otago Peninsula where I saw northern royal albatross. A wonderful experience.
Favourite myth / fairytale?
Little Red Riding Hood.
Who/What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be Nancy Drew, or a doctor. Sadly, neither desire has been fulfilled.
She is a keen amateur naturalist with a deep and abiding love for the crow family. She has dedicated time, love and several fingers in an effort to rehabilitate crows, magpies, rooks and ravens.
Karen is happy to correspond with readers and can be contacted through her website KarenLongWriter.com, where she posts regular blogs.
The Safe Word is Karen's first novel and was an Amazon bestseller, soon to be joined by the second in the Eleanor Raven series, The Vault. Karen is working on the third novel in the series.
All author or review enquires please contact Karen Long’s Personal Assistant J.B. Johnston – firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Book 2 – The Vault