Allan Watson joins me today to take part in my Getting to know the Character Interview with DI Will Harlan on Heart Swarm Blog Blitz
Heart Swarm – Prepare to be Scared…
It feels like history is repeating itself when out-of-favour detective Will Harlan gets summoned to a crime scene in the village of Brackenbrae after a young girl is found hanging in the woods.
Five years ago Harlan headed up the investigation of an identical murder in the same woods; a mishandled investigation that effectively destroyed his credibility as a detective. The new case immediately takes a bizarre twist when the body is identified as the same girl found hanging in the woods five years ago.
The following day a local man commits suicide and the police find more dead girls hidden in his basement. The case seems open and closed.
Until the killing spree begins.
Harlan finds himself drawn into a dark world where murder is a form of self-expression and human life treated as one more commodity to be used and discarded.
The only clue that links everything is a large oil painting of ‘Sagittarius A’ – a massive black hole at the centre of the galaxy orbited by thirteen stars daubed in blood with the words –
Getting to know the Character Interview
Can you describe your character?
No, not really. Other than a vague – tallish with dark hair – I’ve pretty well left my protagonist open to the readers’ imagination. If they want to overlay a beard or an Action Man scar or sharp, curly horns, that’s up to them. I don’t mind.
What is their job role and where do they work?
DI Will Harlan, as you would expect, works in a police station. I did want to give him a second job like working in a joke shop or hosting Tupperware parties, but he never seems to find the spare time.
Where did the original idea of them come about?
The original idea was the novel, Heart Swarm. The character was then moulded to fit the part required for the story. He had to be a certain type of person with a certain background history. I had quite a few jobless book characters turn up for the interviews. Most were quite obviously cast-offs from Rom-Coms and Sci-Fi dramas (the space helmets were a dead-giveaway). But Will Harlan was the real deal and was hired forthwith.
What makes them original?
Harlan’s only claim to originality is that he’s a permanent lodger in Cathedral House, a small boutique hotel with a view of Glasgow Cathedral out one window and the City Necropolis out the other. After his wife kicked him out he was too lazy to go flat-hunting.
What makes them tick?
Harlan was once a high-flier who crashed and burned in a very public manner. It took five years before a chance of redemption came along. He’s still resentful and angry over his years in the wilderness and always looking over his shoulder expecting another ambush. I keep meaning to send him along to Mindfulness classes or maybe Yoga to calm him down and provide a better work/life balance.
What is their biggest fear?
Having his creator speak so candidly about him on-line. He’ll probably have his lawyer send me a stiff letter of complaint. Naturally, I’ll kill off the lawyer in a Safari park shooting accident. Whoever had the bad idea to give the monkeys RPGs to play with is going to be looking for a new job soon.
If you and your character met in real life, do you think you’d get on?
Probably not. He’d drink all my gin and I’d already know everything he has to say. Worse, I’d know exactly where that suspicious stain on his trousers came from.
Who would you like to see play them if your books were made into a
film or TV show?
I was thinking Kit Harrington, but with my luck I’d end up with Johnny Vegas.
How many books do you have in the series so far?
Two. Heart Swarm and Wasp Latitudes. A third book, Nightingale Static, is currently being worked on.
What’s in store for them next?
Death and dismemberment unless Harlan calls off that new lawyer he’s pestering me with.
Allan Watson is a writer whose work leans towards the dark end of the fiction spectrum. He is the author of seven novels – Dreaming in the Snakepark, Carapace, The Garden of Remembrance, 1-2-3-4, Monochrome, Heart Swarm and Wasp Latitudes.
In between the books, Allan wrote extensively for BBC Radio Scotland, churning out hundreds of comedy sketches, in addition to being a regular contributor for the world famous ‘Herald Diary’.
He occasionally masquerades as a composer/musician, collaborating with crime writer Phil Rickman in a band called Lol Robinson with Hazey Jane II whose albums have sold on four different continents (Antarctica was a hard one to crack)
Allan lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland, but has never worn the kilt or eaten a deep fried Mars Bar. He also once spent three days as a stand-in guitarist for the Bay City Rollers, but he rarely talks much about that…
Twitter – @allanwatson12
Facebook – Heart Swarm Page https://www.facebook.com/HeartSwarm1/?fb_dtsg_ag=Adz0nbMEoAASgKfDosWU9lOpscQrS5RyHtZrVwbgOX9eVw%3AAdxkiZ-h5CRSD7RLCeHvFWZ2edZg00tEQhsUdK29nZJ9WQ