Interview with Matt Bendoris

What was the idea behind Killing With Confidence?
I liked the idea of taking something that was essentially for good - i.e self-helps books - and have them used for evil by a serial killer. I like stories with a dark twist.
The book features two journalists April Lavender and Connor Presley, were they based on anyone you know?
The answer authors are supposed to give is 'no', but that's usually a lie. The truth is April is based on three or four people I've worked with during my (whisper it) quarter of a century in the newspaper industry. While Connor is based on a version of me - someone who thinks he's cool and better than he really is!
Why did you feature journalists as that's been done before?
Yes, but not accurately in my opinion, even when written by ex-hacks who should know better. They always depict newsrooms as bustling hives of activity with the phones ringing off the hooks. Nothing could be further from the truth in 2016. The phones hardly ring - readers, PRs, the government and the police email or Tweet everything now - and most days are as routine and boring as any average office. It's also a declining industry with staff and budget cuts across the board. But then a big story will break and that's when things get interesting. I was determined to reflect all of this correctly.
There's also a detective...with a difference.
There certainly is! Detective David 'Bing' Crosbie suffers from a sort of Tourette's syndrome which the rank and file find hilarious, but his superiors less so. I figured if I was going to write about a detective I had to make him stand out.
Killing With Confidence was released a few years ago now, what would you have done differently?
It was my first attempt at a crime novel, or as I like to think of them, a novel with a crime in it, and it's a little rough around the edges. But I was learning a new trade. I felt my second novel DM For Murder was a major improvement and fortunately so did others as it shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the year in 2015, where I was up against some major authors including Christopher Brookmyre and Ann Cleaves.
I feel my latest Wicked Leaks (out July 2016), is better than the last. So I'm learning and improving, hopefully.
Sorry, but I must get back to April, she seems to take a lot of stick from her younger colleague Connor, especially about her eating habits.
Ha, yes she does, but she's no sponge and gives as good as she gets. Although if she was a sponge she would probably eat herself. But again I wanted to accurately reflect how colleagues interact with each other with the banter and the humour.
You also made April a technophobe.
Again that's how many older people feel in the work place. Technology is a battle, it's not their friend.
What's next?
I'll get back to writing another April and Connor book on the train on my iPhone.
Really? You write your books on your iPhone?
Killing With Confidence was done on my BlackBerry which I really liked as it had the little keys. A touch screen was a lot harder to get used to. But yes I can get up to around 50,000 words before I quite literally lose the plot and have to finish the rest on the laptop.
But I hope people who enjoyed April and Connor in Killing With Confidence with give my other books a try. I get better - promise!
What advice would you give to any would be writers?
Stop waiting for the perfect time to write, like when you retire, or have that cottage with the sea view. I have a demanding full-time job as a journalist, two kids at school with a house full of pets and all that entails. Yet I still found time to write three novels on the train. So if I can find the time so can you!
Published 2016-07-25.
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Books by This Author

Killing With Confidence
Price: Free! Words: 58,010. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(5.00)
A serial killer who uses self-help motivational books to become a better murderer. The brutal death of a glamorous self-made millionairess. And an ageing, technophobic investigative journalist April Lavender with her young side-kick Connor Presley determined to crack the case – even if it kills them.