• The Write Way

Interview with Angelo Marcos on Victim Mentality

Author Name:

Angelo Marcos

Book Name:

Victim Mentality

Book genre:

Crime/psychological thriller


Angelo Marcos is a writer, actor and stand-up comedian.  He writes psychological thrillers and crime fiction, often with a dash of humour thrown in for good measure. Drawing on his background in law and psychology, he crafts memorable characters and suspenseful mysteries which shine a light on human behaviour and why people do what they do.

Book Blurb:

A criminal genius. A comedian on the edge. A secret that should have stayed buried…

Nick’s life is about to change, and not for the better.  After his comedy and acting agent lands him a film role, Nick meets with a prisoner to help get into character.  Enter Gideon Matthias, who explodes into Nick’s life like a nuclear bomb.

Gideon is a criminal genius with an almost superhuman gift of perception. A man who beats other inmates to death while describing the emotions they’re feeling. 

The first meeting changes everything for the two men – for very different reasons – and Nick finds himself drawn into Gideon’s chaotic world.  As Nick battles his inner demons and tries to get his life on track, Gideon contends against his own enemies inside the prison – one of which he’s crossed too many times.

The lives of Nick and Gideon are on a collision course, and there’s only one way out for them both…

Could you tell me a bit more about your book?

It’s a psychological crime thriller that is thought-provoking, darkly funny, and challenges our ideas of who we are and why we do what we do.

What inspired you to write the book?

The idea came to me during a cognitive psychology lecture where the tutor was explaining the mechanisms behind optical illusions.  I remember he said that no matter how much we learn about optical illusions and how they work, every single time we look at them we will see the illusion.  It’s just how our brains are wired.  This stuck with me and I thought it’d make a great premise for a book – that we are victims of our own minds.

What was your process of writing the book?

For novels it’s always the same; some concept or premise kicks about in my head until it forms into story, then I sit down and write the outline.  From that point it’s a long process of writing-editing-rewriting-editing, sometimes for what feels like forever. After that, everything goes to my editor, then the proof-readers, then my beta readers.  I’ll then make further tweaks and changes if necessary.  Then comes the whole book cover designer element, but that’s a whole other process.

Why should people read your book?

The book is pretty unique in that it is a mix of traditional crime thriller elements combined with psychological and philosophical themes.   I guess I’d say, in short, it’s an entertaining thriller that’ll also make you think about human nature – including your own.

What is so special about your story?

A lot of readers have said they love the interplay between the two main characters, and these are probably the chapters I had the most fun writing.  You’ve got a standup comedian on one side, and a criminal genius on the other, so their conversations are both funny and terrifying – often at the same time.

Who is your ideal reader?

The book has been compared to Harlan Coben’s ‘Myron Bolitar’ books and also Thomas Harris’ ‘Hannibal Lecter’ series, so fans of either of them should get a lot out of my novel.  There are enough crime fiction elements to satisfy the most hardened crime fiction reader, and enough psychological elements to satisfy psychological thriller readers too, so I’m hoping it has a pretty broad reach!

How did you celebrate finishing writing your book?

I don’t think I did celebrate to be honest. I’m pretty sure actually, that I finished it in the afternoon and then had a comedy gig to get to later that evening, so I didn’t really have a chance to celebrate. 

Who is your favourite character in the book?

I honestly couldn’t choose.  It would have to be a tie between Nick and Gideon.  They’ve both got various characteristics of mine, so it’s like asking who my favourite child is.  I’d feel bad even trying to answer that one.

If your book would be made into a movie – what actor would you want to play your main character and why?

I mean, the main character is an actor and stand-up comedian – same as me – so I’d probably want to play him myself. In terms of the character of Gideon, it would need to be someone able to be charming but also terrifying. Maybe a Tom Hardy-in-Bronson type. 

What is your favourite book?

I don’t think I have one specific favourite to be honest. I’m re-reading The Shining by Stephen King at the moment – for about the thousandth time – so I guess I’ll say that.

What author do you look up to?

Oh, there’s loads.  Michael Connelly, Stephen King, Ian Rankin, Karin Slaughter, Harlan Coben, Thomas Harris, Patricia Cornwell, Jeffrey Deaver… I’ll stop there as the list goes on for quite some time.

What would you do if your book became an international bestseller?

Wait, you mean it’s not?

Anything you want to share with my readers?

Um, well, at the moment I’m offering a free short story – Killing Time – at my website.  It’s a psychological thriller about a young woman who wakes up and finds she is being held captive in a mysterious location by person/s unknown.  It’s been really well received and had some good reviews, so I’d recommend your readers take a look.

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