Friday, June 3, 2016

THE SAFE WORD by KAREN LONG Interview & Giveaway

Published January 14th 2014
Genre: Mystery / thriller / crime
Eleanor Raven Series: Book 1

There are rules that every player of every game must abide by, no matter how dangerous the sport.

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.


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

Karen Long was born and raised in the English midlands, educated at Bangor University and taught English and Drama for fifteen years. During her teaching years she studied biology and neurology with the Open University and this interest in medicine, forensics and forensic psychology is reflected in her writing. She is an enthusiastic traveller and has spent time in Toronto, which became the backdrop and inspiration for The Safe Word.  
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, 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.

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Wolverhampton but have spent the last twenty-five years in Shropshire. Black Country gal goes rustic!
Tell us your latest news.
I’m half way through a rewrite of the third book in the Eleanor Raven series. It’s called The Cold Room.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first time I declared myself to be such, was when I held a copy of The Safe Word as a paperback. It made it real.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I read a small article 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!
Do you have a specific writing style?
I do. I like metaphors, not similes. Try to show without telling and like a strong narrative rhythm.
How did you come up with the title?
A ‘safe word’ is a mutually agreed word that, when uttered during a sado-masochistic session will stop the punishment. It features metaphorically, as well as literally in the novel.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I imagine the most obvious message is to be cautious when indulging in unsafe sexual practices with strangers. However, on a less didactic level, it’s about learning to understand that you never completely know, or understand your motivations.
How much of the book is realistic?
I try to keep the forensic science as accurate as possible. I’m writing crime fiction, not science fiction. However, sometimes you have to tweak the rules to get the story to work.
Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
No, they’re way too rich for my blood. However, I can say that I have visited the places mentioned in  ‘The Safe Word’, including the tranny clubs. (All in the name of research!)
What books have most influenced your life?
“Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding and ‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I think you steal a little bit of technique and style from every writer you read. If I were to choose, it would have to be Agatha Christie. She doesn’t cheat, her science is spot on and the stories keep you on tenterhooks.
What book are you reading now?
I’m on the last chapter of ‘Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found.’ It’s by Frances Larson and I thoroughly recommend it.
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
There are so many new and exciting writers out there but I’m happy to give a plug to Mark Tilbury (The Revelation Room) and David McCaffrey (Hellbound).
What are your current projects?
When I’ve finally pressed the ‘send’ button on “The Cold Room’ I’m getting back to a novel I started before Christmas. It’s a stand-alone called ‘The Girl Who Drowned’ and I hope to have it finished before the year is out.
What would you like my readers to know?
That no author ever sets out to write a bad novel and it’s still cheaper to download a book than buy a coffee. 
All author or review enquires please contact Karen Long’s Personal Assistant J.B. Johnston –

Check out Book 2 – The Vault -
Did you know that Eleanor Raven is also online?


1 comment: