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Book Discussion : The Caller by Chris Carter

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1Andrew-theQM
Sep 6, 6:21pm Top

Getting to know Chris Cartrer...

2EadieB
Sep 6, 7:00pm Top

Chris Carter
Biographies can be an absolute drag, so I won’t bore anyone with a long life story.

I was born in Brasilia, Brazil where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After graduating from high school, I moved to the USA where I studied psychology with specialization in criminal behaviour. During my University years I held a variety of odd jobs, ranging from flipping burgers to being part of an all male exotic dancing group.

I worked as a criminal psychologist for several years before moving to Los Angeles, where I swapped the suits and briefcases for ripped jeans, bandanas and an electric guitar. After a spell playing for several well known glam rock bands, I decided to try my luck in London, where I was fortunate enough to have played for a number of famous artists. I toured the world several times as a professional musician.

A few years ago I gave it all up to become a full time writer.

Series
Robert Hunter
0.5. The Hunter (2013)
1. The Crucifix Killer (2009)
2. The Executioner (2010)
3. The Night Stalker (2011)
4. The Death Sculptor (2012)
5. One by One (2013)
6. An Evil Mind (2014)
7. I Am Death (2015)
8. The Caller (2017)
9. The Gallery of the Dead (2018)
10. Hunting Evil (2019)

Questions
When we first virtually met a year ago, I must confess to not having read any of your books, however now I can confirm to have popped my Chris Carter cherry and read the first four books recently and it is my intention to read the rest over the next few months, so now I can chat to you and actually know what I am talking about (for a change).

To those people out there who haven’t had the “pleasure??” of reading your brilliant (but rather gruesome) series featuring Detective Robert Hunter and his partner Garcia, can you please tell us a little bit about each book and the order to read them in?

The series revolves around an ex-criminal behavior psychologist turned detective for the LAPD’s Homicide Division – Robert Hunter. He and his partner, Carlos Garcia, make up the Homicide Division’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit, which is an elite unit created by the LAPD to deal with all homicides where the perpetrator has made a point of utilizing overwhelming sadism and brutality.

Each book deals with a new brutal serial killer who stalks the streets of Los Angeles, with the exception of book six – An Evil Mind. In this book, Hunter, after a request from an old friend, join forces with the FBI’s National Center for The Analysis of Violent Crime to interview a double homicide suspect. An Evil Mind is a much more psychological story than the other books in the series. It’s also the only novel I wrote which is mainly based on true facts.

The book order is:

The Crucifix Killer.
The Executioner.
The Night Stalker.
The Death Sculptor.
One By One.
An Evil Mind.
I Am Death.
The Caller.
The Gallery of the Dead (2018)
Hunting Evil (2019)

How many books do you have planned for Detective Robert Hunter and would you ever consider writing a standalone book, if so, what?

There’s no plan for the number of books in the series. I guess that as long as readers still enjoy reading Hunter stories, I will keep on writing them.

There’s also no plan for me to write a stand alone, but you never know. The idea did enter my head a few times.

Your books are extremely graphic and quite gruesome and I worry about the research you must do when writing these books. First question is do you clear your internet search history as that could be awkward? and second question when you are writing these scenes do you ever gross yourself out?

My Internet browser is set to not retain any history anyway, so I don’t really need to clear it, but the truth is that most of these scenes do not come from research, they come from memory. I used to be a Criminal Behavior Psychologist, and I have attended countless crime scenes in which the aftermath would make anyone sick to their stomach. These images have never left me and I don’t think they ever will.

You have had a varied career to date ranging from flipping burgers to being part of an all male exotic dancing group (photos please??) have you considered opening up a Hamburger restaurant which only has male exotic dancing waiters and chefs… I think it would be great. We could call it “Carter’s Buns” or something, what do you think?

That is an idea. We could sell some very bloody burgers too.

Trust me, you don’t want to see any pictures from that era.

Whoops.. do you mean these photos that I found on the internet…. hee hee hee

You have great hair, how often do you have it cut and what’s the secret behind your silky locks?

Oh, thank you so much. That’s very kind of you to say. Well, believe it or not, the last time I had my hair cut was almost 1.5 years ago. I kid you not. I just take good care of it, I guess. Argan oil does work wonders.

Where do you get the ideas for your serial killers and their stomach-churning crimes? If you don’t mind me saying you are one sick little puppy if that sort of thing goes round your head!

Again, due to my background in Criminal Behavior Psychology, I had to deal with numerous cases where the perpetrators were very sick puppies. Trust me, reality is much, but much worse than fiction. All I do is refer to some of my memories, add a bit of imagination to it and I have a new serial killer for one of my stories.

Are you single/married/in a relationship/it’s complicated and more importantly are you romantic? If so, what is your idea of romance (please don’t say sewing her nether regions together and shoving a rose in her ass!)

I’m in a relationship and it’s complicated. I have never been married. I don’t believe I’m the romantic type. I’ve been known for doing a few romantic things, but I wouldn’t consider myself a romantic type. (I really do like that idea, though – kinky).

What has been the highlight of your writing career to date and what have you got planned for 2017?

I will have to say that getting a deal was the highlight of my writing career. Before writing The Crucifix Killer, I had never even written a short story in my life. I simply decided to write a book, just like that, out of the blue. I never really expected someone to like what I was writing, never mind an agent and a publishing house. It truly was a huge surprise for me.

I’m already writing book nine, which will be released in hardback in February 2018, so I will spend the year writing, like I usually do. Several music and Fetish festivals coming up as well this year, so there will also be a lot of traveling.

Questions from Superfans on TBC

Karen Vanderputt – Who is your favorite author and what are you reading at the moment?

The truth is I don’t have a favorite author. I also don’t read nearly as much as I should, especially for a person who makes his living writing. My “to-read” shelf is turning into a “to-read” library.
At the moment I am reading a book called “Kill The Father”

Linda Hill – What has been the most challenging part of the transition from musician to writer?

I have to say everything. They are two very different careers. Maybe the top one is that as a musician you usually do your work with others. In my case – a band, but as an author, all my work is done by myself. It’s a very lonely profession and one must be comfortable with that if they intend to go down that road.

Kate Moloney – Do you still enjoy clubbing to relax?

Hell Yeah. I go clubbing practically every weekend all the way until 7 in the morning, and on most weekends I end up in some after party. I work hard during the week, but at the weekends I party.

Cecilly Conlin – Do you have any plans to come to the UK and especially Harrogate for the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Festival ever?

I would love to attend the Harrogate Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Festival again. I’ve been there twice already. But to attend the Harrogate festival, an author needs to be invited by the organizing committee. If they invite me again, I will gladly attend. It would be a great pleasure.

Barbara Beswick “Chris, if you had to choose between Italian or French cuisine, which pasta dish would you choose?..”

Brazilian barbecue without a doubt.

From his FB page:

Chris Carter
September 3 at 3:25 AM ·
PLEASE READ!

I would like to apologise to everyone who has messaged me in the past week or so. I haven't been able to read any messages and I will not be able to read any messages in the near future. I also had to put the book that I am writing at the moment on hold. For all of that I sincerely apologise, but I have just suffered the worst personal loss a person could ever suffer. Right now, just managing to get through a single second of the day seems almost impossible.

Thank you you all so much.

Lynne M Campbell
September 3 at 4:37 AM
Morning guys, after reading the post from Chris earlier I would just like to add our most sincere condolences to Chris and his family from all at team Carter, As much as we love hunter your well being is by far greater, we will be on hand to try and answer any questions on Chris behalf with regards to his books but not his personal life, please allow Chris time to grieve and respect his need for privacy at this very sad time, Our love thoughts and prayers are with Chris and family 💔

3Olivermagnus
Sep 6, 8:40pm Top

I wonder what happened? "the worst personal loss a person could ever suffer"

4Sergeirocks
Sep 7, 7:34am Top

>3 Olivermagnus: I'm intrigued, too...

5Sergeirocks
Sep 7, 7:34am Top

>2 EadieB: Thanks for this, Eadie, 🙂

6Carol420
Edited: Sep 7, 9:44am Top

>2 EadieB: Thanks Eadie. That was interesting.

>3 Olivermagnus: >4 Sergeirocks: Sounds like a death of someone very, very close. It is dated September 3 but doesn't say what year. Was it just a few days ago or a year ago?

7Olivermagnus
Sep 7, 10:07am Top

>6 Carol420: - I just assumed it was recent but it could be older. I just assumed when he said "the worst personal loss a person could ever suffer" it meant his dog died. I read it to my husband and that's what he thought too. Because that's what it means to us.

8EadieB
Sep 7, 10:55am Top

>6 Carol420: >7 Olivermagnus: >4 Sergeirocks: It is a recent post 9/3/19 and I was wondering if it was his partner, Kara Louise, mentioned in the back of the book we are reading.

9Carol420
Sep 7, 11:10am Top

>8 EadieB: I thought either the person that he said he was in a "relationship" with or parents.

10Andrew-theQM
Sep 7, 2:15pm Top

Sounds to me like death of a child, or the death of his partner.

11EadieB
Sep 10, 5:30am Top

It was his partner:

Top Fan
Lynne M Campbell:
Guys I know your all sorry for Chris loss, but can we be a little more sensitive about wordings of comments please, there will be no information online anywhere regarding the loss of Chris's partner as it is a private matter and one we shouldn't discuss in public xx

He has also changed his profile picture to one of them both. If you have Facebook then you can see her. She has very pale skin with the brightest red hair I have ever seen with gorgeous blue eyes. She also has a skull necklace around her neck. Nose and chin piercing too.

12Olivermagnus
Edited: Sep 10, 12:11pm Top

It sounds like she could be the model for Tracy in some ways. I'm sorry for his loss but they look kind of freaky.

13Andrew-theQM
Sep 10, 2:09pm Top

>11 EadieB: Strange comment, especially describing her!

14EadieB
Sep 10, 2:26pm Top

>13 Andrew-theQM: She is a sight to see!

15Andrew-theQM
Edited: Sep 10, 4:27pm Top

>12 Olivermagnus: Just seen the picture! Agree >12 Olivermagnus: Could well be the model for Tracy.

16EadieB
Sep 11, 8:24am Top

Just found this:

July heralds the paperback release of The Caller– the latest thriller featuring detectives Hunter and Garcia, and no doubt depravity and murder await them. Chris Carter has stopped by to tell us more, starting with what the new book is all about…

The Caller is a novel about a new type of serial killer who likes to use Social Media for his victims. The theme of the novel that will hit very close to home with a lot of people because of its theme. It’s also quite scary at times, so by all means, go check it out.

There is an established history of detective duos in the crime genre and Hunter and Garcia form an extremely effective partnership, despite their obvious differences. The steadfast Garcia is the perfect foil for the troubled yet brilliant Hunter, so how did you formulate such a winning partnership? And when they were separated in a previous book, was there a stronger impetus to team them up again?

To be very truthful, Hunter and Garcia’s partnership was formulated by chance. I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to write about a sole detective. I wanted my main character to have a partner. I guess that the main reason why they are so well accepted is because I have tried my best to keep Hunter and Garcia as real as possible. Yes, Hunter has a high IQ and a very analytical mind, which of course helps him in all the investigations, but he’s not self-absorbed or egocentric. In fact, I write him as one of the most common people one could meet, with the sort of common problems we all face. His relationship with Garcia tends to be a little funny, simply because Hunter is not a “joke” person and Garcia is.

It was fun to write a book where Hunter and Garcia weren’t working together, but yes, there was a very strong impetus to team them up again.

Your background in criminal psychology is well referenced, but what intrigues me is whether you cast mind back to a particular individual and construct a plot around them, or is it plot first and then you select an antagonist?

To be honest I have done both. Sometimes the first thing I think about concerning a possible new novel is the main idea for the plot, sometimes I envisage the antagonist first and then come up with a plot.

I guess it’s not too much of a stretch to say that your regular readers enjoy the more macabre aspects of your writing, but on a more serious note, how cathartic do you find this aspect of writing out the darkness, in terms of those you have encountered in your past?

That’s a very good question. Most of the time, writing out the darkness I have encountered in my past, or even the darkness that undoubtedly resides inside me can be very liberating. Writing down what’s going on inside ones mind is a very well known therapeutic method, but sometimes writing down this dark passages brings back some very strong memories – memories that I’d rather not have disturbed, but I guess that that’s part of the job, really.

Why do we love to read about serial killers, and even form a strangely amicable relationship with them? I would of course mention Hannibal Lector, as it would be rude not to, but I rather liked Lucian Folter from An Evil Mind, despite the fact he was quite a sick puppy indeed…

That’s a very hard question to answer, so here’s the long version.

As a criminal behavior psychologist and as a crime thriller writer, I have been asked numerous times why is it that people are so fascinated by crime and murder? Why are people so fascinated by death and by those who cause it? Why do killers and what goes on inside their heads intrigue us so much?

The truth, I believe, is that there is no single correct answer to any of those questions. Every psychologist, criminologist, author, scholar, or whoever else has ever spent any time exploring the “if’s” and “why’s” that inevitably accompany every possible answer we can come up with, has undoubtedly come to their own interpretation of the possible reasons behind such fascination. The following is merely my own conclusion, based on my understanding of criminal psychology, what I know of the human mind and the many years I spent working with law enforcement agencies and interviewing serious criminal offenders, many of them murderers. My conclusion came from analysing two quite simple human aspects.

One – Human beings are inquisitive by nature. It’s just the way our brains are wired up, for example, do you remember annoying your parents no end when you were a kid, always asking – ‘Why this? Why that? Why something else?’ Do you remember what would happen as soon as you got an answer? That’s right, you would move the goal post back a little bit and the “why’s” would start all over again. Maybe your kids are doing the same to you today. Well, the good news is – they are not deliberately trying to annoy you. Those questions are due to the naturally inquisitive nature of the human brain. As we grow older, the questions change, but the desire to find answers to things we fail to understand never goes away. The human brain is always trying to learn new things, always trying to find answers to questions that are ever changing. The hunger for knowledge and understanding simply never really vanishes.

Two – I guess one could argue that the primordial mystery men have been struggling to understand since the beginning of times is life itself. Some of us have become obsessed with trying to find answers to questions such as – How did we get here and where did we come from? I believe that from that intense desire to understand life comes an equally intense desire to understand the lack of it – death. Where do we go, if we go anywhere, once we leave this life form? Is there life after death? Etc.

Once you add these two factors together – the naturally inquisitive nature of the human mind and an inherent human desire to understand life and death – the answer to the question “Why are people so fascinated by crime and murder?” becomes almost obvious. Murder sits right on that thin line that separates life from death. So, with that in mind, I believe that many of us, trying to satisfy our natural human curiosity, would love to understand the reasons that could lead someone to commit murder, to take away the life of a fellow human being, to play God so to speak, sometimes with extreme prejudice. Our intrigue and curiosity heightens considerably when the person in question is a repeat offender – a serial killer, and even more so when the murder is preceded by torture. In a way, our brains long to understand how can a human being, just like you and I, do something most of us could never even contemplate, and worse yet, take such pleasure from something so gruesome and sadistic that he/she would do it again, and again, and again. We simply want to understand.

A great number of us, searching for that understanding, will turn to books, films, documentaries, research papers whatever we can find. The problem is; we are all different. Every murderer or serial killer out there has their own motives for doing what they do, crazy or not. As a criminal behaviour psychologist I have never encountered two murderers with the same exact reasons behind their actions. So as soon as we finally understand the motivations behind the actions of, let’s say Killer X, along comes Killer Y, with a whole different Modus Operandi, a whole new signature, and a whole new set of reasons for us to try to figure out. We’re then back to asking the same questions, but inevitably we’ll keep getting different answers with every case. So in truth, our curiosity and fascination with crime and murder will never be totally satisfied, and we’ll keep coming back for more. Always trying to understand the reasons behind something unreasonable. That in itself could trigger an addiction, a vicious cycle, and that’s why crime readers and crime fans can become such aficionados – The hunger for understanding simply never really vanishes.

You have made use of the contemporary phenomenon that is social media, and referenced the dark web. Despite the recognised pernicious evils of both, you’ve got to admit it’s a bit of a godsend to crime writers. How deeply have you explored the dark web in the course of your writing?

Yes, I do agree that the Internet is a Godsend to writers. I know it certainly is to me, but to quote a song from Poison – every rose has its thorn. The Internet has its good side as well as its bad side. I did explore the dark web quite a bit, actually and yes, it can be very dark.

I’ve often heard authors say that they cannot read fiction while they are planning/writing their books- is this true of you? Any particular authors you admire?

For me it definitely is. I don’t read at all while I’m writing a novel.

To be honest, after becoming an author myself, I now admire every author out there because this is a tough business to be in.

Who would play you in a biopic of your life, as psychologist, international author, and total rock-god?

Not sure about the Rock God part, but thank you very much. Not sure, maybe Dwayne Johnson as we both have the same physique and the same hair color.

Perfect soundtrack for writing? Musicians you’d like to jam with?

Any sort of metal for me. It gets the thinking gears rolling.

Musicians I’d like to jam with. There are too many, but certainly Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and A Perfect Circle. That would be awesome.

What’s next?

As soon as I am done with book 9 – The Gallery of the Dead – I will take a break of about a month (maybe more), recharge everything then start on book 10.

17Carol420
Sep 11, 10:33am Top

<16 Interesting. I wonder if he finished Gallery of The Dead before the tragedy struck.

18EadieB
Edited: Sep 11, 1:46pm Top

>17 Carol420: This article is from 2017. He has finished that one and Hunting Evil in 2019. I think he is in the process of writing his 2020 book.

19EadieB
Sep 18, 6:03pm Top

Chris Carter is feeling broken.
Yesterday at 12:29 PM ·
I met my partner - Kara - almost six years ago, during a very dark phase in my life. I’m not sure why she decided to say “yes” when I asked her out for dinner, but what I do know is that she saved me. With her breathtaking beauty, with the brilliance that radiated out of every smile she gave me, with the life she injected into me every time we touched, with the wisdom that came with every word she spoke, she saved me from a place where everything was dark. I couldn’t believe that I had met someone so perfect in every aspect and I fell hopelessly, completely, madly in love with her. She became my entire world... may air... my light... my reason to be. In that, I know that I wasn’t alone. Kara was loved by everyone who met her. Her intelligence, her beauty, her kindness, her whole character was simply contagious, and people just couldn’t help but to be drawn to her light.

Yesterday some of us said goodbye to Kara for the last time, but for me it was not a final goodbye, as I know that I won’t ever stop saying goodbye to her, but more than that, just like I did every morning when I woke up next to the most amazing person I’ve ever met, I will never stop saying “I love you” to Kara.

Funny how six years ago Kara saved my life, and now she simply took it with her. My biggest regret... my biggest failure... is not managing to be the light in her darkness in the same way that she was in mine. Please forgive me Kara.

I will miss you and love you every second, of every day, for the rest of my life. 💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔

20Sergeirocks
Today, 8:36am Top

>19 EadieB: Poor guy.

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