FEATURES

Written In Blood: Interview with author Karin Slaughter
By James W, Sunday 11th November 2018

Karin SlaughterKarin Slaughter is truly a global superstar when it comes to crime fiction. Her work has been translated into 37 different languages and sold over 35 million books! In Episode 5 of Written in Blood, Karin introduces Simon to the case of Casanova Killer Paul John Knowles, a spree killer who terrorised the US, and who came within a few miles of Karin's home. Her she chats about this and her writing career.

CBSR: Was there one writer or person in your life who inspired you to become a writer?

KS: My biggest hero was my ninth grade English teacher, Ms. Bennett. She was the first adult who told me, “you’re a good writer, but you could be better.” Up until that point, I had heard plenty of the first part of that sentence and I was a bit of an arrogant ass about my skills. Ms. Bennett put novels and short stories in my hands that helped mold me into a better story teller. She understood intrinsically that talent is either there or not, but mastery comes from studying the craft. The idea that you can hone that talent, that you can use your words to make people feel and think and laugh and understand, was completely new to me. In the Good Daughter, I was actually thinking about Ms. Bennett when I wrote the character of Gamma, because she, too, was an opinionated woman, and kind of bossy, and very intimidating, but once you earned her respect, you felt like you were worth something. Unfortunately, Ms. Bennett passed away last year, but I still hear her voice in my head every time I start a new story. For a writer, the one measure of our skill that counts is to be even better the next time. Whenever I start a story, I have it in my head that my only goal is to make sure that the book I deliver to my readers is better, different, more interesting than the book that came before. I have my teacher to thank for that.

CBSR: Can you recall your feelings when you saw your first novel in print and on sale in stores?

KS: Well, I think the big fear was that it was ONLY at that store. Then I started touring and saw it at other stores and thought, “phew.”

CBSR: Does real life tend to inspire your work, or do ideas just come to you?

KS: With most books, I have no idea where the inspiration comes from. Generally, it’s a “what if” moment. That’s what gets me going: answering the what ifs. Though I have a lot of access to real-life cases, I never take one in its entirety and put it in a book. I always remind myself that these crimes happen to real people, and I need to honor that fact, not exploit it. So, I pick and choose different details from different cases and blend them together. That being said, there is nothing a fiction author can come up with that hasn’t been done before in real life—usually far more horrifically.

CBSR: Do you have a strict writing regime?

KS: When I’m ready to work on a story, I drive two hours outside of Atlanta to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where I have a cabin that my father built for me. I wish I could say that I have a very balanced day when I’m working, but all I do is get up in the morning, start writing, then stop writing when I can’t see or think anymore. Sometimes, that can be 12 or 16 hours (with naps in between) and sometimes that can be four hours (with more naps) but I’ve always been better in isolation. My dad lives right up the road, so sometimes I’ll open my front door in the morning and he’s left me soup and cornbread to make sure I’m eating. I don’t understand how people can work in coffee shops or, worse, be in the middle of a chapter and just stop. I suppose part of it is my obsessive/compulsiveness. I’m completely incapable of not finishing something I start.

CBSR: In your episode of Written In Blood, you talk about the crimes of Paul John Knowles, which took place close to your home. What effect(s) did this have on the local community?

KS: You know, I can’t say exactly what effect his crimes had on the community, as I was very young when this happened. What I can tell you is how the story strikes me. Like Ted Bundy, Knowles was handsome, so the media nicknamed him the Casanova killer. The original "Casanova" has been recycled into an adjective for a romantic ladies man but in actuality, Casanova himself was a kidnapper and rapist, and bragged about drugging women, gang raping them, and basically doing whatever he wanted with them. This is not a romantic character but a criminal, a predator who is about control and violence at the expense of his female victims. The overall arc and mythology of the Casanova character pretty much represents the male villains in my books. The world would be a very different place if all men respected all women.

CBSR: Having sold over 35 million books, does it add a certain pressure when you start writing a new book?

KS: Not really, because at the end of the day I am just a storyteller trying to tell a good story. I never think about my readers when I’m writing. I love it when they’re there when I finish writing—that’s fantastic--and I like hearing from them and reading their questions, but I never think about them when I’m writing. What that first chapter is, is something to make me interested. It’s sort of like, there are two kinds of cat toys: one is battery operated and it moves, and the ones that are static. I’ve always been drawn to the sparkly, movey things. That pulls me into the book and makes me interested in the story.

CBSR: What else are you working on at the moment?

KS: I’m currently working on the next book in the Will Trent/Sara Linton series, which comes out in 2019!

CBSR: Karin Slaughter, thank you very much.

Episode 5 of Written in Blood is showing on Tuesday 13th November at 10pm.


Related show tags: WRITTEN IN BLOOD
MORE FEATURES
Murder by the Sea: Season 4 starts 7th January
Posted on Friday 3rd January 2020

Perhaps it's the sea air or too much sun. But despite the jollity associated with sandcastles and ice creams, breezy promenade walks and donkey rides, many British seaside towns have a dubious reputation for hosting the most remarkable crimes.

Some of the most strange and terrifying murders ever recorded in British criminal history have taken place at our famous seaside resorts; the grand hotels playing host to some of the deadliest murderers imaginable, and the seafronts doubling as stalking grounds for the serial killers.

Best-selling true crime writer Geoffrey Wansell presents an astonishing collection of real life murder cases from the coast of Britain, which will dispel the holid...

SHARE: READ MORE
Brand New CBS Reality Series: Murder Wall
Posted on Thursday 2nd January 2020

Suspenseful, engrossing and dramatic, Murder Wall turns viewers into detectives as they see clues to some of the most challenging homicides unfolding right before their eyes.

Expect twists, turns, false leads, and truly inspired detective work, as we follow the extraordinary investigations taking shape, with each episode focusing on an individual case. From a guidance counsellor found murdered in a graveyard, to a model in a canal, each case required the dedication and dogged efforts of those who bring killers to justice.

Murder Wall premieres Wednesday 8th January at 10pm and continues on Wednesdays until 11th March.
SHARE: READ MORE
Catch the UK premiere of 48 Hours: Season 31 this January
Posted on Sunday 29th December 2019

48 Hours investigates the most intriguing crime and justice cases that touch on all areas of the human experience. Each week, the series spearheads in-depth investigations into emotionally compelling stories.

It has been a leader in original reporting and impact journalism that has helped exonerate wrongly convicted people, caused cold cases to be reopened and solved, and along the way changed lives.

Season 31 of 48 Hours will run weekdays at 8pm until 10th February.

SHARE: READ MORE
Evenings packed with your CBS Reality favourites in December
Posted on Tuesday 3rd December 2019
CBS Reality delivers marathons of the most gripping series, every evening from Saturday 21st to Tuesday 31st December with each one starting at 9pm.

Here's the full line up, click the links for more info.

Women on Death Row Weekend - Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd.

48 Hours' Night - Monday 23rd.

Evil Twins' Night - Tuesday 24th.

Scandal Made Me Famous Night - Wednesday 25th.

Cold Blood Night - Thursday 26th.

It Takes a Killer Night - Friday 27th.

Medical Detectives' Night - Saturday 28th.

Wives With Knives' Night - Sunday 29th.

Ice Cold Killers' Night - Monday 30th.

Unsolved Mysteries' Night - Tuesday 31st (from 7pm)

...
SHARE: READ MORE
November on Reality
Posted on Wednesday 6th November 2019


Cold Justice

Mondays and Tuesdays at 22:00 from 11th to 19th November
Continues Monday to Friday from 25th November to 2nd December

Kelly Siegler, a Texas prosecutor for 21 years who has successfully tried 68 murder cases, and her team of crime scene investigators and trained detectives, put their vast knowledge and experience to work helping local law-enforcement officers and families of violent-crime victims get to the truth. In the first episode, Kelly and Steve Spingola head to Wisconsin to investigate an unsolved homicide. The case becomes personal after they receive a letter from the victim’s daughters. Their search uncovers a town’s dark s...

SHARE: READ MORE
Donal MacIntyre opens more Murder Files in October
Posted on Sunday 22nd September 2019

Renowned undercover reporter and criminologist Donal MacIntyre returns to present the second season of this CBS Reality Original series, examining some of the most intriguing and challenging crimes of recent years, as seen through the first-hand experiences of the men and women who ensured justice was carried out.

Using dramatic reconstruction, archive footage, and police tapes, MacIntyre takes the viewer through all the twists and turns, the setbacks and the dangers, to the turning point that led to the case being solved.

Donal MacIntyre's Murder Files continues Thursdays at 10pm.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
Evidence of Evil - Season 2 continues in October
Posted on Sunday 22nd September 2019

Evidence of EvilSeason 2 of the CBS Reality Original series Evidence of Evil explores and reconstructs some of the most intriguing and startling criminal cases of the past two decades where technology changed the course of the investigations and brought the guilty to justice.

Featuring key witness testimonies, new interviews, reconstructed sequences and archive footage, the series showcases the hard work and dedication of investigators, police, scientists, and other experts in their fields.

Evidence of Evil Season 2 continues Wednesdays at 10pm.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
The Real Prime Suspect starts September 3rd on CBS Reality
Posted on Wednesday 28th August 2019

A CBS Reality Original Series
Premieres on Tuesday 3rd September at 22:00.
Continues on Tuesdays at 22:00 until 5th November.

“The Real Prime Suspect” is a 10-part series led by Jackie Malton, a former Scotland Yard detective, one of the first female members of the Flying Squad and the inspiration for the character of DCI Jane Tennison, played by Helen Mirren, in the multi-award winning drama “Prime Suspect” by Lynda La Plante.

Using her unparalleled list of contacts, Malton will get access to ten case files and revisit the investigations with the police, detectives, and other professionals who experienced them first hand. Malton is the heart of the ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Important information for CBS Reality +1 viewers in Cumbria, south west Scotland and the south Lakes
Posted on Sunday 28th July 2019

We’re sorry to announce that due to signal changes as of the Wednesday 31 July 2019, CBS Reality +1 will no longer be available on Freeview in the Cumbria, south west Scotland and the south Lakes areas.

However, you can still watch all your favourite shows on CBS Reality on channel 66. If you have Freeview Play you can also access all our great content via our dedicated player CBS Catch Up Channels UK.

Visit Freeview TV for information on changes to TV signals.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
PICK OF THE WEEK
It Takes A Killer
IT TAKES A KILLER
Sunday 26 January
10.00 PM
Judge Judy
JUDGE JUDY
Friday 31 January
5.30 PM
Murder Wall
MURDER WALL
Wednesday 29 January
10.00 PM