Author David Temple sure knows how to set a mood and set the scene. His latest police drama, The Imposter (82 Mercer Publishing), delivers all the edge-of-your-seat thrills you could want plus all the entertainment value you could expect from career experience as a radio star.
In the author’s debut novel, The Poser, detective Pat Norelli proved to her coworkers, her family and herself that she has what it takes to become a first-class detective: she discovered the serial killer who murdered Meredith Johansen and several of Meredith’s close friends. She also unearthed a long list of victims who were murdered by the same deeply disturbed man. While he may have escaped, Norelli cannot seem to get him — or the craftiness of his evil deeds — out of her head.
Now, with the killer fleeing in the wind and her career stalling in place, Norelli decides to double down and stop at nothing to track him, then put him away for good … no matter the cost. It goes a mile a minute and keeps you guessing, but our author doesn’t leave us guessing about his answers to some fun questions below! Read our review of the novel here.
Q: What was your inspiration for the Pat Norelli series?
A: I wanted to see if I could create an authentic, believable female Detective who, while being beautiful and brash, was underneath insecure, living in the shadow of her male-dominated professional and private life. I was imagining a “female Bosch” before his sidekick appeared. I feel I created a strong, opinionated, fiercely independent character who could mature into a classic detective.
Q: Is the serial killer Dr. Darius Tercel based on someone in real life?
A: No. However, I have always relished obscenely “bad guys” in movies and television. They’re intriguing character studies of our dark side. Sure, they’re dreadful, but aren’t we all perhaps a wee bit dreadful in our private and darkest moments? I created the name Darius because I had never heard the name used in real life before. And Tercel is actually “Lecter” transposed, a nod to one of my favorite villains of all time: Hannibal (Thank you, Thomas Harris). Last thing: I had so much fun crafting him I truly didn’t want him to go away, but in order for Norelli to grow, I felt it necessary. Especially given (SPOILER ALERT) … he killed her best friend.
Q: As a male author, why did you decide to make your protagonist a woman?
A: I am always trying to stretch myself. I did it in my first career in radio, trying different formats while showing slightly different sides to my personality with each show opportunity. I did it again as an actor, portraying a variety of characters while implanting a tiny bit of who I am to said characters. So, when I decided to begin a career as an author, and after self-publishing one horror-comedy graphic novel, two family dramas, and three male-dominated military thrillers, I thought it interesting to see if I could craft a strong female lead. Note: I always imagined having to write about ten books before I could “officially” say I had gotten the hang of it. Let’s see.
Q: How has science enhanced law enforcement capabilities, and how has it aided or deterred criminals?
A: It’s much more difficult to flawlessly pull off crimes today. I watch a LOT of detective series (mostly documentaries, a lot of PBS and a little network), and what I recognize as being so prevalent is the amount of science behind finding the bad guys. Well, and often some stupid errors on the part of criminals. And while I’m not so naive as to think it’s thoroughly a “CSI World,” I must admit that with all the advancements, it’s just getting harder and harder to … get away with murder.
Q: Why would a guy who had such a huge career in radio turn to writing books?
A: I wanted to be on the radio as early as Junior High. I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted to succeed: to hit at least five of the top ten markets before age 40. Mission accomplished; I had shows in NY, LA, Chicago, Detroit and Philly, all by 38. But commercial radio consolidation changed the rules, becoming homogenized and bland. So, I got out, packed up and moved to Hollywood to try acting. After landing some TV and movie gigs, I enjoyed it but disliked the lack of control. So, I turned to a passion I had done for years, but only in private. I love telling stories in whatever form that takes, and with writing, I can control the world of my imagination.
Q: Who do you enjoy reading? Who are your favorite authors?
A: I love thrillers; psychological, conspiracy, political, military, you name it. If it puts me on the edge of my seat while pulling me into worlds I’d never otherwise live, I say bring it on! My favorites include Don Winslow, Meg Gardiner, Jack Carr, Brad Thor, John Sandford, Dean Koontz, Karin Slaughter, John le Carré, J.A. Jance, Sue Grafton (more mystery than thriller), Lee Child (an early hero), James Patterson, David Baldacci, Robert Ludlum, Vince Flynn, Michael Connelly (although more police procedural), and one of my very first “thrill rides,” Ian Fleming. Finally, I’m always on the lookout for a thrilling new voice!
Q: What would you hope readers take away from The Impostor?
That darkness often lies in wide-open places, not just the nooks and crannies of big cities and bad people. Sometimes darkness inhabits the friendly neighbor, the enthusiastic school teacher or even the kind pastor. It could truly be anyone. Sometimes people are living the best they can, but when a fissure in their “normal” creates a gap between reality and imagination, whether created by people or circumstances, something as random as a single thought can fester into something more sinister. And perhaps when pressure is applied, or incidents don’t go as we wish or someone wrongs us — intentionally or otherwise — something in us “snaps” and we find that the slope upon which we stand becomes slippery faster than we ever imagined.
Q: Can you tell us about the next book in the Pat Norelli series?
A: Let’s just say that after such a deep tragedy, plus the fact so many close to her have moved away, she’s going to rethink her idea of success and “investigate” other opportunities. I know what she’s going to do and where she’ll do it; however, it could be a short while before she takes me there. Why? I’ve got a story that’s been percolating on my mind’s back burner for some time, and after receiving significant encouragement from several close to me, I’m anxious to begin that journey. They say, “Write what you know.” Well, my protagonist will feel familiar, and the “thrill” will lie in the situations in which he finds himself and how he manages to get out of them. Please stay tuned.