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article imageBestselling author Eliot Parker discusses 'A Knife's Edge' Special

By Markos Papadatos     Oct 22, 2020 in Lifestyle
Bestselling author Eliot Parker is an award-winning author. He chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about his book "A Knife's Edge."
He is a recipient of the West Virginia Literary Merit Award and he recently received the Thriller Writing Award by the National Association of Book Editors (NABE) for his novels. In 2019, he received the JUG Award by the West Virginia Writers, Inc. organization for his creative work as well as his role in promoting writers and the literary arts in his home state of West Virginia.
In addition, he is the host of the podcast program Now, Appalachia, which profiles authors and publishers living and writing in the Appalachian region and is heard on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.
'A Knife's Edge' just hit the bestseller list on Amazon, which is an amazing accomplishment. Every book has a story about its creation, what's the story behind this story? What did it feel like when you found out it was a bestseller?
This story is one that I wanted to write for a long time. Several of my friends and family members have worked in law enforcement and the work has always fascinated me. I read a story a couple of years ago a retired police officer in Atlanta, Georgia. During the last four years of his service in the department, his partner was gay and it was something that they both managed to keep secret from the rest of their colleagues within the police department. That story was the spark I needed to create Ronan McCullough. I had wanted to write a story featuring a gay character for a long time. A gay cop working in the heart of Appalachia is something that is unique to the thriller genre and has not been written about very much before by other fiction authors.
Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. Did you learn anything new about yourself while writing 'A Knife's Edge'?
This book is a sequel to the novel Fragile Brilliance. This was the first time that I had ever written a sequel. In one way, writing A Knife’s Edge was a lot of fun because I got to spend more time with Ronan, his partner Ty, and also create a new and fresh mystery for them to solve while avoiding danger. The challenging aspect of writing a sequel is readers want to see growth in those characters. While all of the returning characters in A Knife’s Edge had to remain true to the personalities they exhibited in Fragile Brilliance, they also have to grow and develop in new and interesting ways. For me, that was the greatest challenge and it led to a lot of thinking and revision on my part as the book came together.
Your protagonist Ronan McCullough is extremely compelling, taking readers down a rabbit hole of intrigue to solve a rather thrilling mystery. What or who was the inspiration for this character?
Ronan is not really based on any specific character. Ronan is somewhat reminiscent of the main character in James Patterson’s Alex Cross crime series. Ronan’s life is shadowed with violence and mayhem and complications in his investigation arise because of internal police strife and personal family endangerments. Ronan is a bit of a prickly person. He is smart, principled, and he will do anything for the people that he loves and will do anything for the citizens of Charleston who are put in danger. To that end, he is also someone that will bend the rules if it means finding out the truth and solving a mystery.
Ronan is representative of many of the police officers and detectives I have interviewed over the years. Many of them are devoted and dedicated to law enforcement, but they can also be sarcastic, crass, moody, and aloof. Part of those personality traits are coping mechanisms because the work they do each day is so physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausting. I wanted Ronan to demonstrate some of those same traits as well.
When you did the final read-through for 'A Knife's Edge' what was your favorite part of the book?
Wow! That’s a great question and a tough one. One of my favorite parts occurs near the middle of the book where Ronan is working undercover and one of his colleagues, Detective Sean Carter, shows up at a stakeout unannounced. He and Ronan do not get along, and they end up arguing. Sean learns about Ronan’s secret relationship with Ty and promises not to tell anyone. Later on, Sean is killed in the line of duty trying to save Ronan’s life when the two of them are ambushed. In essence, Sean takes Ronan’s secret with him to the grave. Seeing Sean gunned down in front of him has a profound impact on Ronan, and the impact is not positive.
What can fans both new and seasoned expect from you in 2020/21 What else do you have in the works?
I have just finished the manuscript of a new thriller novel titled A Final Call, which a sequel to my novel Code for Murder, featuring Cleveland Homicide Detective Stacy Tavitt. My latest work, a collection of short stories titled Snapshots, was released in May of 2020 and I am currently working on another collection of short stories that I hope to have completed by early 2021.
A Knife's Edge is available on Amazon by clicking here.
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