The Slaughter Man by Cassandra Parkin / #Interview #BlogTour #TheSlaughterMan @Legend_ Press @cassandrajaneuk



When her identical twin Laurel dies, seventeen-year-old Willow’s life falls apart. With her parents’ marriage faltering, she finds escape at her uncle Joe’s cottage. But even as they begin to know each other, Willow is plagued with memories of her sister. Then, Lucas arrives in her life – troubled, angry and with a dangerous past.

Joe’s cottage is idyllic, but the forest is filled with secrets. What is Joe hiding from her? What events have brought Lucas to her door? And who is the Slaughter Man who steals through Willow’s sleep?




1. Which character would you like to be in The Slaughter Man?

I’d pick Katherine, the owner of the smallholding my heroine Willow visits. She’s wise and kind and good with animals, and takes pretty much everything in her stride. She’s also completely unsentimental and sees things exactly as they are.

2. Do you always take a book/reader wherever you go?

Always, always, always. It makes me nervous when I haven’t got something to read. The other thing I always have with me is a notebook, and about half the world’s supply of pens. I’m just like a magpie with pens. If you leave one nearby and unattended, I’ll take it.

3. Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

Oh my God, make me the villain every single time. Seriously, bring on those evil schemes and Machiavellian murders. I’m such a girly swot in real life. I would love to have a wicked literary alter ego who goes around causing mayhem.

4. Do you prefer to read/write standalones or series?

All my novels so far have been standalones, because the stories I enjoy telling are quite self-contained. I do have cameos of characters from my other books wandering through each novel, although I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who notices they’re there. I like the idea that they’re all connected.

When it comes to reading, I honestly don’t mind. I think it depends on the story the author wants to tell. The Great Gatsby is perfect at under 50,000 words. At the other end of the scale, I love A Song Of Ice And Fire because there’s so damn much of it. (Seriously though, George. Any chance of The Winds Of Winter coming soon? We’ve all been very patient.)

5. Where can I find you when you are reading?

My perfect reading spot is a six-minute walk from my parents’ house – on Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth, under the wall, on a sunny day. My perfect writing spot is at my dining table, in the morning, in my pyjamas (and people say writing isn’t glamorous), with my cats within petting distance. Saying that, I’ll read or write pretty much anywhere. They’re my two favourite ways to escape from reality for a while.

6. Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?

I teach Creative Writing in the community, and I’m also part of Women Of Words, a performance poetry collective based in Hull. If I’m not there, I’ll be swimming in the North Atlantic off Gyllyngvase beach, cursing up a storm about how cold the water is.

7. Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?

Only if there’s someone there with the physical strength and mental willingness to stop me. Otherwise I’ll go in the bookshop on the way down the street, go in again on the way back, then go back later for one more look. When the Zombiepocalypse comes, I’m spending it locked in a bookshop.

8. What are you most proud of?

I have a shelf in my living-room where I keep the old Courier typewriter I used to write my first novel when I was fifteen (it was dystopian sci-fi, because I was fifteen, so of course it was). Beside it is one pristine Do Not Touch copy of each of my novels. I’m glad I lived up to what my teenage self wanted to do.

9. What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

Utter gratitude for being lucky enough to see my words in print, and with such a beautiful cover.

10. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

My best advice is to change the way you think about time. Writing a novel takes time, but you don’t need it in one gigantic year-on-a-desert-island splurge. Instead, each day, set aside half an hour, and use that half hour to do nothing at all but write. There will be days when you hate every word you write, but that doesn’t matter; you can fix all of that in editing. Each individual writing session will take you a little bit further forward (the middle section will feel like forever, but stick with it, you’ll get to the other side eventually). If you can get down 500 words a day, you can get a first draft finished in six months.

Thank you, Cassandra Parkin  and Legend Press


About the author

Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. Her short story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011), won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories and her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

The Summer We All Ran Away (Legend Press, 2013) was Cassandra’s debut novel.


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