Friday, October 25, 2013

5 Things That Changed Paul Cleave's life -

Paul Cleave is the author of six internationally best selling thrillers, including Blood Men, Collecting Cooper, and The Laughterhouse.  He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. Visit his website at
Joe Victim by Paul Cleave is on sale now.


These non-fiction books are about how the FBI developed the behavioral science unit, and their study and understand of serial killers. It’s a set of books – all of them incredibly interesting, all of them heartbreaking too as he talks about many cases he has worked on. I started reading these back in the late 90’s, back when I wanted to be a horror author. These books made me realize that horror wasn’t vampires and werewolves, but people who are real, the quite neighbor next door, and I gave up trying to be a horror writer and became a crime writer instead.
This was one of the first crime novels I ever read. It was right after reading the John Douglas books. It’s the novel that introduces Jack Reacher, who at this point everybody in the world has heard of. This is one of my all time favorite books – and confirmed for me that I wanted to be a crime writer. I know it’s a cliché – but it does tick all the boxes – and I don’t know any guy who doesn’t wish they were a little or a lot like Jack.

I grew up with and loved the first two alien movies. I was 18 and dating a girl when Alien 3 came out. I wanted to see it at the movies with her, but she didn’t want to go, but I promised her it would be awesome. It was awful. So awful, that we came out of the movie theater and broke up. I’ve only seen her once since then – it was five or six years later when I was trying to help the police identify a criminal – I was looking through some mugshots, and though she wasn’t who we were looking for, she was in the mugshot book. So thank you Alien 3 for helping us part ways right near the beginning.
I haven’t read this book, but I have read plenty of others by Mark, and he is an amazing author. I met Mark in 2008 in my home city of Christchurch where we were on a panel together. We hung out at a bar that night, did okay in a pub quiz, and became good friends. He got me invited to the Harrogate Crime Writing festival in the UK two years later, which lead to me getting signed by one of the best agents in the world, which lead to me working closely with one of the best editors in the world – who I now have a one year old son with. Mark is the Godfather, and I now live as much in Europe as I do in NZ.

It’s an old album, but my friend lent it to me a few months ago, right when I was thinking how cool it would be to learn the guitar. So ow_I’m learning, and the first song I could ever play was a Tom Petty song. I’ll crank the stereo up loud and play the guitar (the stereo is up so I can’t hear my guitar playing), and I find taking a break from writing every few hours or so to practice has really been a great help. I’m not working on some Beatles stuff. Normally when I write I listen to Springsteen. Again, I have the stereo up to drown out my singing (I can’t help but sing along – even when I’m writing).  He has some songs about loss that are inspiring – I would love to write something as poetic as his music. Who knows… maybe one day when I grow up I can become a musician instead of a writer…

1 comment:

  1. I love that the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits cd is in this! Free Fallin came out not long before I was born, and my parents played it for me all the time as a baby. It was the only thing that would get me to shut up from screaming :-P 24 years later, it's still one of few songs that just instantly relaxes me :)