by J.C. Martin
Release Date: July 30, 2012
Target Reader: Adult
As the countdown begins, the body count rises.
With London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn’t need a serial killer stalking the streets, but they’ve got one anyway.
Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police force is no closer to finding the latest psychopath than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter’s disability.
Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential victim
One of whom could be his own daughter.
Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer’s only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene.
J.C. Martin is a butt-kicking bookworm: when she isn’t reading or writing, she teaches martial arts and self-defence to adults and children.
After working in pharmaceutical research, then in education as a schoolteacher, she decided to put the following to good use: one, her 2nd degree black belt in Wing Chun kung fu; and two, her overwhelming need to write dark mysteries and gripping thrillers with a psychological slant.
Her short stories have won various prizes and have been published in several anthologies. Oracle is her first novel.
Born and raised in Malaysia, J.C. now lives in south London with her husband and three dogs.
JC Martin will now take your questions:
Q. 1. When did you start writing?
A. My first memories of writing was when I used to staple together sheets of paper to form a book, and drew and wrote comics about my grandfather’s two dogs. I called them The Adventures of Buffy & Misty & Friends. In high school, I wrote my first novel longhand in a notebook, and was one of those geeky kids who wrote a 3,000 word fantasy epic when asked to write about My Holiday. So I was bitten by the writing bug pretty early on. 🙂
Q. 2. Whose writing did you most enjoy as a teen?
A. I devoured R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series, and I also loved Christopher Pike, especially his Last Vampire series.
Q. 3. What is your favorite genre? What is it that draws you in?
A. Definitely crime and mystery. I read plenty of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew in my tweens, and loved trying to solve the puzzle before the protagonists do. When I was older and started reading my Mom’s hand-me-down books, they were predominantly crime: James Patterson, John Sandford, etc. I was then old enough to appreciate the deeper, darker exploration of the killer’s psyche, and of the human condition in general.
Q. 4. Oracle is a fascinating story, and so unique. What was your inspiration for writing the book?
A. A year or so after London won the bid for the 2012 Olympics, the local newspapers were all reporting the many problems the organising committee encountered: budget issues, transport and congestion, being behind schedule with constructing the Olympic Park … I thought to myself, wouldn’t the organisers have a fit if they had a public relations nightmare to handle on top of all that, a serial killer stalking the host city, and right before the Games began? This “what if”, followed by research into the history of the Olympics, eventually materialised into Oracle.
Q. 5. What’s a typical day of writing like for you? Can you walk us through your day?
A. I wake up between 7 and 8, and have breakfast in my jim-jams while sitting at the computer. Breakfast time is when I sort through my e-mails, and all my social media stuff. Then, after a shower, I work on writing, be it blog posts, short stories, research, or my current project. Depending on priority, I switch tasks when my mind starts to wander, so I don’t end up staring at a blank screen for too long. On work days, this lasts till around 1pm, when I have to go to work, but on days off, I’m at my computer till it’s time to cook dinner.
Q. 6. How did you and your husband meet? Was it love at first sight? Did you make him chase you, or did you put the smack down on him? See … we’ve heard about your mad martial arts skills … and we’re a little afraid!
A. Oh, don’t worry! I don’t use my kung fu unless I have to. 😉 I actually met the Hubster at my martial arts school. I used to teach him! Apparently he had a major crush on me from day one, but I was with someone else at the time. Not long after my previous relationship finished, a group of us from the school went out for dinner together. He offered to drive me home after, and well, the rest is history!
Speaking of smack downs, he likes to think he’s better than me at kung fu, but I remain a grade above him. 😉
Q. 7. What project(s) are you working on right now?
A. My main project is a second book featuring Detective Lancer from Oracle, and I’m also toying with the idea of starting a thriller series with a kung fu fighting protagonist who made a cameo appearance in Oracle.
Q. 8. J.C. your bio states you have three dogs. Would you be willing to share with us about each of them, and what they bring to your life?
A. I LOVE talking about my doggies … now you’ve done it!
Alfie is my first first dog; unlike the ones I had growing up, who were technically my parents’ dogs, I got him while living on my own. He’s a long-haired Chihuahua, and despite being the oldest at 4-and-a-half years, he’s the baby of the lot. He loves cuddles, toys, and sleeping. His disposition is unusual, as Chis are usually one-owner dogs, and are wary of strangers. Alfie does tend to favour me to the Hubster (win!), but he adores attention from everyone!
We got Bubbles a few months after Alfie, because we both used to work long days, and thought Alfie needed a puppy companion. She’s a Pomeranian, and is the dopiest of the lot. Whilst the other two learned tricks easily, so far we’ve only managed to teach Bubbles “sit”, “down” and “off/out” (when we want her off the couch or out a room). She’s the kind of dog who’d run into a glass door, but she’s the most loving and loyal, happy to just sit at our feet all day. When I go to work, she would take my fluffy house slippers and ‘guard’ them by laying on them till I get home.
Finally, we have little Boo! (yes, with the exclamation mark), who is just 2 years old. Alfie and Bubbles erm, got it on, and had three litters before we finally neutered daddy. We found homes for all the pups, but just could not part with this one puppy from the first ever litter: a sweet little girl with white ‘socks’ on her front paws. As a cross-breed (Pom-Chi? Chi-Pom?), she’s really intelligent and healthy. She loves her exercise, and when let off leash in a field would happily zip around chasing pigeons all day long. Despite being handbag sized, she’s a proper dog: she’s the only one who would go swimming in the pond. Strangely, despite our efforts to socialise her in the same way we brought up the other two, Boo! is very wary of strangers. When the Hubster’s brother moved in with us, it took 18 months before she finally warmed to him!
All three doggies have such different personalities, it’s almost like having three little people around! We cannot imagine parting with any one of them. With them around, there’s never a dull day!
Thanks for appearing on our blog today, JC, it was awesome having you!!!
Learn more about J.C. here:
*Note: Oracle is an adult thriller