Kevin Lewis is the author of the autobiography The Kid and its follow up The Kid Moves On. The Kid was a best-seller that highlighted the abusive childhood he suffered, into a life of the underground East End and coming out the other side into a writer with the stand alone novels Frankie and Kaitlyn plus the serials Fallen Angel and Scent of a Killer. These acclaimed books are set in the gritty world of London’s underground, showing an unforgiving brutality for those involved and the struggles they must overcome.
The Kid has been made into a film starring Rupert Friend, who plays Kevin Lewis, and is due for a release later this year, although it has recently been screened in Cannes. Kevin told me, ‘I have seen the film and thought it was very well made. It’s out in September 2010 and I hope people enjoy it.’ I would imagine that it must have been difficult to watch in some places, that is, after all, his life up there on Technicolor. Kevin agreed. ‘As you could imagine it brought back some hard memories’.
There are a lot of crime based thrillers and general novel adaptations happening for both film and television right now and asked whether he would like to see some of that work on screen, Kevin advised; ‘Yes. I’m currently converting Fallen Angel (title to be changed for film) into a major motion picture. For those who don’t know the work it’s a cross between Se7en and Silence of the Lambs’.
Fallen Angel is the first in the series that introduces us to Detective Inspector Stacey Collins and gangster Jack Stanley, which is followed by the latest book, Scent of a Killer. Why a serial after two stand alone books? ‘I wanted to write a series of books so as I can develop the characters more. Especially Stacey Collins who seems to always be on the edge of the law but deep down has a good heart,’ explains Kevin. As for the relationship between the two protagonists, ‘It is realistic despite their differing professions and views, after all opposites always attract!!!’ he laughs whilst remaining coy on how they start coping with joint parenting!
The research that has clearly gone into Scent of a Killer is extensive; police procedure, forensics and rather graphic descriptions of autopsies. Kevin says that he does have someone who helps with research noting that, ‘Research is key to any novel especially thrillers. You need to know what you’re talking about, but also it’s important not to labour on the point. Do enough research as to keep the story moving, but don’t keep pushing it. Most readers don’t want a lesson police procedural they want to be swept away in a fast moving thriller’.
A very true point as is being able to think like the characters, especially the lead. Kevin agrees with that and told me, ‘I must think like her (Stacey) at all times while writing. That way the readers get a real insight in to her state of mind’.
Scent of a Killer also enters areas that are not always written about and its clear a lot of time has gone into being able to realistically pretend to be a teenage girl on line for the purposes of ‘trolling’. ‘Blame my teenage daughter’ he laughs.
Scent of a Killer is a fast paced thriller that grips readers and pulls them into the chilling and gritty London underground with shocking ease. There will be more and without giving anything away this definitely is not the end. Kevin is currently working on the next book as well as the film!