Interview: S.C.Cunningham, Author of Unfinished Business

Hey Bookworms!

Today I had the opportunity to have a chat with S.C. Cunningham, author of the psychological thriller, Unfinished Business.

Before continuing, let me introduce her to you! 

 British Author S C Cunningham (The Penance List, Unfinished Business and The Deal) creates psychological and paranormal thrillers with a skilled mix of fueled tension, dark humor, and pulsating sex scenes. Her works offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

Cunningham writes what she knows. Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Deal, the first in the Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker, thus sowing the seed for her thrillers The Penance List and Unfinished Business part of The David Trilogy. She is currently working on Book III For My Sins.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of rock music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the Police – Wanted & Absconder Unit, Intelligence Analyst, Major Crime Team, Investigations Hub. 

Having worked in the music to film industry, she writes with film in mind. The Penance List has been adapted to film screenplay.

Now, let's head on to the interview! 

Unfinished Business sounds mind boggling. How did the idea take birth?

The David Trilogy was kick-started by an incident that happened to me in my twenties when I was living in London. Quite frighteningly and out of the blue, I crossed paths with a prolific serial attacker who targeted single girls living alone in basement flats in Notting Hill and Olympia. It was then that I realised evil can sit around any corner, learn to trust you gut.

This male haunted London for a long period of time; he was astute, studied his victims for days and avoided capture. I believe he attacked 14 or so women, luckily I got away unscathed (must have an Angel looking out for me) and managed to help Police ID him with a photo fit. He was a nice looking, well dressed, calm, cold, precise and unhurried. He didn’t say a word, just stared, seeming to revel in the fear he instilled. 

I remember looking into his face and asking why? I needed to understand how a human could be that cruel to another. He had the look of a spoilt mother’s boy; I guessed his mother must have loved him at some stage, but what life changing event or who had turned him from a sweet little boy into an evil adult? The seed for complex protagonist David Howard was sown.

What was the toughest part of writing Unfinished Business?

David looking back on his childhood, the reason for his transformation from angelic choir boy to avenging killer.

Who is your inspiration, your idol?

That’s easy. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher Series. I adore Reacher, such a wonderful character. 

If I was a bloke I’d love to live his simple lifestyle. No baggage, traveling with just a toothbrush and credit card, great intelligence, people skills and the strength of an ox – awesome!

I can’t quite forgive Child for selling out to Tom Cruise – Mr Cruise is lovely am sure, but he’s no Jack Reacher.

I also love the works of Agatha Christie, Martina Cole, Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Colin Dexter, Harlan Coben, John Grisham,  Nora Roberts, Karin Slaughter, David Baldacci.

What was your first piece of creative writing—other than school assignments? Has it been published?

The Penance List, Book I of The David Trilogy was my first piece of writing. 
Yes it’s been published and adapted to film screenplay. Am honored. 

What was the most enjoyable part of writing this book?

I loved the laughter between the girls and the cheeky banter between the boys.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely go be the seat of my pants. If I knew the ending I SO would not go through the months of hard work. Knowing the end makes it boring for me. I want to be taken on a ride along with the readers. These books tend to write themselves.

If you were stuck in an elevator with David, what would you do?

There is a fab scene in The Penance List where Tara has an encounter with her lover in an elevator. I would deffo do that…. (smile)

What did you aspire to be when you were a kid?

A nun, because I liked their long romantic veil. Gosh… little did I know!!!

Which is your favourite book?

Love all Agatha Christie and Lee Child. 

Which was the first novel you ever read? Did you ever re-read it?

I grew up with Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven. Then someone sneaked a copy of Harold Robbins’ The Carpetbaggers into school. Phew!! a bit of a shock. 
No, I don’t want to spoil the magic.

Would you rather own a bookstore or a library?

A library, I’d fill it with a cozy coffee n’cocktail area, fireplace, smelly candles, soft music, gentle lighting, hammocks and reading nooks… and allow pets to snuggle up with.

What is the weirdest thing you ever had to research for a book?

When writing thrillers/crime you research many weird things, my google search history looks like a crime scene. I hope no Officers ever need to take it away for forensics

Blood splatter, gun caliber, length of various times to die, amount of pressure needed on throat for strangulation, hanging intel, suicide intel, mental health behavioral patterns, life span of insects, deterioration rate of body… and the list goes on.

Are you working on any new projects? What are they about?

Am working on book II of The Fallen Angel Series. A Paranormal Thriller -  Karma. 
This mixes my criminal knowledge with my belief that there is something else out there. It’s based on a kidnap incident that happened to me as a child. Kick ass, naughty, crime-fighting angels that protect us. Love it, I get to tackle all subjects. Of course there romance and laughter mixed in with the murder mystery.

Am also working on book III of The David Trilogy - For My Sins. 
Am gutted, I don’t want the trilogy to end… or does it? 

The best moment of your life as a writer was?

My first reviews, they were 5 Stars. 
I beamed internally for days. All the hard work paid off and people seemed to love my work… phew!!

Any quirky incidents to share with us?

When recording the audio book of The Penance List (book I of The David Trilogy) I had to stand in the recording booth with my back turned to the studio engineer for the whole month we worked on it. If I caught his eye I would have a fit of the giggles and have to start again, especially during the sexy bits. Bless him, he was very patient.

Thank you for joining us.

Siobhan x
S C Cunningham

Thank you for taking out time for this interview! I wish you good luck for your book!  

Curious about the book? Here's some info about it:

He loved being him… he got away with murder.
She loved being her… until she met him.

The steamy roller coaster ride of psychotic David’s obsession with his childhood sweetheart, a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes.

With the help of her gutsy friends, fun-loving city girl Tara Warr is the only victim to survive David Howard’s death list. Whilst lounging in prison the hypnotic sexual tour de force enlists an eager recruit, seduces a prison warden and relocates to the sunnier climes of Mexico, a freedom short-lived when his charred remains are found in the fire of a plastic surgeon’s clinic. The police cease their search, finally Tara and her friends can relax, David is dead. 

Laughter soon turns to fear when he communicates via Tara’s laptop that he is very much alive, knows their every move and is ready to finish what he started. He is among them, but who? He has a brand new face. 
Tara has had enough, time to turn the tables and make him suffer.  A woman unafraid of death is a dangerous thing. Has David finally met his match?

Oh, and we also have a...


Win a signed copy of Unfinished Business (Open Internationally)

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That's all for today! See you tomorrow!

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