Daniel Cole Reads an Extract from Ragdoll Transcript
As he drew closer he noticed the huge stitches binding the mismatched body parts together. The skin tented where the material punctured through. One black male leg on white. A large male hand on one side, a tanned female counterpart on the other. Tangled jet black hair hanging unsettlingly over a pale, freckled slender female torso. Baxter was back at his side, clearly relishing the look of revulsion on his face.
‘He didn’t tell you. One dead body, six victims.’ She whispered gleefully in his ear.
So Ragdoll is set over a two and a half week period following the detectives of homicide and serious crime demand as they investigate the Ragdoll case. The Ragdoll is the nickname given to a cadaver made up of six different body parts, from six different victims, stitched back together into a whole. With the media’s attention the killer then releases a list of six more names and the dates which they’re going to die. So the police team have to split in two. On one hand they need to identify the dismemberments, work out who the killer is targeting and why and on the other they need to try and protect these other people from an ingenious and twisted serial killer.
How did you find writing your first novel?
So I’d been writing screenplays for about six years before I finally tried to write a novel. Ragdoll was one of those. Trying to write that first page was the most difficult part and work out what your voice is, what the tone of the book is. Once you’ve got that it’s a lot easier.
Do you have a writing process/routine?
I’m absolutely terrible. I only write if I’m in the mood because otherwise just utter rubbish comes out. So I don’t have much of a routine but when I am in the mood I tend to work all through the night so I do work hard then.
What’s it like being a paramedic?
So I look back really fondly on my time as a paramedic. Some days it was the best job in the world, some days it was the worst job in the world but it was always different and always exciting. So yeah, I really enjoyed it. The shift work was a nightmare and I don’t miss that at all though.
Does your experience as a paramedic inform your writing at all?
So working as a paramedic I go to work alongside the police quite a lot and the main thing I took from them was that shared black humour that the ambulance service have as well and that’s definitely a big feature of the book. I have used some of my medical knowledge in murders but they’re all very over the top and not like anything I actually saw in the real world.
What has it been like to get published?
It’s been amazing this whole year really. I’m still ecstatic that I go an agent at all because I was trying for six years to even get an agent so I’m still pretty chuffed about that, let alone everything else that has happened since. The submission process actually went really smoothly compared to my mountain of rejection letters that I’ve got at home. I sent it to three agents, one of which is my amazing agent I’ve got now and she loved it so it went amazingly smoothly.
What’s your favourite crime fiction book?
So I’m going to go for Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith a.k.a J.K Rowling. I love the way that she writes and it’s something I referenced a lot when I was trying to work out how to start my own book.
Who’s your favourite detective?
I’m really influenced by TV and movies so I’m going to pick Woody Harrelson and Matthew Mcconaughey in True Detective as they were such a glorious mess together. I love those.
We hear Ragdoll will be adapted for TV: tell us more…
I’ve got a really great production company working on it who really got the book, got the humour in it. So I’ve seen a first draft of the screenplay and it’s looking fantastic so far.