Id (Author Interview)

id looks like a fantastic scary story.  Can you tell us a little about it?

Id, was originally a screenplay and was initially picked up by Fox Television but unfortunately didn’t make it through to production. However, I’ve always thought it to be a crackerjack story and a compelling read. I’d like to think that if Clockwork Orange, Frankenstein and Altered States met at an orgy, 'id' would be something similar to the bastard offspring.

I decided to write id as a novel which gave me more freedom to explore the characters and focus on what makes them tick. The story is based around the different states of the psyche, the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id being the part that contains our sexual and aggressive urges. The ego governs what's acceptable in society or what we can get away with, and is the more conscious part of our psyche. The superego is the referee. Our moral code based on what we learn from parents and society, it's how we distinguish between right and wrong.

I've always found the definitions interesting and wanted to know if the states could be separated, and if so, what would that look like and are those traits inheritable? It alludes to the question of nature vs nurture which is what's at the core of the book. Are we born bad or did society make us that way?

Dr Shelly, my central character does just that. Haunted by her father; a psychopath who killed seventeen women, she's driven by her need to find out why, and more importantly, will she inherit his behavior? Is who we are and what we do is predetermined and encoded at birth?

She constructs an experiment using a combination of a sensory deprivation tank and virtual reality to find out.

Finding the perfect subject in Adam, a borderline psychotic she seeks to answer the question; what made him that way, nature or nurture? Within the confines of the tank, Shelly manages to separate the Id from the ego. Adam, suspended like a marionette is mainlined directly into a VR landscape of his own making and has his psychological footprint, his id, recorded and stored.

The experiment is a resounding success. Taking her research from the controlled sterility of a lab to the unpredictable real world, Adam, free from desire, appetite satisfied, is given a day release job at the crumbling local zoo. Shelly hopes to find the answers she's looking for and prove we are above instinct. That we are in control, not the animal inside. But she doesn't account for Detective Hopper. The man responsible for Adam’s capture.

After suffering a breakdown due to the escalation of his own violent behavior, Hopper is a broken man and put on administrative leave. He is eventually placed under the care of Dr Shelly when she requests him as her patient. Encouraging him to go looking for his own redemption, Hopper becomes a pawn in her experiment as people begin to go missing at the zoo. The lines of reality are slowly redrawn as Hopper and Adam come full circle in an explosive end.

Any plans to turn it into a series?

I have a few ideas on both a sequel and prequel. I also have a second book in the works that's completely different. Id was a dark place to visit, I felt I needed some head space.


That’s an amazing cover.  Can you tell us a little about it?

I've worked as a designer for over twenty years. Illustration, copywriting, and design are all tools I regularly use. Ultimately design is about communicating an idea, and since id is about the monsters that reside inside the mind. It seemed to fit. Having said that I went through about seven or eight designs.


What inspired the idea for your book?

A few things. I've always been interested in psychology, mental health, and the question of nature vs nurture along with the abdication of responsibility. But as someone who has worked in advertising for a long time, you eventually become obsessed with why do we do the things we do, or more importantly, how do we get people to do things we want them to do?

I also remember coming across a news article about a crumbling zoo that was shut down and the manager prosecuted for mistreatment. Zoos are an odd place, I've personally never been comfortable with them - of course I get the argument about conservation, but still, there's something about the dichotomy of freedom and captivity side by side.


How did you come up with the title to your book?

It made sense to call it what it's about. I think it's an intriguing title that I hope will make readers want to find out more.

Can you tell us a little about Dr. Shelly?

She's a complicated character. As the daughter of a psychopath, she's worried she may have inherited his behavior and might end up like her father. She's full of her own contradictions; she's a loner but craves company, she's manipulative, but also sympathetic. As someone who studies behavior and psychology she often finds the world predictable and wants to be surprised, but at the same time finds the predictability of life reasurring. She's also obsessed with the truth, which is another reoccurring theme in the book.


Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing id?

After a while the characters began to take on a life of their own and I found myself changing direction several times as I started to get a better understanding of what triggers these people and how they would respond to certain things, but they still had to drive the story to its conclusion. Every aspect had to be credible as well as making sense. The last thing I wanted to do was introduce some convenient options just to make the ending easy to get to. It's a complicated story that has to tie together, the last thing I wanted was to disappoint the reader - so far, I've had some great feedback, so it looks like I'm on the right track.


What do you like to do when not writing?

I work as a designer, which is something I love, and will never give up. I also work for myself and have done for several years which gives me the flexibility to focus on different projects. I'm also interested in keeping healthy and fit, I'm a massive believer in looking after your mental health, exercise is key to that. I've done enough work in the behavioral change space to understand that you need a balance in life.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

You can visit my website, drop me a line and I promise I'll get back to you. You can also read a preview of the first hundred pages of the book so you don’t feel burned if it's not for you.

You can check out my design work at

Of course you can always download the book or get the hard copy from Amazon;