Publication: NZ BookLovers

NZ Booklovers chats with New Zealand’s internationally bestselling crime author, Paul Cleave, who is the author of The Cleaner, The Killing House, Cemetery Lake, Blood Men, Collecting Cooper, The Laughterhouse, Joe Victim and Five Minutes Alone.

In your latest novel Five Minutes Alone your main characters are Theodore Tate and Carl Schroder – what is it that made you return to these characters, is this something you have had in mind for a while?

With every novel I write these days, I think about whether or not Tate and Carl can work in the confines of that novel. If they can lead the story, then that’s great, otherwise I’ll try to get them in there as secondary characters – more so in Carl’s case. I like to have all my characters from the books floating around in there somewhere if I can, just to remind the readers where those people are at, because one day I just might bring some of them back in a bigger way. The good thing about these two guys is they want the same outcome, but always go about it in very opposite way. Sometimes they can work together, but never on the same page. Over the course of the books, I’ve switched the way they approach things, having Tate behave more the way that Carl would, and having Carl behave more the way Tate would. It’s more interesting for me to develop the characters that way because it creates unpredictability – you really just don’t know how far these guys will go, or what they’ll do next, or how they’ll behave.

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