So, the experiment of adding these “Behind The Scenes” posts to the end of the stories is over. (Ab)normal service has been resumed. Sorry about that, but the problem was that I just didn’t seem to want to write them at the time that perhaps I should.

So, let’s start with Reunion. You know what the inspiration for this was? Batman. Reading it, I know that may be hard to comprehend, but it so happened that AXN were showing all of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, back to back. Right at the end of the first one, there’s a board meeting, and the Portuguese word for “meeting” showed up in the subtitles: “reunion”. So I started thinking about what sort of reunion it could be, and it snowballed from there.

The prisoner herself is vaguely based on Myra Hindley, I suppose. I didn’t explicitly say what she’d done, but five armed guards during a visit kept very short, with the protagonist being asked to enter through a side entrance – she’s done something very, very bad indeed. She was originally called Florence Justice, but the surname felt cliched, although it wasn’t in my head when I picked it – it was just a random word on a page that sounded like a surname.

Chum, on the other hand, was based on a visit to Lisbon’s Oceanario (which I thoroughly recommend you visit, if you get the chance), watching the sharks, rays and sunfish swim around and around and around. And it occurred to me that they must get hungry…

Lennox’s name is a kind of “literary nod” to John Wainwright, a retired police officer turned crime writer, a great deal of whose books I read growing up.

The manager, Winchester, I wanted to make appear normal for as long as I could. Only at the end did I want him to appear truly sociopathic. Hopefully, I managed that.

Looking back on it, the same thing applied to Disappeared, too, although in that one it was a much more conscious affair, in that I was deliberately plotting towards that end the whole time. Chum was much less thought-through in my head when I began it, while this was much better formed in my head.

I didn’t make him the sheriff from an earlier story; there’s no connection back with this one, although there’s nothing, I suppose, that says he couldn’t be. But it was close to Halloween, and I thought I’d just throw you all a bone with this one…


The post “Behind The Scenes: Reunion, Chum and Disappeared” first appeared on and is Copyright © Simon Collis 2018. All rights reserved.

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