Blog on the Bus pt 50 (nature vs nurture)

Good morning bus dwellers and welcome to this anniversarial edition of my blog. It is the 50th edition (*champagne corks pop in the background) of this bus blog and I thought a moment of reflection (mirrors on stand by) was required…

…okay, moment over. Phew!

Now, onto the real business.

What is the difference between a serial killer and a good thriller writer?

The writer tells their dark thoughts and the killer lives their dark thoughts.

So this throws up the argument of nurture versus nature. To help me get into the mind of some of the darker characters in my tales, I watch a lot (and I mean a lot) of documentaries on crime and killers. I watch and observe the feelings, thoughts and motives of these killers as well as the intricate nature of their upbringings.

It makes me wonder: how different might I have been with a different upbringing?

I have demonstrated I’m capable of imagining and describing despicable crimes but I clearly understand the difference between right and wrong. What if I hadn’t grown up in a warm and supportive environment? What if I had been the victim of abusive or absent parents, would I now be one of the people I witness in documentaries?

Who knows?!?

The reason for posing these questions (as much as they will trouble those closest to me) is: what is the difference between a serial killer and a good thriller writer? Is there really that much difference?

Of course there is!

But had the Myra Hindleys and Ian Bradys of the world had a more caring upbringing would they have still committed the crimes they had? Or are such people born to kill?

In honesty, I do enjoy creating the psychotic alter egos in my mind, knowing that they can do whatever they like, above the law. I hope that my followers enjoy reading them.

Too somber for your Weetabix, right? Well, I offer my sincerest apologies.

The new project has 23k miles on the clock so far and I’m pretty pleased with how it’s coming together. 40k is the first milestone that tells me if the project has legs or if I should start again. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that it will go the distance.

Until the next time, happy reading!


Stephen is the author of Integration, Remorse, Redemption, Snatched and Shadow Line. Find his work here or via


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