Killer Thriller TV: Dark themes and K.A.R.M.A with Grant McKenzie

Killer-Thrillers is excited to continue the new series of video interviews with top Thriller authors!

Grant McKenzieIn today’s interview, thriller author J.F.Penn interviews award-winning and best-selling author Grant McKenzie.

Grant McKenzie is the internationally-published author of four edge-of-your-seat thrillers, plus an ongoing mystery series set in San Francisco. His debut novel, Switch, was published by Bantam UK, Heyne Germany and Penguin Canada before launching in the U.S. and Taiwan. His other novels include: No Cry For Help, K.A.R.M.A. and Port of Sorrow.

Under the pen name, M.C. Grant, he writes the Dixie Flynn series that began with Angel With A Bullet, continued in September with Devil With A Gun, and will return in 2014 with Baby With A Bomb. His short story Underbelly appeared in the First Thrills anthology edited by Lee Child from Tor/Forge.

You can watch the interview with Grant below or here on YouTube.

In the interview, we discuss:

  • Grant is originally Scottish, from Glasgow, but then his family moved to Canada, so he has a curious hybrid accent! He’s been a journalist for 30 years and has always written different things over that time. He’s now published around the world.
  • K.A.R.M.A is an acronym – kids against rape, murder, abuse – a dark, revenge tale about a group of teenagers who form a group on the internet to exact revenge against the people who have harmed them. Grant loves to write about themes that obsess him as a journalist but also package them in fast-paced thrillers. It is a dark book which some people find objectionable, but darker YA is becoming more mainstream with The Hunger Games and other such books.
  • Another theme that Grant comes back to is campaigning against violence towards women and also innocents. This may stem from the early years in Glasgow when it was the murder capital of Europe – nowadays it is more a cultural centre.
  • Grant writes violence in such a way as to take people to the ‘dark door’ but he doesn’t actually take the reader through it. That aspect is all in the reader’s imagination which is often worse.
  • Grant writes thrillers under M.C.Grant in first-person female point of view. Angel with a Bullet is the first one in the series featuring Dixie Flynn, a young journalist. He wanted to have a tough but vulnerable protagonist, someone real that people could identify with as opposed to a ‘super’ thriller character.
  • We talk about gender in publishing, as Grant used M.C. Grant to disguise his gender, and I did the same thing with J.F.Penn. We don’t want readers to necessarily judge the book before reading it.
  •  Grant talks about his writing life and how it changes depending on his journalism work. A particularly lovely writing time was on a ferry commute, but professional writers have to commit to writing wherever they are. Writing becomes easier if there is a routine.
  • Grant talks about his favorite writers, including John Sandford in thrillers, but he also likes hard sci-fi as a genre he doesn’t write so it is easier to lose himself in reading. We also mention James Rollins who we both really enjoy reading.

You can find K.A.R.M.A here on Amazon, and Grant’s other books here on

You can also find Grant and his books at and on twitter @AuthorGMcKenzie


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