Author Interview: ‘Blood Brothers’ by Nick Pope

Divided by Hate

United by Honour

About the Book:

Two deadly but very different terror attacks bring carnage to London on the same day: a suicide bombing in the heart of Soho, and the shooting down of a military aircraft taking part in a ceremonial fly-past. Simultaneously, a previously-unknown Islamic radical calling himself Saladin declares a caliphate in the UK and decrees that all British Muslims should rise up against the infidel state.

The initial terror attacks are followed by sickening atrocities at Jewish schools, and in response to Saladin’s message, disaffected Muslim youths heed the call to arms, establishing Sharia patrols that bring terror to the streets. Others undertake lone-wolf marauding terror attacks. The resultant backlash plays into the hands of a charismatic right-wing politician and threatens to ignite a race war.

The Prime Minister authorises the creation of a multi-agency team, codenamed Artemis, led by an experienced MI5 analyst. This elite new unit brings together top experts from MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the SAS, in a desperate race against time to hunt down the terrorists before they can complete their murderous plan. They’re joined by a former enemy whose knowledge and skills might just be the key to unlocking the entire plot – if he can be trusted.

What people are saying:

“This is an excellent book and reads like a TV miniseries… a fast-paced, action packed read.” You Want To Read This

“Left my jaw dropped… I highly recommend this book.” Cherie Homan (Reviewer)

“The remarkable plot held me at the edge of my seat with a convincible cast of well-defined characters.” Paul Falk (Reviewer)

“I really enjoyed the book and there was a high degree of brotherhood that developed between two warriors who were on different sides of the apparent conflict between Islam and the West.” Steve Canipe (Educator)

“A enthralling book about a Jihadist plot to form a Islamic Caliphate in the UK. The plot is very believable and the some of the depicted events are extremely current, with similar attacks having taken place very recently… An exciting and well written novel.” Peter Coxall (Reviewer)

“A good spy novel… I really enjoyed the book.” Shelly Imholt (Reviewer)

“100% here for all those fans of thrillers with story lines that may be just around the corner. I loved this and so will you.” Ranger Harper (Reviewer)

“Highly recommended.” Lee Marriott-Dowding (Reviewer)

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I worked for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for 21 years and while I had numerous postings in the course of my career, I’m best-known for having run the MoD’s UFO project – a job I did for much of the early Nineties. I took early retirement in 2006 and now live and work in the US, where I do consultancy and spokesperson work for various UFO/alien-themed movies, TV shows and video games, as well as a lot of freelance journalism and broadcasting on subjects that include the unexplained, conspiracy theories and fringe science. I gravitated to writing books because there’s such a lot of media and public interest in UFOs and the search for alien life, and I knew I had an interesting story to tell – within the confines of the Official Secrets Act, of course!

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I prefer to write in the late evening, after all the daily distractions are out of the way. I set up my laptop on the dining room table and try to write 1000 words each day. Sometimes, the creative process is further enriched by a cold beer or a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio!

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My non-fiction comes from real life, i.e. the research and investigation into UFOs and the unexplained that I undertook at the MoD. My fictional inspiration is more varied, and while some of it is loosely based on other things that I did at the MoD, ideas sometimes come to me from newspaper stories, from chance remarks from family or friends, or from my imagination. But I think that in most cases, art imitates life, which is why the biggest piece of fiction in many novels is probably the disclaimer that says all characters and events are fictitious and that any similarity to real people or events is purely coincidental! Lots of movies are prefaced by the statement “inspired by true events” and I think the same is true of most books (even fiction!), with heavy emphasis on the word “inspired” – authors should always be “inspired” by things. I certainly am!

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

If my literary agent is reading this, I ask that he looks away now. I know conventional wisdom is that one should have a detailed synopsis, and of course I do, because publishers require it. However, with my science fiction novels and with my action thriller, the story and the characters soon began to have ideas of their own! I recall Stephen King writing about how, with Salem’s Lot, his original idea was to have the vampires win. But King said that some of his characters turned out to be stronger than expected, and that Ben Mears wanted to be a hero, so he “let him be what he wanted to be”. This is exactly what happened with my latest novel, Blood Brothers, when a minor character called Ashraf Abdul Khan grew beyond his original role and turned into someone who – only after I’d finished writing the book – I realized was a modern-day Long John Silver. Once a character evolves into something other than what was originally envisaged, events tend to diverge from the original plan too.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I’ve written three non-fiction books about UFOs, based on my government work on this topic. All three needed official security clearance and I’ve really only been able to write about this because the MoD has itself declassified and released most of the files about my old government job – a process with which I’ve been involved. I wrote two science fiction novels about alien invasion, combining what I knew about UFOs with more conventional warfighting information. My latest book, Blood Brothers, is an action thriller about terrorism in the UK, and was inspired by my final MoD posting as an acting deputy director in the Directorate of Defence Security. I’m currently writing the sequel, Old Enemies, set in the same fictional universe and featuring many of the same characters. I have plans for further novels in the series, doing what Tom Clancy did with his Jack Ryan novels, where he was able to incorporate some really slow-burning story arcs.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I’d like to see Faran Tahir as the enigmatic, conflicted Ashraf Abdul Khan, Jessica Chastain as the brilliant and strong-willed MI5 analyst Jenny Fairbanks, and John Simm as the tough-but-clever SAS officer Matt Quill. Khan is the most complex character, and it’s a challenging role for an actor, especially with the controversy over some of the themes covered in Blood Brothers. There’s already been some interest in film/TV rights, so it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out and what actors are actually cast, if something gets greenlit.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read a lot, both non-fiction and fiction. I love war histories and biographies by authors such as Antony Beevor and Simon Sebag Montefiore, but also really enjoy Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels, Stephen King’s horror, and pretty much anything that Tom Clancy or Anne Rice ever wrote! And as a sci-fi fan, I’ve got to namecheck the fabulous Isaac Asimov, Connie Willis and Frank Herbert.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m a true crime buff and I’m currently reading Fatal Vision, by Joe McGinness, which tells the tragic, disturbing and controversial story of Jeffrey MacDonald and the murder of his wife and two young daughters. It’s a long, detail-rich book that really draws the reader into the story and the characters.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. I first read it when I was around 12 and I’ve re-read it several times since. I don’t want to repeat all the usual clichés about how it proved to be so prophetic, because for me, what really makes the book is the cleverness and complexity of the fictional universe that Orwell created. As a writer, I was particularly intrigued by the concept of Newspeak, which cleverly explores the relationship between thinking and language.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

This is probably a cliché, but before you write, read! And pay attention to what works for you as a reader, and what doesn’t, whether it’s plot development, character-building or dialogue. Reading widely, across a range of genres, and learning from the authors’ techniques should be your start point, but then you should ask yourself if you have the genuine hunger and passion for it – not because you want fame and fortune (as is the case in all professions, only a tiny handful of people make it to the top), but because you have the drive to want to create a fictional universe populated by characters you’ll come to love (or hate) and in which interesting, life-changing events occur.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

My www.nickpope.net website is the best place to find out about my work. There’s a section devoted to my books (with links to the relevant Amazon pages) and on the home page there are links to my Facebook and Twitter pages, which can be found below.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nickpopeofficial

Twitter: @nickpopemod

 

About the Author:

Nick Pope used to run the British Government’s UFO project. From 1991 to 1994 he researched and investigated UFOs, alien abductions, crop circles and other strange phenomena, leading the media to call him the real Fox Mulder. His government background and his level-headed views have made him the media, film and TV industry’s go-to guy when it comes to UFOs, the unexplained and conspiracy theories.

As the world’s leading expert on UFOs, Nick Pope has consulted on, and helped to promote a number of alien-themed movies, TV shows and video games. He has presented, consulted on and contributed to numerous TV shows, has written five best-selling books, and lectures all around the world.

Nick Pope lives in America.

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Author Interview, Reading Nook Blog Posts

One response to “Author Interview: ‘Blood Brothers’ by Nick Pope

  1. This book has fab reviews. It is as vivid as a 3D thriller on screen… I liked that he allows his characters to grow and then change his plot. It speaks of his fluidity

    Liked by 1 person

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