Category Archives: Author Interview

Book Blitz and Author Interview: ‘Smuggler’ by Nicholas Fillmore

Title: Smuggler

Author: Nicholas Fillmore

Publisher: iambic Books

Genre: Memoir / True Crime

 

 

About the Book:

When twenty-something post-grad Nick Fillmore discovers the zine he’s been recruited to edit is a front for drug profits, he begins a dangerous flirtation with an international heroin smuggling operation and in a matter of months finds himself on a fast ride he doesn’t know how to get off of.

After a bag goes missing in an airport transit lounge he is summoned to West Africa to take a voodoo oath with Nigerian mafia. Bound to drug boss Alhaji, he returns to Europe to put the job right, but in Chicago O’Hare customs agents “blitz” the plane and a courier is arrested.

Thus begins a harried yearlong effort to elude the Feds, prison and a looming existential dead end…. Smuggler relates the real events behind OITNB.

 

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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 had a pretty “normal” childhood: house in the suburbs, mother and father, two sisters. I was the first in my family to go to college, but that sort of culture shock was mitigated by four years in prep school. I remember writing strange, quasi-spiritual stories in the fifth grade. I was kind of wild about David Carradine’s character in Kung Fu. And seemed to persevere on variations of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol … which kind of perplexed Mr. Choiniere, who was good enough to bite his tongue. “Thanks, Bob!”

In high school I began to experiment with some florid prose, though I was really into History more than English, and recall more than a few K.I.S.S. comments on my papers. It wasn’t until sophomore year in college that I changed majors to English. A good part of that, I think, was that that was real life. You read a Raymond Carver story with Jim Crenner and discussed it like adults: alcohol, infidelity, depression, whatever; whereas political philosophy and the like, while, intriguing, seemed a million miles away. There seemed to be a clear path one might take to becoming a writer, rather than say a politician. Senior year Prof. David Weiss turned me onto Charlie Simic’s poetry, who I would wind up studying with in graduate school.

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

I’m a total night owl. I don’t think anything happens until after everyone’s in bed and the moon is riding.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

That depends on what I’m writing. Smuggler is memoir. While I originally started fooling with screenplay, the thought of fictionalizing my experience seemed like so much extra work. The real work was selecting and of course analyzing events that were already fairly dramatic.

I’m working on something new called Sins of Our Fathers, which attempts to piece together real events in our family history and to reimagine what might have happened in those interstices where, say, my grandfather was off drinking after work. Maybe you’d call that personal historical fiction. It’s kind of tricky but, again, why should one make up new names for everyone and begin taking lots of liberties? Maybe a little of my poetry training comes in here: the desire to make art out of the available materials of one’s experience, like that W.C. Williams poem about a paper bag blowing down the street.

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?

No. (Though of course you do know when you’re writing from real life where the story ends, I don’t know where I’ll end it.) Screenwriters will tell you that you need to know your ending before you can write the beginning, all the set-ups and foreshadowing. I’ve found a lot of that stuff happens unconsciously; those are the golden moments when you really get into the writing and you recognize suddenly how events connect to one another. Or might. For instance, both of my grandfathers were amateur boxers, (though my father didn’t know his biological father). The idea that they might have fought kind of hit me right in the face. (I still haven’t written that scene and am not sure how I’ll manage it, but it informs the writing; in Sins my grandfather is always shadowboxing, soliloquizing, and stalking this nemesis).

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

Yeah, memoir. A desire to make sense of things. To work with personal material without asbestos gloves.

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

Oh, dear. Who’s tragic-comic? A young Tim Roth, maybe.

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

I’ll read like a madman and then take time off. Let me say that the writers who directly influenced Smuggler are, in no particular order: Camus, Babel, Nabokov, Orwell, Richard Wright, Martin Amis, and Raymond Chandler. Of course you read writers for different reasons; you read Faulkner differently than Richard Yates. Back when I was a poet I loved Stevens and Frost equally, despite their very different temperaments. (Frost was reputed to have called Stevens’ work “bric-a-brac.”)

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

Chandler, The Long Goodbye again, for fun, and Joan Didion, The White Album. (I’m afraid I’m not a very adventurous reader; there’s just so much canonical work to read. I admire these writers who’ll tell you about some obscure work by an aboriginal writer. But there’s may be an inherent danger in reading one’s contemporaries, I’m not sure.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Probably Conrad’s Heart of Darkness … because I have a heart of darkness.

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

Read, write and find a job that doesn’t drain you creatively and physically.

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

I do a lot on Facebook. Also, that’s a question that I’m currently trying to figure out!

About the Author:

Nicholas Fillmore is a poet, publisher, journalist and professor of English. He lives on windward Oahu with his wife, daughter and dachshunds.

He attended the graduate writing program at University of New Hampshire, was a finalist for the Juniper Prize in poetry and co-founded and publishedSQUiD magazine in Provincetown, MA.

Fillmore is currently at work on Sins of Our Fathers, a family romance. He is a reporter for Courthouse News Service, lecturer in English at Hawaii Pacific University and publisher of iambic Books.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.nicholasfillmore.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Nicholas.Fillmore.10

Twitter: @nicholasfillmor

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Author Interview: ‘A Guide to Deception’ by Spencer Coffman

About the Book:

Learn the language everyone speaks but no one understands…

Body language.

Spencer Coffman, a certified expert in micro-expressions and well versed in human behavior, will give you a great understanding of the little hidden signs displayed by every person on earth. These unconscious behaviors are exactly that, unconscious. Because of this, they are often unrecognized. However, with training, they can be seen and lies can be detected.

Of course there are many books on the market about body language. However, this is the first one that takes the form of a study guide or lesson plan and is focused exclusively on deception. While reading, you’ll discover:

  • How to recognize lying eye contact
  • What a shoulder shrug really means
  • How someone feels when the cross their arms
  • What it means when a persons voice changes
  • That speech and body language must match
  • And Much, Much, More!!!

“With six simple chapters and less than 100 pages A Guide To Deception makes for an easy and very enjoyable read.”

 

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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 started writing because I realized that I had valuable information to share. It started with A Guide To Deception. I wrote it to educate people on how to detect deception so that they won’t be taken advantage of by lies. As I grew my online presence, I learned how to do a lot of different things such as, social media marketing, how to use those platforms, how to detach from it all once and a while, et cetera. I wanted to share this knowledge with others so that they wouldn’t have to go through as long of a learning process as I did. Therefore, I began writing books on how to take advantage of social media sites.

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

I like to write at my desk. I type it right into the computer and take breaks every few paragraphs. Usually, I don’t leave the desk until I’m finished for the day. I like to sit there in silence and type.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from the different things that I learned and then I think that if I had to learn it there must be other people that would like to learn it as well. Therefore, I write a book about it so that it will help others learn faster through someone else’s experience.

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?

Yes, usually I have a plan. I have a direction where I want the book to go. I have a goal. I would like to teach other people how to be successful on certain social media platforms. Therefore, I write with an outline in my head and then let it carry me from page to page.

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

My books are non-fiction. The reason is because I have learned how to do a lot of different things through self-education. I wrote the books to teach other people how to do what I have done. I wanted to share the information with them so that they have it available as well. It’s always easier to learn from someone who has already done it.

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

This one doesn’t really apply to me right now. However, I am working on a fiction book, and have been for years. It will probably end up being two books. We’ll see. Regarding the cast, something along one of the Nicholas Sparks movie casts.

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

Yes, I really enjoy reading. For fiction, I have always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes by Sir A Conan Doyle, The Great Brain books by Fitzgerald. I also enjoy Gary Paulson. For non-fiction, I enjoy financial books or books about body language and deception.

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

Currently, I’m reading a lot of non-fiction or personal growth books. Books written by Robert Kiyosaki and other authors in his Rich Dad network.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Memory Boy by Will Weaver. I really like the story and how it is something that could really be feasible in today’s world. I’ve always loved books about surviving and life in the woods. Like the Brain Books by Gary Paulsen.

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

Stop thinking about becoming a writer and start writing. Don’t worry about anything else. Simply write. It doesn’t matter how good it is or if there are mistakes. Who cares! Start writing and keep writing. You can worry about publishing later.

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

Website: www.spencercoffman.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorspencercoffman

Twitter: @spencercoffman8

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/spencer-coffman

YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/spencercoffman

 

About the Author:

I’m an author of many books that span a variety of subjects. My goal is to share valuable and informative information with others so that they can use it to be successful in life, business, and elsewhere.

I create many YouTube videos about plugin reviews, software reviews, online hints and tips, social media how to, and how to be successful on the Steemit blog network.

I’d love to have you connect with me on any of the sites below. In addition, if you ever have any questions about anything related to my content I hope you’ll contact me.

Sincerely,
Spencer Coffman

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Author Interview: ‘Before Getting Rid of Gil and Josh & About A Boat Trip, A Hold Up, A Strip Show and You’ by Stephen Benatar

About the Book:

Before Getting Rid of Gil and Josh is both a love story and a comedy-thriller, rather than any stark account of homicide. It is set in 1954, before it was legal for two men sexually to love one another and follows the attempt of an MP’s twin to blackmail him. The MP and his partner decide they have to scare off this sibling but when their tactics unexpectedly result in death, they have to resort to desperate measures to avoid suspicion falling in the right place.

About a Boat Trip, a Hold Up, a Strip Show and You can be seen as a latter-day Brief Encounter, occurring some forty years later, in 1986. It concerns Stella McCabe, an attractive middle-aged woman who is thinking of leaving her husband and becoming the sort of person she would like herself to be – independent and far less conventional. Her world is diverted when she meets a man of half her age who turns out to be a Chippendale-type stripper – and, ridiculously, starts to fall in love with him. Is Vince the catalyst she needs or can a selfish husband undergo a change of heart?

Both books are lively, entertaining, and transport the reader to a world of light-hearted fiction, and once begun, will grip its reader until the final pages have been turned.

Praise for Stephen Benatar’s previous works:

‘A masterpiece…matchlessly clever…wholly unique’ – John Carey, Literary Critic

‘Benatar writes with wit and humour about subjects most writers do not tackle – ageing, age, the frequent nastiness of family life.’ – Doris Lessing

With this marvellous book, poetry and character return to the English novel.’ – The Times Literary Supplement

 

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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?

Nothing much to tell. A strictly average man who wants to make sense of his existence, impose a little order on it and show that he was here. Who likes to be able to hold in his hand the fruits of all his work, or see them on a bookshelf – tangible, condensed. A sense of purpose, a feeling of control, a striving after meaning. There is nothing so satisfying as (oh, cliché, cliché!) playing God, creating your own small world, loving the characters who inhabit it; they become extremely real to you and will always be your friends (and, hopefully, other people’s).

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

No, absolutely not. Any time. On buses, trains, on benches that punctuate your walk, or simply in some spot where it’s quite easy to stand and not get too much in anybody’s way. Often, of course, in the middle of the night – although that’s something one does one’s best, for obvious reasons, not to encourage in oneself. Often, one has to be disciplined about taking time off, meeting friends, going on outings with the family, etc. That CAN be hard, really hard.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

God alone knows. I find the getting of good ideas by far the most difficult part of novel writing. Some people are amazingly prolific but only three times has anybody else’s idea turned out to be something I myself could develop. Certainly the more you strain for an idea; the less likely you are to find one. Perhaps an odd few words you read in a book … perhaps some incredibly banal thought … For instance, one morning I was taking the dog for her walk when I happened to think wouldn’t it be great if we could live our life over again with full recollection of the mistakes we had made the first time. Hardly very original; hardly very profound; but out of that stale reflection arose the piece of work I would want more than any other to be remembered for, ‘The Return of Ethan Hart’. And then – this had never happened to me before – no sooner had I started writing (in a state of some excitement) than ANOTHER idea occurred to me which really grabbed my interest, and I thought Oh hell, which should I now concentrate on. And how ANNOYING that this should happen, what bloody timing! But then I saw that the two ideas could actually fit together, and – hey presto – as I’ve just said, the book I’d most want to be remembered for …

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?

I think you should always know, roughly, how a story’s going to end, and these days I might say a none-too-detailed synopsis was a pretty good idea – because in the past I’ve written a first chapter I thought was really spot-on, and even the first five or six chapters, and then found I had nowhere to go. This in fact happened with my first published novel, ‘The Man on the Bridge’. My wife couldn’t think, any more than I could, where the story ought to go and suggested I should just regard it as a very valuable exercise and go on to something else. I totally agreed with her, but that night, sleepless, I felt I was in mourning – what I’ve said, about one’s characters becoming friends – and felt I couldn’t just abandon John and Oliver and all the rest of them…and out of that anguish and desperation, thank heaven, suddenly emerged the way forward… such a vast and indescribable relief!

But my having said all of which, the TLS said about my second published novel, ‘Wish Her Safe at Home’, “it’s very clear that Rachel took over from her creator and sent him in a direction he hadn’t at all intended.” Very percipient and absolutely true. So where exactly does that leave us? At the beginning I hadn’t known at all where that novel was going to end.

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

I hope, no genre at all. I hate to repeat myself and I try to make each novel as different as possibly can be to all the others, except in terms of style (economy and simplicity are always mega-important to me). I wrote ‘Letters for a Spy’ simply because I had never before written a spy story, ‘Before Getting Rid of Gil and Josh’ because I’d never once dealt with murder, and have even been contemplating a western – although I’m not sure if that will ever take off. However, I suppose there are certain things that do crop up more than once in my work – an element of romantic love, the possibility of redemption. But I’d still say my books don’t belong to any genre. Except that ‘On Chasing Brad Through Purgatory’ – so far published only in the States, not yet over here (although I’m hoping that it will be next year) – joins ‘The Man on the Bridge’ and ‘Before Getting Rid of Gil and Josh’ in having gay protagonists; but certainly none of these three is in any way about homosexual issues and – these days being gay myself – I must be permitted from time to time to have non-sexually-straight protagonists without my being labeled as ‘a gay writer’. Three out of twelve isn’t a big percentage.

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

No idea. I love the cinema and – I imagine because of this – people say all my books are very cinematic; but I never play games of that sort. Fifty or sixty years ago I might have played them, in the days when there still existed a Star System, but there are very few modern actors whom I know or recognize or would go to see any particular movie that I was told they were in. I consider myself very fortunate to have become a moviegoer during the heyday of Hollywood, or of Pinewood or Denham etc.

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

No, I don’t read much – I think that perhaps when you’re writing you shouldn’t read at all; it’s so very easy to pick up mannerisms and odd turns of speech without your being aware of it. My favourite authors: Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Michael Connelly.

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

A book called ‘Actress’ by Yvonne Mitchell.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Following on from Question 7, possibly ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is the book I’ve read more than any other, then ‘Frederica’, then ‘Arabella’. As a genre (!) I maybe read American thrillers more than anything else, but so often they are disappointing and I don’t finish them.

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

If they need advice, then I’d tell them to forget the whole idea. They’re obviously not writers. I started when I was a boy, simply because I wanted to, simply because I HAD to. Tell them to read a lot? Why? Probably discouraging? Tell them to keep their eyes open, to notice things, particularly about people? If they don’t do this anyway, well I’d repeat my first sentence – and you know I don’t like repeating myself! I suppose I could say it’s going to be an uphill journey – I myself wrote a dozen novels between the ages of nineteen and forty-four – therefore, if you want it enough, be determined you’ll NEVER give up. Just say to yourself that you’re improving all the time, learning and mastering your trade. And if you don’t love doing it, if you begin to think you might be wasting your time, that you could be spending it more profitably …

Enough said!

Indeed, a very suitable cue for me to finish!

Thank you.

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

Not on any social media at the moment.

 

About the Author:

Stephen Benatar was born in 1937, to Jewish parents, in Baker Street, London.

Although he started writing when he was only eight, ‘The Man on the Bridge’ wasn’t published until he was forty-four – and even then, if it hadn’t been for the kindness and concern of Pamela Hansford Johnson, the novelist wife of C.P. Snow, this might never have happened.

Since then, however, there have been eight novels – one published by a borough council, the first and only time a council has produced a work of fiction. There have also been two plays and two children’s books. In 1983 he was awarded a £7000 bursary by the Arts Council; and Boston University in Massachusetts is now the repository for all his papers and manuscripts.

He was married for twenty-nine years to Eileen, with whom he had two sons and two daughters – has taught English at the University of Bordeaux, lived in Crete and Southern California, been a school teacher, an umbrella salesman, hotel porter, employee of the Forestry Commission – and at long last, in his retirement, has become a full-time writer.

Having finally moved back to the town of his birth, he now lives in West London, with his partner, Greg.

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Author Interview: ‘Diary Of the Wild Borneo Kid’ by Raymond Dawson

About the Book:

This semi true story takes place in a lush green tropical place filled with deadly snakes, crocs and sharks, it is in exotic Borneo. “Diary Of The Wild Borneo kid” is a story about 9 year Armond, his family and two best friends Delip and Daniel.

Armond is known as a ringleader and troublemaker only by the grown-ups, but to his friends he is the go to guy for dreaming up harebrained schemes just for fun then pulling it off big time just to prove it can be done. Their plan is to build a “Longhouse” to hang out in the school holidays. The consequences are massive when the plan falls short.

Being Armond can be tough sometimes, it is not all fun and games. Although he has a natural talent in creating mischief, taking risks and convincing all his friends that no matter how big a challenge, he has a knack of making it look and sound real easy. Luckily his two best friends Delip and Daniel will always be there to support him as friends do, especially when things take a turn for the worse. At times their friendships will be tested and strained to breaking point.

This novel together with its brilliant and exquisite illustrated cartoons will keep readers in suspense anxiously expecting the unexpected. Come and join Armond on an adventure packed with hilarious fun, danger and outrages risk taking, outrages!

 

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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

My family migrated from Borneo / Malaysia to Australia in 1969. I completed my HSC & thereafter moved onto completing my trade certificate in engineering following my Dad’s footsteps. Despite being warned by him that my temperament being creative, stubborn and free spirited wasn’t suitable for that career pathway.

My high school English teacher recommended I chase a career in writing and my drama teacher suggested acting. Years later, I eventually managed to combined all three and pursued a career as a lecturer in retailing also covering general business and commerce. My past and current career pathways are to build successful businesses in the creative and innovative fields, such as writing and inventing products and services to help humanity.

I wrote Diary Of The Wild Borneo Kid to try and influence young kids to once again use their creative minds and come up with crazy stories of their own, which they can physically act out and be thoroughly entertained and not have to rely on a Smart Phone, PC or Tablet. Instead they have to communicate, barter and express themselves freely. It’s an important part of street education and social interaction in latter life.

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

I am fortunate because I am naturally disciplined, determined, structured and have good time management skills. So I set a goal to write a set minimum amount of pages every night, irrespective of a favorite time or place.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Diary Of The Wild Borneo Kid is my first novel in cartoons. The idea is based on a semi-true story of my colourful and adventurous childhood at nine years old with family and friends. So I have plenty of material to recall and write about in my next novel to follow soon.

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?

As I’ve said before, I’m structured and methodical so I do plan and plot the trajectory of the storyline, but I’m always equally aware of being creative and spontaneous, which are also a very important part of the formula.

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

The genre of my first novel in cartoons is a children’s adventure book suitable for kids between the ages of 6 years to 12 years old. What drew me to this genre are two motivating factors, which are (1) to encourage kids to be more active outdoors and use their creative imagination (2) It’s a story I know so well and it had to be told.

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

My dad died very young at 52 years of age when I was just turning 16 years old and I barely knew him. So I would like to play my dad “Dougie” and invite un-established actors and actresses to take on the other characters in my book.

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

I mainly read biographies of famous business people who have contributed to society like Bill Gates, Kerry Packer, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, etc. I also have a keen interest in science, technology, biology and several outdoor sports including motor sports. The only novel in cartoons I like and read consistently is by Author Jeff Kinney “Diary Of The Wimpy Kid.”

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

Robert Kiyosaki “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Jules Verne – 20,000 leagues Under The Sea. His tale of the underwater adventure of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus has also had a profound effect on science, and inspired real scientific advancement. We are all, in one way, children of Jules Verne. His name never stops. At aerospace or NASA gatherings, Verne is the verb that moves us to space & science.”

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

Just start writing and stop talking about it.

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

My Author’s website – https://raymdawson.com

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Author Interview: ‘A Lot of Nerve’ by Ian McCulloch

About the Book:

Nothing is quite what it seems…

Jones is a chancer, a schemer, always on the lookout for the next big deal.

In a pub one day he notices some papers changing hands for large amounts of money. He manages to insert himself into the middle of what looks like an extremely lucrative deal, but the can of worms he opens catapults him into a situation more volatile and dangerous than he could ever have imagined.

Caught between a violent gangster and the machinations of the state, Jones finds himself playing each side off against the other in order to stay alive. In a world of deception and intrigue, the only thing he can be sure of is that people are prepared to kill for the mysterious papers.

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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’d worked for Marks & Spencer and one of their suppliers for quite a long time and when their fortunes took a bit of a downturn I, along with many others, was made redundant. I’d always had the dream of writing a book, so I decided I’d take a couple of months off and give it a go. When I was offered the opportunity to write freelance for Fulham Football Club and then for a number of magazines, the book found itself plonked on the back burner. I tried to write a ‘literary masterpiece’ in my spare time for a few years, but finally focussed sufficiently to write something a bit lighter and, hopefully, a bit more commercial.

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

Throughout my writing career I’ve worked from home and found concentrating incredibly difficult. Whenever deadlines have loomed I’ve generally gone somewhere like Starbucks to get things finished. But when I started on A Lot of Nerve I took my laptop and a chair out into the garden and discovered that without all the distractions of being in the house I could actually focus on what I should be doing. There is now a little patch of garden that I call my office – luckily I live somewhere warm at the moment. When I first started writing professionally I discovered that mornings are a terrible time for me creatively. Three o’clock in the afternoon to eight in the evening is my good time.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

No idea. I can sometimes feel quite daunted when I first sit down at the computer, but once I start typing something always seems to turn up.

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?

With A Lot of Nerve, I had a half page of notes – a vague main character, a rough idea of a plot and an ending. While they stayed fairly constant, huge parts of the story and a couple of other main characters appeared out of nowhere. I was definitely carried along by it all – I think I enjoyed not knowing what was coming next. There were two re-writes once I was taken on by David Haviland, and while they didn’t change the feel of the book, it looked fairly different at the end of the process. A big thanks to David for all his support.

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

A Lot of Nerve is a thriller, peopled by gangsters and villains. It’s hard bitten but with a sardonically humorous edge. It’s actually a genre I don’t read. Perhaps I was drawn to it because it was a blank page, I had no preconceptions about what it should look like.

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

Jones should definitely be played by Tom Hiddleston! Finch by someone like Michael Gambon. DI Hernandez? Perhaps by Emily Blunt.

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

I do read a lot. I particularly like historical novels – writers like Bernard Cornwell and Philipa Gregory are favourites – and cold-war spy novels from writers like John Le Carre.

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

I’m reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. He’s another favourite – I’ve read most of his stuff and just marvel at the sheer imagination of the man.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Impossible question! I’ve loved so many books over the years it’s very difficult to name just one, but I’ll say Alice Through the Looking Glass. I read it first when I was little and have read it regularly ever since. It’s like an old friend.

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

I’m not sure I’m the best person to offer anyone any advice, but I would say that while being a writer is a very, very difficult career, it’s one that can be the most rewarding in the world. In my case I’ve learnt that there is no substitution for hard work, just being prepared to do something over and over until you get it right.

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

You’ll find me on Twitter @ianmcculloch

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