About the Book:
On the cruise ship circuit, Sebastian McKenzie is a star. A brilliant pianist and singer, he entertains the wealthy guests every night in the piano bars and restaurants of the world’s leading cruise liners. But he never stays with the same ship for long. And some of the other entertainers have nicknamed him the Grim Reaper, because whenever Sebastian is on board, people go missing.
After escaping from prison, Josef Werner is driven to a safe hideout in the Didim area of Turkey. He sets up his base in the beautiful bay of Akbuk, and buys two isolated villas high on a hill overlooking the bay. But Werner has been followed by a private eye named Cortez, and the premises are bugged.
Max Cutler is an All-American boy: tall, blond and handsome, with a sharp wit and a keen eye for female company. A stand-out student at law school, he is immediately recruited into the Secret Service, to protect America’s interests overseas. Max is in Europe, breaking up a violent counterfeiting ring in Germany, when he hears that his baby sister Elisa has disappeared from a cruise ship in Alaska.
In a gripping thriller crossing three continents, these three men find their fates are entwined.
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?
I spent my formative years in Singapore and Germany before returning home to Liverpool. I attended the same school as John Lennon and Paul McCartney of Beatles fame, albeit a generation later.
Presently I am Managing Director of Business Consultancy and have investigated over 200 industrial accidents. This has given me an insight into causations and forensics. I am also a qualified lecturer teaching industrial and safety law, and a Principal Designer.
I am a chartered member of the Institute of Safety & Health. I have been a technical author for many years, and decided to use this knowledge and imagination to write fiction.
Health and Safety sounds boring, but I have travelled over rough water and climbed 90 metres on stations above cofferdams when the Forth Bridge and Mersey Gateway bridges were being built. I’ve been in the tunnels under the Thames for the new sewage pipe for London, under London for Cross rail and HS2.
I have eight parachute jumps to my name, in the Lake District, Florida, and a base jump over Chamonix on skis. I have scuba-dived the Red Sea, Pacific, and Indian oceans, as well as the Barrier reef and Cozumel. I’ve caught sailing fish and Barracuda (always returning them to the sea alive and uninjured), undertaken safaris in Kenya, and been charged by elephants.
Travel has been an important hobby for me and my wife, we have travelled to the four corners of the globe, visited every location in the book, and undertaken over twenty cruises in preparation for writing this novel. I drove to Turkey to see how it could be done from Europe. We travelled to the Falkland Islands and walked the ridges over Mount Longdon, again for the scene in the book.
Writing technical reports can be a little bit dry, and when I got to my fifties and the children had flown the coop, I decided to fulfil a lifelong ambition to write a book. I always had a vivid imagination, with English being my best subject at school, and I always received great marks for essays.
The great thing with age is experience, and I think all the points above have assisted greatly with having an active imagination and helped me to write this book. My second in the trilogy is near completion and I have a cameo appearance for my father who has just died and intend to start on my third shortly after.
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
I have three favourite places to write. I have to travel a considerable amount for my work, and found I spent most of these nights away in a restaurant or pub, and went up from 70 kilos to 85 kilos. I decided I needed to do something, or I would be 120 kilos by time I was sixty. So, I began to write in hotel rooms, from 5pm to 9pm, when I was away, mostly listening to either Wagner, the Bee Gees, Queen or the Beatles.
My second favourite place was when we took cruises, my wife who is very creative would work on her projects, and I would find a secluded area on deck and write. I observed people and gained insights into different characters, many traits I observed have assisted me to develop the characters.
Third, I built an office outside in my large garden and when I finish work, I will sit there between 6pm and 9pm. I find it helps my thought process as I am surrounded by the aroma of flowers, the birdsong and I do not even mind the gnats and insects that invade the office from spring onwards.
3: Where do your ideas come from?
I had been interested in deaths at sea for many years, and tracked cases of accidents, missing persons, suicides, murders put down as suicide and manslaughter and murders at sea. I observed a case at first hand where a Singapore businessman murdered his wife, after being caught stealing in the ship’s jewelry store. I was the only person observing the stern of the ship as the helicopter whisked the body and husband off to the island. The cruise line called an impromptu pool party with free drinks at the front of the ship to divert attention.
I pay waiters, barmen and security guards on ships to explain the cctv cameras: which one works, and which does not. They tell me the hiding places and about where the garbage goes, how they launch lifeboats, etc. You can find any information out as long as you tip.
I have a million different ideas in my head. For instance, my grandfather shot his best friend dead at the Somme in the first world war, as he had snuck up on him as a joke. My grandfather came back and married his best friend’s widow and took on seven children; she never forgave him and hated him till the day he died. What a great story for me to write in the future!
This week there has been a lot of press around sexual harassment and attacks in schools. The idea jumped into my head of writing a book around the subject. Taking first the boy’s side and showing how the internet, online porn and peer pressure affects their judgment. One boy gets away with it because of incompetent tutors, another boy posts pictures online and we follow him through as the future university and then prospective employers knock him back because of his previous social media and online failings. Then showing the girl’s side, one who gets over the trauma by seeking help from friends and counsellors whilst another is sectioned and in later life goes on to commit suicide.
I visited Agatha Christie’s house in Dartmouth a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed the atmosphere. I thought about writing a book about her settling down there in her later years, and a fictional companion who looks after her but keeps asking her about characters and plots. The companion turns out to become a famous author, but cannot stop being Agatha’s companion because she has no imagination. Agatha Christie’s agent suspects something, and the killings start. Agatha has one last case to solve.
And it goes on and on.
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 normally mind map the book. I have a beginning, a middle and end, but the story evolves as I start to write and the ideas flow. I have never had writers’ block when writing, and must contain myself sometimes. I want to make the story as believable as I can.
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
I prefer adult fiction, thrillers, war, confrontation and spying. As a youngster, I read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and thought it magnificent. I went through a stage of reading Dennis Wheatley and Stephen King but tired of the horror genre. Once I discovered Deighton, Forsyth and Le Carre I was hooked on thrillers. I would like to write a timeless novel such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, or Angels in the Sky by Wilbur Smith.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
For me the cast was easy to pick, Max Cutler would be played by Christopher Hemsworth because of his acting ability and charisma, not to mention looks. Sebastian McKenzie the serial killer would be Jackie Chan. Robert Stahmer’s role would be taken by Stephen Graham, because not only is such a wonderful versatile actor, he is from my hometown. Moana ran through my mind when I created Tuck Walters, so although larger than the character in the book I could not get beyond The Rock. Fabienne Asper would be the wonderful Kirsten Vangsness, Cheryl Ross played by Alexa Vega. Hoagie Finberg must be Tom Hardy, Matt Rice known as Basmati would attract female audience if played by Corbin Bleu. Tom Hanks always plays the nicest man, and I would want him playing evil Seppi Werner. Alec Baldwin has aged well and would do justice to the role of Wyatt Rockman. Samantha Colley would play Ghislaine Lyman, Adrian Rodriguez would represent Philip Cortez very well. When I wrote about Delegate Frau Uebering, Angela Merkel kept coming to mind; failing her, I think Helen Mirren, who I adore as an actor, would be fantastic in the role. Lother Gotschalk could be played by the very able Til Schweiger, Idris Elba is the only consideration for Nathan Colton and finally Lou Diamond Philips as Lachiman
7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
I read at least two books a month, more when on holiday. My favourite authors are Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Christopher Dickens, Harper Lee, Len Deighton, Clive Cussler, Wilbur Smith, Dennis Wheatley, Frederick Forsyth, Jeffrey Archer, Rudyard Kipling, and Lord Roben.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
9: What is your favourite book and why?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – opened my eyes as a twelve-year-old to the injustices and discrimination in the world. Convinced me I would never be a bigot or racist which was widely accepted when I was a child.
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
Everyone has a story. It does not matter if you do not have perfect grammatical English or whatever language you write in. If the story is good enough someone like the editors from Loudhailer Books will polish it for you.
We all want a legacy so whether your are eight or eighty, and if it take you six months or sixty years, once you have written it , no one can take that away from you.
If you are younger, what a great addition to your CV.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
Presently I am on LinkedIn and next week I am setting up a Facebook page for Tidal Rage which I will link into my own Facebook page.
My publisher is loudhailerbooks.com
My website is davidalanevans.co.uk
About the Author:
David spent his formative years in Singapore and Germany before returning to his home city of Liverpool, United Kingdom. David attended the same school as John Lennon and Paul McCartney of Beatles fame, albeit a generation later.
Presently David is a Managing Director of Business Consultancy and has investigated over 200 industrial accidents. David is also a qualified Lecturer and teaches Industrial and safety Law. He is a Chartered member of the Institute of Safety & Health. He has been a technical author for many years and decided to use his knowledge and imagination to write his first fiction book.
Travel has been an important hobby for David, he has travelled to the four corners of the Globe. He has visited every location in the book and undertaken over twenty cruises in preparation for writing his novel.
David has been interested in deaths at sea for many years and tracks cases of accidents, missing persons, suicides, murders put down as suicide and manslaughter and murders at sea. David observed a case at first hand where a Singapore Business man murdered his wife after being caught stealing in the ships jewellery store. David was the only person observing the stern of the ship as the helicopter whisked the body and husband off to the island. The cruise line called an impromptu pool party with free drinks at the front of the ship to divert attention.