Gordon Bickerstaff Die Every Day Blog Tour

A woman is murdered in a Glasgow city hotel room. Police have everything they need to charge a suspect. Caught at the scene, he confessed, and he’s filled with guilt and remorse. With undeniable evidence; the police expect him to plead guilty.


Rumours suggest the man will plead not guilty and tell his story. If he faces trial, the truth will cause international outrage and the government will fall.
Faceless mandarins in corridors of power are determined he will remain silent.


Lambeth Group agent, Zoe Tampsin, is ordered to make him plead guilty. What she discovers will crush her soul and place her next in line to be murdered.
Who is pulling the strings? What secrets are they hiding?  

How did you get started writing? 

My Dad read Ian Fleming’s books so a combination of reading his books and the movies got me hooked into thrillers and world-changing threats led by megalomaniacs. Over the years, countless times, I’ve read a book and thought, I would have had this happen, I wouldn’t have done it that way. I would have ended it that way. I love a book to a have a good ending so I always have a satisfactory ending. In my books, women are not eye-candy; they are smart and determined main protagonists like Zoe Tampsin who win the day by using their brains to outwit the enemy.

What drew you to write a novel?  

When I was a student in 1973, I attended a seminar given by Tim Dinsdale in which he showed the Rines-Egerton picture as proof of the Loch Ness Monster. After the seminar, I joined my pals for a few drinks and we agreed that although the picture looked good, it was all a load of nonsense. 

Then for months afterwards, I began to wonder what the Americans were really searching for in Loch Ness. Not the monster – that’s a hoax, so it had to be something else, and from that idea I developed the over-arching story for the first three books. Add in another unresolved mystery – why did Rudolf Hess fly single-handed to Scotland during WW2, and I had the foundation of a cracking story.

Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing? 

I like thrillers. I’ve read a lot of Lee Child, Tess Gerittsen, Patricia Cornwell, David Baldacci and James Patterson. 

 

When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest? 

I had publisher interest early on but it came down to a simple decision. Give up my job as a university lecturer with mortgage, wife and two small children to become a full-time author. I chose the former but often wonder what would have happened if I’d chose the latter.

 

There are many interesting characters in your novel, do you have a favourite one?

My favourite because I love writing about her is Zoe Tampsin. She is ex-army, Special Forces with a finely tuned skill set for undercover operations. Her nickname is DP (which are the initials of Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman). Zoe is the strong female lead who is empowered with the skills and cunning to get the job done. Her boss wrote about her, ‘Zoe Tampsin protects her troop like a lioness protecting her cubs, powerful, determined and completely ruthless.’ When I write about Zoe, I think about Samantha Caine (played by Geena Davis) in the brilliant movie The Long Kiss Goodnight. Readers have likened her to Lisbeth Salander (Stieg Larsson books).

What kind of research have you had to undertake for your novel? 

I trained as a researcher, so I love doing research to give my stories substance. I have no experience of weapons and Special Forces operations, so I have to do the research. I don’t do it before I write, I do the research as and when required e.g. in Die Every Day, one of the characters is heavily involved in drug distribution via county lines, so I did a lot of research on what it was like for a young person to be trapped in that business.

Are the characters in your books based on any real life? 

Every character has elements in them of people I know or have known from family, friends and former work colleagues. But taken to extreme with names changed to protect the innocent.

Do you see any of your character’s personality traits in yourself and vice versa?

There are elements of actual me, who I would like to be, who I think I should be, who I will never be, who I’d be if I were female, and who I might be in another dimension or parallel world. I have been asked if character Gavin Shawlens is me? We share many things in common but he is most definitely not me!

If you can, would you give us a sneak peek into any future novels you might have.

Interesting question. Die Every Day was recently reviewed by KJ Simmill bit.ly/31P6yFK She has read between the lines because her final comment is telling; ‘Action, secrets, loyalty, desperation, and betrayal will keep you on the edge of your seat as things go from bad to worse with seemingly no reprieve. I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on the next book when it comes out, if there is one.’ Is it time to start a new story? Time will tell.

 

If you had the opportunity to write a novel with any crime writer alive or dead, who would it be and why? 

Ian Fleming. We both like to put out main protagonists in seemingly impossible situations and then have to come up with ever more imaginative ways to get them out. I love the challenge and I think he would. I could put them in the situation and he could get them out!

Do you have words of advice you can share with anyone who is interested in writing a novel? 

Keep a small notebook and pen with you at all times. Ideas come into the mind at odd times. Once, I was in a theatre enjoying the show when an idea for a new scene I’d been working on earlier in the day suddenly dropped into my mind. For the rest of the evening, I had to keep bringing the idea to the front of my mind to keep it there. With a notebook and pen, I could have scribbled down the detail during the interval and then enjoyed the rest of the show. Lesson learned. 

Stephen King said, Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well’. I write to enrich my life, and hopefully add a little to others who read my books.

Die Every Day Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07WGPWHN8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gordon-Bickerstaff/e/B008KK5Q9W/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Blog

https://gordonbickerstaff.blogspot.com/?fbclid=IwAR1BettrCjSU-1P1pEpHzR_kgwDutofXGQpwakCfvaZdjftEEm3i5DcKQIo

Twitter: @GFBickerstaff

 

 

Tana Collins Dark is the Day Blog Tour

 

Dark is the Day blurb

DI Jim Carruthers has to put his personal feelings for newly- appointed DCI Sandra McTavish aside when a young student is brutally attacked and left for dead.

 

Meanwhile, when a university lecturer is stalked by one of her own students, Carruthers is horrified to discover that the academic is none other than his ex-wife, Mairi.

 

Are the attacker and stalker one and the same, and if so, will Carruthers’ ex-wife be next?

 

When a second then a third victim is found, not only dead but mutilated, Carruthers and his team are tasked with searching for a murderer. A murderer who takes great pleasure from killing.

 

What is the victims’ connection to a cult in North America, which seems to be getting a stranglehold in a Scottish university? Why have these women been targeted? And who is doing the killing?

 

It looks like there might be a serial killer on the loose in Castletown but can DI Jim Carruthers stop this depraved murderer before they strike again?

 

The inspiration behind ‘Dark is the Day’, Book 4 in the Jim Carruthers series

Thirty years ago I met a young man called ‘Graham’. ‘Graham’ isn’t his real name. Thankfully for me he wasn’t a serial killer but he was many other things. While he was attractive, intelligent and eloquent he was also a deeply disturbed individual who was both manipulative and cruel.

 

It has taken me nearly 30 years to be able to tell this story, the seeds of which lie in some particularly unpleasant true events; some of which occurred while I was at university. This story is about many things: vulnerability; weakness; cruelty; obsession and love.

 

How vulnerable young people can be when they go off to college for the first time; how weakness and love can be seized upon by the cruel and obsessive; how a troubled past can drive a person to seek the security of a dangerous cult, although to this day it is still debated whether Objectivism, the movement started by Ayn Rand, is indeed a cult. As I said at the start ‘Graham’ wasn’t a serial killer. However, having spent time with ‘Graham’, it did get me wondering what it would take to push people like him into being one and how individuals actually do become serial killers – and at its core is the age old question of nature verses nurture.

 

Many, many years later, to my surprise, I became a crime writer. And this former student of thirty years ago must still be on my mind because ‘Dark is the Day,’ the 4th book in the Inspector Jim Carruthers series, was born and it was inspired, in part, by the ‘Grahams’ of this world.

The Prologue of ‘Dark is the Day’

 

Tuesday: about 3pm

Hearing footsteps behind her, she clutches her canvas bag tighter to her chest. As she picks up her pace she feels the moisture of sweat on her hands and tastes it on her top lip. A sudden sense of claustrophobia comes over her in this dark, cobbled, medieval alley with its high stone walls. The light barely penetrates here and everything is in shadow. Her heart hammers in her chest. It is almost painful.

Greyfriar’s Wynd is empty except for her and the person behind her. She is wearing red wedge sandals but can still hear the other person’s footfall, measured and deliberate. All her senses are on alert. Why did she take this short cut? She descends three worn steps quickly. She always takes this short cut from the library, that’s why, and nothing has ever happened before. But she’s never been followed before. And with the recent news of that girl being attacked, what is she thinking?

She doesn’t dare turn round. She can’t. She stops abruptly and the footsteps behind her stop. Hairs prick up on the back of her neck. She hears a strange tuneless whistling. She feels a sudden shiver. Panic threatens to overwhelm her. She tries to scream but can’t. She can’t turn back, there’s nowhere to hide, so the only option is to keep going forward. Thank God, she’s not wearing heels, although the wedge sandals are bad enough on cobbles.

A sudden noise behind her. The sound of heavy shoes. Oh my God. The man is running. She starts to run too, cursing as her tight denim skirt impedes her progress. Why does she think it’s a man? He’s getting closer. He’s closing the gap quickly. She can hear his breathing, smell his sweat. She’s a fast runner, but not in this skirt. Another couple of seconds and she knows she’s not going to be able to outrun him. A large hand grabs her shoulder, swings her round. Her shoulder bag slips to the ground, the contents spilling out.

It is then that she sees the mask and the knife.

Tana Collins is now a UK Amazon Top 10 bestselling author of the Inspector Jim Carruthers series set in the picturesque East Neuk of Fife. She was born in Yorkshire but grew up in rural East Sussex where she spent most of her childhood running around in woods creating stories and having adventures. She did a BA at the Polytechnic of North London before moving to Canada to do a Masters in Philosophy and then finally an MPhil at St Andrews. In 1996 she moved to Edinburgh which is where she still lives.

Her debut novel, Robbing the Dead, set in fictional Castletown in Fife, was published on 14th February 2017 and became an Amazon No 1 Bestseller for Scottish Crime Fiction. The follow up in the series, Care to Die, was published 1st June 2017 also to critical acclaim

More Books in the Jim Carruthers Series

1. Robbing the Dead

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N6Z7SDH/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i2

 

2. Care to Die

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B071SDPGNH/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

3. Mark of the Devil

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07C338LWM/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

 

Links

Author Amazon Page

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tana-Collins/e/B06X3Q4HBH/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Amazon Link for Dark is the Day

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07R5PVZWR/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Website

https://tanacollins.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Tana-Collins-490774634440829/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/TanaCollins7?lang=en

Publishers

https://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/authors-1/2018/10/9/tana-collins