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
Amazon Author Page