Books & Blurbs with LT Vargus and Tim McBain

Books & Blurbs!!

 

Open Old Book

 

 

 

Please Welcome Bestselling Authors LT Vargus & Tim Mcbain

 

 

 

LT Vargus Headshot

 

 

Authors of Awake in the Dark, Scattered and the Dead, and new Violet Darger series.

 

 

Her body is broken. Wrapped in plastic. Dumped on the side of the road. She is the first. There will be more.

 

 

Image in a Cracked Mirror LT Vargus                           Dead End Girl LT Vargus

 

A new thriller series following Special Agent Violet Darger.

 

 

 

business future uncertain?

 

 

1. What led you to write a serial killer thriller?

We’ve both always been fascinated by serial killers, both in fiction and non-fiction. I remember reading Red Dragon by Thomas Harris years ago and thinking, “Man, I wish I could write like that.”

2. What was your experience writing this genre compared to your other books?

Our first novel, Casting Shadows Everywhere, is basically a thriller. Since then, we’ve written an urban fantasy series, a post-apocalyptic series, and a slasher horror novel. So going back to a straight thriller felt a little like returning home.

 

3. Tell us about FBI agent Violet Darger.

She’s tough but damaged. Violet is hard-nosed and driven in her work, and sometimes that intensity is directed at the people around her and results in conflict.

 

 

FBI

 

 

 

4. Why did you decide Violet would be a rookie agent?

We wanted the first few books to sort of serve as Violet’s origin story, so starting at the beginning of her agent career just made sense.

 

 

 

rookie, 3D rendering, metal text

 

 

 

5. Do you know how many books will be in this series?

Right now we have solid plans for three full length novels, as well as a few novellas. But we intend this series to be open-ended and for each book to be a standalone that could be read out of order.

 

 

Connect with LT Vargus and Tim Mcbain

Amazon | Goodreads | LT Vargus | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Television Tuesday Book Trailers: Bobby Akart’s best selling Blackout Series

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY BOOK TRAILERS

 

 

 

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The Blackout Series by Bobby Akart

 

 

 

 

 

Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

Have you read the Blackout series? Tell me in the comments!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Book Review: Trackers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Trackers

 

 

 

Goodreads

 

From USA Today best selling author Nicholas Sansbury Smith comes another harrowing story of survival in a post-apocalyptic world.

The end of the world is just the beginning of the hunt…

Estes Park Police Chief Marcus Colton and tracker Sam ‘Raven’ Spears have never liked one another, but when a young girl goes missing in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colton hires Spears to help find her. Their search ends after a night of devastating horror. When word reaches Estes that the nation has been hit by a coordinated electromagnetic pulse attack, Colton and Spears are forced to work together again. But they quickly realize they aren’t just tracking a killer–they are tracking a madman. As the United States descends into chaos, the hunters become the hunted.

Halfway across the country, Senator Charlize Montgomery awakes to find the nation’s capital has gone dark. Forced to set off on foot, she treks across a city that has woken to a new world, and as the night progresses, she learns the EMP attack was just the beginning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Word Rubber Stamp 3D Rating Review Feedback

 

 

 

 

An alarmingly realistic thriller

An alarmingly realistic thriller by Nicholas Sansbury Smith! He tackled not only a realistic threat, but also an amazing plotline. It almost seemed like two stories interwoven with great skill. Scary, intriguing, and very entertaining!  Two siblings. A brother and sister from different parts of the country. One wacky serial killer on the loose in the midst of a national crisis.

Characters were believable and made it an entertaining read. One was an ex-military guy with native american background. I found this one rather refreshing from the usual types.

Can’t wait for the next one!

 

 

Amazon | Website |

 

 

 

Audiobook Review: White is the Coldest Colour

 

 

DJ with Headphones

 

 

 

AUDIO FORENSICS EDITION

 

White is The Coldest Colour by Amazon Bestselling Author John Nicholl

 

 

 

white-is-the-coldest-color-audiobook

 

 

White Is the Coldest Colour: Dr. David Galbraith, Book 1

 

Listen to a sample: Here

 

Written by: John Nicholl

Narrated by: Jake Urry

Length: 9 hrs and 10 min

Series: Dr. David Galraith, Book 1

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 05-26-16

Publisher: JOHN NICHOLL

 

 

 

 

Goodreads Description

 

The chilling, dark psychological suspense thriller from ex police officer and child protection social worker, John Nicholl.

Be careful who you trust…

The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.
Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.

The novel is entirely fictional, but draws on John Nicholl’s experiences as a police officer, child protection social worker, manager and trainer.
During his career the author was faced with case after case that left him incredulous as to the harm sexual predators chose to inflict on their victims. The book reflects that reality.
The story is set in 1992, a more naive time when many found it extremely difficult to believe that a significant number of adults posed a serious risk to children.
The book contains material some may find upsetting from the start.
It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

The gripping sequel: ‘When evil calls your name’ is now available on Amazon, or on Audible.

 

 

when-evil-calls-your-name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY RATING

 

 

 

 

Awesome Word Rubber Stamp 3D Rating Review Feedback

 

 

 

 

AUDIOBOOK PERFORMANCE

Narrator Performance: 10/10

Story Connection: 10/10

Voice switch over: 10/10

Sound quality: 10/10

Emotional Resonance: 9/10

Overall: 8/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ear 1.jpeg

 

 

 

HEAR ME OUT….

 

This story was pretty disturbing to say the least. Of course this was expected given the topic, which is consistent with today’s pedophile problem. Author John Nicholl perfectly captures the mindset of those who carry out such heinous crimes. Dr. David Galbraith was truly a brilliantly devious, sick individual. Who would stop at nothing to satisfy his cravings for young children. Being in his point of view further exemplifies the point.

The story centers around a young boy named Anthony, who’s already been traumatized, and his separated parents on the verge of collapse.

 

 

Narrator Jake Urry

Jake Urry is one of the best narrators I’ve heard on audiobooks. He has a way of drawing you completely into the story through characters and their various points of view.

When I listen to one of his audiobooks; his intimate connection to the story brings everything into life. You’re there. In the moment. You can’t ask for more from a narrator.

He embodies different characters with precision and handles their personalities with skill. When he switches between voices it’s very smooth making for a nice ride. High five Jake!

 

 

John Nicholl: Amazon | Audible | Goodreads | Website

 

Jake Urry:  Audible | Website | Twitter

 

 

 

Got Audiobooks?

 

 

headphones-on-the-ground

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Writing Award-Winning Thrillers, Co-Writing And Going Hybrid with Rebecca Cantrell

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS

With Rebecca Cantrell & Joanna Penn

 

 

 

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Writing Award-Winning Thrillers, Co-Writing And Going Hybrid with Rebecca Cantrell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you read Rebecca Cantrell’s books? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

mtw-email-logo

Book Review: The Newsmakers Series by Lis Wiehl

 

 

 

 

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Lis Wiehl is a prolific author of several series. East Salem, Triple Threat, Mia Quinn, and the Newsmakers series starring Erica Sparks. She is a former Federal prosecutor, legal analyst and reporter for Fox news. Lis is also one of authors participating in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week celebration. Don’t miss it! There are so many ways to enjoy this event.

 

 

 

Book One: The Newsmakers

 

 

newsmakers

 

 

Goodreads Description

 

Television reporter Erica Sparks has just landed her dream job at Global News Network. Beautiful, talented, and ambitious, Erica grew up dirt poor, worked her way through Yale, and is carrying a terrible secret. She moves to Manhattan to join GNN, leaving Jenny, her adored 7-year-old daughter, in the custody of her ex-husband. Erica’s producer at the network, Greg Underwood, is handsome and compelling. Scarred by her divorce, Erica is wary of romance, but there’s no denying the mutual attraction.

On one of her first assignments, Erica witnesses a horrific Staten Island ferry crash. Then she lands a coveted interview with presumptive presidential nominee Kay Barrish. During the interview Barrish collapses. Erica valiantly tries to save her with CPR. The footage rivets the world—GNN’s ratings soar and Erica is now a household name.

But she’s troubled. What a strange coincidence that both events should happen on her watch. It’s almost as if they were engineered. Is that possible?

Erica’s relentless pursuit of the truth puts her life and that of her daughter in danger. Her investigation leads her into the heart of darkness—where the future of our democracy is at stake.

 

 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 

 

my-thoughts

 

 

 

Surprisingly I found this to be a page turner in every regard. The motivations and characteristics of Erica Sparks spoke volumes. A die hard journalist who will seek nothing but the truth. Going up against a sadistic power hungry executive, she still shines as a true investigative journalist.

Erica is vulnerable person with a flawed past, yet has a spine of steel when it comes to finding the truth. It’s almost her weakness and strength simultaneously. Her dauntless curiosity gets her into trouble, but it also becomes her strength in the midst of life or death circumstances. You have to get to know Erica!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Two: The Candidate (Newsmakers #2)

 

 

the-candidate

 

 

 

GOODREADS DESCRIPTION

 

How far would a candidate go to become President of the United States?

In covering the presidential election campaign, star newsmaker Erica Sparks notices that favored candidate Senator Mike Ortiz seems dependent on his wife to an unnatural degree. Celeste Ortiz is a brilliant and glamorous billionaire who—along with her best friend and confidant Lily Lau—has engineered her husband’s meteoric rise. The White House is within their reach. But the more Erica investigates the Ortizes’ strange relationship, the more intrigued she becomes.

Erica begins an investigation. But everyone material to her probe ends up dead. With each death, her foreboding grows. Is she next? And can she find out in time if the country’s beloved candidate is what he seems . . . or a threat to national security?

 

 

 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 

 

think

 

 

 

Another well written page turner adventure with Erica Sparks! My favorite journalist who constantly sticks her neck out to unashamedly discover the truth.

This time Erica gets in pretty deep covering the presidential election. The story she’s covering doesn’t get her into trouble, but what she’s uncovers in the process could cost her her life.

At this point in the game she has global recognition with a household name. But in the midst of the fame is her waning personal life with her daughter and fiance.

The Antagonists in this one were much better in my opinion. They were realistic, quirky and actually pretty creepy! Lis does a marvelous job of capturing their personalities with dark motivations. Excellent. Don’t miss this one!

 

 

 

Both of these books are going into the…

 

 

Department of Awesome

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

mtw-email-logo

 

Wings of Mayhem Book Review

wings-of-mayhem

 

 

 

 

 

Author Sue Colleta 

 

 

sue-coleta

 

 

Sue is one of many great authors participating in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week. Don’t miss out on the fun…And spread the word!

 

 

 

GOODREADS DESCRIPTION

 

A SERIAL KILLER STALKS THE STREETS…

Cat burglar Shawnee Daniels always believed her “fearlessness rules” mantra would keep her on top and out of jail. When she hacks a confiscated hard drive at the Revere P.D., she focuses on a white-collar criminal accused of embezzlement. To teach him a lesson and recoup the funds she breaks into his massive contemporary in Bear Clave Estates. Jack has even more secrets, deadly secrets, secrets worth killing over.

A CAT BURGLAR PICKS THE WRONG HOUSE TO ROB…


Shawnee thinks she made it out clean until a deadly package arrives at her door soon after. He’s found her. As a glowing eagle taunts her Skype screen, Jack tells her she stole his precious trophy box — and he wants it back!

THEIR LIVES COLLIDE…


When her “helpful” best friend convinces her to date charismatic Detective Levaughn Samuels, her two worlds threaten to implode. Ordinarily Shawnee keeps a firm line between her professions, but dating Levaughn might help her get this psycho off her tail.

AND NOW, NO ONE IS SAFE…


In this lightning-fast-paced psychological thriller of secrets and lies, Shawnee juggles being stalked by a serial killer, dating the lead detective on the case, and tap dancing around her librarian best friend.

If she doesn’t find the trophy box, the killer’s coming for her. If she doesn’t expose her secrets and lies, more will die. And if she does, she could lose her freedom and everyone she holds dear.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Jackson, Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter thrillers, crime fiction with an edge, or psychological thrillers, mystery, and suspense, then Wings of Mayhem is for you.



Praise for Sue Coletta’s novels…

“The heart-stopping descriptions are so jarringly real that there are several scenes I will never forget.” ~ Eliza Cross, Award Winning Author

“Sue Coletta isn’t going to spare you the gory details or an honest look behind the crime scene tape. She’s a well versed author in all things crime who indelicately dumps you into the middle of a life which has been disrupted, disturbed, and marred by the evil acts of a solitary man.” ~ Beaux Cooper, Author and Amazon Reviewer

“Sue Coletta’s writing style is bold. It’s riveting.

 

 

 

 

 

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First thoughts….

The idea and plot to this book really grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn’t let me go. A Cat burglar doubling in law enforcement, steals a ‘trophy box’ from a devious serial killer. Who wouldn’t read that!

I found it to a very refreshing and original plot. Especially from the overdone cliches in the crime thriller category.

 

Shawnee Daniels

The lead character Shawnee Daniels was also a treat. Instead of being the poor, vulnerable victim we usually see, she daring! She’s a snarky bold character with a chip on her shoulder.

She’s a good anti-hero type who blurs the line between good and evil. Working for law enforcement as a computer analyst, professional cat burglar by night. Love it!

 

Shawnee vs. the serial killer

Finally! A serial killer with a worthy opponent. This made the book extremely entertaining and compelling to read. The killer was devious, smart and capable. But Shawnee Daniels was just a formidable. When these two clashed the conflict was awesome.

 

Can’t wait to read the next book! Kudos Sue!

 

 

 

thanks-blocks

 

 

 

 

CONNECT WITH SUE COLETTA

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Youtube | Twitter | Amazon

 

The Story of Writer Pam Lazos

 

pam-lazos

 

 

 

So who is Pam Lazos?

 

Let’s find out!

 

 

 

 

 

story matters

 

 

 

 

Pam Lazos is an environmental lawyer and the author of the eco thriller, “Oil and Water”, about oil spills and green technology, and of a collection of novellas, “Six Sisters”, about family, dysfunction and the ties that bind us; creator of the literary and eco blog http://www.greenlifebluewater.wordpress.com; a blogger for the Global Water Alliance (GWA) in Philadelphia; on the Board of Advisors for the wH2O Journal, the Journal of Gender and Water (University of Pennsylvania); a former correspondent for her local newspaper (Lancaster Intelligencer Journal); a literary magazine contributor (Rapportage); an editor and ghostwriter; the author of a children’s book (“Into the Land of the Loud”); and, because it’s cool, a beekeeper’s apprentice. She practices laughter daily.

 

Pam is also one of our wonderful authors in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week celebration beginning Feb. 12-22nd. Don’t miss out on all the fun!

 

 

 

 

oil-and-water

 

 

 

 

You’re a writer so what’s your story? Or what inspired you?

I think it’s less about inspiration for me and more about need.  I need to write. It’s either that or spend copious amounts of money on therapy!  I actually went to my first writing class because a friend dragged me along.  I went and never looked back. That was 20 years ago.  One of my first classes was a screenwriting class.  I think visually and it carries over into my writing so that class was a perfect fit for me.

The need to write is a great thing to have. Sometimes I sense an urge to write, but oftentimes not. But if I keep writing the need to write increases. Yay!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

writing-cartoon

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?

I think we’re all writers at heart. We all have stories we want to tell.  Some of us are better orators than writers, but we’re all storytellers.  Beyond that, though, I have this burning desire to educate people about the need to care for the environment and I often use my writing to get some of these environmental issues out there across a greater spectrum.  I do my best not to be preachy which is why I like thrillers because I can hide the information I’m hoping to convey inside the action.

It’s good that you have a specific passion to write about. That’s wonderful. A great topic too!

 

 

 

 

dart-board-md

 

 

 

 

What 3 things have hindered you from completing your projects? (CONFLICT)

Oh, a full time job, my volunteer work, and, of course, familial obligations.  I have to either stay up really late or get up really early to get anything done.  I’ve been trying to dedicate blocks of time on the weekends, but we have a busy household so it’s not easy.

I salute you for writing books with so many responsibilities! It can be done!





responsibility




What keeps you motivated in achieving your dream? (DESIRE)

That’s a good question and I don’t really know the answer.  I don’t think it’s simply the desire to be a rich and famous best-selling author.  I think it’s more visceral than that. Writing helps me sort out the messiness of my life. It’s almost as if I need to write to make sense of things.

YES. I LOVE THAT. I think deep down I feel the same way. Visceral. 





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What’s your ANTAGONIST? What’s in the way?

It used to be me.  I got in the way, either because of my inexperience, my lack of confidence, my lack of faith in myself and my ability.  But I’ve been working at this writing thing for almost 20 years now and I feel as though I’ve really hit the tipping point. I’ve put the hours in and I feel as though I could write anything anyone asks of me.

Wow. I love hearing your experience on this. It’s very inspiring for us newbies.





obstacle






Why do writer’s give up, quit, or never complete their work?

Hmmm, not sure.  You definitely need a tough exterior, have to listen to “no” about a thousand times, and yet still keep at it. Tenacity is key.  A lot of people want instant gratification, but unless you’re incredibly lucky, the business of writing is a long game.

That’s right! It’s definitely not a sprint but a marathon. 





marathon






What would you say to a struggling writer who has given up?

You’ve got to write for yourself first and if you’re not doing that, then it’s probably a good idea to give up.  If you’re already writing for yourself, it’s likely that you’re still in this thing and that you’ll be in it for the long haul.

Well put. 





yes-i-can





BONUS: What else do you have coming down the pike?

I’m currently working on a psychological thriller about the pharmaceutical industry and a vaccine gone bad.

OH! I love that. Please keep me in the loop for that one. A possible ARC? Would love to help.



Thanks Pam!!




Connect with Pam Lazos

Amazon | Goodreads | Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth.-Chief Seattle







Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Mystery Thriller Week 2017

 

ITS TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS

 

CHECK OUT THE NEW MYSTERY THRILLER WEEK TRAILER

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What is is MTW? or Mystery Thriller Week?

 

 

 

 

MYSTERY THRILLER WRITERS, BLOGGERS, REVIEWERS, INTERVIEWERS, MENTORS, AND PUBLISHING SPECIALISTS, WELCOME TO:  #MYSTERYTHRILLERWEEK!

 

 

Don’t miss the global inaugural event of 2017! It’s the marvelous celebration of the mystery and thriller genre that has seamlessly worked its way into the fabric of our society.  There’s currently over 220+ authors from over a dozen countries represented. From international thriller and Agatha award finalists to beginning writers, MTW is truly a wonderful group. Be there. Join the fun!

 

 

 

  • BOOKS

  • AUDIOBOOKS

  • CONTESTS

  • REVIEWS

  • COVER REVEALS

  • TRAILERS

  • PROMOTIONAL SPECIALS

  • MARKETING

  • BRANDING 

  • NAME RECOGNITION

  • AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

  • GUEST BLOG POSTS

  • LIVE FACEBOOK AUTHOR HOSTING EVENTS

  • VIDEO DISCUSSIONS AND TRAINING

  • PUBLISHING MENTORING

  • PRIZES

  • AWARDS

  • CONTRIBUTORS FOR CRIME COLUMN

  • CONTRIBUTORS FOR HISTORICAL FICTION/COLUMN

 

 

Asking yourself, what can I do? There are so many opportunities, take a look at what is in store for you!

eBooks are being provided by the author and publishers for review purposes. Request one now.

Get an early start, request a book, review and choose a posting date. We have authors joining daily and the books will be listed in the menu on the Main page.

  • Know a blogger or online personality, tell them about the event. Sign up here
  • Tweet Hashtag #MysteryThrillerWeek  or #MTW often to grow this project. Follow us on Twitter @MTW_2017
  • Use Hashtag #MysteryThrillerWeek  and #MTW on Facebook often to encourage participation. 
  • Reserve a time slot to share your vision, your books, and host an Author’s Hour of your own. Schedule your own hour.
  • Invite your fellow authors and mystery thriller specialists to join us during this cross-platform event. 

 

We need excited Mystery and Thriller aficionados. Join the Fun!  This event is all about you and your Genre! Why not sign up today?  

 

 

*If you are a specialist (story coach, narrator, publisher, other) you can sign up under the Author or Fan link. 

*If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to send us an email at the addresses provided below. 

 

 

 

 

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Contact the 2017 Mystery Thriller Week Team

 

Benjamin Thomas thebigcaboose@gmail.com

Vicki goodwin vicgoodwin@gmail.com

Sherrie Marshall Spitz sherrie@sherriesalwayswrite.com

 

 

 

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Interview with Career Journalist and Author Nick Rippington

 

 

 

 

 

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Please welcome Nick Rippington a career journalist award winning author from East London. Nick is also one of our many talented authors participating in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week beginning February 12th!

 

 

 

 

 

 

crossing-the-whitewash-book

 

 

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Where did you go to college and what did you study?

Writing was in my blood from a very young age and by the age of 11 I knew I wanted to be a journalist. In fact, putting pen to paper had its merits even then. When I was at junior school in Bristol, England, I was the only student outside the school football team allowed to bunk off lessons to go to games – my reports appearing in the school newspaper, The Elm Park Ranger, each month. Out of 100’s of applicants I managed to qualify for the one-year pre-entry journalism course in Cardiff, Wales, which was great fun. I learnt all about the profession, passed my 100 words per minute shorthand, and studied journalism law, use of language and public administration. Two years later I had to return for a proficiency test after landing a job as a reporter on my local paper. Once I had passed that I was a qualified senior journalist. From there I progressed to sports journalism and have worked all over the UK. I am still managing to hold on to a job in a dying profession 38 years later, working as a freelance on UK national newspapers in London.

 

Wow. This is quite a resume!

 

 

 

 

 

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*What did you grow up reading? 

I wasn’t a big reader until one day I was moaning to my mum during the school holidays about being bored. “Read a book”, she said. “Boring,” I said. “I bet you won’t find this one boring,” she said. It was Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying, and I read it in little more than a day. After that I was hooked. I always liked a twist or something that thrilled. Jaws, by Peter Benchley, was another quick read. Levin has always been my favourite though. I’ve read all his stuff, pretty diverse from horror (Rosemary’s Baby) to Sci-Fi (this perfect day). Boys from Brazil is possibly my favourite.

 

Haven’t heard of any of these guys but I love learning of new and interesting authors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*What do you read for entertainment?

I love discovering something really original. I love psychological thrillers and books that at some stage give you an OMG moment where you just stare at the page, mouth open, shocked by what you’ve just read!

 

YES. I love psychological thrillers too! I think it takes a lot of skill it pull it off correctly with the desired effect. 

 

 

 

 

 

new-skills

 

 

 

 

 

*What are your favorite resources for journalism?

I’m more on the design and editing side these days so it’s a difficult question to answer. I like designing on In design, though the software does have its glitches.

 

I have seen this program and it looks pretty powerful from a designing standpoint. If I had to start over, design would be in my top 5 choices.

 

 

 

*Favorite genres to read?

Thriller/suspense/mystery… something original

Me too. Hard to resist a good thriller, suspense or mystery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*According to your experience how is writing different from journalism?

The whole process needs a different mindset. When you go to journalism college or take a course the first thing they teach you is to follow a formula, which over time erodes your creative side. It is a different case for columnists or feature writers I imagine, but as a plain news hack you learn a series of rules that MUST be obeyed. The idea is to get the story across as quickly as possible without frills. You have to answer the five key questions in the first sentence or two in case the story is ‘cut’. There is no slow burn, it is instant: Who? Where? What? Why? When? How? It took a lot of “re-educating” myself to return to creative writing, though the one thing journalism has taught me is not to waste words and to avoid repetition. I am pretty adept at editing my own work ruthlessly before going to an independent editor at a later stage.

 

Wow. Sounds like being a journalist does have good benefit in training yourself in certain ways. I can see how it would affect your creativity though. It’s good that you still were able to retrain yourself after so many years. That’s great! 

 

 

 

 

 

“Creativity is a wild mind & a disciplined eye.”- Dorothy Parker

 

 

 

 

 

*How did you research your book Crossing The Whitewash?

As a career journalist of 38 years who has worked over the whole spectrum of the business I could draw on my own experiences greatly. Also, as a sports journalist I have met a lot of characters, so amalgamated many of them. For the things that happen earlier in the book there were stories I was told and I drew upon some experiences of my teen years. I have lived in most of the places featured – or know someone who has and was able to tap into their experiences. I had to read up about jails, but I’ve encountered so many situations it was just a case of getting them into a coherent order and embellishing them.

 

This is great. Sounds like you had a wealth of experience to draw from coupled with other resources. 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Introduce us to the football prodigy Gary Marshall

As a young teen, Gary is just an ordinary kid with a big talent for football (soccer) that his dad Stan is keen to encourage. Though he lives on a seedy, rundown estate he is happy-go- lucky with a positive outlook on life. This starts  when he encounters a gang who want to steal his bike. He ends up indebted to another boy, Arnie Dolan, who helps him escape and is then drawn into the Boxer Boys gang and slides slowly off the rails. It’s a case of how a youngster can bow to peer pressure. It all has a deep effect on Gary’s life and the story is really about how he goes about trying to break those shackles.

 

Sounds like quite a story. I’ll be listening to the audio version of this book and really looking forward to it. You picked a good narrator too! Can’t wait to see how Gary brakes those shackles!

 

 

 

 

 

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*Who is Arnie Dolan?

Crossing The Whitewash got an honourable mention in the genre category of the 2016 Writers’ Digest self-published eBook awards with the judges saying: “Arnie Dolan is terrifying, but never two dimensional”. I am hugely proud of this character. I wanted to write a real bad guy but to explain how he had got that way – the outside influences which dictated he turned out the way he did. He is incredibly resourceful but doesn’t use his attributes in a good way. Strange, really, that some of the first people to read the book admitted to feeling sympathy for a guy who has a propensity for savage violence – against men and women. Arnie is driven by a warped sense of right and wrong. His biggest asset is his immense loyalty and he feels let down by others who don’t afford him the same respect. The way his back story unfurls gave me a great deal of satisfaction.

 

Sounds like a juicy character! Very intriguing. Readers love these kind of anti-hero/grey kind of characters that they can relate to. 

 

 

 

 

*What can you tell us about their relationship with one another?

This relationship forms the basis for the whole book. Arnie is a leader and all the other boys on the estate look up him. Gary has a bit of an individual streak, and is blessed with a couple of talents the others don’t have, so he never really fully immerses himself in the gang despite Arnie’s promptings. As Gary grows older, he realises that if he is to get his life back on track he must separate from Arnie completely. He moves away at a time when Arnie isn’t about and creates an entirely new life for himself. Pretty soon, though, Arnie goes looking for him.

 

This sounds like a really good book. Looking forward to getting into it. 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Tell us how the setting in the rundown London estate plays a part in the book

There were a lot of cheap estates built in London after the second world war. Tower blocks were grouped together to answer the demand for housing, but over time they became run down. The Boxers estate is a prime example, situated in a deprived area of London’s East End where the no.1 job opportunity is villainy. With little to do, kids on the estate form gangs with the intention of defending themselves against outsiders. It is against this background that Gary and Arnie meet.

 

Wow. I can almost picture the scenery in my head. Sounds pretty intriguing when you think about it. There are situations like this all over the world. Kids in the midst of poor environment, looking for a way out, hoping to survive. Excellent.

 

 

 

 

 

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*What else are you working on?

My latest work is set in 1982, a prequel involving Arnie’s dad Big Mo Dolan. He has no end of worries, having to raise a young family on the same London estate with no job and little money. As his mind turns to crime, he is also concerned that his brother Clive has enlisted for the army at a time when Britain and Argentina are poised to go to war over the Falkland Islands. The story – as yet untitled – explains much of what later develops in Crossing The Whitewash. It is with the editor and I am hoping to release it in late Feb/early March.

 

Oh great! Keep us posted on the development. Would love to read this. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Nick!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com