Welcome to Deano’s Grill – Author Interviews. The only place to be interviewed by fictional hero of the Detective Deans crime thrillers,  Detective Andrew ‘Deano’ Deans.

Today, Deano grills Thriller novelist, Alan Reynolds.

Before we start, I need to caution you – You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your credentials if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in book sales, and anything you do say may be written about you.

Welcome to Deano’s Grill, Alan. Describe your writing for us please.
My books fall into the ‘thriller’ category although someone did point out that they cross a number of genres. They are adult in content, in the sense that they have adult themes and would suit any audience from 18+.

Tell us how you became a writer.
It was a complete fluke really. I never had any ambitions to be a writer but I had some time in my diary (I am a self-employed business consultant) and I had an idea for a story and I just started writing. I had finished it within 3 weeks! I shared the story online on a website that promoted authors and received some great reviews and then started sending it to literary agents. It was a long process but eventually I got a publisher and that book went on to win a Wishing Shelf Award.

Describe the book you are working on now.
I have just finished a new book called The Drive which should be out next year but I now am writing the sequel to The Sixth Pillar, my fourth book, which was published in 2014. It features a former SAS officer and I pick up his life six months later and new adventures in his job as a security consultant.

Describe the main protagonist for us.
The lead player is the former SAS officer, Rory Calderwood. He suffers from flash-backs from his time in the first Gulf War. He is a complex character outwardly strong, ruthless even when faced with danger, but has mental health issue, which he is trying to battle.

Do you share any of Rory’s characteristics?
This is probably the most significant lesson I have learned as a writer. It is so easy for your characters to become an extension of yourself. I initially found it hard to use expletives when my characters would use them! I try to think of the characters as actors in a play which means I can use an alter-ego without any personal bias.

Do you have a forces background that influences your writing?
I spent 36 years in Banking, latterly as a senior HR Manager. My present job as a self-employed business consultant takes me to many countries which I know helps me with my writing. I work in Paris frequently and part of my latest book is based in the area I know reasonably well.

Tell us which book you are most proud of and why?
My first novel, Flying with Kites has not only won an award but has been widely read in the Kosovan community in London. It is about a Kosovan refugee escaping from her native country in 1999 and ending up in a tower block in Newcastle (UK). As a result, I have met the Kosovan and Albanian Ambassadors and been invited to independence celebrations at the Houses of Parliament and to speak at the British Museum. How wonderful. That must have been a huge privilege!

Describe any writing routines or rituals you might follow.
I write when I have the time and idea; I often sketch an outline, sometimes the night before and use story boards to give me a visual impression of where the story is going. I am not on any time constraints although fitting it in between my ‘proper’ job is a challenge.

Tell us about your author highlights and hopes for the future.
Highlights definitely winning the award – I was also short-listed for The Sixth Pillar and speaking at the British Museum. My publisher has just signed a two year film distribution deal with a film production company for my first six books! Wow! That’s amazing! 

Now let’s understand YOU a little more…

Tell us your proudest day.
Being invited as a guest of the Kosovan Ambassador to the Houses of Parliament to celebrate Kosovan independence.

You are at a party and it’s time to entertain the guests, do you possess any hidden talents or party pieces?
It’s not hidden but I play the guitar and have written several songs.

You can invite two dream guests for dinner – Living dead or fictional – who would they be and why?
John Lennon & Elvis Presley – just to listen to their anecdotes. I think I may have to sneak in the back door to that party!

You can charter a private jet to any destination in the world. Where would you go and why?
Northern Territories Australia. It’s an area featured in my new novel and most of the research was done by Google Earth – I would love to visit Kakadu National Park for real.

Thank you for the great answers, Alan. Tell us where we can find your books and how we can follow you online.

Amazon, in paperback and on Kindle.

My web address is www.alanreynoldsauthor.com

Twitter @alanreynolds2

Facebook alan.reynolds3