Saturday 30 January 2016

A Q&A about my books and why I wrote them

My two books, God's Triangle and The Mortal Maze, are now available in epub format for those who prefer this to Kindle or paperbacks. The epub versions can be dowloaded here through Smashwords and will soon be offered by other major distributors and publishers. As part of the sign-up, I have done this Q&A:

After many years in broadcast and print journalism, you have switched to other forms of writing. What are they?
I now mainly write books and screenplays. I have two books published -- God's Triangle, the true story about my investigation into what happened to a missionary great aunt in Bengal (now Bangladesh) and The Mortal Maze, a fictional thriller about the corruption of a television foreign correspondent by the intelligence services. A third book, Seeds of Revenge, another thriller, will be published later this year. I also have four screenplays, one of which is in pre-filming development in Australia.
What attracts you to a story?
First of all I need to be intrigued. With my non-fiction book, God's Triangle, my journalistic instincts told me that there was a story that should be investigated and might provide some enlightenment, if told sensitively. As for The Mortal Maze, I wanted to use fiction to explore moral challenges that inevitably arise for journalists when working in a foreign, often dangerous, environment.
For the full interview, go here.

Sunday 17 January 2016

Which tense should be used for a novel?

My thriller, The Mortal Maze, is written in the present tense. It never occurred to me that I should write it any other way because it wanted to give the story some added pace, but some of the feedback has surprised me. Although I have been getting many very good reviews, a friend told me that she wouldn't read the book if it were in the present tense. Another friend told me how much he ended up enjoying the book, but admitted that if it hadn't been written by me, he wouldn't have gone past the first chapter because he disliked the present tense. A couple of reviewers praised the book but said they had to adjust to the tense. Most others either didn't notice the tense or thought it was just right for the story.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has written a novel in the present tense and what reaction they received. Meantime, here's the early feedback to my thriller.