Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Author Interview – AFN Clarke @AFNClarke

at 3:30 AM
You are self-published, what led to you going your own way?
My first 6 books were traditionally published, but I’ve stepped out of that system in more recent years. I found I had to do most of the marketing myself anyway, so why not take back control and reap the rewards? So I did, I got my rights back and released all my work as eBooks in the Amazon Kindle Store. Interestingly, after 30 years Random House agreed to hand back the rights to my bestseller CONTACT as the book was supposedly “too old”. I am glad to say I have proven them wrong! It’s still one of my bestsellers and resonates with readers all over the world. I love the freedom self-publishing brings, though would still work with a good publisher on a more equal footing if that were possible.
Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
I am more of a “stream of consciousness’ writer. Although I have a clear idea of the plot and a definite focus I simply start and then the book takes on a life of its own. The characters are, after all, people, and how they react to different situations determines what happens next – and so as my characters grow they help develop the twists and turns of the story in a way that often surprises even me. I think this gives my writing a greater immediacy, vibrancy, and feeling of being “real” even if it’s a highly fanciful story.
Do you have to do much research for your stories?
I am always researching but I am blessed with a “colourful” life as fodder for my books as well. My father was an MI6 operative and I’ve been an Officer in Britain’s elite Parachute Regiment, a race-car driver, pilot, screenwriter, computer programmer and proud father of 4 daughters. I’ve lived in Hong Kong, India, Iran, Libya, Europe, the UK, USA and Australia and so have been immersed in different cultures, political and religious systems. This blend of my background, insatiable curiosity about everything and my on-going research is an important part of every book, so that the boundaries between what is real and what is not are always intriguingly blurred, adding, I hope, a depth and breadth to my work.
What is your most recent book?  Tell us a little about it.
The Jonas Trust Deception, which is actually the second book of a new thriller series. It follows the success of the The Orange Moon Affair which features Thomas Gunn, ex-Special Forces, who is dragged back to his old life of international intrigue and danger following the brutal murder of his billionaire father.  In The Jonas Trust Deception, the fallout from the Orange Moon conspiracy throws Thomas and his girlfriend Julie into the deadly path of Mexican drug cartels, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous financial brokers, and the US and UK intelligence services. Outraged by the feeling of constantly being “played”, Thomas decides to take an action so shocking and unexpected, that even his team fear he’s lost his mind.  The question is – has he?
I’m loving writing this series and am already part-way through the third book “Running with the Bonefish”, which I expect to release in early 2014.
What inspired you to write your new thriller series?
My inspiration is the person the first book, The Orange Moon Affair, is dedicated to – Terry Forrestal, ex-British SAS, brother-in-arms and a dear friend, may he rest in peace. His life read like a Hollywood movie, indeed he was a stunt man, actor and stunt coordinator (The Killing Fields, Titanic, Brazil and more), and he had that streak of larrikin in him, so I think he would enjoy these books. He – like myself, and the central character Thomas Gunn – was always torn between the “trained killer” part of himself and the more caring, emotional part that simply wanted a more “normal” and peaceful life. That inner turmoil is an integral part of the book and it’s what makes Thomas so vulnerable. It also makes for an interesting relationship with his girlfriend Julie.
I was also inspired to take on the challenge of a series  – and believe me it is a real challenge – because I wanted the opportunity to develop a number of inter-related themes and characters over a longer period of time, allowing the reader to go on a continuing journey as if they were a part of the main characters’ lives.  It’s not easy, but I’m loving the process and excited about continuing with many more books to come.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
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