Unforgivable Blog Tour – Crime Thriller Hound: The Films and TV That Inspired ‘Unforgivable’

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Crime Thriller Hound: The Films and TV That Inspired ‘Unforgivable’

 

The Films and TV That Inspired ‘Unforgivable’

Guest post by Mike Thomas

 

It’s fair to say I love my films. And I love me a bit of TV, if you discount snooker coverage, soaps and all reality shows – I am proud to admit that I never watched Big Brother after the first series, and wouldn’t know what a TOWIEwas if it kicked me in the plums.

As a writer, I find there’s nothing better than hitting the sofa or cinema chair and soaking up other people’s work as it plays out on the screen. Absorbing it all. Just having that hour or two of mental space away from your own creative endeavours while you enjoy somebody else’s.

There’s a definite link between the novels I write and the things I watch. As a kid, devouring books, I also developed a love for television – Tom Baker’s Doctor Who, for starters – and came to adore the cinema. I can remember sitting with my mother and having the bejesus scared out of me during Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, when the evil Zenobia runs out of the potion required to turn her back into a human. When I saw her foot, mangled and marbled and still that of a seagull, I cowered into my mother and the film’s work was done: I went home and wrote stories where people turned themselves into all sorts of weird and troubling malformed creatures, a cabal of half-human, half-animal horrors.

Now, when I write, I picture the scene as if it were through the lens of a camera – the zooms and quick pans and dolly shots and fades to black. The wipes and overhead crane views, the tracking of characters as they move from room to room. The moving image has had such a profound effect on my life that I can’t work any other way.

So what films and TV shows inspired my latest novel, ‘Unforgivable’? The book covers five days in the UK city of Cardiff, which has been brought to a halt by a murderous bomber who is attacking the populace. I wanted it to be rich with detail, stuff that I learned during my twenty-plus years as a cop. But more than anything else I wanted it to be taught, mean and pacy as hell.

So here’s what I used as a reference. Some of them I love, and watch repeatedly. Some I’ll never watch again, but for just a couple of scenes, they blew me away and fed into ‘Unforgivable’…

To continue reading, click here

 

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Interview and Review with Liz Loves Books

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Interview and Review with Liz Loves Books

 

Unforgivable Mike Thomas – Blog tour Interview and Review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I’m very happy to welcome Mike Thomas, who rather rashly agreed to answer a few questions for me on Unforgivable and other things. A review follows as well (you should get this book it really is pretty darn good and available now!)

So let’s talk about Will MacReady. This is his second outing and you are no nicer to him this time than you were last time. Mean you crime writers are (that is my attempt at a bit of Yoda) So readers coming in have a bit of background – what was the inspiration behind Will and tell us a little bit about his journey before the beginning of Unforgivable.

Impressive Yoda, there. * channels Darth Vader* Most impressive. Where were we? Oh yes. Well first, the name – one of my fave horror films is John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’, with Kurt Russell’s protagonist MacReady. I always wanted to use the name as a nod to the movie. And I’ve had the MacReady character in my head since the 90s, when TFI Friday used to be on the gogglebox and Chris Evans’ producer sidekick was called Will – remember when they all used to point at him and say ‘Wiiiiiiiiiiillllllll’? That’s how Will MacReady was named. How daft is that? Anyway, MacReady is basically me when I joined the job: a tad naïve, wants to make the world better, is slightly gung-ho but his heart is in the right place. Give him a few years he’ll be cynical, overweight, have a completely shaved noggin and an addiction to XL kebabs (with coleslaw) while working night shifts – again, just like me….

To continue reading, click here

 

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Exclusive Extract for The Book Magnet

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Exclusive Extract for The Book Magnet

 

BLOG TOUR: Unforgivable (DC Will MacReady #2) – Mike Thomas

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Unforgivable by Mike Thomas so I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour.  Today I have an extract for you but look out for my review over the next week or so, and don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

UNFORGIVABLE EXTRACT


This chapter takes place late at night, after the bombs have gone off in the market and mosque. MacReady has gone off duty, so we switch to another person’s point of view: the bomber, who is drunk and alone and mulling over what he has done…

He sits amongst the detritus, the remnants of fast food and discarded bottles of alcohol and the thick stench of his own flesh, the television remote control resting on his naked white stomach, the matted hair around his filthy navel curling up along the handset, his eyes unblinking and on the images flickering across the television screen.
Smoke and misery and the pulse of blue lights. A breathless reporter, face smudged, his puny hands twisting at a microphone as he struggles to put into words what he has witnessed. What his eyes have seen that can never be unseen. His fey, bland voice battling to explain the unexplainable as inoffensively as possible. Must not affront anyone. Must not fan the outrage. Be inclusive. Be diverse. Be bland with your tamed tongue.
He laughs as he watches because it is written all over the man’s twisted face: he wishes he was home with his loved ones. Wishes he was holding them tight…

To continue reading, click here

 

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for JaffaReadsToo: My Writing Space

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for JaffaReadsToo: My Writing Space

 

Blog Tour ~ Unforgiveable by Mike Thomas

Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the Unforgivable Blog Tour

I am delighted to welcome the author, Mike Thomas to tell us all about his writing space in …

My Writing Space

I’ve lived quite the transient lifestyle during the last six or seven years, moving house several times and eventually leaving the UK for a six month stay in the wilds of central Portugal. We forgot to move back though, so now I’m here for good, writing and fixing up an old stone quinta that was derelict for nearly three decades and appears destined to drain my bank account of every single penny I have to my name.

Within those various houses I’ve been moved around constantly, from dining rooms to bedrooms and back, then to hallways and kitchen worktops and even a draughty old veranda that was collapsing at one end – Look! You can see the garden through the floor! – and populated by lizards. It’s been interesting, and not a little disruptive, but if you’re gonna write you’re gonna write, no matter the surroundings.

I dream of a fixed place where everything is set up so I can just turn my computer on each morning and begin typing. Until then, wherever I move I have a few things that will remain on my desk, or on the wall nearby. They make it feel semi-permanent, at least. Now I’m back in the bedroom again, which conveniently means I can roll out of my pit and onto the chair for work while still in my underwear…

To continue reading, click here

 

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post Bibliophile Book Club: The Writing Process

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post Bibliophile Book Club: The Writing Process

Hi everyone,

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Unforgivable by Mike Thomas and I’ve got a great post from Mike for you all to read a little further down. First though, here’s all the bookish information you need to know!

About the book:

Unforgivable

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation. 
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside. 
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . . 

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.

Out now from Bonnier Zaffre, click  HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Mike Thomas 1

Mike Thomas was born in Wales in 1971. For more than two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff ’s busiest neighbourhoods in uniform, public order units, drugs teams and CID. He left the force in 2015 to write full time.

His debut novel, ‘Pocket Notebook’, was published by William Heinemann (Penguin Random House) and longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year. The author was also named as one of Waterstones’ ‘New Voices’ for 2010. His second novel, ‘Ugly Bus’, is currently in development for a six part television series with the BBC.

The first in the MacReady series of novels, ‘Ash and Bones’, was released August 2016 by Bonnier Zaffre. ‘Unforgivable’, the second in the series, is released in July 2017.

He lives in the wilds of Portugal with his wife and two children.

Follow the author on Twitter at @ItDaFiveOh. More details can be found on the website http://www.mikethomasauthor.co.uk

The Writing Process

Some writers like to have a set routine. Some can’t operate unless they do the same thing day in, day out. You know, bounce out of bed at six in the morning, make a coffee then type away until noon, not stopping until they hit their word count target. Then it’s some lunch and social media and rewriting other stuff and finally a late evening stroll, possibly wearing something corduroy.

My writing life, in comparison, is chaotic. I’ve moved house half a dozen times in the last seven years, and within each new home I – for various incredibly tedious reasons like decorating and family coming to stay and that one time I got electrocuted – have had to constantly move ‘office’. As a result, I don’t really have a fixed writing place – at the moment it’s a desk in the corner of my bedroom, which is handy for rolling from under the duvet to my chair – never mind a ‘process’. It’s more of a very rough and ragged list of things I need – or need to do – in order to get a few words out. No writing-based profundity here, I’m afraid!

So here they are, in all their glory….

 

To continue reading, click here

 

Unforgivable Blog Tour – CRIMINALLY GOOD interview with Lucy V Hay

Unforgivable Blog Tour – CRIMINALLY GOOD interview with Lucy V Hay

 1) So, who are you & what have you written?

In short: a fortysomething, six feet six, seventeen stone ex-cop turned author and writer-for-hire. I live with my family in the recently-burned-down middle of Portugal, having moved here four of years ago. I was a police officer in South Wales for more than two decades, working the Valleys and the capital city, Cardiff.

My first two novels – Pocket Notebook and Ugly Bus – were published by William Heinemann and longlisted for various awards, and I was a Waterstones New Voice in 2010. I’m now with Bonnier Zaffre, who are releasing the MacReady crime novels. The first, Ash and Bones, was published last year while the follow-up, Unforgivable, was out last week. If you do the Twitter and fancy abusing an ex-plod in real time but without the risk of being struck with a baton in reply, I’m @ItDaFiveOh. Come say hello.

2) Why do you write crime fiction?

I always wanted to write crime fiction. My protagonist, DC Will MacReady, has already featured in three novels written between 2004 and 2007, and which will never see the light of day as they are unimaginably awful. But they were my very steep learning curve; I’ve always written and thought – misguidedly – that as I was also a cop then writing a crime novel would be an absolute doddle. So I put MacReady away and got side-tracked doing a couple of ‘literary’ novels and it was after those that I thought I had the tools to bring him out, dust him down and do a proper job. So far nobody has stopped me. Maybe they’re scared due to my size. 

3) What informs your crime writing?

Human beings are endlessly fascinating. I’m a real people watcher, and while in the police I used to spend a lot of time trying to work out why we treat each other the way we do because sometimes we really are cruel to one another. In the end I just realised as a species we are brilliant but not a little bit stupid. I dealt with a lot of awful things in the job, too, so writing is a little bit cathartic. My first novel just poured out of me in a rage – I hated being a cop by that point, it had turned me into a person I didn’t really like very much….

Continue Reading…

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for The Quiet Knitter: How a Bit of Cheek Got My First Novel Published (or ‘Mugging a Publisher’)

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for The Quiet Knitter: How a Bit of Cheek Got My First Novel Published (or ‘Mugging a Publisher’)

The Quiet Knitter

Hi and welcome along to my stop on the blog tour for “Unforgivable” by Mike Thomas.  This is the second book to feature Will Macready, the first in the series was “Ash and Bones” which I would thoroughly recommend reading (my review of this can be found here).  I’m absolutely delighted to be able to share a guest post today that has been written by Mike, and it’s very inkeeping with his sense of humour, and remember ladies and gents, there are other supermarkets out there if you would prefer their bags….

UnforgivableDescription:

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker…

View original post 1,380 more words

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Review Guest Post: My Cardiff: the places that inspired locations in ‘Unforgivable’

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Review Guest Post: My Cardiff: the places that inspired locations in ‘Unforgivable’

The book review café

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Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on the Unforgivable by Mike Thomas blog tour. Not only do I get to share my review for this thrilling book, but I also have a fabulous guest post from the author about the places that inspired the locations in Unforgivable. Interestingly enough my son and his wife had their wedding photographs taken in Roath Park one of the settings the author mentions.

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My Cardiff: the places that inspired locations in ‘Unforgivable’

It’s safe to say I know Cardiff like the back of my hand.
The nice regions and the dodgy areas, the best route to take to avoid rush hour traffic, the lanes and parks and alleys where gangs from rival estates used to meet for a rumble on a Friday night (Birdies Lane, if you must know). Where you can get stolen electrical equipment for a very low price…

View original post 1,767 more words

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Bloomin’ Brilliant Books: The Three Favourite Supporting Characters in My Novels

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Bloomin’ Brilliant Books: The Three Favourite Supporting Characters in My Novels

About Bloomin’ Brilliant Books

My name is Abbie and I’m a Yorkshire lass. I love Alaskan Malamutes, rock music and, of course, books.

Bloomin’ Brilliant Books was set up in 2016 to connect with other readers  and share great books, to support authors and publishers, and to have my reviews all in one accessible place to help me remember the books I have read and loved (I have the memory span of a goldfish!). The blog has steadily grown and I was delighted to have won the Best Newcomer in 2017’s Annual Blogger’s Bash awards.

Blog Tour – Unforgivable by Mike Thomas *Guest Post and Review*

 

 

 

 

 

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Unforgivable by Mike Thomas. I’m chuffed to bits to be a part of this and to be sharing my review AND I have a brilliant guest post from Mike on his three favourite supporting characters in his novels. I will hand you over to Mike and then check out the blurb and my review of Unforgivable…

The Three Favourite Supporting Characters in My Novels

It’s always enjoyable writing your protagonist’s story and pushing them around on the page – go here, you swine! – but what I often find more entertaining, certainly if my hero or heroine is having an off day, is writing supporting characters. They’re often great fun, because they’re not really as important (but they’re still very important), and therefore the pressure’s off and there’s more freedom to do things with them that you couldn’t do with your main character. They also act as a counterpoint to your protagonist, and a means to demonstrate your main character’s personality or behaviour without doing the old ‘telling’.

Just look at Saul Goodman in ‘Breaking Bad’, or Bunk in ‘The Wire’, or The Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. And what about Ron and Hermione in the Potter books? All of them, fully-formed and interesting supporting characters that add further depth and shade to the protagonist and the story itself.

So who are the three favourite supporting characters in my novels? Which of them were the most interesting and gratifying to write? Let’s take a look…

1. DC Warren Harrison – rotund, perpetually eating and wrapped in a fug of smoke, ‘Wazza’ is the ‘senior man’ – in age, not rank – on the team of CID officers who feature in the MacReady novels, ‘Ash and Bones’ and ‘Unforgivable’. An old sweat who has seen it all…

 

To continue reading (and to see Abbie’s review), click here

 

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Books From Dusk Till Dawn: How Nothing – Not Even Handling Dead Bodies or Fighting Drunks – Can Prepare You for Interviews and PR

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Books From Dusk Till Dawn: How Nothing – Not Even Handling Dead Bodies or Fighting Drunks – Can Prepare You for Interviews and PR

BOOKS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

I wish to thank Emily Burns of BonnierZaffre for supplying a feature from Mike Thomas for this Blog Tour for his new book UNFORGIVABLE

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But…

View original post 1,209 more words

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Col’s Criminal Library: Failing at Your First Book Signing!

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Col’s Criminal Library: Failing at Your First Book Signing!

COL S CRIMINAL LIBRARY MIKE THOMAS UNFORGIVABLE BLOG TOURAbout Col’s Criminal Library

Interests books, books, books, bit of TV – Justified, Homeland, The WIRE, football – Luton,Celtic, REP.of Ireland, sleeping
Favourite Films LA Confidential, Fargo, Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading
Favourite Music Them Crooked Vultures, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Stereophonics, Ocean Colour Scene, Linkin Park, Nickelback

 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

MIKE THOMAS – UNFORGIVABLE – BLOG TOUR

Emily from publisher Bonnier Zaffre and author Mike Thomas have kindly asked me to participate in the blog tour to publicise his latest book – UNFORGIVABLE

Unforgivable is the second book in his DC Will MacReady series and is out this month.

The first, Ash and Bones (as well as his two standalone novels Pocket Notebook and Ugly Bus) still languish on the burgeoning TBR pile………UNFORGIVABLE really!

The blurb…….

A dark slice of Cardiff crime for fans of TONY PARSONS, JAMES OSWALD and LUCA VESTE. There isn’t always a welcome in the valleys . . . Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation. An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside. But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . . In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . . MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman. But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.


Mike has kindly written a guest post for the blog….

Failing at Your First Book Signing!

Book signings, eh?

You’ve probably seen the photos: Lee Child smiling and scribbling his autograph, queue snaking out of the door. Or Jo Rowling, the local cops shutting down a street so the huge crowd of Potter-mad children can glimpse their favourite author in the flesh for just a few moments.

It’s always the same for us authors. Great fun, and so busy, seeing the people who’ve waited patiently for a couple of hours, in lines that weave around the store’s shelves, so many of them that you can barely…

Oh, wait. It’s not always the same. Nope. Oh no.

Let me tell you about my first book signing.

Picture it: several years ago, a sunny spring day, unseasonably warm. A Saturday afternoon in Cardiff, the Welsh capital buzzing, the first street fair of the year in full swing, lots of events and stalls and people swarming towards them.

So in I go, into the Bookshop I Shall Not Name for my first ever two hour signing session – oh, how excited I was! – for my debut novel, ‘Pocket Notebook’, a darkly comedic tale of a police officer’s downfall. A member of staff greets me and she smiles and points me at my table with all its books (copies of my book, woo!) and a chair and a pen and it looks so lovely then she wanders off and carries on stocking the shelves.

To continue reading, click here

 

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Book Drunk: How Real Life Became More Frightening than the Fictional Events in ‘Unforgivable’ 

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Book Drunk: How Real Life Became More Frightening than the Fictional Events in ‘Unforgivable’ 

About Book Drunk

Hello, I’m Sophie.
Book Drunk (formerly Reviewed the Book) is an award-winning book blog. I post reviews, author interviews, guest posts, giveaways and various other book related posts from cover reveals to excerpts.
Hello, I'm Sophie. Book Drunk (formerly Reviewed the Book) is an award-winning book blog. I post reviews, author interviews, guest posts, giveaways and various other book related posts from cover reveals to excerpts.

 

Guest Post | How Real Life Became More Frightening than Fiction by Mike Thomas (Unforgivable)

Published by Zaffre on July 27, 2017

 

How Real Life Became More Frightening than the Fictional Events in ‘Unforgivable’ 

What if the unreal became real?

What if something you were planning to write, something so extreme and preposterous and troubling, became – during the creation of the novel – the horrifying new normal?

I’d had a story idea rattling around my addled brain for some time: what if, against a backdrop of racial tensions in the UK city of Cardiff, a lone white male decided to attack an ethnic market then blow up a mosque? What if this was our very own Anders Behring Breivik moment, or David Copeland all over again, targeting people with nail bombs and firearms and remote-detonated homemade explosive devices? But what if I dialled it up to eleven, really pushing the devastation, the insanity?

And what if these attacks paralysed an entire city? Brought the populace of a cosmopolitan west European capital to its knees, and stretched its emergency services – already fraying at the seams during an ongoing case of racially-motivated murder – to breaking point? How would the police respond to such a meticulously planned and vicious series of events where hundreds of people were left dying or dead?

I thought I’d find out. It was in the early summer of 2015 that I finally began writing, hacking away at an opening chapter – the market scene, where the attacker strides in and begins setting off IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) – that was designed to get the heart thumping. That was designed to leave you open-mouthed at its conclusion, reeling at what you had just read….

Continue reading…

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Bibliomaniac: Crime series or standalone novels – which are easier to write?

Unforgivable Blog Tour – Guest Post for Bibliomaniac: Crime series or standalone novels – which are easier to write?

About Bibliomanic

My name is Katherine Sunderland and I’m a book maniac who grabs every spare (and sometimes not so spare) moment to devour the next big read. Helping people get a regular fix of top books, reviews and all things bookish.

BiblioManiac Unforgivable MikeThomas BlogTour GuestPost

#Unforgivable #MikeThomas #BlogTour #GuestPost

I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Mike Thomas to my blog today! Mike’s novel, Unforgivable is published by Bonnier Zaffre on July 27th 2017. Here’s a bit about it to wet your appetite!

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.

So without any more delay, I’m going to hand straight over to Mike for his guest post written just for BibliomaniacUK!

Crime series or standalone novels – which are easier to write?

Entertainment, and how we consume it and what form it comes in, is changing. Cinema is no longer king, and actors who just ten years ago wouldn’t entertain an appearance on the small screen are increasingly turning to television, with its rich, long-form storylines and returning series – fuelled by the likes of Netflix and Amazon – proving incredibly appealing.

Yet in the book world, certainly where genre novel series once ruled the roost, it seems in the last few years there has been a shift in the opposite direction: a massive increase in the popularity of standalones. I recently spoke to Sarah Hilary, author of the brilliant Marnie Rome novels, and she told me that even established ‘series’ authors are being pushed by their agents and publishers to write standalone crime or psychological thrillers.

‘Gone Girl’, it appears, still reverberates…

To continue reading, click here

 

BlogTour | BookReview: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas

BlogTour | BookReview: Unforgivable by Mike Thomas

Hello. My name is Emma and damppebbles is my baby. I’m in my…ahem…late thirties and live in South Oxfordshire with my husband and two young children (my 3 year old son gives me a run for my money in the book loving stakes).

Emma says: “… Quite possibly my favourite guest post, EVER!  Seriously, how good was that?  I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, Mike.  My thanks for such an interesting true crime/crime fiction focused piece!…”

damppebbles.com

Unforgivable.jpg“Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.”

View original post 2,643 more words

5WH Interview with: Alan Jones

5WH Interview with: Alan Jones

 

 

 

 

This month Alan Jones, author of a trio of hard-as-granite crime novels, was taken to the police station and left to fester in a windowless cell for eighteen hours without food, water or legal advice treated really, really nicely in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, as we do with all our ‘customers’ who undertake our 5WH interview.

We ran his details through the Police National Computer and it came back with this…

Alan Jones started writing in 2003, but it took a few false starts over the next ten years before he completed his first novel, The Cabinetmaker.

His second book, Blue Wicked, took a year to write and he used the feedback from the first book, resulting in a shorter, more pithy novel than the first one.

His latest book, Bloq, was published on 1st April 2016. Although the lead character is Scottish, most of the story takes place in London.

Jones was born in Glasgow in 1960 and lived there for the first 22 years of his life. He now lives and works on the Ayrshire coast, in the animal health industry. He is married with four grown up children, and in his spare time likes to read, sail, make furniture, play football and watch films when he’s not writing.

Alan Jones is his pen name, as he needs to keep working to pay the bills…

 

As Theresa May told us we could ‘do more with less’, we sent just three hairy-arsed coppers into the interview room to give Alan a kicking, instead of the usual five. It went especially well, and Alan sang like a canary – as you can see from the following…

Who out of the characters in your novels would you most like to make a piece of furniture for, what would the piece be, and why that character?

Probably a coffin, for Jacko, the killer in Blue Wicked!
That aside, I do make and restore a lot of furniture, but it has mostly been for my own home. If I really was going to make a piece for one of my characters, it would have to be for one of the female characters in my books. An old fashioned travel chest for Sarah from The Cabinetmaker, perhaps; a lovely desk for policewoman Catherine in Blue Wicked, who would surely be a DCI by now, or a beautiful outdoor seat for Anna from Bloq, to sit in the sun on the other side of the world and think of the people she’d left behind.

 

What genre of films do you most enjoy, and do they feed into or influence your writing in any way? And if ‘Bloq’ was picked up by ‘the movies’, who would you like to play Bill?

I watch films from a wide range of genres, and my favourites reflect that – Trainspotting, The Godfather, Shawshank, Pale Rider, Silkwood, Mad Max, Apollo 13. I always think that readers prefer to imagine Bill in their own minds when they read the book, but if I’m pushed, and Bloq made it on to the big screen I think I’d go for an actor who could play ‘ordinary’ with great depth of character; someone like Gary Oldman, as long as he could do a decent Scottish accent. When I’m writing dialogue, I do play it out in my mind like a scene in a film, so I am probably influenced by some of the brilliant films I’ve mentioned, although my general writing ethos has been forged more by the writing of the authors who’ve inspired me the most over my lifetime.

When you started to write in 2003 you were in your early forties – why the sudden urge to take on such a big project?

I had a busy job, I’d set up my own practice, I had four kids, I was working on an old house that we’d bought, and I was making a lot of furniture so between all of these, there wasn’t much time. I was always an avid reader, with aspirations to write a novel one day, but it wasn’t until I read about three or four very disappointing books in a row, from authors whose books I’d previously enjoyed, that I thought to myself that I couldn’t do any worse. It also coincided with my midlife crisis, so that came in useful as a catalyst to get me off my butt and do something about it. 😊

 

Why the switch to a predominantly London setting for your third novel?

I did think of setting it in Glasgow, like my first two books, and have Bill and Carol coming from one of the Scottish provincial towns like Oban or Inverness, but I found that for me to write about Bill’s search for his daughter in a city that seemed dark and endless, I needed to go through a similar process of using a city that I didn’t know well, to feel the confusion and disorientation that Bill would have felt, and as I wrote, I realised that it had been a good choice. I felt by the end that it had truly worked, and couldn’t really have been set anywhere else.

Where do you do most of your writing? And is it straight onto computer or handwritten first?

I do very little handwriting beyond hastily scribbled notes in an old notebook I carry with me for plot ideas, characters and for small snatches of overheard conversation that may be useful as dialogue in future books.
A large percentage of my writing is done on my laptop in my house, or at work if there’s a lull – there’s also no excuse for not getting on with my much-delayed fourth book as I’ve learned to touch type since I finished Bloq. I don’t type much faster now than in my two-finger days, but because I can watch the screen, I can spot and fix mistakes immediately. I reckon now that I have my fingers finding the letters more or less automatically, I should speed up once I start to do a lot of writing.
I also do a significant proportion of my writing on my iPad. I’m a bit of an insomniac; if I wake up in the middle of the night I can sometimes lie awake for hours, so turning this time into writing time means that it’s not wasted. I also find that airports, planes and hotel poolsides are great for writing, so my books generally get a boost when I’m on holiday.
I have an old boat, and if I really need peace and quiet to write a particularly difficult bit, I’ll do that when I’m away on a sailing trip, miles from all the normal biz of life, with only the seabirds and seals to interrupt my string of thought.

How important was it to include ‘slang’ explanations and a ‘glossary’ in your novels?

My first two novels, both set in Glasgow, contained a significant amount of Glasgow slang, and I didn’t want any readers who were unfamiliar with it having the story spoiled for them because it was difficult to follow, so I thought it was only fair to include a slang dictionary. As far as a glossary goes, I always appreciated a glossary to explain any technical terms in the books I have read, so I include one in all of my books, although I always try and find some way of giving a brief explanation within the text of the book, for those who don’t want to look things up all the time.

 

 

Thanks so much to Alan for agreeing to take part this month!

 

 

 

Alan’s novels The Cabinetmaker, Blue Wicked and Bloq are all available right now. As a taste, here’s the jacket blurb for the gritty Bloq…

The last train. A father’s anxious wait. A desperate search for his missing daughter. A London nightclub . Bloq.
Glasgow man Bill Ingram waits in the city’s Central Station to meet his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train pulls in, and she doesn’t get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why.
His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again…
To find out more about Alan, his website is here, and his Twitter here.

 

For the rest of July the 5WH team are taking a break due to the publication of a really brilliant novel called ‘Unforgivable‘ *cough available July 27th cough*. We’re back for more in August, probably with the nefarious Chris Whitaker, author of ‘Tall Oaks‘ and the rather special ‘All the Wicked Girls‘. Look at him, smiling nicely over there on the left. He won’t be smiling when we’re done with him…

If you’re an author or blogger and fancy joining me for your own 5WH, get in touch