Tag Archives: Dubai

**The Dark Web Blog Tour** Author Interview

As part of ‘The Dark Web‘ blog tour, I’d like to welcome Christopher Lowery to the blog. ‘The Dark Web‘ is the final part in ‘The African Diamonds Trilogy‘. 

My thanks to Christopher for taking the time to answer my questions. 

Vic x

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Tell us about your books.
My first three books comprise The African Diamonds Trilogy, an adventure/thriller series, featuring a principal female protagonist, Jenny Bishop, and a number of other key characters who appear in more than one book. All of the stories have multiple plots and take place in many countries all over the world.

The Angolan Clan begins in Portugal at the time of the 1974 ‘Revolution of the Carnations’, a bloodless overthrow of the fascist regime by the army, which was then hijacked by communists. This had devastating consequences for Portugal and its colonies, Angola, Mozambique etc, and led to bloody civil wars which lasted up to 25 years. An event occurs which creates a series of murders 40 years later.

The Rwandan Hostage is based upon the genocide of one million Tutsis by the Hutus in 1994. A raped Tutsi girl dies while giving birth to a child. The consequences manifest themselves 15 years later, when a boy is abducted in Johannesburg.

The Dark Web is the story of a political power play in the form of a devastating cyber-attack by a malicious, corrupt foreign power aimed at neighboring countries. A young computer scientist discovers the conspiracy and risks his life to prevent it and avoid a global conflict.

What inspired them?
All the stories are based upon my own life and career experiences and those of my family over the last 40 years and are semi-autobiographical/historical/factual. Together we have lived through a number of world-changing events in many countries around the world. 

What do you like most about writing?
Creating fictional stories from factual and often personally witnessed events. Extensive research to refresh/enhance personal knowledge.

What do you dislike (if anything)?
Typing. 

Do you find time to read? If so what are you reading at the moment?
I read very few modern books and still enjoy reading old ones.

Which author(s) has/have had the biggest influence on your writing?
Wilkie Collins, Frederick Forsythe, JRR Tolkien, Tom Clancy, Neville Shute, Ken Follett, H Rider Haggard, John Buchan, PG Wodehouse.

Where do you get your ideas from?
My life and my imagination.

What is the favourite scene, character and story you’ve written?
In The Angolan Clan; at the diamond mine when Olivier and friends turn the tables on Gomez and his army bodyguards.
Lord Arthur Dudley, from The Rwandan Hostage, a brilliant, amoral, ruthless, but likeable villain.
I think The Angolan Clan is a successful example of twin stories, which finally converge at the climax.

What are you working on at the moment?
The Mosul Legacy
, about the retaking of Mosul by the coalition forces in 2016. Again a twin story contrasting the comparative ease with which terrorists can cross the Schengen Zone to commit atrocities in Western Europe and the dreadful obstacles and dangers facing innocent refugees seeking peace and safety. 

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve been given (and who was it from)?
My daughter, Kerry-Jane: ‘Make your books shorter.’

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a jigsaw builder. I envisage the overall picture/plot, then I let my characters find the pieces to complete it.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Ensure you have another means of earning a living.

What’s been your proudest writing-related moment?
When Matthew Smith, at Urbane Publications agreed to publish The Angolan Clan.

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About ‘The Dark Web

The tentacles of the Dark Web are tightening their grip around the world. From Moscow to Shanghai, Washington, UK, the Middle East and Europe, nowhere is beyond their reach.

When a computer scientist dies mysteriously in Dubai, Jenny Bishop’s nephew, Leo Stewart, is hired to replace him. Leo’s life is soon in danger, but he is the only person who can find the key to prevent an impending global cyber-attack. With the help of Jenny and old and new friends, he must neutralise the threat before the world’s vital services are brought to a halt in a flagrant attempt to once again redraw the borders of Europe and Asia. Can the deadly conspiracy be exposed before the world is thrust into a new Cold War?

Christopher Lowery delivers a gripping final chapter in the bestselling African Diamonds trilogy, with a thriller that is powerfully resonant of today’s global dangers, hidden behind the ever-changing technological landscape.

The perfect read for fans of Gerald Seymour, Wilbur Smith and Frederick Forsyth.

 

Getting to Know You: Stuart Reid

Today, we have something a bit different here on the blog. Stuart Reid is an author but he has a very different target audience to the writers we usually feature here. I think you’ll all enjoy what he has to say.

Vic x

Wow! My first guest blog – this is so exciting for me. I jumped on this fantastic opportunity when I read about it on the website elementaryvwatson.com and I thought ‘Great, I love Sherlock Holmes’ and I signed up immediately. Or rather, Victoria signed me up but at that stage, I don’t think either of us had looked at each other’s work.

So I thought I’d better do some research. The first of Victoria’s posts that I read was entitled ‘A Woman’s Right to Choose’, a hard-hitting piece about terminating pregnancies. Then I read her review for a book about Auschwitz, then about some serious illnesses and suddenly I felt very out of my depth.

You see, I write about bums. And bogies. And pretty much anything else that makes eight year old boys wet themselves with laughter (which, unfortunately, I’ve seen happen).  I’m currently touring Scotland, presenting my first book ‘Gorgeous George and the Giant Geriatric Generator’ to primary school pupils and it’s fitting that I’ve leapt into a guest blog spot without looking because that sums up my life so far.

Upon leaving school I wanted to become a sports journalist. To be paid to watch football would’ve been a dream come true for me but for some bizarre reason I studied business management instead.

My first job was selling fine wines and spirits. I was pretty good at it and I was promoted. Then my boss said “you’re good at that job too”, so I got promotion again. And so my career went on like that for twenty years, with me wearing suits and ties every day, which I believe stifled my creativity by cutting off the blood supply to my brain.

I ended up as a general manager of a 300 bedroom hotel in Dubai; living the rich expat life with a big car, bigger house and swimming pool until I woke up one morning and decided that I wasn’t enjoying myself. I realised that old people regret the things they didn’t do in life, far more than the things they did so I handed my notice in and returned to Scotland to become a full-time writer and presenter.

My wife asked why I couldn’t have a normal mid-life crisis like any other man, and just buy a sports car or motorbike, or get a tattoo done. But oh no, I had to write about poo, pee and pumps!

I was lucky enough to find a publisher who loved ‘Gorgeous George…’ immediately and the book was put into print in the autumn last year. It’s now stocked in the wholesalers Gardner’s and Bertram’s, as well as every Waterstones store in Scotland and moving south. Although sales are still only in the four figures, the next print run will see us move up to the next milestone.

And having taken two years to write the first book in the series, my publishers, My Little Big Town, expected Book 2 to be completed before Christmas. Of course, I wanted to play the part of the tortured and troubled artistic genius so I deliberately didn’t finish the 48,000 words until February. Book 3 began immediately and so far I’m halfway there. I’ve even woken up in a moment of madness and wrote the first chapter for Book 4 in the ‘Gorgeous George…’ series so hopefully my little red-headed character and his mad Grandpa Jock will run and run.

I wrote the books to inspire children, especially boys, to read more often. Girls seem to naturally love reading but with boys, it often needs something different, and probably yucky, to grab and hold their attention. I regressed back to my childhood and had a lot of fun writing about what made me laugh.

However it’s not just about an array of bodily functions, noises and smells. I like to include some more serious themes amongst the mess. Recycling, alternative energy, healthy eating and conservation are all thrown into the mix as I encourage children to consider their diet, lifestyle and the world around them. Maybe I am maturing after all.

Nah, I love shouting “BUMS!” in front of two hundred giggling school children too much to ever want to grow up again.

So, although on the surface yucky and disgusting, the main thrust of my presentations to these eager young minds would be; love life, love the planet and love reading.

And if we can all have a good laugh whilst we’re doing it, then even better.

Thanks Victoria, for the blog swop. And if anyone is coming along to the London Book Festival on 16-18th April 2012, feel free to pop along to stand A620 in the children’s section. I’ll be the guy in the kilt, on a scooter and picking my nose.