This is the fourth interview in my new spotlight feature and I’ve loved every single one so far! Keep ’em coming, sign up for your own interview here.
Tell us a brief summary of your book’s plot.
When the discovery of a murdered FBI Agent in a Manhattan apartment coincides with the arrival in New York city of a mysterious high ranking Russian agent from Siberia; a high speed manhunt is sparked that begins in the city streets and leads the dead agent’s former partner Jim Bergman, deep into the woods of New England. The elusive Russian spy however is not what he at first appears and new plans must be made quickly if the real killer is to be found and Bergman is to escape the fate that befell his partner.
The Colonel of Krasnoyarsk is a fast moving adventure thriller that introduces Colonel Yuri Medev of the Russian Military Intelligence service, the GRU; and Agent Jim Bergman of the FBI who are brought together in an unexpected alliance against a common enemy – the shadowy international gang boss known as Nikovich. Medev’s own plans are further disrupted by a chance encounter with beautiful dance student Juli Regan on the night of his arrival in the City, but does he unwittingly put one of the few people he cares about in danger…
What was the inspiration for this story?
I’d had the character of Yuri Medev for some time before I wrote The Colonel of Krasnoyarsk but it wasn’t until I came up with the other main characters that the story took shape. He was always this kind of action hero with a difference in the fact that he wasn’t British or American like Bond or Bourne; but Russian. This gives him a different outlook than the conventional spy thriller heroes, and yet he’s still very much a good guy with his enemies and adversaries coming from the world of international crime and terrorism. The basis of the story is Yuri’s co-operation with US agents – namely the FBI – to combat an international crime ring. It’s a fact that the fight against terror and some international crime is currently hampered by the poor relations between Russia and the West though his story was written before the current situation arose.
Do you have any writing habits you would like to tell us about?
I always tend to finish a section of a story then go back over it several times altering things until I’m happy with it. I keep telling myself I’d get things done a lot faster if I just kept on and did the re-reading and editing afterwards but I like to get it right before I move on to the next section or chapter. A bad habit perhaps…
On the good side I do tend to set myself a target for the day which is usually to reach a certain point in the story rather than a strict word count.
What is the hardest thing to manage when you start writing?
The starting itself – once I get into something I can stay focused but the getting started part is always a conscious effort to evade distractions. Once I start writing I’m okay with music in the background but conversation or the TV will be too distracting. I guess that’s probably the same for a lot of writers.
Name the three books currently topping your To Be Read list?
I haven’t had a lot of time lately to read new books as much as I’d love to but here are the next three I plan to read:
The Ghost of Whispering Pines by Bernard Langs
The Fourteenth Protocol by Nathan A. Goodman
Island in the Clouds by Susan M. Toy
How important do you think a book’s cover is?
The old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” remains extremely good advice that can apply to many more things than just books. Unfortunately it is widely ignored which makes a cover the book’s most important feature after the story itself. It’s the first thing people see on screen or shelf and determines whether or not they even get as far as the preview. So yes – very important!
If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose?
I’ve never thought about that before but I would have to say Ian Fleming – not possible I know as he’s no longer with us – but the old Bond stories were a big influence.