The following Question and Answer session was generated by International Thriller Writers (ITW) and was featured on Down & Out Books website.
• ITW: Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
“I am going to go completely off piste here, since this is a reissue of a previously published book. I wrote, Through the Ruins of Midnight over 20 years ago, back when I had a fondness for elaborate titles. I have reduced it because even I used to stumble over it when discussing the book. So, plot, character or setting? They all came fully formed. The plot is real life squeezed into a single night shift. The characters are real, with a few minor tweaks and a change of name. And the setting is the police division where I worked, with a bit of creative licence.”
• ITW: What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
“A feeling of what being a police officer does to your life. I think it was Joseph Wambaugh (a great inspiration to me) who said his books aren’t about the police working the case, but how working the case affects the police. This book does both.”
• ITW: What attracts you to this book’s genre?
“Write what you know. I know this.”
• ITW: How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
“Not so much a contribution to the genre as a tribute to the boys in blue. Uniform police who are the front line of defence against chaos. This is for them.”
• ITW: No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
“Nothing. It’s all on the page.”
• ITW: What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
“This answer will never change because my past is set in stone. As a reader I was influenced by C S Forester, Stephen King and Ian Fleming. Then I found Joseph Wambaugh and my direction was set. As a retired police office how could I not write crime fiction? My first crime books were in support of The Boys In Blue but then I slipped into thriller territory and my inspirations changed. Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Reed Farrel Coleman, Nick Petrie and Ace Atkins. Everything you read and watch influences your choices. Everywhere you go filters into your choice of location. I suppose the simple answer is, I’m influenced by everything.”