Monday, 19 August 2013

Ten facts about … Dean Crawford

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
When I was 21 years old. I’d wanted to be a pilot in the Royal Air Force, but a slight flaw in my eyesight ended that dream. I decided to search for another dream career, and was inspired by my uncle, Christopher Jarvis, who is an artist in oils, watercolours and so on. I realised that he was doing his
job because he loved it, rather than just because he had to pay bills. I searched for something similar, and was reading a Wilbur Smith novel when I suddenly asked myself: “Could I write something this for a living?” I’d always enjoyed creative writing at school, and the thought of doing it for a job filled me with excitement. I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t thought of it before. Now, nineteen years later, writing is my full-time profession.

How long does it take you to write a book?
Usually about six months. This includes planning and plotting, writing the first draft, leaving the manuscript alone for a month and then doing two or three redrafts to polish it until it’s as good as I can manage.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I’m very disciplined. I work Monday to Friday, from 8am until about 4pm, much like an ordinary working day. Once you’re a published writer, deadlines become important and I don’t like to miss them. I also work some evenings and weekends if I’m particularly busy. When I think about it, even when I’m not “working” there’s hardly a moment in the day when I’m not considering a particular book, scene or plotline of some kind. Writing does that sometimes, consumes an author entirely.

How many crime novels have you written?
I’m just performing the copy-edit on my fifth Ethan Warner novel at the time of writing, which is to be published in December 2013 by Simon & Schuster, but I’ve written seven novels in all: post-apocalyptic thriller “Eden” and Young Adult thriller “Soul Seekers” being the other titles.

Which is your favourite and why?
My favourite novel right now is “Eden”, which is actually a self-published title. It’s a book that I’d wanted to write for a couple of years, but writing two Ethan Warner novels per year for Simon & Schuster / Touchstone USA pretty much took up all of my time. I loved writing Eden because it’s a story that could happen tomorrow and contains characters like you and me: ordinary people thrust into a terrifying survival situation. There are no bad-guys or good-guys per se – it’s about who we become when our lives are endangered by events far beyond our control, and how those events shape otherwise ordinary  people into heroes and villains.

Where do you get your ideas?
From everywhere, including purely from my imagination, but most often it’s through reading about an event, person or fact. Sometimes I get a tingle down my spine when I read something and realise that I can build a story around it, much in the same way that I see a book in a shop and get excited because it’s right up my street and I absolutely must buy and read it. Once that happens my imagination runs wild and I produce copious notes for days on end before slowing down and beginning the process of building a coherent plot.

Who is your favourite character from your own work and why?
Cody Ryan, the protagonist in Eden. He’s an ordinary guy who has to become something he’s not in order to survive, and he struggles as we all would with the stress of confronting situations far outside his comfort zone. He’s a character that any reader can project themselves onto and ask: “Would I have done that?” or “Could I do that, if I had to?”

Which character from the work of others do you wish you’d invented and why?
Han Solo, the original anti-hero in Star Wars. There is something about uncompromising heroes with a heart of gold that continues to fascinate people, regardless of the genre in which they appear.

If you could have been someone from history involved in crime (good or bad) who would that be and why?
I’d really like to have the chance to see what went on behind the scenes in the US Government during the 9/11 attacks. I don’t subscribe to all the conspiracy rubbish about an inside job etc, but there does seem to be something slightly “off” about the whole event, too many coincidences and mismatched reports from the Bush administration. I’d love to have been in Colin Powell’s shoes, finding out what really happened, because it was the US government that empowered al-Queda in the first place through arms sales in the Russian-Afghan war of the late 80’s.

What are you working on now?
Multiple projects! A crime novel entitled “Stone Cold”, to be submitted to publishers via my agent, Luigi Bonomi, in the autumn; a thriller called “Holo-Sapiens” likewise for traditional publishers, and sequels to both “Soul Seekers” and “Eden” for publication next year.

Dean Crawford began writing after his dream of becoming a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force was curtailed when he failed their stringent sight tests. His Ethan Warner series of high-concept novels have regularly featured on the Sunday Times paperback bestseller list and have sold all over the world. A full-time author, he lives with his partner and daughter in Surrey.

The Ethan Warner series
The Chimera Secret

The Eden Trilogy

The Soul Seekers series
Soul Seekers

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Good News, More Good News and ...

Good News
Yesterday saw the very successful launch of Someday Never Comes, the second in the D.I. Paolo Storey series. The book entered the genre charts last night and is holding its place at around number 50. I’m thrilled.

More Good News
To celebrate the launch, the publishers have set the e-book at a special price of 77p/99c for this one week only. After Friday Someday Never Comes will be on sale at the full price.

Even Better News
The first in the D.I. Paolo Storey series, Bad Moon Rising, has also been reduced in price. This is also on offer for 77p/99c. This means you can pick up both books for less than the price of a cup of coffee!

Quiz Questions – Answers and Winners
Congratulations to the following people:
Lindsay Healy – who wins an e-book copy of Someday Never Comes
Karl Jones – who wins an e-book copy of Someday Never Comes
Fiona Mcvie – who can choose from an e-book copy of Someday Never Comes or Bad Moon Rising
Ailsa Abraham – who wins an e-book copy of Bad Moon Rising

And the person who answered the most questions correctly over all five quizzes is also Ailsa Abraham. Congratulations, Ailsa, you will also receive a paperback copy of Someday Never Comes!

Here are the questions complete with answers

Quiz 1
  1. Name the programme this couple appeared in: John Thaw and Dennis Waterman? The Sweeney
  2. Who was Arthur Conan Doyle writing about when he said: `He is the Napoleon of crime`? Professor Moriaty
  3. What addiction did Friedrich Glauser, the Swiss crime writer, have? Opium

Quiz 2
  1. Name the programme this couple appeared in: Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly? Cagney And Lacey
  2. Who directed the 1989 film Crimes and Misdemeanours? Woody Allen
  3. What is the connection between a Cardboard box, and Engineer's thumb and a Greek interpreter? They are all Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. We all know about Ruth Ellis, but who was the second to last woman to be hanged in the UK? Styllou Pantopiou Christofi
  5. Who was George Joseph Smith? The brides in the bath murderer

Quiz 3
  1. Name the programme this couple appeared in: Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd? Moonlighting
  2. In the TV series of the same name, what does C. S. I. stand for? Crime Scene Investigation
  3. Which crime writer was given a 20 year sentence for armed robbery? Chester Himes
  4. Where is the modern-day location of Tyburn? Marble Arch
  5. For what was Fatty Arbuckle tried and later acquitted? Rape and murder

Quiz 4
  1. Name the programme this couple appeared in: Felicity Kendall and Pam Ferris? Rosemary and Thyme
  2. At the beginning of the novel ‘Les Miserables’ Jean Valjean had just been released from prison. What was his crime? He’d stolen a loaf of bread
  3. Which crime writer was struck down by Blackwater Fever in West Africa? Richard Austin Freeman
  4. What was special about Anne Boleyn’s execution? She was executed by sword in place of the usual axe
  5. What was William Joyce’s claim to infamy? He was the traitor Lord Haw-Haw who broadcast on behalf of the Nazis

Quiz 5
  1. Name the programme this couple appeared in: Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope? Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)
  2. What was the name given to the trials of 24 Nazi leaders for war crimes in 1945? The Nuremberg Trials
  3. Which crime writer was a theatre director in East Africa? Henning Mankell
  4. What is the literal translation of Capo di tutti capi? Chief of all chiefs
  5. What was special about the trial and conviction of Robert Melias? He was the first person to be convicted on DNA evidence

Thursday, 15 August 2013

It's a Crime: Music and Quizzes

If you’re coming to the online launch of Someday Never Comes tomorrow (all day on Friday 16th August) you might be interested in the plan for the festivities. If you’re not coming (why not?) the outline below might entice you to change your mind. Here’s the link, just in case you decide to drop in. You’re very welcome to do so, whether for a few minutes or a few hours:

There will be five quizzes, based around crime. The winner of each quiz will win an e-book version of Bad Moon Rising, or, if they already have Bad Moon Rising, an e-book version of Someday Never Comes.

Even if you don’t win one of the five quizzes, you could still be in for a prize because the person who answers the most questions correctly over the course of the five quizzes will win a paperback copy of either Bad Moon Rising or Someday Never Comes – their choice.

In between the crime quizzes there will be music questions, such as what line comes next and who first recorded songs that became hits for others. There won’t be any prizes for these questions, just the satisfaction of knowing you answered them before anyone else could!

Do try to come along, even if only for a short time. We’ll also be playing YouTube videos so there will be music for sing-along sessions.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Interviewed by Mel Sherratt

Best-selling author of Taunting the Dead, Mel Sherratt, interviewed me ahead of Friday's release of the second in the D.I. Paolo Storey series, Someday Never Comes on her blog under the Murder they Wrote section.

Mel posed some taxing and interesting questions. You can read the interview and find out more about me here: Murder they Wrote

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Book Trailer Heaven

I have wanted a book trailer for Bad Moon Rising ever since it came out in March 2012, but there always seemed to be something else that took priority, so it never happened.

With the approaching publication of the second in the Detective Inspector Paolo Storey series, Someday Never Comes (released this Friday – 16th August by Crooked Cat Publishing), I decided it was now or never – with the result that I am now the proud owner of not one, but two fabulous book trailers.

You can view the Someday Never Comes trailer by clicking on the YouTube link to the right of this post. Scroll down slightly to get to the Bad Moon Rising trailer.

I think they are brilliant and each perfectly sums up the theme of the novels.

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you.