Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why I Write Thrillers

Our guest today is Ian Walkley, who has had a career in social and market research, and has been writing novels, short stories, travel articles and copywriting since 2008. He has co-authored two publications on small business and his first novel, No Remorse, was published in 2012. Ian's screenplay "Deniable Justice" placed fourth in the Writer’s Digest 2011 Competition for best screenplay. Ian has travelled extensively and researched his subject, and brings a knowledge of location and technical detail to the exotic settings and big screen thrills. Ian lives in Brisbane with his wife and three children. Ian comes to us through Goddess Fish.

Ian will award a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

Why I Chose to Write Thrillers

When I was running my marketing consultancy I traveled a great deal, and loved to read escapist thrillers while flying. I wanted to write a book that other travelers would enjoy. Also, I like action and suspense, and get bored with mysteries that fill pages with manipulated plots designed to delay the revealing of a secret. Thrillers are about tension that makes the reader want to turn the page. Many men don’t read fiction, and I want to write stories that get men reading again, while also appealing to female readers. Readers have written to me about how they stayed up all night to finish No Remorse, or how their husband wouldn’t pay them attention until he had finished the book. So I think the answer is short chapters, lots of action, and a mix of conflict, violence and sex.
I’d wanted to write novels because I have always enjoyed reading them. But in my day, writing novels was something that mysterious people (usually in the US or UK) did. Famous Australian authors were extremely rare, and certainly not well-known to me. Looking back, I probably should have become a journalist like my father and uncle. Still, I ended up running a successful business as a consumer researcher, which I sold to make way for a new career as a fiction writer in 2008.
As you probably know, 2008 was the year ebooks began to take off. This has had an upside and a downside. When it came time to pitch my completed book to agents and publishers in late 2011, they were all scrambling to figure out whether they would survive this Amazonian revolution. The focus became on getting well-known authors to produce more money spinners, and debut authors were being shunned. I think that situation is changing now, but in the end I decided to self-publish rather than die wondering whether my writing was any good.
Fortunately, No Remorse has had excellent reviews. Here’s a selection from the esteemed Kirkus Reviews’ review:
“Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict…
With so many interweaving subplots—kidnapped girls, Israeli undercover agents, nuclear weapons and a secret underwater hideout—it could be easy to lose track of what’s going on. But the author’s deft handling of the material ensures that doesn’t occur; subplots are introduced at the appropriate junctures and, by story’s end, all are accounted for and neatly concluded.
In my younger days, my writing heroes were Ludlum, Maclean, Wilbur Smith—action, adventure, global conspiracies—so I naturally gravitated to thrillers. When I began writing No Remorse, in 2008, I had in mind writing a Ludlum-esque prologue about some mysterious event, and weaving a story around it. I was curious about Saddam’s missing WMD’s, so I came up with the idea of Saddam passing nuclear materials to an old Saudi Prince who buried them in the Arabian desert just before the invasion.
However, over the three years I was writing the book many things occurred that kept forcing me to rewrite the story. I came to the view that everyone wanted to put Iraq behind them, and more recently Osama Bin Laden was killed. In the end, I spent a further six months rewriting the story so that it would not date.
No Remorse in its final form is the story of the kidnapping of two American teenage girls on holiday in Mexico, and the subsequent search for them by a former special operations soldier Lee McCloud (Mac). I have retained the theme of ‘no remorse’ in terms of achieving retribution for the evil that bad people have done to others.
I have enjoyed the research side of writing. I traveled to Paris, London and Dubai to help with setting, and investigated the activities of the bad guys in areas such as human trafficking, which is a massive global trade, rivaling drugs in illegal earnings. I also researched the corruption of the global financial system, computer hacking, and read many non-fiction accounts from special forces operators.
I’m currently writing my second book. It’s a different type of story, a crime thriller more like a Harlan Coben, Don Winslow or Nelson DeMille story. I have already begun plotting the sequel to No Remorse.
I love the challenge of putting together a complex plot and seeing it completed. And what I love equally as much is hearing from readers how much they enjoyed the story. That’s what writing novels is all about.

About the Book

Two men, exiles from their respective societies, take conflicting approaches in the quest to regain their place and self-respect, and find themselves at war over a kidnapped girl.

Lee McCloud (“Mac”), a special forces soldier facing trumped-up charges of murder, is forced to work for a mysterious government outfit operating outside the law.

Khalid Yubani, cast out of Saudi Arabia for an offence against another member of the Royal family, seeks revenge through ruthless acts of evil. Engaged in the worst forms of human trafficking, Khalid buys Sophia, the daughter of Mac’s best friend, who has been kidnapped in Mexico. With time running out for Sophia, Mac enlists the help of a beautiful computer genius, a British SAS soldier and a Lebanese fixer to try to find Sophia and save her from the terrifying fate that Khalid has in store.

Although starting the quest as a man with no remorse, Mac gradually discovers a side of himself that he suppressed after witnessing the abduction of his own sister years before.

Dodging assassins, corrupt generals, evil medicos, Mossad agents, corrupt bureaucrats, and sharks, Mac ignores the order to stay out of trouble and follows Sophia’s trail from Mexico to Paris, London and Dubai, and the island of Andaran, where Khalid and his henchmen are waiting…

Read an Excerpt

The girls’ fathers, Bob and Marvin, each carried a briefcase full of cash with a tiny GPS tracker hidden in a false bottom. They were both taller than the kidnappers, and through the scope Mac could read the pain on Bob’s face. The behavior of the kidnappers was still bothering him, but there was nothing he could do except watch. The leader held out his palm and waved his pistol like it was a flag. He addressed the fathers in accented English.

“You’re late. We think perhaps you do not want your daughters back, eh?”

“Sorry,” Bob said, his breathing short and sharp. “We took a wrong turn coming into the dam. The signs were confusing.”

The man grunted and glanced at the one with the knife. “Check them.”

Knife Man patted them down, searched their pockets, nodded the all clear.

“You have our money?”

“Of course.” Bob’s voice came through deep and confident in his earpiece, although the armpits of his shirt betrayed his anxiety. Be courteous but strong, Mac had advised him, otherwise they won’t respect you. Being a basketball coach undoubtedly helped. “And you have our daughters,” Bob said. A statement, not a question. He held out the briefcase. “Here’s the money. We didn’t contact the police.”

Several kidnappers gave a hearty laugh.

The leader smirked. “We wouldn’t be here if you had, gringo. But your daughters would be. With bullets in their heads.” He gestured to a kidnapper wearing a red bandana around his neck. “Abrirlos,” he ordered, and the man took both briefcases and unclipped the locks.

Contact Ian Walkley



10 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Ian today.

Leah said...

This would be a great action film. Although it might get compared to Taken a lot. :P

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks so much for being our guest today, Ian! Your book sounds exciting. You're sure to find a lot of fans in America!

Anonymous said...

Research is fun, isn't it? That old saw "truth is stranger than fiction" makes a lot of sense.

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Ingeborg said...

The book sounds very exciting.
Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

MomJane said...

I know that e books are really becoming popular, but I love holding a paper book in my hands.

This story sounds like a really awesome thriller.

Ian Walkley said...

Hi PM, thank you for hosting me... I feel like I'm at home in North Carolina! Yes lots of my readers are in the US and I love visiting there.
Thanks everyone for your comments. Leah, lots of people have said No Remorse would be a good movie. I hope one day it will be. Taken was a great movie and I'll be interested to see Taken 2. Maybe No Remorse should be Taken 3!

marybelle said...

I do enjoy reading a good thriller. I agree about the movie idea.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks again for visiting us, Ian! You are always welcome to join us for our annual Book 'Em event in North Carolina. I know your books would be a hit! Best of luck with your book tour.

Karen H in NC said...

Just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

kareninnc at gmail dot com