IAN. Hi Paul. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
PA. I’ve written a number of fictional novels and a poetry book and was first published in 1996 by a vanity publisher. It has been exceptionally successful for me over many years. I was in full time employment then and due to the nature of my employment, my employer preferred me to use another name, so my first two Christian names were reversed and Paul Anthony was born. My next book was commissioned by a traditional house but they went into liquidation 6 months later and my venture recorded a nil return. When I recently retired from full time employment I adopted the independent route to publishing and self authorship. I’ve written television and film scripts either on my own, or with the award winning screenwriter, Nick Gordon who is my son in law. He won a screenplay competition hosted by Mark Cantor on behalf of Warner Bros. a couple of years ago. The son of a soldier, I settled in Carlisle before I joined the Police at the age of 19 and served throughout Cumbria. As a detective, I served with Cumbria CID, the Regional Crime Squad, Manchester, the Special Branch, the anti terrorist branch, and other national agencies in the UK. I have an Honours Degree in Economics and Social Sciences, a Diploma in Management and a Diploma in Office Management. I am the Chairman of a Registered Charity, 'Champ's Camp', and a supporter of the Dyslexia Foundation UK who recently selected 'The Fragile Peace' (my 1996 publication) to be the first book in their audio library. I am a keen promoter of 'A1 Casting North' which works with the 'Help for Heroes' Charity to provide job opportunities for ex military and ex police in the acting field, often providing both 'extras' and people with 'specific' military skills required by film and television production companies. I enjoy reading a wide range of works, reviewing same, and playing guitar badly. I also enjoy running, kettlebells, athletics, keeping fit, dining out and dining in, keeping Koi carp, and following politics, economics and social sciences. I’m married and have three adult children and five grandchildren. My adult children and wider family are all police and military figures.
IAN. Please tell us about your latest book.
PA. My latest book is entitled THE CONCHENTA CONUNDRUM. It’s set in the fictional town of Crillsea on the south coast of England. The book begins with two old friends reuniting. One is a former member of the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad (with whom I had a former connection) and the other is an army bomb disposal officer. The work opens with a bomb plot and the two men become instant heroes. But that all goes to hogwash when a number of unconnected murders are reported and the detective, Davies King, takes charge. He is thwarted by higher command at every turn and has to fight attempts to ridicule him every step of the way. Things are made worse when the bomb disposal officer, Max Fowler, is arrested and may..... or may not.... be the guilty party. As Davies King and his team dig deeply into the murders it becomes obvious that a web of corruption and power broking is in play and he needs to tackle it head on in order to win. How he tackles the case is the crux of the story. An unlikely character, Davies is a chessmaster, and runs his office from the local pub where a mix of characters, friends and suspects alike, weave through the work presenting themselves to the reader as a ‘goodie’or a ‘baddie’. It is the first of three ‘standalone’ Davies King books
IAN. How long did it take to write The Conchenta Conundrum?
PA. I crafted the book in Corralejo, Fuerteventura, during a fortnight’s holiday sitting by the pool in the sunshine with a glass of beer, a netbook, and my editor and first supporter.... My wife.
IAN. What inspired you to write the book?
PA. My first three books all centered around the detective, William Miller Boyd, (Billy Boyd) and tell the story of a Cumbrian detective who rises through the ranks into the Metropolitan police anti terrorist branch. His tales are of counter and anti terrorism, spies, bomb plots in Northern Ireland and the Middle East and the characters who make up the game. I was asked by a number of my friends and readers to write a murder mystery, mainly, I think, because I was involved in a lot of murder enquiries as a detective. So I decided to give it a go and wrote a fictional tale for readers to enjoy.
IAN. Talk about the writing process. Do you write at night or in the morning?
PA. I write when the mood takes me and at no set time. If I have a pen in my hand and I get a poem or a plot in my head, it’s on paper as soon as I sit down.
IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
PA. I write headings for chapters, For example, Chapter one - DK finds body Chapter Two - DK finds second body. Chapter Three - DK loses at chess to...?
and then build what is in my head into the book. My wife reads every 50 pages and corrects where needs be. Then we go back to the beginning. At the end I give the finished article to three friends who are all given specific editorial jobs with regards to the work. Then I take them out for a meal and a few glasses of wine. They’ve never let me down.
IAN. How is your book different from others in your genre?
PA. It’s not written as a police procedural. It’s written from first hand experience of the subject mixed with imagination.
IAN. Is The Conchenta Conundrum published in print, e-book or both?
IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading The Conchenta Conundrum?
PA. I think pleasure more than anything.
IAN. Where can we go to buy your book?
PA. Amazon, Smashwords, Venture Book Galleries, and Lulu. All the direct links to my purchasing sites are on my IAN page and they are available in print and ebook formats.
IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
PA. The next standalone Davies King book is entitled MOONLIGHT SHADOWS. The book was also crafted whilst on holiday. It is another murder mystery but this one is about ‘spies who fall out’. The reader knows who the murderer(s) is/are from an early stage. The mystery lies in why the murders are being committed. For what reason? The answer is offered to the reader at various stages of the work, but the real motive is the real mystery. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing this one in less than three months. The words have just flowed in but I will bury it for one month, re-read/write it, and then give it to my associate editorial team to edit. I have a number of author friends I am hoping will do me the honour of reviewing the work prior to publication.
IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?
PA. I have a blog page where I have a giggle at times and write about the distraught author Penelope Prudence and her adventures. I had to explain to someone recently that she is a fictional character and not a real person. I share information and tit bits on the publishing process for new authors here. And, I am really lucky, and feel quite privileged, to have hosted some guest blogs on the site from a good ‘mixed’ genre authorship of friends. Mainly IAN’ people like Nicholas Rose, John Betcher, Dennis Sheehan, Elizabeth Marshall, Zoe Saadia, CC Cole, Morgan Nyberg, Wayne Zurl, all good at what they write. And I’d like to draw attention to The Writers Collection website. This is a site where professional writers write short stories on a weekly basis for their readers. It has a massive following. I’m also a member of the Famous Five Plus group as well as having links on twitter, facebook and linkedin. My good news for 2012, apart from this wonderful IAN Featured Author accolade, is that I have recently signed a distribution contract with Venture Galleries and I’m really looking forward to developing these relationships and delivering not just more work to the reader, but alternative methods of purchase in an ever-changing environment.
These are my main active links
You can find excerpts from both my poetry book and The Conchenta Conundrum on my blogsite. I’m always popping in with poetry and odd paragraphs from different books I’ve written.
IAN. Anything else going on in your life?
PA. If anyone is interested in following up on The Fragile Peace, I’d like you to know that the contract is being terminated and there will be no further print runs. There are less than 50 left in the warehouse apparently. The good news is that the ebook of the same name is ready and I will be republishing it under my own imprint in print and ebook in the next month or so, and once the contract is formally concluded. So, if it’s not on your favourite website now.....it will be soon.