Friday, May 8, 2015

Rik Stone: The IAN Interview

Rik Stone worked in shipyards in the North East of England before going into the Merchant Navy. Eventually, he yearned for change and studying seemed a good way to get it so he worked through the lower level stuff and then on to gaining a BSc. degree in Mathematics and Computing. But he loved reading fiction and had always harbored a secret ambition to write it. In his younger days such aspirations weren’t realistic, but an early retirement at the age of fifty provided the opening he wanted and he began pursuing the dream seriously. First came the debut novel, Birth of an Assassin, and more recently, The Turkish Connection, the second in the series.

The Independent Author Network. Hi Rik. Please tell us about your latest book.

Rik Stone. The Turkish Connection is the second in the series to Birth of an Assassin. While Jez, the protagonist in the first book, is dealing with the events thrust upon him in Russia, Mehmet, a young Turk, is caught up in the backwash of those same actions in Turkey.

Only eight years old and Mehmet is thrown into a life where he battles to survive the murky Istanbul of 1951. On a daily basis, he is forced to learn the skills of thievery and violence alongside other street children caught in the same trap. Every evening he curls up under a stinking jetty in a waterway off the Bosporus Strait, yearning to break free from the life inflicted on him by his drunken, womanizing father, but little knowing that his father’s rotting body lies at the bottom of those same waters.

Adulthood comes before Mehmet finds out that it wasn’t fate that had taken control of his life as a boy, but a very real nemesis. The man in question; a powerful crime lord who has support in the highest places within the Turkish government. Can Mehmet compete with such an opponent or has his life been doomed from the start?

IAN. Is The Turkish Connection published in print, e-book or both?

R.S. The Turkish Connection is available in paperback now and the ebook version is scheduled for release on the 28th of May.

IAN. Where can we go to buy The Turkish Connection?

IAN. What inspired you to write The Turkish Connection?

R.S. I’ve toured Turkey fairly extensively. I love its exotic atmosphere and was able to imagine being back there as I wrote.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

R.S. I start with a beginning, middle and end in three paragraphs. I write towards the latter two introducing relevant sub-plots as I go.

IAN. How long did it take to write The Turkish Connection?

R.S. At around nine months I had completed the fourth draft, but I am a habitual tinkerer so the months stretched out to twelve.

IAN. Do you have a specific writing style?

R.S. I like to keep things simple in terms of wording. When I read a thriller, there is nothing worse than stopping to look up the meaning of words; it kills the pace and hauls the reader back to reality.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your books?

R.S. My intention is not only to thrill, I want the reader to walk away satisfied, and yet sad to lose the characters they’ve grown to know.

IAN. How much of The Turkish Connection is realistic?

R.S. I think all thrillers have a touch of the improbable otherwise the protagonists wouldn’t survive. However, I have no trouble believing the story could have happened.

IAN. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

R.S. I take life’s experiences and grossly exaggerate them; to the point the experiences become unrecognizable to me.

IAN. How is your book different from others in your genre?

R.S. Probably the setting, protagonist and that it is more believable than most. Also, it seems the norm to make the hero a European or an American, but people are the same everywhere, living the same lives and having the same aspirations, albeit they have different levels of finance, so why can’t they have heroes too?

IAN. Do you see writing as a career?

R.S. I think about and develop my work in every situation I find myself in, it is all consuming, so writing is not my career, it is my life.

IAN. Who designed the cover?

R.S. Even if I can’t actually see the picture, I have a full brief in my mind of what it should look like; I know, that hardly makes sense. I write the brief down and hand it over to the professionals,, and after a couple of prototypes we end up at the same place.

IAN. Do you have any advice for other writers?

R.S. The hardest part of writing is the promotional aspect and there are times it will get you down. When that happens, forget about marketing and lose yourself in writing until the woes are gone; it works for me.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

R.S. I’m in the final drafts of book three in the series and hope to have it out at the end of this year.

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