Friday, March 29, 2013

Interview with UK Author of THE DIAMOND SEEKERS, David Coles


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
David Coles, born in Leeds, UK, live near Leeds having spent my boyhood in Lincolnshire, lived in Glasgow, Scotland and Scarborough, Yorkshire.
Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).
Father of 3 daughters, 7 grandchildren and twin great grandsons. Married twice. A died-in-the-wool computer freak – by profession & hobby.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
More writing, reading (f&sf, historic & a little crime) writing, messing with computers & writing.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The latest book is ‘The Diamond Seekers’ – but you know about this from Jack Everett’s (my writing buddy) interview. We’ve signed contracts for first and second books in a series to be published simultaneously, working titles are ‘Damaged Goods’ and ‘Damage Limitation’ – British crime involving a DI White.
DG: a psychologically damaged Iraq veteran comes to Britain in pursuit of an imaginary love and causes mayhem. DL: a locked room murder committed by a magician? Oh yeah!
Is this book part of a series?
Certainly is, number 3 on the drawing board as we speak.
Would you share a blurb with us?
A magician commits a locked room murder? Interesting. But a locked room murder where the perpetrator is provably on the other side of the world? Now that is some trick.
And to fill in the idle moments; from the previous novel, there’s ‘King’ Richards out to get even and the sister of the guy he’s just watched die – now what’s she doing?
 Would you share a short excerpt?
A pleasure... local color in York, county town
Leroy spent every daylight hour exploring his new neighborhood, the York warren of lanes known locally as the Snickelways. It was partly such a change from the somewhat run-down Midland city areas he had known for so long. The almost heaped-together jumble of modern housing and twisting alley ways and literally ancient houses and shops was something quite beyond his experience.
Once a resident truly knew their way around, it was possible to traverse the centre of York in minutes, unobserved, swapping time zones from the early fourteenth century of Our Lady’s Row to twenty-first century stores.
The area was home to the Hole in the Wall pub, the lantern tower of St Michael’s church which used to guide travelers across the marshes, the small carving of the printer’s Devil above a corner shop. A random walk would take Leroy from the Hole in the Wall to the Precenter’s Court lined with elegant old – and expensive – houses furnished with old street lamps and the most stunning view of York Minster imaginable.
As he walked, he noticed the blue plaques with dates and the names of famous occupants. The oldest date he saw that afternoon was 1610 and the most notorious name he recognized was Dick Turpin, a feared highwayman of the eighteenth century. He was disappointed to see that he was not the dashing thief of legend but the lowest of villains.
Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?
Being one of a pair of co-writers has advantages. Jack’s working on the first draft of the third book in the DI White series, I’m working on the first draft of a sf. book, working title: Buccaneer. We have two sf books in a series which have more than a passing resemblance to the work of Jack Vance, a superlative writer – in fact, these two books are featured on the Jack Vance website. The third involves a planned theft from an interstellar tourist liner but leads to something far more macabre.
 How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?
My first short story was at 14 – it took 5 nights after homework on the kitchen table and was returned forthwith. The first published work was in 1971 so that’s 42 years ago. They were short stories to start with and it was John Carnell’s collection of ‘New Writings in Science Fiction’ that started me off. And that was how I came to meet Jack Everett – a short story in a New English Library competition was published in a magazine we both read. We lived 3 or 4 miles apart and Jack called me on the phone. We found that we enjoyed many of the same authors – Jack Vance for instance.
How did the decision to write as a team come about?
Jack was into novel length stuff and I guess I went along for the ride. We wrote an absolutely unpublishable novel together and never stopped laughing from start to finish. What better hobby can two guys have?
What do you enjoy most about writing as a team?
Neither Jack nor I had any very close friends at the time we started and we developed a very brotherly relationship. It’s a shared experience which has kept us close for well over 30 years and of course, with 2 people, it’s 4 times as much fun!
Can you briefly describe your writing process as a team?
It’s changed over the years. We started out writing alternate chapters with the objective of leaving the other with an impossible situation to get out of. That gradually changed into one of us – more than likely it would be Jack – writing a first draft and the other following on behind, filling in the cracks and applying the gloss paint. That has worked very well but we’re now into a third process; one or, as at the moment, both of us, write the complete first draft and hands it over to the other for a second layer and added material and also fact-checking.
Whichever method, anything that seems wrong to either of us is changed or removed.
Are there any particular challenges to writing as a team as opposed to writing solo, or do you find it easier?
No question, it’s far easier, far more enjoyable and there’s no such thing as writer’s block.
 Are there times during the writing process where you disagree on how things should progress? How do you resolve that?
If we can’t agree, it’s out. First, last and always.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes we do. Mostly when they request the chance to review. Many of our readers are Americans and we can usually send them the book as an eBook because postage costs an arm and a leg.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
Those that we publish through AcclaimedBooks.com, which is a not-for-profit co-operative, are usually my design and work. One of the covers I like the most is Jihad-UK which has an oil- painting-effect picture of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral on fire. Unfortunately, several readers confused it with the Washington Capitol, one even taking me to task for damaging an American monument and complaining that it looked just like a painting! Can’t please everyone.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Yes and yes. Though where it’s people who might recognize themselves, we seek permission; usually, they’re flattered. I was on holiday some years ago in Greece where they idolize their children. A waiter was bringing our meal, 2 trays held aloft in both hands and his 3 year old son came up and hugged him round the knees. He was immobilized until the little boy let him go. That went into a book.
Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?
Jack Vance, Jack Vance and Jack Vance. There are plenty of others but Mr. Vance stands head and shoulders above. He writes poetry, he hides cruelty and the macabre behind beautiful words. Ordinariness is changed to quirkiness.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
Paperback with eBook a close second.
What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
That’s difficult. Jack Vance’s ‘Tales of the Dying Earth’ probably ranks top and I’ve read it 3 times and it’s not a small book. Why? Because of all the things I’ve already said about Jack Vance.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?
Rarely. There’s so much that has to be left out of a movie. The only recent one that adhered to the book was ‘Lord of the Rings’ which was 3 movies.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)
Just finished reading ‘Surface Detail’ from Iain M Banks. He’s a favorite author but have to confess to some disappointment, it seemed to me to be a little self-indulgent.
Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
I never finished Alistair Reynolds’ Terminal World. Sorry Mr. Reynolds, I had always enjoyed his previous books.
What do you think about book trailers?
I rarely see them. Jack & I tried one but I don’t think it contributed much to the sales.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Keep going. Don’t get discouraged. If necessary, drink! And join a group of similar aspirants.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
Yes. Everett Coles writes our f&sf, Jack Everett & David Coles (and occasionally the other way round) our mainstream. There’s at least one other which must remain a mystery.
If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?
In ’The Diamond Seekers’ I’d like Michael Gambon to play the self-styled Italian prince, George Cloony (has to be since the likeness is remarked on!) to play Philip Madden, George Sewell to play John Jenkins, the MI5 man and Myleene Klass (ok, she’s a presenter, singer & pianist) as Astrid. You notice their mostly British, mostly TV.
Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.
We already write in several genres: f&sf, historic, crime, thriller... Jack says we’re the only author/s he knows of to write crime in the past, the present and the future.
Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?
I think it will continue and I don’t believe it has peaked yet. For every person who prefers the look and the feel of a paper book, I’m certain there are two who like the neatness of an eBook reader and their fantastic capacity.
Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.
For people like us – Jack & myself - it has to be Indie. The traditional publishers have made  a mess of the system. They’ve merged and taken over and treated books like packets of potato chips and jars of coffee – make as much money as they can and move on to the next as quickly as possible. A few years ago, I heard an established author saying that she was only ever as good as her last book – once she flopped, she was out – and she was. Indies do it for the sake of the thing, not to make a fortune, which is what traditional publishers used to do 25 years ago.
Would you ever consider writing on your own rather than as a part of a team?
I don’t think so, unless Jack stole my wife! The buddy system is just too good.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?  
In the days before the ‘team,’ yes. I went on to write some cover feature projects for the amateur electronics press which was my other hobby at the time and actually paid better.
Where can readers follow you?
Your blog details?   http://archimedespresseuk.blogspot.co.uk/
Your web site?   http://www.everettcoleswritings.com  
http://www.DavidBColes.co.uk                                                                                                          
Your facebook page?   http://www.facebook.com/#!/david.coles.505
Your Goodreads author page?                                                                                                                       http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/834115.David_Coles
Your Twitter details?  https://twitter.com/DaveBColes

And any other information you wish to supply?
I’d lay my soul bare for you, Carol, but I’m pretty certain I don’t have one

Buy Links for The Diamond Seekers:



Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today, David. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Interview & Review: UK Author of THE DIAMOND SEEKERS, Jack Everett


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Jack 63aMy name is Jack Everett, I was born in Staffordshire in the English Midlands. I now live in rural Yorkshire in Lower Wharfedale.    
Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).
For the last ten years I have been a member of Sebring Writers Circle, Florida and attend critique groups to hopefully help other authors and would-be authors
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to travel and meet people.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest novel is The Diamond Seekers which has just finished 4th in The Book Awards:510x765-DiamondSeekers the people’s choice. A man loses his family then receives a call from someone purporting to be his son?
Is this book part of a series?
No it is a one off.
Would you share a blurb with us?
A courier carrying a fortune in diamonds is followed by an assassin, in his panic he leaves an International airport and drives frantically away looking for a place of safety or at the very least a place to hide the diamonds in this strange land.
Years later an Italian godfather figure, the Russian mafia and the British security services are still looking for them. Does Philip Madden have the answers?
Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?
For the 1st time ever we are writing a series of books featuring our hero: Detective Inspector Stewart White The 1st one in the series was originally published under the title The Tourist but has been purchased by a new publisher and will be released soon as Damaged Goods. The 2nd with a title yet to be chosen will follow quickly on its heels. The 3rd is currently in the formulating ideas stage.
How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?
Unfortunately I have been writing for over thirty years. I wished I could go back to those days with the knowledge I have now. My son who died in a motorcycle accident 13 years ago was the initial inspiration in my writing; I used to make up stories which some years later I decided to put on paper.
How did the decision to write as a team come about?
I met David after he had published a short story I had read and enjoyed. It just so happened that we only lived four miles apart and we agreed to meet.That was the start of a series of meetings the result of which was a partnership which has stood the test of time.
Can you briefly describe your writing process as a team?
We discuss plots and scenarios and mostly but not always I write the first draft with David rewriting and embellishing afterwards.
Are there any particular challenges to writing as a team as opposed to writing solo, or do you find it easier?
I don’t find it challenging because we use each other as sounding boards and we have, over the years, had thousands of laughs.
Are there times during the writing process where you disagree on how things should progress? How do you resolve that?
We never disagree because we meet weekly and read all of the week’s work. If there is ever a suggestion of unhappiness about the writing it is forgotten and started again. We never argue.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Because of the distances involved –worldwide- it is difficult to gift hard copies but we do offer electronic copies in the author’s choice of format.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
Currently our publisher has the final say on titles and cover design but we have had brainstorming when it comes to the title. David has designed several of our covers  
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Often, it makes sense to use your own experiences.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Several: Frank Yerby, James Clavell, Jack Vance and William Diehl to name but a few.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I like to hold a book in my hands, smell the paper and feel it as I turn the pages but on holiday, ereaders are invaluable –it saves carrying a library-and maybe I will grow used to them.
What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
The Demon Princes series of five books by Vance that I have read many times.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?
Not often because the amount of content in a book would prove too costly to translate onto film. Look at the Lord of the Rings it had to be filmed in three parts and even then there was lots of stuff left out.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)
I am reading Kith and Kill an Agatha Christie style mystery by Geraldine James and yes I enjoy the type of writing that makes me think who did what to whom, when,where and how. I find it helps me in some of my own writing.
Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
I can honestly say I have read every book put in front of me but I struggled with Ullyses and there are many I failed to enjoy.
What do you think about book trailers?
We paid for one for our book 1/1:Jihad-Britain but I can’t honestly say it helped with sales. A review in The Sun newspaper probably did more but I will reserve my opinions on that as I am not the oracle on such matters.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Don’t start writing as a means to get rich as most writers don’t achieve that but if you have a longing to get words down, make a start on the journey and if you never get fed up you should become one.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I have used several, most well known being Everett Coles under which we write all of our Fantasy/ Sci-Fi. Two of our books are featured on http://jackvance.com
If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character?
George Clooney and Scarlet O’hara ; or the two actors who recently married and had a baby in Downton Abbey.
Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.
I already write in several different genres and enjoy every moment of it, see my website.
Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?
Ah what you need is a crystal ball, if I knew the answer to that I could probably make millions. All I want is for people to read my work and enjoy it, in any format and by whatever manner they choose.
Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.
Traditional publishing has the means to push forward authors into the public face by spending money to promote their works. This obviously gives them a massive advantage over the Indies.
Would you ever consider writing on your own rather than as a part of a team?
Only if anything ever happened to my partner.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?
Can’t help with this one as we write all ideas down as we think of them. If I ever pause or stall I have my partner who has my back.

Where can readers follow you?
Your blog details?  Everettcoleswritings.blogspot.com
Your web site? Jackleverett.me.ukYour facebook page? Jack_59Your Goodreads author page? Don’t know if I have one although some of our books are on there I know.Your Twitter details? Jack_59
And any other information you wish to supply? criminalties.blogspot.com and archimedespresse.blogspot.comCarol 1
Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to interview with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog, Jack. I hope you will visit again in the future. See my review of The Diamond Seekers below.

510x765-DiamondSeekers
Philip Madden takes an early retirement from his job at deciphering codes for the English intelligence service when he looses his wife and son in a car crash. He spends the next four years living by himself in a state of melancholy distraction until he answers the phone to a man claiming to be an illegitimate son he never knew existed. As this is sinking in, a former colleague comes for a visit and is shot to death where he stands in the bedroom by a sniper a half mile away.
Feeling converged upon, and suspecting that he might be the intended target, Philip flees to Austria to stay with his old college chum, Rudi. Though he becomes fast friends with Rudi's mother and falls in love with his sister, his visit is quickly spoilt by phone calls from a kidnaper who is holding his newly discovered son in a coffin. To remove Philip to safer surroundings, Rudi and his family take him to their hunting lodge in the Alps, where they continue having encounters with people, either dangerous or dead, who seem to have connections with an Italian magnate known as il Principe who has a finger in a substantial amount of the crime throughout Europe and the UK.
Philip's struggle to find out just who exactly is after him and what it might take to call these people off takes him back to England where he finds more danger yet and millions in diamonds buried in a far-flung Yorkshire graveyard. Without warning, things are not at all the way they had seemed. Suddenly, impossible parties have been in charge all along.
The Diamond Seekers, by David Coles and Jack Everett is an engaging and worthwhile mystery whose characters are believably realistic out of recognition of the very kind of human behavior examined in Machiavelli's seminal essay The Prince. Like Machiavelli's prince, their own felonious and proud patriarch, who is openly devoted to his grandson and his family, shrewdly dotes on his hired help with a strategic wisdom which earns their love and admiration at the very moment he is engaging them to serve his interests. Realistic characters make the best entertainment. And I was indeed fascinated, particularly with the eerie similarities to the stories I've heard out of Chicago and 'Vegas. I will certainly be looking for their next book.
Purchase Links: Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk
Carol Marrs Phipps