Welcome to my stop on Mark Leggatt’s The Silk Road blog tour 🙂
Interview with Mark Leggatt…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I’m Mark Leggatt, an author based in Edinburgh. History and international conspiracy are the backdrop for the adventures of ex-CIA technician Connor Montrose, THE NAMES OF THE DEAD, which hit Blackwell’s bestsellers charts, and was joined by the sequel THE LONDON CAGE, starring Connor’s new partner, Kirsty Rhys. She’s an ex-hacker, wanted by MI5, and a force to be reckoned with.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
Anywhere and everywhere. And I write them down and put them all in a notebook. For example, I’m watching the news of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 being shot down over the Ukraine by Russian backed rebels with Russian missiles, and then the Russians say it had nothing to do with them, and then I think “What if someone shot down an airliner and then blamed it on another Government? And who would you pay to do it for you, so it couldn’t be tracked back to you? And why would you do it? Apart from lots of money?”
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
No, with one exception. Kirsty Rhys in The London Cage and The Silk Road, is based on every Scottish female I’ve ever known. Tough, clever, resourceful, and a bit mental.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
I pick names that I like the sound of when said out loud, and would suit the character. For example, my new character is called Hector Lawless, because Hector is a bit of an old fashioned boring name, and that suits his character. He’s called Lawless, because he’s anything but. He’s never had a parking ticket in his life. But that’s about to change, in a very big way.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
Get an idea, write it down, and run with it. Pencil and paper, every time. I’ve got over a hundred notebooks filled with scribbles, plots and ideas that might not work, daft suggestions for a plot, but then as you write them down, ideas leap out at you. If you don’t go through that process, nothing will happen. So I write it down. Then when I have a firm idea that might work, I expand it to a plot covering one page. If that hangs together, I expand it to ten pages. If that works, I expand it again to greater detail until I have the whole thing worked out, then I start writing.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
George MacDonald Fraser
Lewis Grassic Gibbon
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Spike Milligan. I’d ask him to sing the Ying Tong Song while I accompany him on the spoons. My ambitions are small and pointless, but mildly entertaining.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes, the house had plenty books, and the library was visited often. My dad also had a stack of Readers Digest in the toilet. Heaven!
When did you start to write?
Probably in my teens, but I’ve written in notebooks most of my working life rather than use technology, so I write every day, even if it’s not stories. The physical act of writing helps me work things out, in my professional as well as writing career. If I don’t write with a pen or pencil every day, I get quite edgy.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Is there a book you wish you had written?
I wish I’d written Sunset Song. Then I’d die happy. But there is no book where I’d change the ending, apart from The New Testament. I’d change that to the ending in The Life Of Brian.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
“I’m Making This Up As I Go Along.”
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE. I’d take him for a coffee at the most militantly feminist coffee shop I could find watch the bastard suffer.
What are you working on right now?
A Scottish psychological crime novel, called “Where No Light Shines,” where my main character, Hector Lawless, is forced to examine the reasons for committing murder, and whether or not he is justified in doing so. As the reasons become clearer and urgent, Hector has a difficult choice to make.
Tell us about your last release?
The Silk Road is the third in the series, where my main characters Kirsty and Connor must uncover the layers of duplicity between governments, arms dealers, and the sale of anti-aircraft missiles to terrorists. This leads them first to the CIA in Rome, then the exclusive clubs of the Monaco ultra-rich, and finally to the subterranean ruins of a medieval German town wiped off the map in World War 2. And they must discover the remaining cache of missiles before the CIA catch up with them, and before carnage is unleashed over the skies of Europe.
Do you have a new release due?
My Scottish psychological crime novel, being written at the moment, is called “Where No Light Shines”, which will be released in 2019.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Try to stay sober so I don’t talk a lot of nonsense at the launch. After the launch though…
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Twitter and Facebook are the best mediums, they are very good for interacting with writers and readers.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
The best thing you can do to an author is give them a review on Amazon and other sites. Even if it’s a bad review, they like the attention, and it makes a difference in the promotion that Amazon gives.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Mark 🙂
You’re very welcome! 😎
Third in the Connor Montrose series by Mark Leggatt, following on from the success of Names of the Dead and The London Cage.
Ex-CIA technician Connor Montrose tracks two suspected terrorists to a deserted mountain village in Tuscany, where he witnesses an attack on a US Air Force troop plane, using a ground-breaking portable Surface to Air (SAM) missile. Unaware that the CIA were also monitoring the suspects, Montrose is blamed for the attack and narrowly escapes. The CIA receive orders from Washington to shoot him on sight, and a shadowy organisation begins to track his every move.
Then a spate of terror attacks threatens the fabric of NATO and the entire Western alliance. Civilian airlines are the new target, and the overwhelming evidence points to a CIA false flag plan to bring down aircraft and blame it on Moscow-backed terrorists. Montrose’s investigations lead him to underground arms sales on The Silk Road, the secret marketplace of the internet, hidden deep in the Dark Web. Montrose must assimilate himself into the society of the European aristocracy and the ultra-rich fascists, assisted by Kirsty Rhys, to pose as a middleman for the purchase of arms on The Silk Road and find the remaining cache of missiles. Montrose uncovers the layers of duplicity between governments and arms dealers, leading first to the CIA in Rome, and eventually to the palaces of the last Russia Tsar and the new oligarchs. Montrose must discover the remaining cache of missiles before the CIA catch up with him, and before carnage is unleashed over the skies of Europe.
Happy reading 🙂
Mark Leggatt was born in Lochee, Dundee and lives in Edinburgh. A former specialist in Disaster Recovery for oil companies and global banks, his career has taken him around Europe, especially Paris, where he lived for a number of years. History and modern global conspiracy lie at the heart of his work, and are the backdrop for the adventures of CIA technician Connor Montrose. Leggatt is a member of the Crime Writers Association in the UK, and the International Thriller Writers in the USA.
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