Welcome to my stop on James Silvester’s Sealed With A Death blog tour with Love Books Tours!
Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for arranging the following interview with James Silvester…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Hello there! I’m James and I write political thrillers. My first two books, Escape to Perdition and The Prague Ultimatum, were set in the Czech Republic. Last year I started a new series featuring Lucie Musilova as Britain’s most reluctant spy in Blood, White and Blue; Sealed with a Death is its sequel.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
From real life, mainly. I try to keep things current and in tune with what readers may recognise going on around them, but then push it a little bit further and a little bit out of the ordinary. It’s up to others whether that’s successful but I hope it encourages people to think about things.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Some characters, particularly the villains, might be a pastiche of several people in the public eye rather than a direct caricature. I always base a character’s physical appearance on a real person, usually actors I like, and sometimes friends.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
A mixture really; there’s no hard and fast rule. Again, sometimes I’ll use friends names (with permission) if I think it suits – the protagonist in my first book is named after a mate of mine – and I might mash together actors names too. A character in my new book actually got their name thanks to a Christmas competition run by a Facebook reader group; I offered the chance for a reader to name a character and I picked the answer I though fitted best.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
One hour’s work followed by three days of crushing self-doubt. Repeat. Once I have the story and synopsis in place things start to come together. I write completely out of sequence, putting in scenes and exchanges that are in my head, then go back and link them all together.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
This often changes, but today it would be:
John le Carre
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few and they’ve been lovely. I’d love to meet a really prolific author like Agatha Christie and try to find out how she maintained that standard over so long. I’d also love to meet Franz Kafka, I bet that’d be a really interesting day…
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes, I used to read Enid Blyton then moved onto Conan-Doyle and Fleming. In my teenage years I read the horror classics and a lot of sci-fi, then got back into Cold War and spy fiction again.
When did you start to write?
About 2012 I started to seriously try and write a book. Before then I’d toyed with the idea but kept putting it off.
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?
Jaws. Love the book but hate the ending; I just think there’s no real climax and the shark just sort of turns over and slip away. That said, I’m not exactly sure how I’d alter it. I wish I’d written 1984, but also The Spy who came in from the cold – that was genre defining.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
Apologies for the inconvenience.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
If it’s ‘any’ fictional character I’d pick Doctor Who, however from the purely literary world, I think I’d like to sit in a café somewhere and people watch with Sherlock Holmes.
What are you working on right now?
Sealed with a Death is out now and I’m working on promoting that. I’m also doing a few interviews with people I admire and will be promoting those shortly as well.
Tell us about your last release?
Blood, White and Blue was the first in the Lucie Musilova series. Lucie is a half Czech, half British spy recruited into the security services to investigate a decades old plot.
Do you have a new release due?
Sealed with a Death – out July 11th.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Quietly. If I’ve money in the bank I’ll get a bottle of champagne, if I haven’t then it’s a beer from the fridge. I’ve had launch parties in the past which are always great fun, and it’s a pleasure to be friendly with other authors who are always so supportive.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
The best ways are through Twitter (@jamessilvester1) and Facebook (@jamessilvesterauthor).
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Just that support from bloggers and readers is always hugely appreciated. Thanks to everyone.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, James 🙂
You’re very welcome, thanks for having me on!
Still new to the top secret Overlappers intelligence team, and on her first `hit’ alone, Lucie Musilova has an attack of conscience and nearly botches the operation, taking a bullet wound before finishing off her target. Though her injuries are minor, she is chastised for her carelessness and assigned desk duties. Here she investigates a number of disappearances of European women from Britain – the women all missing without trace until the body of one is discovered, raped and murdered. Lucie learns that tens of women have disappeared, all with little investigation. As she digs deeper she begins to uncover a terrifying international conspiracy that potentially threatens not just her life, but to topple Governments….
happy reading 🙂
James Silvester’s debut novel and sequel, Escape to Perdition and The Prague Ultimatum, reflected his love both of central Europe and the espionage genre and was met with widespread acclaim. His new series features strong female protagonist Lucie Musilova, a character fully reflective of Europe’s changing cultural and political landscape. James lives in Manchester.