Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Today I am very happy to share the answers GD Harper gave to my questions, give you more information about him and his book and the opportunity for readers in the UK to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway with the chance to win a copy of his Psychological Fiction Trilogy – Love’s Long Road, Silent Money and A Friend in Deed.
Where did you get the idea for the book/series?
A Friend in Deed is a political thriller set in the near future, when the new political party who govern Britain are secretly controlled by the Russians. After the Trump election, I tried to imagine the same thing happening in the UK, but on an even bigger scale, which gave me the initial idea.
What makes the series unique is that each story is told from the point of view of a different one of the three main continuing characters in the three books. They’re all stand-alone stories, but for instance with Love’s Long Road and Silent Money, the same scenes and even the same dialogue is in both books, but they have a completely different meaning when seen from the point of view of the different characters.
What is your writing process?
Very, very much a plotter. I plan out chapter by chapter and define major characters and their character arcs before I write a single word. Things can change as the story progresses, however, and I have to frequently rewrite my plan as the story unfolds as I write it. I am in awe of pantsers.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
Pen and paper to write the ‘quick-and-dirty’ first draft for speed, computer thereafter.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
I think it has to be Bobbie, the twenty-two-year-old female main protagonist in Love’s Long Road, who has a supporting role in the other two books. She’s a real Marmite character, some readers really empathise with her and like her, others roll their eyes and get frustrated by her incredibly bad decisions. She is a composite of three strong women I’ve met and admired at different times in my life and I loved writing the story as her in the first person. Make of that what you will!
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
As Duncan, the main character in A Friend in Deed is a sixty-something Scotsman, as am I, I suppose I’d have to choose him. He’s an idealised version of my personality, so I can kid myself I’d behave like him if I got into a similar predicament.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
That’s a really interesting question. I put a lot of thought into naming my characters and there is a lot of significance in my choice which I imagine the reader doesn’t usually spot. Bobbie Sinclair was chosen because it let me create a device where her controlling boyfriend always insists on calling her the formal version of her name, Roberta, and she gets away with taking a new identity by making her surname St Clair, claiming that her employer misheard how she said it.
Michael is a nod to Michael Corleone, as much of his story is reminiscent of the other Michael in The Godfather, and I liked the alliteration of Michael Mitchell.
Duncan is my favourite name. I initially chose Duncan, because I wanted a no-nonsense Scottish first name. When he first really appears in the story, in Love’s Long Road in the 1970s, he’s a huge Bowie fan. I needed to give him a surname and so called him Duncan Jones, the name of Bowie’s son. The irony is that although my Duncan is a huge Bowie fan, the other Duncan was called Zowie Bowie until the 1980s, so in the 1970s my Duncan wouldn’t make the connection. Some readers have, though!
Thank you so much for answering my questions – I think the idea for your book is enough to give me nightmares! I found it intriguing to read the rest of your answers, especially about your writing processes and how you chose the character names.
Here’s more information about A Friend In Deed
Britain: a few years from now. A new populist political party has won the recent general election.
Duncan Jones, freelance political journalist and blogger, loses his weekly column at a national newspaper and turns to investigative reporting. The chance remark of a friend leads him to suspect that the Russians are directing the new British government’s policies and decisions. As he visits Moscow and Ukraine to discover more, scandal follows intrigue, dark forces attempt to silence him by whatever means possible and he turns to an unlikely ally for help.
A Friend in Deed is a fast-paced psychological thriller set in an all-too-believable near future. It is also the story of how one man confronts the traumas in his past and works out how to resolve them.
Author Bio –
I was placed third in the 2015 Lightship Prize for first-time authors, won a 2016 Wishing Shelf Award Red Ribbon, been shortlisted at the UK Festival of Writing for Best First Chapter, longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition.
In 2017, I was one of twelve authors selected for Authors in the Spotlight at the Bloody Scotland book festival in Stirling, showcasing who they considered to be the best emerging talent in crime fiction, and was the only self-published author to be chosen. I have spoken at numerous other book events, including Blackwells’ Writers at the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; a stand-alone slot at the Byres Road Book Festival in Glasgow, and the Aye Write! Book Festival, also in Glasgow.
I worked in Russia and Ukraine for ten years, which gave me the ideas for the plot and setting that I used in A Friend in Deed.
Social Media Links – www.gdharper.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/harper_author
Giveaway to Win all 3 paperbacks of GD Harper’s Psychological Fiction Trilogy (Open UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the link to the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing content for this post and organising the tour it is part of. Also, huge thanks to GD Harper for answering my questions, I thoroughly enjoyed reading them – I just hope nothing in your story about Britain being secretly governed by the Russians comes true!