How excited am I that the lovely Rob Sinclair has dropped by my blog on his Publication day to take part in my Q&A Interview. Hunt For The Enemy is the third book in The Enemy Series and is available to buy at Amazon today…….. So without further ado I would like to welcome Mr Rob Sinclair.
Good Morning and Happy Publication Day
Thank you and Good morning I have got a very exciting and busy day ahead of me.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
I’m a father of two young boys (5 and 2) who drain me both mentally and physically daily, but who I couldn’t imagine life without! I met my wife thirteen years ago when we started work at the same global accounting firm on the same day. We got together a few weeks later and both carried on working there until just last year when I finally moved to writing full time!
My career there saw me working as a forensic accountant for over ten years. My focus was on large scale fraud and corruption investigations which saw me do a fair bit of travelling (to some less than salubrious locations!), particularly before my sons were born.
I’m originally from the North East of England but have lived in a lot of different places; Newcastle, Norwich, Hull, Birmingham, Sunderland, Nottingham, Durham, Birmingham, New York, Birmingham (in that order!). Feeling quite settled in the West Midlands now though, particularly with my son having started school here.
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
It came out of the blue really. It wasn’t something I’d always dreamed of and I’d never attended courses or anything like that. I made a bet to my wife that I could write a book. It was as simple as that! We were on holiday and I’d been less than impressed with some books I was reading so told her I reckoned I could write one too. So I did! What can I say, I’m a competitive person. One day I just started writing and I quickly fell in love with it and everything just moved from there. Certainly in those early days I really didn’t know what I was doing but 6 years down the line I’ve learned a hell of a lot and feel I can just about call myself a proper writer now!
Really though the change in career has been perfect for our family too. With my wife still working full time I just wasn’t able to dedicate myself to my old job like I had in the past when we didn’t have kids. Something had to give as we knew we couldn’t both continue working long hours and away from home all the time. And given I’d started writing, was loving it, and my books were slowly taking off, it just made sense for me to be the one to walk away from the corporate career. I’m happy with that. I love writing and like being at home and spending time with the boys. Luckily people are actually buying my books too so it’s worked out quite nicely!
Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
The books are thrillers. I’d loosely call them espionage thrillers as the main character, Carl Logan, is a secret-agent type. But I don’t want that to put people off if that’s not their normal thing. The books are really human stories. They’re about Carl Logan, a man who’s on a journey of growth and redemption following him coming out of a trauma suffering post traumatic stress. They’re about love, betrayal and revenge and I think those are concepts that all of us can find interest in. That said they of course do contain a lot of action and violence, together with the obligatory twists and turns. I don’t write for a particular audience. I just what the stories I have in my head. But if any of the things I’ve said appeal then give my books a go!
What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
My writing process has changed a lot over the years as for my first book I was still working full time and writing whenever I could in my spare time; early mornings, evenings, weekends. Now that I’m more experienced, but also writing full time, I have a much more fluid writing process from draft to publication.
I tend to blast through a first draft quite quickly, just a few weeks. I use drafting as my main plotting exercise too, so I don’t start with a fully mapped out plot – that all comes through drafting for me.
Once I have a first draft I put it to one side for a few weeks and go onto something else. That way I go back to it cold which I find really helps the editing process. I do a couple of rounds of editing before I send the book to my editor for development. Then once she’s come back to me it’s another couple of rounds of editing for me before she gets it for copy-editing. Then back to me for a final pass before it goes to a proofreader. Then back to me for the very final read through! So all in all a very involved and long-winded process which can take 12-24 months even though that initial draft may have taken me only 4 weeks!
Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
They are entirely fictional. I don’t know any secret agents with lethal combat skills in real life! But the characters are inspired by all sorts of things; books, TV, movies. Undoubtedly some specific character traits are from people I’ve met in real life, even from myself, but it’s probably a complete mish-mash as to how that’s happened and where. It’s not something I engineer in my head before hand. I just get an idea for a character or a story element in my head and run with it, seeing where my brain and my fingers take me.
Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
Not in the sense of any of the big plot elements. But again, lots of smaller things from my life are in the books. It could be a particular quandary a character finds themselves in, or just the way they react to a particular situation. I’ve used a lot of settings in the books, which have a very international feel to them, that are familiar to me from real life – both places I’ve been to on holiday but also on my travels investigating fraud. Hunt for the Enemy for example features a whole host of locations; England, Scotland, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Morocco, Venezuela!
I’ve also used, in a fictionalised sense, some of the investigations I was on to help flesh out certain characters or small plot elements of the stories. I saw some really eye-opening things in my time as a forensic accountant that lend themselves very well to the murky world of secret intelligence services!
What research do you do?
Research isn’t a big focus for my stories. I like to use what’s in my head. My books aren’t big into historical events and aren’t interwoven with true life in any major way so there really isn’t an awful lot of research needed. I tend to research as I go along, just when I’m stuck on a point of fact. Perhaps something about a location that I’m unsure on, or a particular type of weapon or combat technique being used. Sometimes I might have a reference to an actual historical event, but it’s generally only a passing comment and all of my research comes down to googling mostly! It seems to do the trick though, many people have commented that my work appears well researched! Though my internet search history is a bit dodgy to say the least…
Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I’ve never thought of it before! To be honest to me writing a novel is a very solitary affair. The ideas are in my head and I have a hard time explaining those ideas to anyone except through typing them out. I have no concept of how co-writing a novel works. If someone approached me I would certainly consider it but I do wonder whether maybe it’s just not something for me. I like to be in control too much!
What’s your favorite book?
I don’t have any one favourite book to be honest. Nothing that I can absolutely point to. My favourite two character series are Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne though I’d struggle to pick any particular book from those as a stand out. Actually some of the books that have stuck in my head most vividly are those from my childhood and teen years; things like the Terry Pratchett Discworld books, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Nick Hornby’s books, Adrian Mole, even though my writing is nothing like any of those!
What’s your favorite food?
Without doubt Indian food! I don’t know why but I just love it. I do live near Birmingham though so what else would the answer be?! I’ve even roped my kids into it. My eldest son loves spicy food and always surprises waiters when he asks for chilli in his food! Few things are more satisfying for me than a family trip to the Balti Triangle.
What’s your favorite film?
As with books it’s hard to pick just one. As a general rule of thumb I’ve loved Martin Scorsese’s films over a number of years, the stand out one for me being The Departed which has just about everything I look for in a movie.
What’s your favorite song?
Another impossible question! I’ve listened to so much music over the years and my tastes have changed so much that I couldn’t ever give just one absolute favourite! That said, one song that never ceases to evoke real emotion in me is The Pogues, Fairytale of New York. It’s much more than just a christmas song! I love New York (I used to live there and would love to again in the future!) and I’m fascinated by the immigrant history of the city that still flows through to modern day life, Irish, Italian, others too, and I think that song carries a real emotional punch.
How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
Thank you Rob for joining me today good luck with your book and have a wonderful day
Thank you for inviting me, I am looking forward to your Author Chat over at Crime Book Club on Facebook next week.