The very first book I wrote happened to be a thriller, so it seemed only natural that eventually I would wander back into the genre. When I took up writing seriously, initially I lent my hand to writing paranormal mysteries, aimed at young adults. I have written ten such novels, but the last one, ‘Interlopers From Hell’, certainly seemed much more appropriate for an adult audience. I’d already begun to think of ‘cross-over’ books, and I would go so far as to say that all of my earlier novels are of this type. But writing a fully-fledged adult book, that was what I wanted to do.
‘Splintered Ice’ had many of the hallmarks of my previous work. Indeed, half way through I decided to write two different versions. One of them ended up as an out-and-out thriller, but the second version was twenty thousand words longer, and packed full of paranormal activity. I think, to be honest, that this one is the better version. Unfortunately, it is not the one in print. Nevertheless, I enjoyed writing it, and although nobody has bought it, I still feel the story packs a pretty hefty punch.
‘Burnt Offerings’ was my second venture into the thriller genre. Living in Spain, the story simply came to me one day, perhaps three years ago. I worked on it for quite some time, and when I submitted it, an agent got back to me almost straight away with some excellent advice. One of the few times when an agent has actually shown any interest in my work. Taking note of what he said, I went back to it, smoothed down the edges, and sent it to a publisher who accepted it immediately. It has received some excellent reviews. This is always the most nerve-wracking period for an author. A
Well, for ‘Burnt Offerings’ they seem to like it. My publisher did; they want a series, and I’ve already written the second and planned out the third. Paul Chaise is hard-boiled, living a quiet life in Spain, but when trouble raises its ugly head, he responds in the only way he knows how. Ex-SBS he knows how to kill, and his old employers get wind of what he has got himself involved with, and they don’t like it.
The second Paul Chaise adventure, ‘Whipped Up’ will be available later in the year. I wanted to put Chaise in a contemporary setting in the UK, pitching him against some pretty unsavoury Eastern Europeans who are based in Norwich. I knew someone who had employed some Eastern Europeans to do some house building for him. Pretty soon he became embroiled with the people who were running the builders. They wanted a cut of the proceeds. This was the basis of my story. My dear old friend extricated himself fortunately, sacked the lot of them, and did most of the work himself. In the book, it doesn’t go that smoothly. And Chaise’s employers don’t want him bringing too much publicity into the mix. So they hire an assassin. His job: to kill Chaise.
Now, the third story written, it’s fairly clear that Chaise does not die. He’s a man who is here to stay. Each successive story will reveal more about this man, what drives him on, why he can do what he does so dispassionately, and so well. I am hoping it is a series which will run for a long time.
In the meantime, I am also writing stand-alone thrillers. I’ve just completed one, and am now working on redrafting it. I don’t particularly relish this aspect of writing, but as I do it, I fall in love with my characters once again, think up additional scenarios, develop them, improve them.
‘Burnt Offering’s has just been reduced in price. I felt, as an e-book, it was too expensive, and now it is far more reasonably priced. E-book should be affordable in my opinion. That way people can store them on their e-readers, and read them at their leisure and not feel that they are emptying their bank accounts. I love traditional books, as I mentioned last time in this blog, but e-books are with us whether we like it or not, so why not take advantage if the price is right.
I am also writing a historical novel, but more of that next time.
The process of writing is, for me, and adventure. I never know in which direction I’m going to turn next. That is what keeps it interesting and fresh. If what you have read here spurs on your curiosity, please visit my website – www.stuartgyates.com – where you can find out all about my books and where to buy them. And don’t forget, please take advantage of the special, reduced price of ‘Burnt Offerings’.
Thanks for reading.