Sunday, 1 January 2017

A chat with Gordon Bickerstaff #crimewriter

Today, I'm welcoming Gordon Bickerstaff to our home in cyberspace to chat briefly about his writing.

Q. Who are your favourite authors, Gordon?

Ian Rankin, James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Tess Gerritsen are the main ones.

Q. Which ‘genres’ do you prefer to read – and write? Is there a difference?

Thrillers. As a reader, I get most entertainment and satisfaction from reading thrillers. As a writer I enjoy creating thrilling suspense mystery and action. No real difference for me.

Q. What drove you to begin a writing career?

I've read thrillers since school when I read Ian Fleming. Over the years, countless times, I've read a book and thought, I would have had this happen, I wouldn't have done it that way. I would have ended it that way. I love a book to a have a good ending so when I write, I always have a satisfactory ending.

Q. Do you write to a target – word count – every day, or do you have another writing discipline that you could share with us?

The important creative part for me is to dream up the beginning and the end of a story. Like two bookends, I like to know where the story is coming from, and where its heading. When I have these in place, I can work on the main plot and subplots to fill out the body of the story. I don't write to word counts. I think of a scene I want in the story, and then write that scene. A scene can vary from 2000 to 10000 words.

Q. What inspires you – or has inspired you – to write a particular book?

Inspiration that feeds into scenes and subplots in my books come from all sorts of places. In a subplot of 'Toxic Minds', a father is falsely accused of rape/molestation. The devastation caused is explored as is the mistakes that led to the accusations. I remember reading a true story and thinking how painful it must have been for the whole family.

Q. Do you write from imagination, personal experience, or a mixture?

Imagination, influenced by observation, personal experience and people I've met.

Q. Do you have a current ‘work in progress’? Can you tell us anything about it?

Book 5 in the Gavin Shawlens Thriller Series 'Tabula Rasa' due in March 2017.
Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens prepare to investigate the death of a top government scientist. Someone is determined to stop the investigation before it gets started. Zoe uncovers two unfamiliar words, Tabula Rasa. The only clue is the unusual behaviour of the dead scientist's son.
Posing as a couple, Gavin and Zoe enter the secret and dangerous world of the son's aristocratic guardians, headed by philanthropist billionaire, Lord Zacchary Silsden.
What Gavin uncovers, shocks him to the bottom of his soul. Does he have the courage and the conviction to stop an imminent catastrophe? Gavin and Zoe face impossible choices as half a million zealots prepare to unleash hell.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone starting out on a writing career?

Publishers want to make money. They are not usually interested in a one-book wonder unless it comes with an extensive plan for the next six books. If you want a publisher to look seriously at your work. Work on a series, write the first three books and have a plan for how the next seven books will flow. If the first three books are good, and they like your plan for the following books. They may be interested in investing hard cash in your talent. Writing one good story and expecting a publisher to predict your future writing success, is unlikely to work.

Q. Do you have a Kindle or reading device yourself, or do you prefer to read printed versions of a book?

I have a Samsung tablet and an Amazon Kindle Fire for reading eBooks. The Fire is a valuable tool for writers. The text-to-speech function is easy to use, and I use it to listen to my work in progress. For me, hearing the book is a great tool for picking up errors or phrases that confuse or don't work.

Q. Do you have website or social media page you would like to invite us to visit?

More about my books including free PDF samples can be found here -

Q. Do you have links on twitter or any other social media sites?

More about my background and my books can be found on -

Good luck with your books, Gordon, and thank you for joining us.