Publisher: Story Bay Press
Interviewed By: Larry Miller
The Banjo Player is an intense book. It gets hold of you from page one and doesn't let you go till the end. How did you manage that?
Thank you for the compliment. I really wanted The Banjo Player to be a page turner from the very onset. As I wrote and rewrote certain sections of the manuscript, I kept thinking - I've got to hold the reader's attention. I've got to keep the reader guessing. Hopefully, it worked. Its the readership out there who will give their verdict.
I'm impressed by your attention to detail. How much research went into the writing of The Banjo Player?
Quite a lot. I definitely wanted whatever I wrote and the scenarios that I painted to be plausible and authentic. I wanted them to also be able to stand up to some rigorous expert scrutiny. That meant I had to do lots of research in various disciplines and fact check things to the nth degree. In a past life, I researched stuff for a living, so it was pretty enjoyable.
Parts of the book were like a travel and geography lesson. Have you been to some of these interesting places in the book?
As a general rule of thumb, I try and write about things and places that I'm familiar with. I believe it gives a more credible ambiance and backdrop to the plot. Specifically answering your question - yes I've been to most of the places in the book. In my opinion, every one needs a tiny bit of wanderlust in their system.
Please tell me your lead character, Zac Pullman, is based on a real person.
You've got me there. How do I respond? What I would say is that there are elements of Zac's mindset that are in-built in all of us, but the system overrides it and most of us become followers. Because of Zac's special skill sets, he can live the sort of life that he lives. Quite a few people around the world have bits and pieces of those skill sets. The question to really ask is whether all those skills can be housed in one individual? That is a question that shall remain unanswered by me for a long long time. I think I side stepped this question. Sorry!
The dramatic ending of The Banjo Player screams - Sequel! Do you have one in mind?
I think there will be a sequel. When? I don't know. I can certainly say that there's enough spill over from The Banjo Player to feed through into an exciting sequel. Watch this space.
That brings me to movie! The Banjo Player would make a brilliant Hollywood blockbuster. Did you have a movie in mind when writing the book?
Actually it was after I had finished the manuscript and was re-reading it that I thought to myself that this would make a good movie. When writing, I always have pictorial sequences in my head anyway, so in that respect it's no different from a movie. The difference of course being a few million dollars and a tetchy director. Will The Banjo Player become a movie? I don't know. Do you have Paul Greengrass or Ralph Winter on speed dial?