April 7, 2013

Author Interview with Alex Shaw

Hi Alex, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been a full time stay at home dad during the day and an author at night for the past four years. In that time I’ve published two novels, two novellas, a short story and a stage-play.  I won’t go on about myself but if anyone is interested my biography is in each of my books.

What do you think makes your genre special?
The genre of thriller is the one that I most like to write in, specifically military & espionage thriller. I was inspired by all the SAS books that became popular after the first Gulf War. My Aidan Snow ‘Hetman’ series of thrillers follows the adventures of a former member of the SAS now working as a black operative for MI6 (or SIS to give it its correct title).

What do you think makes a great story?
Vivid characters in conflict, in unusual locations.  Many books seem to be ‘written by numbers’ i.e. the author has chosen three popular cities and then decided to drop his characters there. I try to write something a bit different, something off the beaten track.  

What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?
The book is called ‘Delta Force Vampire: Insurgency’  The tag-line is: The Government made him Deadly, Vampires made him Immortal…   

Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?
My latest book ‘Delta Force Vampire: Insurgency’ is a new genre for me – military horror, and introduces a new hero Brad Black. I am hoping that as it is still ‘espionage based’ my existing readers will read it as will those who normally prefer horror or vampire tales. At the moment it is my biggest seller on Kindle in the US outselling all my other books. 

Is it a Standalone, or part of the series? If it the latter, how long do you think will it go on?
It is the first part of the ‘Delta Force Vampire’ series; the second should be out by February.  I don’t have a set number planned this all depends upon reader response. I also of course have to get back to my Hetman series.

What influenced or inspired you writing it?
I wanted to try something a bit unusual in a slightly different genre; a gritty vampire meets military Special Forces.  I hadn’t seen or read anything like this so I can’t really say that I was influenced by any other work. DFV is kind of a ‘Dog Soldiers’ meets ‘Blade’ meets Jason Bourne.  In general however my writing is greatly influenced by my experience of living and working abroad and especially my time in Ukraine. My wife is from Kyiv so much of my work has references to Ukraine, especially ‘Hetman’ and ‘Cold Black’. In terms of who has inspired my writing, then that has to be the writers whom I enjoy reading  the most. This includes Stephen Leather, Vince Flynn, Alex Berenson, Andy McNab and Chris Ryan. 

Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?
As the book has a more horror/pulp feel I wanted a title that said exactly what was in the book hence ‘Delta Force Vampire’. The central character is a member of Delta Force who becomes a vampire. It was my first choice of title and I’m very happy with it, especially so as Stephen Leather himself has told me it’s a ‘clever title’.  For my other books I like the titles to be more ‘subtle’.

What was the hardest part for you working on your book?
Finding time to write. I am at the stage now where because my sons are two and a half and four I have to write when they are asleep. So each evening I have the difficult choice to make: run, open a bottle of red wine, write or relax.  Sometimes I am just too tired to write.

Was there a scene that you didn’t want to add or removed from your finished work?
I luckily found that the very end of ‘Delta Force Vampire: Insurgency’ was actually the start of book two so I took it out.  I’d written too much, which is always a nice surprise.
Do you already know what to do next?
Yes, the second DFV is underway and will be available by February. I also have several other books on the go. The third Aidan Snow thriller  s due out in March and there are two other projects which I am keeping a secret for the moment. 

Where can we find more about you and your books?
You can visit my website, find me on twitter, Facebook or look up my amazon author’s central page. I try to reply to all messages I receive. 

Any last words?
Buy my books they contain words. 

Delta Force Vampire Insurgency 
The Government made him Deadly, Vampires made him Immortal… A new hero and a new genre from Kindle bestselling author Alex Shaw. Brad Black, call-sign ‘Peter Pan’ is a member of America’s elite Delta Force unit. Tasked to recon a tunnel network in use by the Taliban it is just another day in the sandpit for the Delta Boys until something attacks them in the darkness. Presumed Killed in Action, Black is abducted by a shadowy figure before being forced to cross the inhospitable Afghan wilderness to be reunited with what is left of his team. Meanwhile a General from Russian Military Intelligence (GRU) arrives at Firebase Python brining news of a Cold War weapons experiment so shocking that its existence has until now remained secret. Horrific secrets buried in the Afghan mountains for a quarter of a century are about to be unleashed.

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