September 2, 2013

Author Interview with Andrew Lamb

Hi Andy, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in England with my fabulous wife and for a living I smash up cars in an attempt to make them safer (basically, I design the bits on your car which are meant to bend when someone drives into you).
At night, I become an Imaginaut and I write. I love reading and writing horror, science fiction and fantasy stories. I am also a complete super geek; I have a line-to-line photographic memory when it comes to a surprising number of horror and science fiction movies. Seriously, send me a line and chances are I’ll be able to tell you who said it and in what movie!

Why did you start writing?
I’ve been writing for ages but only really started seriously working on my novels back in 2008. I had been made redundant and found myself with enough time to develop some of my ideas. Then, during an interview I mentioned that I enjoyed writing and the interviewer laughed it off. I decided vengeance would be mine… I didn’t get that job.

What do you think makes your genre special?
I’ve always loved the supernatural and science fiction. As an engineer, I have to base my work on rules which are grounded mainly in facts and theories. I am still a bit of a rebel at heart and despite all the evidence; I refuse to discount the possibility of the incredible.
I think most people are like that, the fantastic has always been an attraction.

What do you think makes a great story?
I believe there are three things which form the foundation of a great story. Firstly, the characters need to be consistent and believable. The stories I generally write ultimately put either a normal person in an incredible situation or an incredible person in a normal situation. Either way, that character’s reaction to that situation has to be believable.
The storyline must be challenging but not alienating. In other words, the story must contain puzzles or challenges to which the reader must initially feel the difficulty faced by the characters. Then, when the character overcomes those difficulties, the reader must feel like they have overcome those challenges too and feel rewarded. I’ve never liked quantum leaps between scenes (i.e. the answer came in a dream with limited or no prior information presented to the character) because I’ve felt left out of the challenge and isolated from the story.
Finally, everyone loves a good twist. Surprise your readers.

What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?
My book is called Dispatchers - Vengeance of the Dark.
A global secret society of supernatural entities maintains an eternal vigil. However, a deadly plan has been hatched against them.

Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?
That's a good one. I really wrote the book that I wanted to read, so geeks will love this. I would say anyone with a fascination with the supernatural and incredible secrets, there is a massive secret in this book directly underneath the Aldwych underground station in Central London. I really don’t think this book is suitable for anyone under the age of 15 as some of the scenes are a little graphic.

Is it a Standalone, or part of the series? If it's the latter, how long do you think will it go on?
It is part of a series. My initial plan is for 6 novel but there is room for additional stories. I’ve already started work on a series of short stories dedicated to one the main groups within the Dispatcher series. What I would like to do is work with other authors to introduce variations in the stories which I can’t do by myself. I would love this to expand and inspire.

What influenced or inspired you to write it?
This will make you laugh; I was driving home one night when I was cut up on the motorway by some loony. I thought “If only I could leave my body, pick that car up and deposit it in a river somewhere!” Then one thought led to another and to another. Before I knew it, I had the fundamentals of Dispatchers and a secret society of supernatural creatures with near limitless possibilities.

Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?
There was just something very catchy about Dispatchers; I think I read it somewhere and it just stuck. “Vengeance of the Dark” took a little more time to come up with; initially it was going to be “The Vengeance of the Forgotten” in light of the main antagonist’s motive.

What was the most difficult part for you working on your book?
I knew precisely what each chapter needed but to deliver it in a concise way was difficult. I think I have given the reader enough detail to picture and imagine the scene without boring them with too much detail.

Was there a scene that you didn’t want to add or remove in your finished work?
There was originally a scene where an aircraft was shot down. However, this would have given too much away to the reader very early on. I removed the chapter completely and only refer to the event in later chapters.

Do you already know what to do next?
Well I am working on the follow-up, the sequel should be available early 2014 and the third one will be later that year.
Outside of Dispatchers, I am working on another supernatural thriller called “The Serpent of the Tyche”, a science fiction time travel mystery and a supernatural romantic mystery – no vampires in this one.

Where can we find more about you and your books?
I have a dedicated fan page for Dispatchers at Facebook. I also regularly tweet @doc_lamb. I am working on a dedicated author page but this is still very much a work-in-progress.

Any last words?
Thank you very much Patrick for this opportunity to chat about my work and what drives me. I am interested in hearing what people have to say about Dispatchers and happy to answer any questions anyone may have on it. If anyone would like to collaborate on a series of short stories based around Dispatchers or produce any artwork which has been inspired by the novel then please do contact me on twitter or through the facebook fan page.
Last words to end on….
Remember, you never know you can’t do something until you try. If you fail, at least you gave it your best. If you succeed, it could be the start of something exciting. 
Dispatchers - Vengeance of the Dark
Marcus Townsend is a seemingly ordinary college student with an overactive imagination and a lack of drive. All that changes in one night when his parents are attacked and three brutal murders are committed in London by an assassin who defies the laws of physics. The only link between the victims is a strange red and black rose. Marcus must uncover the truth behind the victims if he is to evade their fate. But he soon learns that the stakes are far greater than just his life.

Dispatchers takes Astral Projection to a dark new level in this fast-paced action thriller set in modern day London. 

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