The Breaking of Liam 2nd edition Glass Cover - why I love writing thrillers


My twice award-nominated noir thriller The Breaking of Liam Glass officially comes out in its second edition today.

And I’m delighted to announce the winner of this week’s competition for a signed hardback souvenir edition is Mark Collins, from the Isle of Wight.

If you missed out, I have another special offer for you. Email me a receipt for a paperback or hardback 2nd edition copy you’ve bought before 24th December and I’ll send you a personally signed bookplate.

Why I love writing thrillers

Seeing the new edition, with its striking new cover, reminded me why I love writing thrillers in the first place.

Why the long years of toil, sweating over eleventy-hundred drafts, submitting to a dozen publishers, receiving knockbacks, submitting to a dozen more, are ultimately worth it.

Homophobia in sport

One thing that I love is that the genre allows you to slip in important issues while still entertaining readers.

Only this week, I read an article lamenting that, after decades of campaigning, still only one gay footballer has ever dared come out while playing in the English Premier League.

And one of the characters I’m most proud of in Liam Glass is Damon (‘Damballs’) Weaverall. The golden boy of English football, Damballs is desperate to silence persistent gossip that he’s living with a man. So desperate that he’d agree to a fake scoop that “exposes” him as a love-rat absentee father,

Damballs is a character who forced his way onto the page. No angel, very aware of his own celebrity, his brains in his feet. And yet brilliant at using the media to achieve his aims.

Politicophobia in politics

The status of politicians has hardly been lower. So I was pleased that I introduced Jamila – a small-time local councillor whose safe seat is suddenly not so safe.

Flailing around to find some issue that will help her campaign, she inadvertently starts rumours of racial violence that grow rapidly out of her control.

I liked writing her, because it gave me a chance to show how a relatively well-meaning politician can panic and get it so totally wrong. And yet still have a chance of redemption at the end.

I liked having the chance to include the role of social media, already powerful even ten years ago. And was somehow prescient enough to predict the 2011 London riots, which took place after I began writing (though before I’d finished).

A good person sucked into doing bad

Most of all, I enjoyed writing the central character of Jason, a talented local journalist about to lose his job through no fault of his own, because I wanted to explore how the worst tabloid stories come about.

I wanted to see how a basically good person gets sucked into doing something bad – one small step at a time – until he’s in so deep there’s no turning back.

I hear many authors moaning about their job. And at times it can be hard and frustrating. (Though tell that to a firefighter or A&E nurse).

The truth is that for all the problems, I get up (most) mornings looking forward to spending my day delving into all kinds of interesting issues, while telling stories that can both entertain and make people think.

That certainly gives me a thrill.

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