PDB: Can you pitch SPANISH EYE in 25 words or less?
Leon Cazador is a modern day Simon Templar, wholly against the ungodly, and tries to hold back the encroaching night of unreason.
PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?
I don’t listen to much music these days – though when I do, it’s usually classical or film soundtrack. I recently purchased Caro Emerald’s Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor, with DVD; a mesmerizing performer. Sometimes, I might listen to Loreena McKennit, but not while writing. I’m fascinated by the soundtrack to HBO’s Game of Thrones, and have started the third book in that massive series. Other books which evoked an emotional response last year include Jane by Robin Maxwell, World Without End by Ken Follett, The Satanic Gospel by William Patrick Hackett, The Elephants of Shanghai by Stephen Jared (an enjoyable 1930s adventurous romp), plus two crime novels from new authors who will go far: A Limited Justice by Catriona King and Bad Moon Rising by Frances di Plino; both of these are writing about series characters.
PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?
If the story sucks you in, you cease to be subjective. The editor in me might occasionally spot the odd typo, but if they’re infrequent they don’t bother me; no book’s perfect. If I can get lost in the world the author’s created, that’s sufficient – the author’s done his or her job.
PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?
Yes, I completed a course with Raindance in London over ten years ago. My books and stories do tend to be visual – if I can’t visualize the scene, how can I transmit that to a reader, otherwise? I’ve written a screenplay for my vampire crime thriller Death is Another Life. The hard part is not the writing, which is an intriguing yet different ball game to novel writing, it’s getting the finished product seen. I do feel that the character Leon Cazador in Spanish Eye has the potential for a TV series, half-English, half-Spanish; I can envisage Antonio Banderas in the part!
PDB: How much research goes into each book?
In the final analysis, I’m writing fiction, which means it’s made up. So I can create characters and places from imagination. Still, the modern readership is knowledgeable so they like authors to get their facts right (most of the time!) and that’s where research is necessary. ‘If in doubt, leave it out’ is a motto I tend to endorse. I enjoy research. My third Tana Standish book (another work in progress) is set in Afghanistan in the early 1980s and I have reams of notes for this! Other books might not rely so heavily on research; it depends on the storyline. The upcoming Crooked Cat crime series is set in places I’ve been to, but I still need to check facts.
Despite the social media having been around some time, it’s fairly new to me and I’m still attempting to get to grips with it. Certainly, it’s useful for spreading the word and trying to excite interest in new releases. And writers have never had it so good – getting feedback is wonderful; in the old days, reader feedback was all but nonexistent. The hard part is trying to maintain a balance between writing for the social media and creative writing.
PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?
I’ve got a crime/boxing short story, ‘Cowboy in the Ring’ set in 1927 Chicago due to appear in a Fight Card anthology, due out soon. In April, Sudden Vengeance is published by Crooked Cat (a reprint of A Sudden Vengeance Waits), a vigilante crime novel. In June Knox Robinson publish my co-written fantasy quest Wings of the Overlord. And in July Robert Hale publish my western The Magnificent Mendozas, my sixth Hale book. I’m presently working on the sequel to Wings and the first in a crime series, Catalyst, which I hope Crooked Cat will also publish this year.
Bio: Nik Morton served in the Royal Navy as a Writer, then went into IT. He has sold many short stories and edited several books and magazines. Now retired, he lives in Spain. He is the author of 20 books, including the noir western Bullets for a Ballot. His book Write a Western in 30 Days was released in June 2013, and it has picked up good reviews, stating it’s useful for writers of all genres, not only westerns. His ghost-written book Odd Shoes and Medals, is an autobiography of an 80-year-old gas-fitter! And at one time Nik was a ‘world authority’ on Webb Patent Sewer Gas Lamps! His gambling western short story ‘Hazard’ appears in the recently published anthology Livin’ on Jacks and Queens, edited by Robert J Randisi.