Hello and welcome to Author Showcase! I will be featuring different authors & genres each month. I interview each author, and showcase their featured work.
WHY? Simply because I enjoy supporting other Indie Authors every chance I get.
This Month I am featuring Mystery/Thriller/Suspense Authors.
Please welcome my first guest, Gordon Bickerstaff.
Meet Gordon …
I was born and raised in Glasgow but spent my student years in Edinburgh. On summer vacations, I learned plumbing, garden maintenance, and I cut the grass in the Meadows. I learned some biochemistry and taught it for a while before I retired to write fiction. I do some aspects of DIY moderately well and other aspects not so well.
I live with my wife in Scotland where corrupt academics, mystery, murder and intrigue exists mostly in my mind. I have written the Gavin Shawlens series of thrillers: Deadly Secrets, Everything To Lose, The Black Fox, Toxic Minds and Tabula Rasa. More will come in due course. I enjoy walking in the hills, 60s & 70s music, reading and travel.
My Interview with Gordon.
- What inspired you to write in this genre?
My dad read Ian Fleming’s books so a combination of reading his books and the movies got me hooked into thrillers and world-changing threats led by megalomaniacs. In my books, the women are not eye-candy; they are the smart and determined main protagonists like Zoe Tampsin who win the day. There is a character similar to Q in James Bond and that’s Gavin Shawlens.
2. How much research was required before you began to write & did the characters then create more research by their actions?
I trained as a researcher, so I love doing research to give my stories some substance. I have no experience of weapons and Special Forces operations, so I have to do the research. I don’t do it before I write, I do the research as and when required e.g. in Tabula Rasa, Gavin Shawlens is threatened by the baddies, and in keeping with the specifics of the scene, I needed something very old and nasty. With some research, I found The Heretic’s Fork, which was just the ticket to make Gavin talk.
Yes, the characters do create more research. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback about main protagonist Zoe, and since she is Special Forces trained, I’ve had to learn more about weapons and fighting to make her heroine character more believable.
3. How would you best describe your protagonist?
There are two; Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens, and they are complete opposites. Gavin is modelled on Q from James Bond but whereas Q is an expert on everything, Gavin is more limited to life sciences. He is naive, and untrained in the ways of covert investigations. Zoe is ex-army, Special Forces with a finely tuned skill set for undercover operations. Her nickname in the regiment is DP (which are the initials of Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman). Zoe is the strong female lead who is empowered with the skills and cunning to get the job done. When I write about Zoe, I think about Samantha Caine (played by Geena Davis) in the brilliant movie The Long Kiss Goodnight.
4. Have you written or do you intend to write in other genres.
Interesting question because I’m wrestling with it at the moment. At the end of Tabula Rasa, if the goodies win, the nightmare is averted. But what if they didn’t win and Gavin and Zoe faced a world apocalypse (dystopian genre) in which his science is needed for her survival, and her fighting skills are needed for his survival. Haven’t decided yet if I’ll go for such a massive twist in the series.
5. Is this novel a stand-alone or part of a series?
Tabula rasa is #5 in a series and is completely stand alone. I’m changing the name of series from The Gavin Shawlens Thrillers to The Lambeth Group Thrillers to reflect the fact that in some of the stories either Gavin or Zoe play a lesser role.
6. Are you currently working on anything new?
Having just published Tabula Rasa, I’m at the stage of trying to decide on the next story. I have two outlines. Zoe leads a rescue team to the Middle East to extract a prominent captive (Gavin will have a minor role). Or, Gavin receives a new assignment from the Lambeth Group in which he has to discover how six men have managed to get away with murdering their wives (based loosely on a true story of a biochemist in Edinburgh who tried unsuccessfully to kill his wife). When Gavin gets too close to discovering the truth; Zoe will need to pull him out of the fire, again!
I then ask my guests to pose a question to themselves, and their response.
7. The first three books in the series are stand-alone stories but over-arching them is a story arc that brings the third story and the trilogy to a climax. Where did this story come from?
When I was a student in 1973, I attended a seminar given by Tim Dinsdale in which he showed the Rines-Egerton picture as proof of the Loch Ness Monster. After the seminar, I joined my pals for a few drinks and we agreed that although the picture looked good, it was all a load of nonsense.
Then for months afterwards, I began to wonder what the Americans were really searching for in Loch Ness. Not the monster – that’s a hoax, so it had to be something else, and from that idea I developed the story. But I had to wait until I retired before I could put in the time to pull it all together.
So the overarching story of the first three books in the series is my fictional thoughts on what the Americans were doing in Loch Ness in the early 1970s with their high-tech sonar and their high-tech cameras.
Today we are Featuring
Tabula Rasa: The end is nigh …
The end is nigh …
A thriller for fans of Michael Crichton, Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen and James Patterson.
A hundred years ago, a wealthy family of visionaries prophesied the devastation that global warming would bring to world food supplies in the 21st century. They decided to prepare for the worst, and embark on an ambitious plan of revolution.
Lambeth Group agents, Zoe Tampsin and Gavin Shawlens, prepare to investigate the unusual death of a government defence scientist. Someone is determined to stop them before they get started. Zoe uncovers two unfamiliar words, Tabula Rasa. The only other clue is the curious behaviour of the dead scientist’s son, Ramsay. Posing as a couple, Gavin and Zoe enter the secret and dangerous world of Ramsay’s aristocratic guardians, headed by philanthropist billionaire, Lord Zacchary Silsden.
What Gavin uncovers, shocks him to the bottom of his soul. Does he have the courage and the conviction to stop the greatest revolution in human history?
What Zoe discovers about Gavin—words can’t describe. Zoe is faced with an impossible choice, but one thing is certain, she will not hesitate to do her duty, no matter the cost.
Just one of the many AMAZON REVIEWS of Tabula Rasa The end is nigh.
5 out of 5 stars A Real Page Turner!
By 1D82 Manyon July 1, 2017 Format: Kindle Edition
A real page turner!
A thrilling, action packed adventure with great characters and exciting events that kept me up half the night. I loved how the plot circled around the aristocracy, a secret society, and plenty of intrigue. The intricate details really gave the book depth without compromising the story with ‘packing’. I also loved how strong the female lead, Zoe, was; makes an excellent change.
I hadn’t read the previous books but have now picked them up as although you can enjoy this book as a standalone, this is obviously a great series and worth reading the whole lot to gain more insights into the background of the characters.
The other books in this series:
You will find Gordon Bickerstaff at each of the following locations.
Gordon Bickerstaff Author Blog
This featured genre will be Showcased Until August 12th.