Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Mystery - Ian Walkley

Ian will award a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and leave a comment to get your name in the drawing. The tour dates can be found here:

Ian Walkley has had a career in social and market research, and has been writing novels, short stories, travel articles and copywriting since 2008. He has co-authored two publications on small business and his first novel, No Remorse, was published in 2012. Ian's screenplay "Deniable Justice" placed fourth in the Writer’s Digest 2011 Competition for best screenplay. Ian has travelled extensively and researched his subject, and brings a knowledge of location and technical detail to the exotic settings and big screen thrills. Ian lives in Brisbane with his wife and three children.

 1.Do you think your day job in Marketing Strategy will help you promote your book? Why?
My marketing background has helped in developing some of the strategies I could use. On the other hand, book publishing is so different to the industries I have worked with. Conversely, promoting my book has given me new insights into marketing, particularly social networking and online marketing.
I am not a salesman; my background is developing strategies for markets, which involves research and planning. In that sense, I am not much different to other authors who struggle with the hairy beast they call “developing the author platform”. You don’t need to be in marketing to realize that authors who are unwilling to promote themselves (or, if you prefer, communicate with their audience), will not sell books.
Being an indie author, it has been difficult to gain access to traditional media for publicity. Furthermore, many bookstores won’t stock my books, some will not order from my distributor, and some will not allow me to come and do a book signing (although stores where I have done a signing have been delighted with the results—last week I sold more than Fifty Shades of Grey).
Promoting my first book has been trial and error, and I have undoubtedly wasted lots of money on ineffective promotion. But I will do much better next time around.

2. Tell us what you discovered different about creative writing and business writing. Which do you prefer?
At first I didn’t realize how different creative writing would be from business writing. I thought that writing a book was penning sixty or so scenes, and stringing a story and a few subplots together. After I had attended a few writing courses I began to realize creative writing was much more complex, and I was facing a much greater challenge than I had anticipated. That’s why it took me three years to finish No Remorse. I was learning so much along the way.
All writing involves communicating concepts, and business reports also tell a story. But creative writing is largely unstructured, and much more about insights into human nature. Business writing is more about situation analysis and proposing future actions.
Perhaps that’s why No Remorse is full of action. I was more comfortable showing what people did than telling how they felt. My second book will be more character driven, although still with plenty of action.
I love creative writing, but I still feel I am in primary school as a writer. I guess that’s the challenge, to keep developing the craft.

3. What led you to write an action/thriller? What was the idea that sprang into, No Remorse?
My writing heroes were Ludlum, Maclean, Wilbur Smith—action adventures, global conspiracies—so I naturally gravitated to thrillers. When I finally began writing seriously, in 2008, I had in mind writing a Ludlum-esque prologue about some mysterious happening, and weaving a story around it. I wondered what had happened to Saddam’s missing WMD’s, so I came up with the idea of Saddam passing nuclear materials to an old friend in Saudi Arabia just before the invasion.
However, over the three years I wrote, lots of things happened—everyone wanted to forget about Iraq, and more recently Bin Laden was killed. I kept re-writing the story to keep up with events.
In the end, I realized I needed to write a story that would not date. No Remorse became the story of a kidnap of two American teenage girls on holiday in Mexico, and the subsequent search for them by a former special operations soldier. What has remained is the theme of ‘no remorse’—achieving retribution against bad guys for what they have done to others. 

BLURB for No Remorse:
Two men, exiles from their respective societies, take conflicting approaches in the quest to regain their place and self-respect, and find themselves at war over a kidnapped girl.

Lee McCloud (“Mac”), a special forces soldier facing trumped-up charges of murder, is forced to work for a mysterious government outfit operating outside the law.

Khalid Yubani, cast out of Saudi Arabia for an offence against another member of the Royal family, seeks revenge through ruthless acts of evil. Engaged in the worst forms of human trafficking, Khalid buys Sophia, the daughter of Mac’s best friend, who has been kidnapped in Mexico. With time running out for Sophia, Mac enlists the help of a beautiful computer genius, a British SAS soldier and a Lebanese fixer to try to find Sophia and save her from the terrifying fate that Khalid has in store.

Although starting the quest as a man with no remorse, Mac gradually discovers a side of himself that he suppressed after witnessing the abduction of his own sister years before.

Dodging assassins, corrupt generals, evil medicos, Mossad agents, corrupt bureaucrats, and sharks, Mac ignores the order to stay out of trouble and follows Sophia’s trail from Mexico to Paris, London and Dubai, and the island of Andaran, where Khalid and his henchmen are waiting…


The girls’ fathers, Bob and Marvin, each carried a briefcase full of cash with a tiny GPS tracker hidden in a false bottom. They were both taller than the kidnappers, and through the scope Mac could read the pain on Bob’s face. The behavior of the kidnappers was still bothering him, but there was nothing he could do except watch. The leader held out his palm and waved his pistol like it was a flag. He addressed the fathers in accented English.

“You’re late. We think perhaps you do not want your daughters back, eh?”

“Sorry,” Bob said, his breathing short and sharp. “We took a wrong turn coming into the dam. The signs were confusing.”

The man grunted and glanced at the one with the knife. “Check them.”

Knife Man patted them down, searched their pockets, nodded the all clear.

“You have our money?”

“Of course.” Bob’s voice came through deep and confident in his earpiece, although the armpits of his shirt betrayed his anxiety. Be courteous but strong, Mac had advised him, otherwise they won’t respect you. Being a basketball coach undoubtedly helped. “And you have our daughters,” Bob said. A statement, not a question. He held out the briefcase. “Here’s the money. We didn’t contact the police.”

Several kidnappers gave a hearty laugh.

The leader smirked. “We wouldn’t be here if you had, gringo. But your daughters would be. With bullets in their heads.” He gestured to a kidnapper wearing a red bandana around his neck. “Abrirlos,” he ordered, and the man took both briefcases and unclipped the locks.



marybelle said...

Being shut out, as it were, because you are an Indie author is a bit of a slap in the face. It seems that bookstores aren't really doing themselves a favor with this kind of thinking.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Ian today.

Leah said...

The novel looks pretty exciting!

Ingeborg said...

I'm learning something new about you at every stop of the tour. I love it.

Anonymous said...

The best thrillers are timeless, so I'm glad this one has that quality!


Ian Walkley said...

Thanks Paty, for having me here today. I enjoyed your interview. Thanks everyone for your comments.

MomJane said...

As a great Ludlum fan, I am so excited to find another author who writes this type suspense mystery.

Karen H in NC said...

Just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

kareninnc at gmail dot com