Friday 7 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Nick Wastnage

This week we welcome Nick Wastnage to the guest author hotspot.

Introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My twitter profile says that I’m crime writer and an optimist, a rare combination. So, I guess I’m that. I write about people involved in sinister deeds like murder, extortion and retribution.

What inspired you to start writing? Have you always preferred crime fiction?
Reading, and thinking I’d like to create my own story. I read all sorts, not just crime fiction. The first book I wrote was a crime thriller because I thought I had the idea for an intriguing story. After it was published, I decided to stick to crime until I’d perfected it. I might try another genre, sometime.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
It’d be George Pelecanos, a great crime writer in his own right, and one of the co-writers of the highly acclaimed TV series The Wire. His characters are compelling, and I’m unable to put his books down under I’m thru with them.

What process do you follow when first start putting a story together?
I come up with an idea for a plot, jot it down, expand it a little and then let it marinate in my mind for week or two, maybe a month. Then I look at it again, and start to break it down in more detail until I have a three or four page document. I ask a few people to look at it, listen to their comments, and then change it until I have a workable story. I break it down in to chapters, and then create my characters. I think about their ages, relationships, the clothes they wear, their likes and dislikes, and more. I do any necessary research, and then start to write.

You've written a few books, do you have a favourite?
It has to be Playing Harry, my latest. I went to a writers’ workshop once, and a well-known author said to the group I was in, ‘To write well, authors should find their voice.’ I believe I’ve done that with Playing Harry.

Have you ever been tempted to stray from crime stories?
Many times. But I won’t stray until I think my crime writing is as good as I can get it.

What are you reading at the moment?
The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris, a well-known crime writer whose work I’ve never read before. It’s the gripping tale of a man wrongly convicted of a murder he didn’t do and sentenced to hang. His old friend sets out to prove his innocence.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just written a couple of shorts, which will be published this autumn. Then I’m going to pull together an omnibus of shorts I’ve written over the years together with one or two contributions from my son. We’re going to publish it late autumn and give all the proceeds to charity. I’ll be starting on a follow on novel to Playing Harry towards the end of the year.

Tell us about your latest work.
Playing Harry. How the CIA and MI6 toy with Harry Fingle, but don’t ask his permission.

Just after Harry Fingle is acquitted of a crime he didn’t commit, he’s fired, and his brother is murdered. When a pharmaceutical factory that he’s due to visit is blown up, he figures a sinister conspiracy is afoot and it’s time to investigate. Not one, but two deadly assassins are out to get him, and his ex-girlfriend is viciously stabbed. Nothing compares to his encounter with the CIA and MI6.

Playing Harry:

Thanks to Nick for sharing his time with us, next week we welcome Kevan Dinn


  1. I rambled over here from Nick's blog after reading his interview with you :-) Your book sounds really good - I'm off to add it to my wishlist :-)