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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Interview: Michael Jenkins

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I am over the moon to be on the blog tour for the exciting new thriller The Failsafe Query by Michael Jenkins! For my blog tour stop, I grabbed five minutes with Michael to find out all about the book, his writing process, and the road to publication.


Firstly, please could you introduce yourself? 
Yes, of course. I’m Michael but generally known as Mick to my friends. I’m 55 years of age and currently work in Cybersecurity but served for over 28 years in the Army as a bomb disposal officer, Intelligence officer, and military surveyor. My passions are rugby, mountaineering, adventure travel and military history.
How did you first become interested in writing? 
I have always enjoyed writing in my professional career but that was often reports and business papers. I had never turned my hand to novels. I wrote a lot as an army staff officer but had to learn to be more creative which came with the help of my editors.
the-failsafe-query, michael-jenkins, book, blog-tour

Tell me about The Failsafe Query. 
I started this novel way back in 2013 when I was on holiday with my wife. It’s a story based upon my experiences of being an intelligence and bomb disposal officer. It sat on the shelf for 2 years after the birth of our daughter in 2014, and I started again in late 2016 because of the encouragement of my wife.
How did you get inspiration? 
The inspiration is from many diverse areas. My love of central Asia, my love of British military history, my experiences in counter-terrorism, and finally the inspiration from my wife to write the story.
What’s your writing process? 
For this book, it pretty much flowed. I knew the plot inside out from many years of thinking about it. Hence, I wrote only a very simple linkage map of the characters – to visualise how they were connected to each other – and then to write the story of the hero, set against the antagonists. It was fun to blend and weave in the sub lots after the first draft.
Tell me about your journey to getting published. 
Very hard indeed. I wrote to over 55 agents and publishers, all with no success. Then I found Unbound, a crowdfunding publisher, and within 7 months we had raised the necessary funds to publish. An extraordinary journey full of frustration, up and downs, and finally success knowing that the book would finally hit print.
What’s the hardest thing about writing? 
For me, it’s been a steep learning curve. I was used to writing precise reports – to move from that to creative writing required some coaching from the four editors I used throughout the journey. I learnt a huge amount and think I learnt quickly. I now feel much more confident but love to keep learning new techniques and tips to find an authentic voice.
the-failsafe-query, michael-jenkins, book, blog-tour

What do you love most about writing? 
The plotting! Creating good plots and sub plots then weaving in and developing the characters. Characterisation is so important to me.
What are you currently working on? 
The follow-on novel called The Kompromat Kill. I’m half way through and hope to publish in the summer of 2019. It explores the themes of the Russian and Iranian espionage nexus and involves a few of the same characters form The Failsafe Query.
Have any particular books had a big impact on you? 
I think all espionage books really – it's what I have lived and breathed for so long, so their impact is always on me as I’m keen to see how other authors craft their plots.
The Failsafe Query is available to buy now. To keep up to date with Michael, you can visit his website.

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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