Tonight our guest is Mike Scantlebury who lives near Manchester UK. He writes Crime Thrillers and Mysteries and has many books listed on Amazon and Kindle. We have conducted an interview with him about one of his latest books, which featured Brexit in Britain.
What inspired you to write your crime thriller book 'Reverend Dumb'?
It was the beginning of 2016 and the whole of the UK was talking about the fact that we were going to get a vote on whether or not the country was going to stay part of Europe. Really, everyone was talking about it, and I decided I needed to write a novel, even if was only a short one, on the subject of the Referendum. It seemed like it was going to be the biggest event of the decade.
Why do you title it with a little pun on 'Referendum' ?
I've been doing puns on titles for a while now, and, playing around with 'referendum', I realised it could sound like 'Reverend Dumb'. As soon as I saw that on the page, I got a vision of a character, a church minister with a white collar and a big, beaming smile. It started me thinking, and soon I had a lot of the plot right there. He was the chief motivator, the engine behind the story
How drastic do you think the Brexit decision has impacted on the people in the UK?
As a British citizen, my biggest concern is that I don't think most of my fellow countrymen have thought this thing through. Me, being a writer, well, I'm always looking ahead, imagining what life might be like in the future. As soon as people started talking about voting 'Yes' to Brexit, I started thinking about what might happen, and none of it seemed good. Still, the best thing is that a decision has been made, a definite decision, so now we can plan ahead and work on how we are going to live with it.
What is the one event in your novel that is the most mysterious?
Without a doubt, it's the way the story starts. There, right at the beginning, the team are welcoming a Trade Delegation to Manchester. The visitors have come from China. Where? I'm hoping that people will say, straight away, 'Whoa, what's all this about? I thought we were talking Europe, not China or anywhere out east'. Yes, well that's the point to me. I think – and the book reflects this – that worrying about Europe is a foolish preoccupation for a small country like Britain. It's the rest of the world we have to worry about – places like China, and Japan, and Russia. When it comes down to it, that's what the book is all about.
Who is your favourite character in your book? How long did you take to craft and develop him/her?
The book doesn't start with Mickey or Melia, the usual agents from British Security Services. It starts with Richard Caulfield, the Deputy Director. Now, there's a reason given for that, and it's all to do with his past, those mysterious years he spent in Hong Kong. But Caulfield has been in many books in the Mickey/Melia Murder Mysteries, and up to now he's been a pretty unsympathetic character. I've taken delight in making him mean, and moody, unpredictable. He's not nice to be around, selfish and self-centred, and this has developed over many years, although, to tell the truth, once I started him off down that road, he just sort of created a momentum of his own. Still, in this book, he shows a side of himself that he's never revealed before, and I'm hoping readers will like it.
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