Today I welcome David Videcette to the blog. His book The Theseus Paradox is one of the best thrillers of 2015. To read my review click here.
Here he answers some questions about his book and his writing.
1) Tell us a bit about how The Theseus Paradox came about.
I worked on the Anti-Terrorist Branch at the Met during the time of the 7/7 London bombings.
I went out to work on the 7th of July and came home two weeks later wearing the same clothes and with 56 people dead.
I lived that case for five years and had to move up to Yorkshire to investigate the bombers’ lives. My daughter had been born down in London a very short time before the attacks and I missed many of the milestones during her early years. The victims’ and bombers’ families became almost more important than my own. I lost touch with friends and family. I became consumed with tracking down bomb factories and suspects to find out who else had helped the four bombers undertake the atrocities.
I started writing my thriller, ‘The Theseus Paradox’ about two years ago. In a way, I wrote the story to help me process what happened during that time.
The idea of the book is to make people think a bit more about the motives behind terrorism, but in a page-turning way. The Theseus Paradox is deliberately written with very short chapters, so that people can grab a bit of escapism and enjoy the story without it getting thrown at them all in one go. I’ve tried to reveal bits of the case slowly so that the story unfurls before your eyes just like it does with the lead character, Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan.
Unlike many thrillers, you only see the things that Jake sees and you only get the bits of the investigation a real police detective would see. Some stories are written from various different perspectives, but in ‘The Theseus Paradox’ you really are deep in the police investigation, so you have to use your own detective ability too. You can enjoy investigating the case along with Jake, and go on the exactly the same rollercoaster ride he does.
The thriller will also raise money for the Police Dependants’ Trust. http://www.pdtrust.org
The charity has launched a new initiative called the National Welfare Contingency Fund which will help police officers with mental health issues after a major national incident such as a terrorist attack. I also wanted to raise awareness of the important work of the 7/7 Memorial Trust: http://www.tavistocksquarememorialtrust.org
2) Have you always wanted to write and had you done any writing before The Theseus Paradox?
I have never attempted a book before, although I have written many blogs and I’ve been involved in a consultative capacity with the television shows, ‘The Bill’ and ‘Crimewatch’.
During my time in the police, I was also followed around by a BBC film crew for a year on a documentary called ‘Burgled’, where the BBC was given unprecedented access to the best performing burglary squad in the Met. It was a fascinating experience. The only negative bit about it was that they wanted me to wear exactly the same outfit every single day to ensure continuity!
3) How long did the book take to write and was it more difficult than anticipated?
The Theseus Paradox is a story I’ve had in my head ever since I finished working on the case back in 2010. It took about a year to write, then six months to kick into shape and another six months to bring it to sale. I think the writing is the easiest bit. The hard part is getting it to market. You have to be a marketer, a PR person, a social media whiz, a supply chain expert and a one-person sales team – all completely alien skills when you’re just used to being a detective.
4)I really enjoyed the character of Jake, he’s totally believable. Will we be seeing him again?
I’m thrilled to hear that you like Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan. Unfortunately, he’s so obsessed with finding the answers to his investigations that he doesn’t always get the time to form proper loving relationships. Jake had low self-esteem in childhood and he still needs that reassurance to feel confident about himself – so because he always wants to feel needed and desired, sometimes he makes the wrong decisions in adulthood!
His heart is in the right place, though, so even when he chooses the wrong path, he will get there in the end. He has at least three more concrete adventures to recount, so you cannot escape him anytime soon! I’m currently working on the sequel. This one will be even more explosive than the first.
5) What sort of books do you like to read?
Because I like to base my stories around real investigations and cases of which I have experience – most of the material I read is non-fiction. Everything I write has a basis in truth. So I am a huge consumer of news, reports and factual sources.
If I do read crime fiction, the book has got to be believable and have some basis in reality – and most importantly be written by someone who knows police procedure. If I read a detective novel and it is clearly apparent to me that the author has no experience or knowledge of how the police actually works, it turns me off instantly and I lose interest.
My guilty pleasure is the big screen. I have to say that as an escape, I will often go to watch a big blockbuster film rather than pick up a book.
6) How does your writing day work?
I have to be in the right frame of mind to write. I need a trigger. I can’t write when I’m in a good mood. If I’ve had an argument, I can usually knock out a couple of thousand words in an hour or two. My editor likes me best when I’m grumpy or depressed. She says I’m always much more productive that way!
7) How can people connect with you on social media?
Come and join me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DavidVidecette @DavidVidecette
Or chat on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DavidVidecette
You can subscribe for news at my website: http://www.DavidVidecette.com
Or get info by liking ‘The Theseus Paradox’ on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheTheseusParadox
The Theseus Paradox is available on Amazon for Kindle here: http://hyperurl.co/KindleTheseusParadox
Or in paperback here: http://hyperurl.co/TheTheseusParadox
Many thanks to David for answering my questions.
To purchase a copy of The Theseus Paradox click here