I’m very pleased to be hosting an interview today with the author of the book I’m currently enjoying, End as an Assassin. I must admit, I don’t often read thrillers (although I do occasionally) so I’m grateful to the publisher for offering me the copy of this book. It’s good to read outside of my comfort zone, and this is also a great opportunity to get to know the author behind the novel, Lex Lander.
So, here goes! Enjoy!
Hello, thank you for having me!
Your new book – what’s it all about?
END AS AN ASSASSIN is about André Warner, a hit man who, at the start of the story, goes into retirement. He then finds he is at a loose end and his life has lost purpose and meaning. He becomes something of a lotus eater – drink, drugs, loose women, etc. Then his violent past returns to bite him and he finds himself under surveillance by persons unknown. Around that time he meets a woman, divorced, defensive, suspicious of men, and they fall in love. She gets dragged into whatever is going on with him, and ultimately they both come face to face with death. Warner solves the problem the only way he knows how – at the point of a gun.
Why do you choose to write thrillers?
Quite simply, they’re my preferred reading – and therefore my preferred writing!
Why did you choose to start a book series rather than writing standalone novels?
I didn’t. END AS AN ASSASSIN was meant to be a standalone book. But when I finished it I decided that the character of Warner had ‘legs’ and that I had so much more of his story to tell. This led to a follow up, and now to Volumes III (completed, being edited) and IV (75% complete).
Sell your main character to me – why does he or she deserve the spotlight? What’s unique about them?
Warner is a hit man with a heart! He used to work for the British Secret Service, and killed a couple of bad guys, though only in shootouts, not assassinations. When he left the Service under a cloud, with his much loved wife murdered, he was ripe for any interesting line of work that came up. He kills for a living, but wants out, wants normality, a wife, kids, and a home, but he can’t get off the treadmill.
What difficulties do you face as a thriller writer?
A lack of time, which of course is not specific to writing thrillers. Writing thrillers does not pose many challenges for me, apart from the obvious one of sticking at a story until it’s finished. Research is enjoyable, and I only locate my stories in places I have lived in or visited.
Kaybec publishing – who are they? What’s been the best thing about your publishing experience so far?
Kaybec is a small company based in Montreal and run by Stuart Kay, who also had a publishing business in the UK in the 1990s. They do not intend to acquire a large stable of authors. They have 2 right now, and will probably never have more than 6, giving the company more time to nurture each one. The best thing about my publishing experience so far is having someone believe in me and my work.
Have you ever been published before? If so, when, and have things changed much since then? If not, how has it been different to how you imagined it might be, and how is it similar?
I have written a few books that were never offered for publication. My first published title was ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER JACKAL, published by Kaybec in 2014. I had no imaginings about what publishing would be like, because I thought that getting published would be a longshot. I only landed with Kaybec because a member of my family knew Stuart, and that he had been a publisher (and a writer) previously. I felt lucky that he might was prepared to read it and offer constructive criticism. I never thought he would return to publishing just on account of my book!
Do you have any motivation/resilience tips for when things get difficult, either with writer’s block, difficulties getting published, etc.?
I’ve never suffered with writer’s block. Words are easy, I just keep setting them down on paper, without worrying too much how they flow until I get to the editing stage. As it happens, they usually do flow. The first edit is equally as important as the last. Stuart does the second, and sometimes third, edit, and is very ruthless. Regarding the resilience needed to get published, I am not the one to ask, as it more or less dropped into my lap through the family/friend connection. I am one of the lucky few. I do believe that it’s hellishly difficult to get someone in the trade to even read your work, but if you have the determination, you will get there eventually.
You have to believe in yourself!
You can buy the book here on Amazon.