1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was born and worked in London until the early 90’s. I read law at the London School of Economics and subsequently went on to become a partner in one of the major financial services advisory firms. I went with my firm to Moscow for five years where I worked principally in the natural resources sector, then subsequently moved to Central Asia (for another five years) to Chief Operating Officer for a US-backed enterprise fund.
I am married and now live with my wife in the South of France with a cat called Lenin. Until recently we had a bulldog called Winston whose snoring echoed throughout the house day and night! I have two adult children, both of whom work in London. When I’m not writing – or planning what I’m going to write next – I ‘m an avid thriller reader and go regularly to operas and concerts. My preference for music is classical.
2. Which writers inspire you?
The three I always single out when asked this question are John Le Carre, Robert Harris and James Patterson. But I read a wide range of (mainly thriller) writers, including Michael Crichton, Carol O’Connell, Gillian Flynn, and Dan Brown among a host of others.
3. Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
No, but some thirty years ago I wrote a number of legal books on corporate and employment matters, some of which were written in collaboration with others. One of my co-authors has gone on to serve on the Court of Appeal, so we must have got something right!
4. When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always had it in mind to write once I had the time to do so, but it was not until I left Central Asia about ten years ago that I go the chance actually to start doing so. I came back from my time in Russia and Central Asia packed with ideas, many loosely based on my experiences or observations in these unfamiliar parts of the world, and both The Oligarch and my new thriller, Corruption of Power, are based there. The fall of the Soviet Union opened up this region to a plethora of corruption, and the abuses of power at the highest level made it fertile ground for an author in search of a new story.
5. Do you write full-time or part-time?
Flexibly. I tend to write in spurts, so there are times where I very definitely am writing full time followed by periods where other activities somehow take over. Even in downtime, I think about what am writing and where I am in the plot a great deal.
6. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I start with a very detailed plan of how the story is going to unfold, section by section. Given how intricate plots tend to be in thriller, I can’t think of another way of going about it. Indeed the planning process can take at least six months as strand after strand is built up and interwoven.
Of course, often during the writing process, the character takes over and takes me in a direction I hadn’t expected. So although the plan is fixed from the outset, it has to be flexible enough to adapt when this happens.
7. Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
As all authors know, reviews on the book blogs and on Amazon are critical to a book’s success, so overall my strategy is to encourage as many people as possible to post reviews of Corruption of Power. I think you need to establish a buzz about the book in order to build up the momentum, so I am hoping that everyone who reads the book will feel able to post a review on their blog (if they have one) and on Amazon and Goodreads. I am not yet a sufficiently established author to have a large enough following that will guarantee a significant number of reviews, I am very grateful for all the offers of help I’ve been offered by the book community.
8. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I prefer good. I guess we all do. However, sometimes a well-crafted bad review can be constructive – and should be taken as such by the author.
9. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
My website has details about me and my books, as well as a blog and photos of many of the settings in which the book is set. The link is: http://www.gweccles.com
10. Any Comments for the Blog readers?
I hope very much your readers will add Corruption of Power to their reading pile and then enjoy it. I’d love to hear any comments they have once they’ve read it – they’ll find a comments submission page on my website.
11. Any feedback for me or the blog?
I have nothing but admiration to people who run book blogs. They provide an enormously useful service to readers by giving them an insight into new books, and they provide an equally valuable service to authors in giving them a platform on which to speak to their readers. No one should underestimate the hard work that goes into keeping a blog up-to-date, and we should all (readers and authors alike) be immensely grateful.