I’m mixing it up a bit this week on my blog. I think I have spring fever!
Winter is officially about to draw to a close as the vernal equinox is reportedly starting at 7:02 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 20th. Like many of us, I always feel excited about the arrival of Spring. I love the herald it brings of new beginnings as the tips of bulbs and perennials poke through the soil and appear like dear friends arriving for a visit (I guess that’s the gardener in me …).
As something new here, yesterday I published a post from the blog Asymmetric Insights, which I like to follow for personal reasons. The topics covered are not those I speak about here because, quite frankly, I’m fairly illiterate when it comes to discussing money matters and the financial state of the world. However the young blogger hosting this site writes about those issues in an intelligent and clear manner that I find extremely relatable. For anyone interested, I thought you might appreciate what he has to say. There is a lot of talk today about what happened in Cyprus. Perhaps we all need to take notice!
Following on today’s “new” theme, I am pleased to introduce you to British author Harvey Black who writes military thrillers. His most recent gripping story, The Red Effect, the first of a trilogy set in the Cold War years, is due for release in April.
When you have read this interview, click here to go to his detailed website for complete information on all of his intriguing and suspenseful novels about this extraordinary time in history.
A qualified parachutist, Harvey served with British Army Intelligence for over ten years. His experience ranges from covert surveillance in Northern Ireland to operating in Communist East Berlin during the cold war, where he feared for his life after being dragged from his car and attacked by Russian KGB soldiers.
Since then he has lived a more sedate life in the private sector as a Director for an International Company, but now enjoys the pleasures of writing. Harvey is married with four children.
P.S. What started you writing?
H.B. I have wanted to write a novel since I was a teenager. Enthralled by Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, E.E. Doc Smith’s Lensmen series and Edgar Rice Burroughs, I felt sure my first would be of the SF genre. Joining the army changed all of that and my passion now is for military history. ‘Devils with Wings’, a military thriller, based around the adventures of two young Fallschirmjäger paratroopers during the early part of World War II, is a fictionalised adventure based on the famous assault on the impregnable Belgian fortress, Eben Emael.
P.S. What makes your books special?
H.B. I try to visit the locations in person. For Devils with Wings: Silk Drop, I walked the routes, up to 18 miles, in Crete, during the hottest part of the day, where my characters would have marched. Most of the descriptions in the novel, of what they can see, was written in situ. I have just finished the first of my Cold War trilogy of novels, The Red Effect. Having spent a number of years in British Army Intelligence during the Cold War years, I have a deep insight into the undercurrents and flashpoints that occurred between the Soviet Union and the West.
P.S. What authors inspire you?
H.B. There are a number of authors I follow, ranging from Stephen Leather, Simon Scarrow, Bernard Corwall, Gerald Seymor to Ian Rankin. Since I have been writing my own novels, I have developed a close interest in newer authors, such as S.J.A.Turney and Stephen England. I am currently reading ‘Marias’ Mules’ IV.
P.S. What is your plan going forward?
H.B. There will be ten books in the ‘Devils with Wings’ series, Book 4, will be published towards the end of the year. With The Red Effect now finished, I will focus on Book 2, The Black Effect, where the confrontation between East and West continues.
P.S. Will you do anything differently as the series progresses?
H.B. As I continue to write, a plan develops: more structure to my chapters in advance, greater focus on my characterisation and improving my dialogue, all key to keeping the story moving.
P.S. Lessons learned so far?
H.B. Edit, edit, edit! Even when you have your editing done professionally, you still need to check your manuscript again and again.
Out in April, 2012! The Red Effect – In this panoramic novel, readers travel from centres of power to the front lines. A war is brewing and events are happening at every angle. Is the Cold War about to turn hot? Can NATO forces endure a mass strike by thousands of Soviet tanks? Can the West survive?
Harvey is a fellow author in the UK-based group, LoveAHappyEnding.com Lifestyle. Once again, Harvey Black’s website can be found here with detailed links to his extensive library, photographs and fascinating stories.
Thanks for stopping by today, dear readers, and I hope you are as delighted about the arrival of spring as I am. What’s new in your world? Are you a history buff? I remember the Cold War years very clearly. Do you?