Author of ‘Parallel Lines: The Glasgow Supremacy’ and ‘The Hurting: The Glasgow Terror’, RJ Mitchell is a sports writer and former police officer – a bonus when writing crime novels!
Author RJ Mitchell
We caught up with him with some questions that we needed him to answer. Here’s what he had to say for himself…
How would you describe ‘The Hurting: The Glasgow Terror‘?
An action thriller, that when you pick it up, you won’t want to put down – I hope!
Can you share anything about the book with those who haven’t read it?
I am pretty confident that it will take readers to locations in Glasgow they won’t even know existed.
Ask yourself what type of locations a group of terrorists would hit if they targeted Glasgow then read my book and see if you were right.
What was the inspiration behind the cover?
I wanted a cover that was kind of spooky, full of foreboding and a bit mysterious. The old Partick Marine Police Station was the perfect fit.
How does being an author compare to being a journalist?
I would say that being an author has many similarities to being a journalist but you just have to multiply them by 100!
Which do you prefer – journalism or novel writing?
Novel writing allows you to escape and explore places in your imagination, within your genre, you wouldn’t normally do.
Journalism is a case of reinventing the wheel! You guess!
What made you swap walking the beat for writing?
I needed a new challenge and didn’t want to have any regrets. As they say life is no dress rehearsal!
Would you ever go back to it?
What was the inspiration behind ‘The Hurting’?
A fascination with the Terrorist I was desperate to explore in a Glasgow context.
How did you do your research for the novel?
Some very good books but in main the pages of the Daily Telegraph in which, from time to time, the intelligence services feed in the odd gem!
Are any of the events based on true experiences from being a police officer?
In one of the early chapters Thoroughgood and Hardie come across a character called Felix Baker which had a bit of personal experience in it. Although my encounter with friend “Felix” came on a shop roof!
What inspired you to become a writer?
As a teenager I used to correspond with Nigel Tranter, the great late Scottish historical novelist and I guess the germ of an idea was planted there.
But when you have 12 years worth of experiences to draw upon it would have been a big waste not to give it a go.
How do you start writing a book?
I know a lot of novelists have cards written out and placed in order to span chapters and even sections within chapters but that is not for me.
My first book “Parallel Lines: The Glasgow Supremacy” was easy to write as it came, about 80 per cent, from my experiences as a cop. So it just flowed.
With “The Hurting”, using my experiences from the first book, I did a synopsis and then planned through a chapter lay out.
But when I sit down to write a chapter I turn Whitesnake! up loud and let it rip!
Working on the third Thoroughgood and Hardie book I do most of my writing on a Wednesday – my day off – maybe up to three hours, perhaps an hour or so on Thursday and then the following Tuesday I will re-read and “tickle” and start writing again before repeating as at Wed and Thurs.
What books are you reading at the moment?
Right now I am re-reading the third book in Bernard Cornwell’s Grail Trilogy “Heretic” before I pick up the fourth book in the saga “1356” which has just come out.
Kindle or paperback?
Paperback or, even better, hardback. I like nothing better than a night time read before nodding off.
Or even better one in the bath accompanied by a large glass of red – the ultimate in escapism and relaxation!!
Any suggestions for budding authors out there?
As yourself how much you want it? Then prepare for rejection, rejection, rejection but learn from them and I try and use them to make your nook the best it can be. Never give up.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love historical reading! I am a keen squash player and a Glasgow Warriors rugby fan.
I like nothing better than a pint and quiet hour down at my local with a copy of the Daily Telegraph or an afternoon out on the bikes with my wife Arlene and daughter Ava.
Anything new being worked on at the moment?
Yep! I am at around the half way mark of the first draft for the manuscript for Thoroughgood and Hardie’s third outing which has a working title of “The Glasgow Dynasty”.
How can our readers get an update on you and your upcoming books?
Simple just click on rjmitchellauthor.co.uk. I write a new blog every 10 days or so that will let anyone wanting to know what is going one with Thoroughgood’s next instalment and what I am up to.
You can buy RJ Mitchell’s books from fledglingpress.co.uk
or any good bookshop. eBook’s are available through any major distributor