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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

ℚ After The Texans: Carbon Black [2] - Declan Milling

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about After The Texans (, Clink Street Publishing, 272 pages), an Environmental Thriller, book two of Carbon Black series.

|| Synopsis || Teaser: Excerpt || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Declan Milling; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for After The Texans?

"‘After the Texans...’ is a reaction to the ineptitude and short-sighted self-interest of the current crop of politicians (in various jurisdictions, but in Australia the impact is more stark).

This book is the second in my ‘Carbon Black’ trilogy, a conspiracy thriller set against a backdrop of climate change politics. The particular driver for this book is the continued commitment to coal mining in the face of ever-clearer evidence of its limited future, and regardless of the cost."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Probably a lot, especially in terms of the context in which the plot is set – climate change politics, intergovernmental body, legal trickery, political machinations and cynicism. The background events that propel the plot reflect my professional background; the personalities of my characters are a mixed bag, so while there may be personal elements here and there, they are no more mine than what I have observed in others."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for After The Texans - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover is a giant mound of black coal with an item of coal mining equipment over it. It’s based on the familiar sorts of photographs of coal and other mining sites that appear in the press. This cover design aims to complement the design of the first book in the series, Carbon Black, which shows a factory belching black smoke out over a background of a green leaf pattern that represents the forest where much of the plot of that book is set. Design both done in-house by publisher."
Why should we read After The Texans and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"Some might characterise them as cli-fi, but the Carbon Black trilogy books aren’t ‘disaster’ thrillers in the sense that the world isn’t going to end if the hero doesn’t win. They are realistic, conspiracy thrillers, set in the context of climate change politics. The plots are about the machinations of mining and energy companies, the weakness of politicians. A lie works better if it’s based in half-truths: these books are fiction wrapped in reality."
Can you tell us something quirky about After The Texans, its story and characters?
"The book is based around a fictional intergovernmental organisation where the main protagonist works, but much of the action takes place in Hong Kong and Australia – these locations provide an element of quirkiness. The politicians names are the only ones where there’s more to be read in…"
Who would you recommend After The Texans to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d recommend the book to anyone who enjoys a pacey thriller set in a context that has enough meat in it to make readers think about it after they finish the book."
If you could / wished to turn After The Texans and the Carbon Black series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"The locations would need to be as they are in the book. As a director, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Sydney Pollack are names that immediately spring o mind. The director could choose the actors."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I like to write about the environment, although I have to admit that the Carbon Black trilogy is my first attempt at fiction, so I only have ‘Carbon Black and ‘After the Texans…’ as examples. I like thrillers, crime, espionage, political conspiracy, and so on. There aren’t many examples of these types of books set in the type of context that the Carbon Black series is set – most books about climate or environment are disaster books, or cli-fi, but I wanted to write conspiracy thrillers as it’s a fertile area for material and interesting (at least I find it interesting)."
What is your writing process?
"After I’ve been mulling over ideas for as while I sit down and try to make a start, although by this time I’ve got an idea in my head for the overall scheme of the plot. It won’t be worked out in detail, just the general direction and part of the fun is top encounter options and forks in the road and decide which way to go. I try to keep this ambiguity alive in my writing, so that the characters motives and allegiances might seem clear at first, but then appear not to be so clear. I think this adds to the suspense and as Carbon Black is a trilogy, it’s important to maintain this through the three books."
What is in store next?
"‘After the Texans…’ is the second of the trilogy, so obviously it’s heading towards a resolution in the third book which comes next. My readers will be pleased as both books so far have ended with twists that (hopefully) have left them wondering."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Very touchy subject, my writing companion was my faithful old German Shepherd who died when I was starting to write of ‘After the Texans…’, so I’d rather not go there."
That's completely understandable and very difficult to deal with... we wish you all the best.

After The Texans
Pre-order NOW! Out on 8 Nov 2016!

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