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Tuesday 6 August 2019

ℚ The King’s Prerogative: Craig Dunlop [1] - Iain Colvin

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with debut author to talk about The King’s Prerogative (, Clink Street Publishing, 340 pages), a Thriller.

"Well-researched. Inventive, credible. Good storyline based on historical fact. Pacy, good characterisation. a page-turner."~ Amazon Reviewer

"A great read from start to finish . The facts are well researched ,the story is excellent . Another great Scottish author , hopefully the first of many novels from Mr Colvin . Can't recommend highly enough." ~ Colin Mitchell, reviewer

"What a fantastic read - so well researched, and written. A fantastic and intriguing story line. I so hope Mr Colvin has more novels in the near future." ciutadella, reviewer

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Iain Colvin; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The King’s Prerogative?

"I knew I wanted to weave a crime thriller around an existing real-life mystery.  The notion of knitting together fact and fiction attracted me, and the challenge was choosing a mystery that was at once local (i.e. Scottish) and also had a wider if not worldwide appeal.

The story of Rudolf Hess’s flight to Scotland seemed a natural choice, and the more I read into it the more intriguing the mystery became.  In the end, I didn’t have to invent too much fiction – the real life story has enough twists and turns on its own!"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"On the face of it my main character, Craig Dunlop, is very similar to me.  We both grew up in Stranraer, and we both worked in a bank.   I’d say we were both gregarious and outgoing, and like Craig, I would like to think that I treat others as I would like to be treated.

I deliberately wanted Craig to have flaws, and he’s by no means perfect (who is?).  He’s vain, lazy, stubborn, his skin can be very thin at times, and it’s probably fair to say that when he gets a bee in his bonnet about something he can obsess about it to the exclusion of everything else – so yes, if I’m honest that does sound a bit like me!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The King’s Prerogative - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I discussed the concept for the cover with Hayley at Authoright, but I consciously didn’t want to influence the outcome too much.  It was designed by the good people at the publishing house, who drafted two different cover designs and I chose the one that I thought suited the story best.

As the book is based around a war story I would very much hope that it would appeal to fans of WW2 literature, and that is why the German eagle features prominently.  At the same time, I wanted to ensure that the story itself would appeal to a wider audience, and I hope the ink/blood blot attracts the crime thriller fanbase too.  I have to say I’m very pleased with the design and I think it creates a striking image."
Why should we read The King’s Prerogative and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I have tried to combine a number of elements to make my book (and its prospective sequels) different.  The fact that the story is based on real events isn’t in itself unusual, nor is the exploration of a conspiracy theory and the potential ramifications of inconvenient truths being exposed.

The main characters are regular people, dare I say ordinary, and part of the fun is seeing how they deal with the challenges thrown at them.  Again, that’s a narrative that’s as old as story-telling itself.

What I hope is that the combination of the two elements – the real-life mystery hidden in plain sight around us, wrapped around the story of the ‘guy next door’ running for his life, will take the reader along for a thrilling ride and provoke a level of curiosity at the same time."
Can you tell us something quirky about The King’s Prerogative, its story and characters?
"During the course of my research into the story of Rudolf Hess I came across one particular book that provided a rich source of information as I pieced together my narrative.  It is called ‘Double Standards’, and it expounds many of the themes and theories I explore in The King’s Prerogative.

As a nod of recognition, I named a couple of my characters after the authors.  It shouldn’t be too difficult for the reader to work out who they are!"
Who would you recommend The King’s Prerogative to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"As I touched on above, I would be thrilled if WW2 aficionados enjoyed the book.  I have tried to be as authentic to the facts and details of Hess’s flight and capture as I possibly could – I would even go so far as to describe my research as painstaking.  But first and foremost I have tried to write the kind of book that I like reading – an entertaining page-turner that rattles along and makes the reader ask themselves interesting questions along the way.

The one disclaimer I would put out there is that this is above all a work of fiction.  Yes, it’s based on fact and the vast majority of what I’ve written can be accessed easily.  To be honest, that’s why I set the story in the 1980s – if I’d set it now, Craig Dunlop would have googled the answers and it would have been a much shorter book!  But it’s a flight of fancy, a fantasy, and while I’m hoping that the reader will be prompted to ask some ‘what if?’ questions, when all’s said and done it’s only a story - I don’t fancy being locked up in the Tower of London!"
If you could / wished to turn The King’s Prerogative and the Craig Dunlop series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Now there’s a great question!  Funnily enough, when I was writing the book I could picture the scenes and the characters in my head, almost like I was running a film in my mind.

Craig Dunlop would be played by James McAvoy, Blake would be Michael Fassbender, Fiona would be a young Rachel McAdams, Lynn Simon would be Julianne Moore, and Clive Prior would be Gary Oldman
Craig Dunlop -
James McAvoy
Blake -
Michael Fassbender
Fiona -
Rachel McAdams
Lynn Simon -
Julianne Moore
Clive Prior -
Gary Oldman
No-one can accuse me of being lacking in ambition!

The film would be shot on location in Stranraer, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Caithness – all very picturesque locations.

Edinburgh (from Blackford Hill) 
Achavanich standing stones in Caithness
And seeing as Alfred Hitchcock is dead it would have to be Danny Boyle directing.  Danny, could you make the mood more Shallow Grave than Trainspotting, thanks!"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"As this is my first novel I would have to say that I love writing historical/crime fiction!

Reading-wise, I have a voracious appetite but tend to gravitate towards biographies, history, crime thrillers and sometimes (when it’s done right) science fiction."
What is your writing process?
"I subscribe to the ‘onion’ school of writing.

I start by writing out the entire story on one page, then I expand that to four pages, then eight.  By eight pages I can begin to see where the chapters are, and I can start moving them around like a literary game of Tetris, to see what fits better where.

Then, when I’m happy with the arc of the story and its pacing, I start to write the book from page one using the eight-page treatment as the blueprint.

The actual writing of The King’s Prerogative only took three months, but that was after I’d spent three years researching it and a further year getting those eight pages solidly set down."
What is in store next?
"Next in store is ‘Craig Dunlop 2’.

In the second book, Craig is a bit older, hopefully a little bit wiser, and once again he finds himself knee-deep in a mystery that entangles him.  His experience in TKP turns out to be a double-edged sword; although he’s better equipped to navigate his way through the web of secrecy and cover-ups, those around him are understandably dubious and fear for his sanity as well as his safety."
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?
"Well, if it’s not too embarrassing to admit, my one claim to fame is that back in 1992 (eek, that long ago?!)  I appeared on the original series of Channel 4’s The Crystal Maze with Richard O’Brien.  You can still find it on You Tube (series 3, episode 6).

Don’t laugh too hard at the sight of me running around in my burgundy jump suit!  It was so much fun though, and I’m still in touch with my fellow team-mates."
Wow, what a brilliant memento!  Thank you for sharing it with us and entertaining us with that episode of the Crystal Maze :-D However, you didn't tell us that you were the team captain!

We hope you are having a great tour!

The King’s Prerogative
Available NOW!

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