Search this blog

Wednesday 20 November 2019

ℚ♫ A Friend in Deed - G.D. Harper

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about A Friend in Deed (, Matador, 208 pages), a psychological political thriller, book two in the Psychological Trilogy series.

‘I don't usually read political thrillers, but the likable narrator, investigative journalist and blogger Duncan Jones, familiar from the first book, plus the pacey plot soon had me turning the pages and I couldn't put it down.  [...] Although set in the near future, the novel's basic premise about global politics is frighteningly believable in 2019, and this makes the already strong plot all the more compelling.’

‘A suspense-filled thriller, packed full of twists and turns. Not only is it a gripping story, it is also very relevant in a world of populist politics and political interference. Highly recommended.’

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

A very warm welcome to G.D. Harper; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in A Friend in Deed, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"When I write I needed to find music to fill my mind but not fight the words I was trying to get out. Tangerine Dream, a German electronic music group, whose vast, formless swirling soundscapes formed the perfect sonic background to my brainstorming and planning as the story took shape. I invested in the 4 CD boxed set, and loaded it into a multi-disc CD cartridge. I’d play it over and over again, never tiring of its astonishing ability to sooth and refresh my addled brain.

Bach and Wagner helped me raise my game when I was trying to be a bit cerebral when writing more literary prose.

If I needed a burst of energy to compliment Tangerine Dream’s calming influence, some early-period Van Morrison or Bruce Springsteen would do the trick."
What was the inspiration for A Friend in Deed?
"Britain are secretly controlled by the Russians. After the Trump election, I tried to imagine the same thing happening in the UK, but on an even bigger scale, which gave me the initial idea."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Em, quite a lot. Duncan, the main character in A Friend in Deed is a sixty-something Scotsman, as am I. He’s a slightly idealised version of my personality, so I can kid myself I’d behave like him if I got into a similar predicament. Working in Moscow for ten years gave me ideas for plot and setting, and having a real-life cross-generational friendship gave me the idea for the two main characters."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for A Friend in Deed - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I worked with Spiffing Covers who took a lot of time understanding the book and the main character before designer the cover. The background elements are iconic Moscow buildings and vertical lines of computer code, as a nod to the Russian theme and computer hacking that are in the book. The image of Duncan was from how I described his personality, and interestingly when I do book signings I sit beneath a large banner of the book cover. Invariable someone comes up and asks if it’s a picture of me on the cover. Spiffing Covers have no idea what I looked like, but it seems I ended up describing myself as the character on the cover!"
Why should we read A Friend in Deed and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"They’re all psychological thrillers, but in three sub-genres. Love’s Long Road is a coming-of age -story set in the 1970s about a young woman who leads a reckless double life; Silent Money is a crime novel also set in the 70s and is about an assistant bank manager who becomes a ruthless crime lord; A Friend in Deed is a political thriller set a few years in the future where an over-the-hill journalist discovers that the Russians are controlling the new populist political party that governs Britain.

What makes the books unique is that each story is told from the point of view of a different one of the three main continuing characters in the three books. They’re all stand-alone stories, but for instance with Love’s Long Road and Silent Money, the same scenes and even the same dialogue is in both books, but they have a completely different meaning when seen from the point of view of the different characters."
Can you tell us something quirky about A Friend in Deed, its story and characters?
"Duncan’s name is a little in-joke. I initially chose Duncan, because I wanted a no-nonsense Scottish first name. When he first really appears in the series, in Love’s Long Road in the 1970s, he’s a huge Bowie fan. I needed to give him a surname and so I called him Duncan Jones, the name of Bowie’s son. The irony is that although my Duncan is a huge Bowie fan, the other Duncan was called Zowie Bowie until the 1980s, so in the 1970s my Duncan wouldn’t make the connection. Some readers have, though!"
Who would you recommend A Friend in Deed to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d say that this book is a political thriller that would appeal to people who don’t like political thrillers. What I mean by that, is that although there is a political undercurrent to the story, it doesn’t overwhelm the story to the point that you’d need to a political nerd to like it. I’d recommend to anyone who wants to be entertained by a book, who enjoys quirky but rounded characters and a strong sense of place in a novel, and likes books that are fast-paced with lots of twists."
If you could / wished to turn A Friend in Deed into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"An older Ewan McGregor as Duncan, a younger Cate Blanchett as Tanya and younger Benerdict Cumberbatch as Nigel. Danny Boyle to direct and lots of Bowie and Dylan songs in the soundtrack. I need to go and lie down to recover. now that I’ve imagined all of that."
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 planning out the plot in advance, but what I enjoy most when writing is character and setting. I try to focus on small, revealing details in a description, rather than the big, obvious one. I think that way is more likely to bring the character or place to life."
What is your writing process?
"I plan out chapter by chapter and define major characters and their character arcs before I write a single word. Things can change as the story progresses, however, and I have to frequently rewrite my plan as the story unfold as I write it. I write 1500-2000 words, five days a week, even if I delete most of them the next day. There’s always something I keep."
What is in store next?
"This is the end of the series and I felt quite emotional writing the final scene of the last book. Next, I’m planning to do a Ken Follett and make my next book a historical fiction epic, set in 12th Century Kent. I’ve just started the research and planning and it looks like it will be a formidable challenge. But exciting as well!"
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?
"Here’s a photo of a Japanese doll a friend gave me at a difficult time in my life. Every time you knock it over, it bounces back up."
I like that. Glyn thank you for sharing!

Sometimes you find the truth
Sometimes the truth finds you

A Friend in Deed
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from find on Goodreads