HUNTING THE KING: A CRIME SCRAPS INTERVIEW
Peter Clenott has two good marketing ploys which are bound to get his intelligent thriller Hunting The King noticed and out 'there'.
Firstly there is an exciting video on 'You Tube' that got me interested, and secondly he has named his heroine Molly O'Dwyer, which qualified her for an Irish Crime Fiction blog post this week by Princess Lillyput's daddy here.
Peter very kindly consented to answer a few questions. You notice I am being very polite just in case this novel makes it big and is the new Da Vinci Code, although I think it is probably much more intelligently written than Dan Brown's book.
Over to you Peter.
How did I come to write the book?
HUNTING THE KING is actually the sequel. The original Molly O'Dwyer book was written way back in the 1990s. I had read an article in the Boston Globe in which a leading figure in the Church claimed that he could deny people access to God if they belonged to any organization he disapproved of. So, I wanted to write a novel whose theme was faith vs reason. The main character became a scientist, in this case an archaeologist with strong roots to the Catholic Church. Molly is both a passionate scholar and an observant Catholic, so she is often conflicted between the academic in her and the religionist.
What other crime thriller writers do you read?
Actually, I don't do a lot of reading at the moment. I have three young kids and work two jobs to support them (hence the desperation to do well in sales with my book). I am currently writing my next book, so I have little time to do pleasure reading. The last thriller I read was Angels & Demons by Dan Brown and the Bourne books by Robert Ludlum.
Have you been inspired by any particular book?
No, I think I'm inspired by the joy of writing and, as I said, by pure unbridled desperation. I enjoy a lot of writers but emulate none.
Who would play Molly O'Dwyer if the book was ever filmed?
I'm not sure, but I damn well want the casting couch. Molly's a red head. Keira Knightly is too young. Lucille Ball's too old. (And dead) How about Scarlet Johanson? Cate Blanchette could probably hold her own in the role, too. Renee Zellweger?
Having taken 34 years of writing to get published, what in your opinion makes a best seller?
Sleeping with the right agent. I have no idea. Writing a very good book means creating characters that resonate with people or creating a plot that somehow captures readers' imaginations. I am all over the place. I have written about chimpanzees who know sign language, the rise and fall of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, the life of Jesus's illegitimate daughter, comedy, drama, you name it. Ultimately, in the real world, in order to get published let alone to get a best seller, you have to have contacts.
What other plans do you have for Molly O'Dwyer?
There is a prequel with Molly digging on an island in Boston harbor and uncovering her own mysterious past. Beyond that, if the books generate enough interest, I would write more archaeological mysteries. But I don't want to be caught doing one series or stuck in a particular genre.
For example, my last book revolved around the last survivors of World War I (There are about 12 worldwide including 111 Henry Allingham who is England's oldest man). My next book COMRADE LOLITA will focus on the Puerto Rican nationalists who tried to assassinate President Harry Truman. But Molly will always be there if people want to see more of her. (By the way, she can kick Harry Potter's ass).