The Pulp and Mystery Shelf with Shannon Muir

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BLOG TOUR – A Wanted Man

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THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF!

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Title:
A WANTED MAN
Author: Robert Parker
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Pages: 307
Genre: Crime Thriller
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

What initially got you interested in writing?

Time spent at my Grandma and Grandad’s house, in Eccleston, St Helens. The box room at their house, which had a little bunkbed in it, had the most brilliant bookshelves full of books: pulp, crime, adventure, thrillers, classics, encyclopedias, so on. When I was little it seemed that if there was anything in the world that wasn’t written about somewhere on those shelves, then it wasn’t worth knowing. And downstairs, Grandad had the most fantastic VHS collection – again not too vast, but the titles were all thrilling to a story-loving kid like myself. I loved the old adventure films he had, anything from Swiss Family Robinson to The Cat and The Canary through to Superman. James Bond films too. Anything that had a fantastic story, adventure and mystery, and he was there. And I spent hours watching these with him. Then, when I learned to write, I couldn’t believe that I could concoct my own tales. The power was thrilling.

 

What genres do you write in?

Presently, that would be crime thrillers. There’s nothing really off the table in terms of genres I’d like to write in though, and respect the differences hugely. However, when I set down to write something, I never really think of genre – I just write the kind of story I’d like to read, and see what comes out the other end. I’m writing something at the minute that is a whole different speed to the Ben Bracken books, and I’ve got no idea what genre it’ll be – but if I had to pick it, from how it’s shaping up, I’d have to say somewhere around the mystery category, although which way it’ll swing, I just don’t know! But for now, crime seems to be my thing, so I’ll stick to that.

 

What drew you to writing these specific genres?

Very good question. The freedom it gives me to look at darkness, and bring darkness to normal settings and situations. I love books that examine the quaint overlooked details in life, and then throws something truly horrible into the mix. It’s the fact that anything can happen in these worlds we create, and also that the darkness created is often overcome by the end of the story – there is redemption, and a brightness in crime when it is overcome. And there is an excitement in thrillers that is hard to match.

 

How did you break into the field?

 

Still trying to, I guess would be the correct way to preface my answer! In short, perseverance. For everyone who told me that my books were rubbish, I turned it into fuel. A longer answer would be that I had 3 double knee surgeries, one after the other, over the course of 18 months. I had plenty of time on my hands, while I was recovering all that time, doing rehab and resting, and my brain was crawling itself inside out with boredom. My business had taken over at this point, and writing hadn’t been as high a priority. I picked up a pen to alleviate the boredom, and within 8 weeks I’d written my first novel. I self-published to kindle, in its haphazard state, and connected with readers almost straight away. It was a heck of a thing. Before long, I’d written a second, and it won a couple of online five star awards things. That’s when readers started to suggest I send it to the literary world to see if I could get them published for real. I approached a lot of agents (possibly 250-300) and had so many varied responses – some ranging from the positive, some to the downright rude. The nasty, rude ones became my favourites, and it just made me want to try harder, get better and show them – fair enough, if you don’t like the work that’s fine, but to go out of your way to be rude and put someone down? I loved it. Rejection became welcomed. And I kept plugging away. Eventually had a brilliant conversation with Linda Langton of Langtons International Agency in New York. She was the first agent to show a real passion for my work, and was utterly lovely to deal with. We clicked immediately, and she was very kind, encouraging and thoughtful in the way she cajoled me through. That was three years ago now, and she has stood by me while I have rewritten my books countless times and found me a publisher. She is a guardian angel, and I owe her so much.

 

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

I want them to close the book and say ‘wow’. I want them to feel satisfied. I want them to feel like they’ve been really entertained, and I want them to be happy they read it!

 

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

When people tell you they enjoyed it. That is just the greatest thing to hear as a writer – to know that you contributed to someone’s enjoyment and happiness (even though you’re making them read about all manner of crime and death!) is the best.

 

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Not having enough hours in the day! Knowing that some days the words will overflow like a boiling pan, but other days it’ll be blood from a stone.

 

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

Never dare give up. Never dare think it. Rejection is part of the deal, even when your book is out there. You can’t please everyone, so just write the story you want to write, and never ever quit scrapping until you get where you want to be.

 

What type of books do you enjoy reading?

Crime, thriller, mystery, suspense, ghosts, supernatural, adventure, legal, scientific – and anything at all that has a rollicking twist. I want my socks knocking off and the rug pulled.

 

Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

I fight regularly at charity boxing events, training six days a week to do so. I do this to raise money for Cancer Research UK, a disease that affects us all in so many ways. I figured that people suffer so fiercely, I can definitely suffer the hard work of a training camp then a fight. It’s unlocked a part of me I didn’t know was there, and I love it.

 

What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RobertRParker45

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/robertparkerauthor

Website: www.robertparkerauthor.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7789447.Robert_Parker

 

And thank you so much for having me!

 

 

It’s down to
fathers and fatherhood.
Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of
Strangeways.

Not by the front door.

With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag
of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and
he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.

Rejected by the army, disowned by his father,
and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his
life.

No one to keep him steady. 

No one to stop his cause…

The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had
put him in prison in the first place. 

Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of
work, whose crime organisation is based in

London.But before Ben can get started on his mission,
another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and
he will not rest until the killers are found.

Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn in to helping
Jack in his quest for revenge.

In the process, he descends into the fold of

Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the
Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…
This action-packed and fast-paced story will
keep you turning the pages.

Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around
the city seeking vengeance.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


It’s not long before I am there again. Haugh
Road, right in the middle. Everything looks the
same, right down to the chewing gum on the pavements. There’s the old off-
licence, the pub I used to drink in. There’s the phone box I’d call my mates
from, out the front of the house I called home for thirty years.
My heart feels a hot stab at seeing it, worse than I
expected. Home.
It’s a terraced house that could do with some work.
The lawn is a bit longer than Dad used to have it, by quite a bit, actually,
and the PVC window frames we had put in on a government grant to promote
greener living a few years ago are a bit mucky. The door is still painted red,
with a brass knocker.
What are you doing here, Ben? Are you going to
invite yourself in for a cuppa? Or stand out here like a stalker?
I hadn’t really thought that far ahead. But somehow,
I needed to see it. I needed to see something concrete, to remind me where I
came from… Christ, this fucking neediness… I don’t like it.
I feel abandoned by them, for sure, but they had
their reasons. They were so proud, and suddenly all that pride was gone.
And now, with my visit this evening? I suppose I just
need to know that, even though everything else is chaos, things back here at
home remain the same. We wouldn’t even need to talk, just…
In fact, despite the curtains being open, it doesn’t
look like they are home.
Wait. I can see in through the front window, despite
the dwindling light. Something’s different: On the left-hand side, Grandma’s
mirror is missing, the one passed down to Mum when she died. It had a gold
frame – well, gold edging on top of tin – and it was Mum’s pride and joy. And
the curtains that are open… there are no curtains. Looking closer I
can see the tie-back hooks stand visible and empty.
I walk up the path, leaving prints in the long grass,
and peer inside, and more and more of my past looms up in front of me the
closer I get. But this nostalgia, and the stir of anticipation that has arisen
despite my efforts to subdue it, is quickly replaced by something cold,
something bitter.
The room is empty.
I can see through to the kitchen along the old carpet
that runs right through the downstairs, which in the emptiness now looks more
threadbare. There’s nothing.
They’ve gone. My parents have left here.
I stand simply staring into the hollow space, and
feel as if I’m gazing into the very emptiness that has been abruptly carved
inside of me. My feeling of loneliness is complete.
I have no way to contact them. They are gone, and
from the look of things, gone for good. And considering that they never sent me
a forwarding address while I was in prison, they clearly don’t want me to know
where they are.
All I wanted was to see that they were ok, but as far
as I can tell, they didn’t even want me to have that. They have disowned me. I
should have guessed from their passive stares in the public gallery at my
trial, fixing on any point but their own son’s searching gaze. I can’t help but
stand and dwell.
I quickly decide that I’ve had enough. I walk away
because there’s nothing for me here anymore, not for the first time. Rawmarsh
is no longer my home. I feel I could cry, but I won’t. No chance – those
bastards, they won’t get that from me.
I walk down the path to the scuffed, mucky pavement.
The gum on the concrete beneath my shoes, some of it is undoubtedly mine. My
DNA lies at my feet, inseparable from my town, my past. That DNA is now the
only evidence I was ever here. Thirty years of love, life, family – all reduced
to a dirty bit of gum on an old pavement.
This will steel me. Toughen me. It has to. Because
this would, could, should break a lesser man.
 
Robert Parker is a new exciting
voice, a married father of two, who lives in a village close to 
ManchesterUK. He has both a law degree and a degree in film and media
production, and has worked in numerous employment positions, ranging from
solicitor’s agent (essentially a courtroom gun for hire), to a van driver, to a
warehouse order picker, to a commercial video director. He currently
writes full time, while also making time to encourage new young readers and
authors through readings and workshops at local schools and bookstores. In his
spare time he adores pretty much all sport, boxing regularly for charity, loves
fiction across all mediums, and his glass is always half full.
His latest book is the
crime/thriller, A WANTED MAN.

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1 Comment

  1. Sue Morris

    Brilliant interview and can’t wait to read the book having read the first version which I couldn’t put down. I wish him all the success in the world.

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