Saturday, 10 September 2011


One of the concepts for Afrika Reich was to make it an action thriller. Obviously this requires action! Lots of it. Beyond individual chases and fights, however, I wanted to put in a couple of big set-pieces, sequences that would last several chapters. The first of these, where the Burton and Neliah strands connect, is the TUNNEL scene.

I wrote in a previous blog how writing is as much to do with logical deduction as it is with inspiration – so it was with the tunnel. I didn’t start with the tunnel battle and work the plot around it, rather the other way round. Early on in the planning of the book I introduced the concept of the PAA (Pan African Autobahn). However, I wanted it to be more than just a background idea; I wanted it to be integral to the story.

Initially I planned to have a battle set on the tarmac itself but soon realised I needed something more claustrophobic, something from which the characters couldn’t easily escape. And this is where the logical deduction bit comes in. The most obvious way to combine roads, battles and claustrophobia was with a tunnel.

As for the TRAIN sequence, well, this proves the maxim that nothing is ever wasted for a writer.

Back in my teens I wrote a screenplay called Fortress Europe. This was set in the last winter of World War 2 and was about a heist of Nazi gold. The climax of the film was a big action set-piece on a bullion-loaded train hurtling through a frozen landscape (itself inspired by the Monet picture above). Obviously nothing came of the screenplay but the idea stuck with me... even if by the time I used it again snow and ice had been replaced with the heat of Angola. The helicopter gunships were a later addition inspired by Apocalypse Now (again!).

T is also for TRILOGY

Trilogy – the unmentionable word. From the outset Afrika Reich was conceived as a three part story with a definite beginning (Book 1), middle and end.

I’m often asked how much of it I’ve already planned. I’d be exaggerating if I said I had every nuance of the three books sorted, nevertheless I know all the key moments and the general arc of the story. The final chapters of the final book have been worked out in detail...

But there’s a twist.

For commercial reasons my publisher only committed to the first two parts (i.e. they want to see how successful they are), so I need to keep selling in decent quantities if I’m to finish Burton’s and Hochburg’s story. Which is why I’m always grateful when readers recommend their friends to buy a copy!


  1. Wait and see how it goes. You might find, the speed things are changing, you will do better to publish the third part of the trilogy yourself.

    Depends how fast digital replaces paper.

  2. Well I had my heart in my mouth and near enough could feel the onset of a heart attack or three during your train and tunnel chapters!!! Good grief!! AWESOME!!!!

    I hope your book continues to sell well so that we get to the third installment!!!!! Good luck!!

    Take care

  3. Lexi - I agree that things are changing fast and given that TAR3 wouldn't even be ready to publish till sometime around 2016-17 a lot may have happened by then! I keep meaning to email you; promise to do it when I'm back from Germany...

  4. Kitty - I hope it continues to sell well too! AWESOME? Thanks! ;o)

  5. Great book, Guy, just finished it while travelling and working in South Africa. I'm an Aussie who writes novels set mostly in contemporary Africa. A friend passed Afrika Reich to me and to be honest it sat on the shelf for a while. I'm sorry I didn't pick it up sooner. Loved it. Looking forward to more.

  6. Tony - thanks for your comment (and sorry not to have replied sooner, just seen it). Glad you enjoyed the book, it must have added atmosphere reading it in Africa!

  7. Just finished the first book. Fantastic read! Couldn't put it down!

    I read somewhere, an interview with you I think, that Afrika Reich is going to be turned into a series like Sharpe or Cate and Macro. Is that true? How many books will there be? Will they all be set in Africa or will we see the European Reich too? How far into the future will you go?

    Most important of all, when will the next one be out?

    Any details gratefully received!


  8. David - thanks for your comment and I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

    Currently I have no plans to turn AFRIKA REICH into a series. I've certainly not said it in an interview... as far as I remember!

    As the posting above suggests it will be a trilogy with a story arc moving through the three books. All three will be set in Africa. There are also two possible framing books: a prequel set during the Spanish Civil War and final book set in the late 50s in the Urals mountains in occupied Russia. But neither of these are definite.

    Hope that answers your questions! Book 2 is due out next year sometime.

    Best wishes


  9. Is there a release date for Book 2 yet? Am desperate to find out what happens next!

    1. Andy - no definite release date yet but it should be some time in 2013 (if I can get the book finished!). Glad you enjoyed the first one and I hope the second doesn't disappoint. It's different in pace and tone to AFRIKA REICH - but hopefully will be better.

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  10. Will there be more of Norway in the next books? I like the first one very much.

  11. Anon - thanks for your comment and I'm glad you enjoyed the book. At the moment no part of Book 2 will actually be set in Norway, however, there maybe some mentions in passing.