Friday, 18 February 2011


Yesterday was the book launch of THE AFRIKA REICH at Waterstones in Piccadilly. It was a tremendous event and naturally I felt obliged to say a few words of thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years. Towards the end of my speech I also mentioned some exciting but secret news. Now I can reveal all.

Getting published was always my ambition, but once I had my deal with Hodder I indulged myself in a few fantasies for the book.

There were five things I dreamed of:

  1. To sell the foreign rights (already achieved: to Spain and Norway)
  2. To sell the foreign rights to a country that doesn’t use the Roman alphabet
  3. To sell the film rights
  4. To get a review from a literary hero
  5. A review in the Economist
Why the Economist? Because I think it has the best books section of any paper in the world. It is compulsory reading for me every week (as it has been for the last decade). So you can imagine my delight when I heard that the Economist was going to run a review.

But it was more than just that… which brings me to my exciting news, what I described on Facebook as ‘the most amazing telephone conversation of my life’.

On Monday afternoon the Literary Editor of the Economist phoned me up at home and told me she had raced through my book in less than 24 hours and thought it ‘the best thriller she’d read in years’. I was left utterly speechless.

What’s most gratifying is to see someone really connecting with what I was trying to do with the book. I wanted to write a novel that thrilled – but also one that was morally complex and had a serious intent.

Please do click 'recommend'; and if you twitter, pass word on - and tweet!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

4948 days

When did I become a writer? To be honest it’s all I ever wanted from life. By the age or four or five I was already telling people that’s what I would do when I grew up. Of course such statements have to be taken within the context of youthful exuberance…so I suppose the official date is 1 July 1997.

That’s when I gave up any semblance of a proper career and decided to pursue the goal of getting published (and be damned!). At the time my plan was to have a book in the shops within a couple of years. Unfortunately it took a bit longer than that.

Actually, a lot longer.

Thirteen and a half years and six unpublished books. Piles of rejection slips and the occasional pangs of wanting to give up. Today, however, all that time as a struggling writer has been vindicated. Today my novel, THE AFRIKA REICH, is published.

It’s the end of a 4948 day journey, and I hope the beginning of a new and even more exciting one…

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Seventy years ago today...

12th February 2011: an appropriate date to begin this blog.

Seventy years ago today the Afrika Korps was formed under the personal order of Hitler himself. It would become one of the most formidable fighting forces in history, driving the British across the deserts of northern Africa until finally being beaten at the Battle of El Alamein.

But what if it had not been defeated? What if the Afrika Korps had emerged triumphant from the Sahara then turned south towards the equator?

What if the Nazis had conquered Africa?

That is the premise of my thriller THE AFRIKA REICH which is published on 17th February by Hodder & Stoughton.

This blog will start properly in the next few weeks. My plan is to write something that provides extra material for those who have read the book while hopefully intriguing those who haven’t.

Watch this space…