Monday, September 5, 2011

Author Interview: Renvyle Blake

Tell me a bit about yourself.

Hello, My name is Renvyle Blake and I was born into an Anglo-Irish diplomatic background in Paris. I studied history at Cambridge University in the UK.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 I have always enjoyed reading, but I did not consider myself as a potential writer until I was about 50,000 words into my book!

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was inspired to write by a chance encounter with an ex-special forces person in the French Alps when I was on a climbing trip. His story was so amazing I decided I had to write it down.

How much research goes into writing your book(s)?

There was a great deal of research involved - more than two years work went into the book - and I still had the 'day job', in charge of a small financial services boutique. I had the basic facts, and then I had to weave a story around them.

What books have influenced your life most?

The books I remember most were the ones I read as a child or as a young adult. 'The Gauntlet' by Ronald Welch sparked my interest in history, which has never left me. I read all the CS Lewis Narnia books; or had them read to me. Listening to stories read by grown ups is probably the greatest luxury of childhood. I have read my own children several Ronald Welch books, and also 'The Story of Hiawatha' (based on Longfellow's beautiful verse) ,which was given to me by my parents in 1971 when I was 4 years old, and is one of my childrens' favourites today.

 What book are you reading now?

I loved Winston Churchill's 'My Early Life', and I have been a lifelong admirer of the man. The writers today who I admire the most would have to be the masters of historical ficction; Patrick O'Brian and later Allan Mallinson.

What kind genre of book do you typically write?

 My first book is a thriller, and I am sure I will stick with the genre, as I am writing two more books as part of the story which unfolds in 'The Himalayan Assignment'. I get my ideas from the world around me.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Finance is not very fashionable these days, but it is an amazingly interesting career if you are interested in economics, technology, politics and current affairs.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

 I have long been fascinated by China's rise but at the same time I am worried about what it means for the rest of us. China's arrival on the global scene has driven the huge inequalities in the Western world, as well as the leverage and de-industrialisation behind the current crisis. The West has been too believing; my view is that the democracies should be much more circumspect in their engagement with that nation. We should be must more active in our backing of India, to achieve a balance of power in Asia. My book is based on the true story of how a small band of intelligence experts and gifted amateurs faced down a Chinese coup attempt in Nepal. At the time I was starting the final read through, there was another coup attempt by the Chinese. You can google it and there is a link to one of the better articles on my website.

How do you market your book(s)?
So far I have been marketing my book via my website and occasional Twitters and Blogs...sales are still slow but picking up.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

 My advice to aspiring authors is simple. Do it....but don't give up the day job if you don't want to be eating pot noodle and living in a garrett!

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