Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Mind of a Genius

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British mystery novelist David Snowdon is on tour with his new book, The Mind of a Genius. When I was contacted for a possible host stop by Nikki Leigh, who is organizing the tour, I thought, perfect for Make Mine Mystery blog! Mr. Snowdon has answered some questions I asked of him for the purposes of posting the interview below. But first, about the book:

The Mind of a Genius by David Snowdon
(The Formula That Could Change The World)

Special Agent, Jason Clay from the MI4 is hired to find a secret formula that was invented by the famous British scientist, Malcolm Prince. The only weak element in Clay’s strategy to accomplish his mission is Laura Prince, the beautiful wife of the scientist, who Clay has to seduce in order to obtain the formula.

But the CIA, the Denmark Intelligence, the Australian Intelligence and many other very determined individuals are also after that formula, and can’t wait to get their hands on it. The competition is fierce, but who’s going to win?

The story develops as a travel through the world; with the action starting in London, then moving onto Copenhagen, Hong Kong and Australia.

Clay appears to be the right man for the job; extremely handsome and a natural charmer, nothing could be easier for him than seducing a beautiful woman in order to obtain a top secret.


All right. Let’s get into the interview with author David Snowdon. Enjoy, and please feel free to ask him questions in the comments. Remember he is in a considerably different time zone from US readers and there may be a gap in the interaction if you are from the States or other parts of the globe, so keep that in mind.


Marvin: David, as a British author, do find your books appeal more to the European market, or the American market, or are they received just as well in both markets? How many countries are your books available in and how are the sales globally?

David: The kind of fiction I write is universal. My books are set all over the world, so I would say that there’s a similar kind of interest in the UK and the US. My first published work, Too Young To Die, was set in London, Jamaica and Miami, so you can see why my books would appeal to both the British and the American readers. But only time will tell what will happen in the long run. At the moment, the books are predominantly available in the UK, but they can be ordered from all over the world. The global sales are not bad.

Marvin: Your new release, The Mind of a Genius, has a story line that takes the action from London to Copenhagen, to Hong Kong and Australia. Have you lived in and/or spent considerable time in all of those countries? Or did you have to do some research to be able to write your story and make it (the scene settings) so believable?”

David: I live in London, and I have been to all of the other countries. So the descriptions of the countries are accurate. You can write about a country you haven’t been to, but it’s always better to visit the country or countries that you intend to write about. That way, the story will be more realistic.

Marvin: Mystery, suspense, the thriller – seems to be your favorite genre in which to write. What compelled you to write in that genre?

David: I’ve always been interested in that genre. I find mystery and suspense thrillers fascinating. To be able to read a novel that keeps me on the edge of my seat is fantastic. Having said that, I also like a bit of humour and a bit of romance in a thriller, but it’s the ability to keep wondering what’s going to happen next that really attracts me to a novel. And that’s why I write mystery and suspense thrillers.

Marvin: When did you first decide it was your calling to be a published author? Can you point to any particular event or stage in your life when it became obvious to you that you were meant to be an author?

David: As a child, I used to write and narrate short stories and I enjoyed it. But it was later on in life when I started reading novels, that the urge to write a book materialized. And that was when I realized that I wanted to be a published author.

Marvin: What was the inspiration for the story line of The Mind of a Genius?

David: I wrote my first espionage thriller in 1984. Twenty-three years later, I had a desire to write another espionage thriller. And it was the desire to write a modern-day espionage that inspired me to write, The Mind of a Genius. All I had to do was use the plot from my unpublished 1984 espionage thriller in a new story, and the new story was, The Mind of a Genius.

Marvin: Ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?

David: I’ve never encountered writer’s block. I get an idea, I do the research and I write.

Marvin: How do you go about creating your characters? Are they drawn from real life, or do you just dream them up, or a combination of sorts?

David: My characters are figments of my imagination, but I like to use general human characteristics for all of my characters to make them seem as realistic as possible. When I have an idea for a certain character, I determine its characteristics before I start writing about the character.

Marvin: What is your writing regimen like? Do you write every day, the methodical writer, or are you a binge writer when the inspiration hits. Or maybe both or something else entirely?

David: It all starts with an idea. When I get an idea for a book, I consider the idea. And if I think it’s a good idea, I write an outline, do some research and then I start writing. When I’m working on a book, I don’t write every day, just a few days a week, and for a few hours. Most of the corrections are done after I’ve finished writing the first draft.

Marvin: Name the three or four most important things, in your professional opinion, that are crucial elements in a good mystery novel.

  • The plot; a good plot is very essential. A bad plot will result in an unrealistic book.
  • Mystery and suspense; this plays a key role in a good mystery novel. The ability to keep the readers guessing what will happen next, and to have them on the edge of their seats is very important.
  • Action and interesting characters; a certain amount of the right kind of action at the right time will arouse the readers interest. And interesting characters will make the book fascinating.
  • Good dialogue; this is also important as poor dialogue can make a good mystery novel boring.

Marvin: What other advice can you give aspiring authors on how to write a book that will capture the interest of today’s readers, especially within your genre – the mystery/suspense/thriller?

David: Painstaking research is indispensable.

Marvin: David, it’s been a pleasure having you here on Make Mine Mystery blog today. Please feel free to stop in a few times throughout the day and evening and interact with our readers. I know some of them may have some questions for you or may ask advice from you. And please- leave us your website info, where to buy your books, etc. Thanks once again for sharing with us today.

David: Thanks, Marvin. Likewise, it’s been a pleasure being on Make Mine Mystery blog today. I look forward to hearing from the readers. And the information is as follows;

For more information visit www.the-mind-of-a-genius.com

About the book:

The Mind of a Genius
ISBN: 978-0-9552650-1-3
Publisher: Pentergen Books
Date of publish: Nov 16, 2007
Pages: 288
S.R.P £6.99/ $13.56

Available from Waterstone’s.com, Blackwell.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and all good bookshops in the UK.
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Anonymous said...

Greetings to Marvin and the readers. It's great to be here today, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Cactus Annie said...

Enjoyed this interview very much. Sounds like a great plot and book. I envy you all the traveling, David - of the different countries you've been to that are written about in your new book, which one held the most fascination for you? And why?

Anonymous said...

Hello, Cactus Annie. Nice to hear from you. All of those countries are fantastic. It's hard for me to name a favourite. I equally enjoyed every one of those countries.

Anonymous said...

Hi David-

Again thanks for joining us here today and also checking in to the comments gallery. I just wanted to let everyone know also that I'm well into the reading of The Mind of a Genius and it is a VERY good book! You are a master of characterization, sir, and the plot twists and thickens ever so nicely.

Morgan Mandel said...

I could use some of the genius sometimes, especially when it comes to figures. I'm a word person.

Morgan Mandel

Dana Fredsti said...

Marvin and David, thanks for an excellent interview (both questions and answers)!

Libby McKinmer said...

David, thank you for stopping by Make Mine Mystery, and Marvin for such a good interview. Sounds like a very cool book with plenty of action!

You said you write an outline, but do you consider yourself a seat-of-the-pants writer?

Libby McKinmer

Chester Campbell said...

Enjoyed the interview, David. You mentioned the plot came from an unpublished book your wrote in 1984. I have one I did in 1990 that I've been thinking about revising for another try. You've inspired me to follow up on it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments, Marvin. I'm glad you're enjoying the book.
I would also like to thank Morgan, Dana, Libby and Chester for their comments. It was great to hear from you.
Regarding your question, Libby, I'm not a seat of the pants writer. I'm more of a planner.
And good luck with the 1990 script, Chester. Sounds like a good idea to revise it and try again.

Earl Staggs said...

Good luck with The Mind of a Genius, David, and thanks for the glimpse into the mind of a writer. Are you planning a series with this character?

Anonymous said...

Hello, Earl. Nice to hear from you. Yes, by the grace of God, I hope to write the sequel one day, and Special Agent Jason Clay will be featured again.