Please say hello to John Wiltshire and
You’d have thought that Ben and Nikolas would have learnt that their romantic holidays inevitably end up as disasters. A short break on the polar ice sees them trapped in a nightmare of murder and deceit. Neither of them, however, foresees the long-term impact that endless winter has on their relationship. They return with a metaphorical darkness that threatens everything they have created together. Desperate and fearing for Nikolas’s life, Ben makes a bargain with a surprising ally. For the first time, Nikolas meets an enemy more powerful than he is. But fortunately, not as sneaky…
The view from the window hadn’t changed since the last time Ben had studied it—one grey, depressing wing of the building, the car park below, and some scraggly trees, still bare in January. Farther away, he could see the roofs of some houses, and perhaps, if he let his imagination run away with it, the distant hills of Bodmin moor. He didn’t speculate in the realms of fiction much these days. He brought his gaze back to the utilitarian architecture.
The seagull was back, perched on the sill, as it had been day after day. Sometimes, it tapped the window with its beak. Ben was never sure if the gull wanted in, or for him to open the window and join it outside, flying or falling. Freedom either way.
Secretly, Ben thought the gull was an albatross. It was so vast, so impressive, that it seemed inconceivable that it could be an ordinary gull blown in from Plymouth Sound and sitting on the grimy ledge. The first albatross perhaps to make it to England, tossed on ocean currents all the way from the Chatham Islands, lost, alone. If it was, then it was in good company. Ben had never felt so lost or so alone, and he had spent a fair proportion of his life being buffeted by metaphorical winds far stronger than those that prowled the vast oceans of the world.
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We had a chance to ask John a few questions...
- What’s the best line you ever wrote?
I’m rather fond of one from Book 6 of More Heat Than the Sun, Death’s Ink-Black Shadow: Life was having someone alongside you in every single manoeuvre, every fall, every painful rise again, and knowing that, win or lose, the war was never fought alone. I was asked in another interview how I would define romance, and that line would pretty much sum up what I’ve tried to capture with the romance in this series—there are no cupcakes, no little surprise gifts, no hearts and flowers. It doesn’t matter what life has thrown at Nikolas and Ben, they’ve always faced it together. Which makes the events of Enduring Night incredibly painful, as this mantra is put to the test for the very first time.
- Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?
I actually don’t like music at all. I very rarely listen to it. Yes, I know, I can hear the outcries now, but I always have a lot of things going on in my head, and music irritates me intensely. I have been known to walk out of shops because of the music being played. This dislike possibly comes from living in shared accommodation for so much of my life. I now value silence I have.
- If your book were made into a movie, what actors would you like to see star?
I don’t think this is a secret with any of my loyal fans. I have the film posters made already…Nikolas would be played by Mads Mikkelsen and Ben by Ben Hill. I know he’s a model and not an actor but I feel he would rise to the challenge in more ways than one.
I mean, come on, this is just so Nikolas…
- What genres do you write in?
- Where and when do you prefer to write?
I tend to write in the mornings. I’m lucky in that, like my main characters Nikolas and Ben, I’m not tied to the tyranny of paid employment, so I can have a good few hours to devote to surfing around writing. I often pick it up again in the evening to read through what I’ve done that day. I have my writing spot with views across two mountain ranges that are covered with snow ten months of the year, and I can hear the Pacific rollers crashing in on the beach if the wind is in the right direction. If the sun is out, I write outside on the deck (never say that in a Kiwi accent) in a notebook and type it up in the evenings. I always carry a notebook, as I tend to have Eureka-plot moments in the strangest of places. I had one this morning out on the ride-on mower in the paddock.
About the author:
John is English, an ex-army officer, who emigrated to New Zealand and now spends his time surfing and procrastinating on YouTube.
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