© 2013 Clive Eaton
Author Bio: Arthur Crandon is a British lawyer, blogger, reviewer and published author. He was brought up in rural Somerset in the UK, but left the rolling hills and cider for the warmer climes of Asia, where he has spent time in the Philippines and China, but now lives in Hong Kong – where cider and fish and chips are more readily available.
When he is not lawyering or writing he enjoys playing the piano (classical) , fishing and occasionally drinking red wine. He is an active member of the Hong Kong Writer’s Circle and spends a lot of time helping other authors to market their books
Book title: Deadly Election
Brief Synopsis: The Jungles of the Philippines provide the backdrop for this tense and dramatic thriller. Senator Consuelo, a streetwise and ruthless politician, is set to become the next President of the country – but is running out of cash to oil his election machine. He is ruthless and cunning – traits common to most Philippine Presidents; and that’s what he aspires to be
The book starts with the brutal rape and murder of local villagers by Japanese troops during the second world war. Luckily for them, the Japanese started to lose. The Americans re-occupied the islands and restored order. However, they left a legacy of devastation, but also of hidden tranches of gold and valuables that they were unable to take with them when they fled. The story is then carried through to present times.
Three local lads are in the mountains fishing and foraging when they find a hoard of gold – abandoned by the Japanese troops at the end of the Second World War. In their Naiveté they seek help from their local senator and presidential hopeful, Consuelo, only to be brutally murdered for their trouble. Their deaths, although tragic, are just the start of the killings. Unfortunately for the Senator the murder was witnessed by a retired Australian soldier, Paul. He seeks his own form of justice and personal reward through blackmail. However, Consuelo is not going to give up any of his windfall willingly. Both men think they can outdo the other, both men are wrong.
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
Life in Hong Kong is very busy, there isn’t much time for relaxing, but when I can I like to go fishing – I even catch a fish sometimes. I also love to play the piano but right now the opportunities to play are limited. Of course, I also love to read. I always have a couple of books on the go as I am also a reviewer.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?
For many years I have wanted to write, but not had the time or peace of mind. I have started many novels but not finished them, until now.
What or who inspired you to write your current novel?
My time in the Philippines was both wonderful and deeply painful – for so many reason. Things happened to me there that are still too raw to talk or write about, but one day I will.
I have used many things that happened to me, or other foreigners there in my book.
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1)The story of hidden gold in the Philippines is not fiction, it is a well documented fact.
2)The final murder is based on something that really happened to someone I knew.
3)The character of Jake, the ladyboy, is based on a boy/girl who worked for me for many years as an accountant.
What research did you need to do for this book?
I needed to be certain of some facts about the Japanese invasion during WWII. Their brutality was unbelievable. I also need to be certain of some Philippine constitutional procedures
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?
Definitely. Most of them are based on some of the extraordinary people I knew – some of them very well, and many of the situations and events, like bribing immigration officials to escape from the country, are very close to home.
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
I am well into writing ‘Ninety Percent’, the sequel. The actions and events in 'Deadly Election' are confined to the Philippines. In the sequel the action takes us through the Philippines and Hong Kong and into Mainland China - and from there the action bursts out from Asia and onto the world stage, with the Help of the CIA, who need money to support certain 'activities' - funding operations the US supports, but dare not admit to.
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
I am not too organised in my writing methods – I have an outline of the main points of the work, but tend to write as I think and go off on tangents as I think of them
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
Oh, I must have a drink, either coffee or tea. I am quite getting used to Chinese green tea, and they tell me it’s good for me as well.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
When my book was ready I researched self publishing and took up the challenge. I made many mistakes the first time, but I have learned a lot in the past year.
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Attention span. I can only write for 30 mins or so before I need a break – just a five minute or so.
2) I have a habit of changing my mind as I am writing, then having to rewrite large portions
3) I need music, or television while I write. I cannot write in total silence.
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
I generally do not suffer from this, except when I am tired. When I get stuck, it usually means I need to rest.
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Don’t aspire – just get on with it!
What genre does your book fall into?
How did you get interested in this specific genre?
I guess because it is this type of book that I really like to read.
You as a reader
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) John Grisham – the legal aspects of his work and his pace are great examples to follow.
2) Stephen King – of course, the master – what else is ther to say
3) Terry Pratchett. I love his humour – he lifts my spirits.
What was your favourite book as a child?
The Narnia Books had me totally enthralled
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
Dan Brown - Inferno
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
Unsavory Elements – a collection of short stories by foreign writers in China – I recommend it to all ex pats here.
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
There is a place for both. I do not have a kindle, but sometimes read books on my PCApp – I am more comfortable with a paperback
Hollywood is calling
You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?
Robert de Niro has the style and maturity to play Senator Consuelo and I can see Halle Berry playing his sexy wife, Chloe. Do I have to say why? (I think we can guess Arthur ;-) )
The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
Wow. I have never given that any thought at all. It has to be something which conveys the sultry sexuality of the book. Maybe something by Maria Carey.
Drink – Difficult to choose – probably English tea.
Meal – Roast Lamb
Holiday destination – Anywhere hot, with a beach and wifi – that takes in most of South East Asia.
TV programme – I am currently hooked on the sci-fi - Falling Skies
Film – I love the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films
Method of travel – The MTR (Underground) here is very
crowded, which I don’t like, so I usually travel by bus or
tram – but I love to fly.
Sport – Tennis – I love to play and to watch.
How can people connect with you?
Authors always appreciate feedback and comments. Please leave your comments by using the following link: Author Feedback/Comments - Thank you.
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