I welcome Alex Shaw to Bloomin’ Brilliant Books today as he shares his Author Influences with us.Alex is the author of the Aidan Snow SAS Thrillers and I will tell you more about the fisrt in the series later. Now, I will hand you over to Alex.
Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I read Star Wars graphic novels and then Action Man novels, but the main books I liked to read were non-fiction travel books. I’d learn about new countries and note down phrases in foreign languages.
Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I did like English but I think that as I found it a little easy I didn’t try my best. Although I was never the best at spelling.
What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I only really read crime fiction and espionage thrillers, and funnily enough this is what I write. I think it would be difficult to write in a genre you didn’t enjoy reading.
If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I’ve written one military vampire novel and a few horror short stories, so that would be an area that I may like to write in if I stop writing thrillers.
Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
I was mainly inspired to write by the Gulf War SAS heroes turned writers – Andy McNab and Chris Ryan (Chris Ryan and I now have the same German publisher). I read their books and saw how they weaved their insider knowledge into commercial stories. When I moved to Kyiv I realised that I too had insider knowledge (of Ukraine) and decided to set my stories there.
Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Yes, quite a few. Steve Kavanagh, Lee Child, Stephen Leather, Jake Needham, Tom Wood, Mark Greaney, Jorn Lier Horst and Kati Hiekkapelto.
Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
There’s not one particular book I wish I’d written, but Steve Cavanagh’s The Defence was a striking debut novel. I loved the character of Eddie Flynn being both lawyer and conman and having to use both skill sets to survive.
Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
I have taken some real life events and incorporated them into my stories as I like things to seem believable, and of course political figures appear. Apart from this Aidan Snow shares my initials, height, hometown and we both use to live in the same flat in Kyiv, however I was not in the SAS. A couple of other characters are based on people I know, one I can’t elaborate on but the other is my long term friend and fellow former Kyiv expat Michael Jones, who appears as himself.
Alex’s Aidan Snow SAS Thrillers are out now. The first in the series is called Cold Blood and this is what it’s about:
Aidan Snow thought he could escape his past. But now it’s back, with a vengeance.
Ten years ago, SAS Trooper Aidan Snow was left fighting for his life after a mission went wrong and ever since he has been haunted by the image of the man with green eyes. The man who should have killed him.
Now, Snow is finally living a peaceful life in Ukraine… Until Taurus Pashinsk, the green-eyed man, returns.
As Snow’s past catches up with him he finds himself thrown back into the world of espionage with a vengeance.
About Alex Shaw
Alex Shaw spent the late 1990s in Kyiv, teaching and running his own business consultancy before being head-hunted for a division of Siemens. The next few years saw him doing business for the company across the former USSR, the Middle East, and Africa. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers organisation, the Crime Writers Association and the author of the Aidan Snow SAS thrillers. Alex, his wife and their two sons divide their time between homes in Kyiv – Ukraine, Doha – Qatar and Worthing, England. Alex can be followed on twitter: @alexshawhetman
Alex’s Aidan Snow series can be found in most good bookshops, some odd ones and here:
Thanks for taking part, Alex. I really enjoyed reading your answers.