The Diamond Seekers by Jack Everett and David Coles

By Michael F. Stewart

Not every novelist works alone, but not every novelist can collaborate. Here to tell me how it can work, and about their new novel THE DIAMOND SEEKERS, please welcome Jack Everett and David Coles.

Thank you, Jack and David!

Reviews for THE DIAMOND SEEKERS are rolling in:

“This is my first Everett/Coles tale, but I dare say…not my last. Their writing is exquisite and fascinating. If you need a good book to curl up with, read THE DIAMOND SEEKERS. You won’t regret a second!” Terri Ann Armstrong, author of HOW TO PLANT A BODY

“This book has more twists and turns than a mountain road.”  Ruth Ann Hixson

“This is a fantastic thriller that caught and held my attention from the first page.” Lynn Worton

“This book doesn’t let go of you until the very last page – and that last page ends with a WOW-twist. Very satisfying.” Melodie Campbell, author of THE GODDAUGHTER

Congratulations to you both, these must be very gratifying to you. Your back copy does a great job in introducing THE DIAMOND SEEKERS, so let me share it.

When a courier for the powerful crime family descended from Niccolo Machiavelli realizes he’s being followed by a rival family assassin, he takes a detour through the English countryside to shake his pursuer. He manages to hide his precious cargo a fortune in blood diamonds from Sierra Leone before his pursuer collides with an English family on a holiday drive.

The courier drowns in a swollen river; the mother and son die in the crash. The father is emotionally devastated, and retires in despair from his MI5 cipher career. Years pass and our hero has retired to the country when he receives a telephone call from someone purporting to be his son. They arrange a meet but the son fails to appear causing our hero to contact the security services-his former employers. An agent and former colleague is shot dead on our hero’s bedroom floor causing him to leave England for safer shores.

Meanwhile, the head of the Machiavelli crime family, Alberto Lorente, is still in pursuit of his missing diamonds and is ready to launch an ambitious scheme to recover them. What follows is a twisted trail of murder, kidnapping and layers upon layers of subterfuge.

The British Security Services are seriously compromised, but no one knows how or by whom. And suddenly, our former MI5 cipher expert is on everyone’s shopping list.

What more can you tell me about the main character, Phillip Madden? What drives him?

Initially Philip is driven by fear, he has been living the life of a hermit for years and all of these happenings are more than his mind can comprehend. Having suffered the loss of his wife and child he has stopped thinking and thus allows circumstances to drive him along.

I’ve read that THE DIAMOND SEEKERS is in part about missing diamonds, but also about the theme of paternity, how so?

Philip is contacted by a son he never knew he had and questions how this can be so. A meeting arranged to discuss the matter goes awry so Philip is back in the familiar situation of knowing nothing.

Every good mystery has layers of deception, and THE DIAMOND SEEKERS has certainly hit that mark with your readers. How do you subvert the expectations of your readers in a believable way?

With much practice and bouncing ideas of each other.

Your characters are described as realistic, consisting of many different shades, not wholly good or evil. Why was it important to you for the antagonist Alberto Lorente, aka The Prince, to be viewed in this way?

Robin Hood did evil things but was he evil? I wanted the readers to make their own minds up about the man. I wanted them to ask whether it is justified to take money from people to look after other people.

As a writer myself, I’m particularly interested in the writing process of coauthors. What’s it like? How do you split the role?

We have tried many ways starting many years ago with writing a chapter apiece but have mainly settled on Jack writing the 1st draft with weekly discussions then David doing the 1st re-write followed by Jack, David , Jack….. until we are both happy.

What’s the best part of sharing authorship? The worst (other than splitting the royalties!)? Does it allow you to write any faster? Is one of you lazier than the other or a better procrastinator?

Over the years we have become close friends that is the best development and no it does not speed up the process. I don’t think we could sit in a room and write together because David is a night person and Jack an early bird.

Have you ever disagreed on anything important? This is your fourth collaboration, which was the most difficult and why?

This is more like our 24th collaboration, although only nine are on paper, four are eBooks some are with publishers and some never left the drawer of our desks.

What’s next? Are you working on another crime project as a duo?

We have had two published this year: as well as THE DIAMOND SEEKERS we have a medieval mystery out with Oak Tree Press entitled BACK OF BEYOND. It tells the story of a monk promoted to Abbot by the Pope who is then sent to investigate the rum going-ons in abbeys- the title means the Abbey in the middle of nowhere. We also have news- hot off the press- that our two futuristic detective stories THE FACES OF IMMORTALITY and TO RULE THE UNIVERSE written under our Fantasy/Sci-Fi name of Everett Coles, are to be featured on the jackvance.com website and are to be translated into Dutch. This site is maintained by the followers of the great man and sponsored by Spatterlight Press. All of these book details can be found on Archimedespresse.co.uk

We have another book with our publisher -no title yet- in the Detective Inspector White series, the First was titled THE TOURIST and is available at all online stores.

Congratulations, that sounds fantastic! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and good luck with THE DIAMOND SEEKERS.

*****

David Coles began writing fantasy and science fiction rather longer ago than he likes to remember. He is also the co-author of a number of fantasy and science fiction stories with Jack Everett, including FANTOCINE, MERLIN’S KIN and the forthcoming medieval mystery, DEATH AND TAXES. Mr. Coles lives with his wife in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, where his only pet is a laptop.

Find out more about David on his website.

Jack Everett is author and co-author of a number of fantasy & science fiction, crime and thriller novels. Some are published, some are in progress and others remain between the ears. Jack also hand crafts the most stunning snooker cues imaginable and modern objects d’art from exotic and magnificently figured timbers. He collects books and playing cards though there is little space in a much overcrowded home.

He hopes to live to be two hundred and visit mans’ outposts on Mars. Find out more about Jack on his website.

Jack and David have collaborated on a number of novels together, including the historical thriller THE LAST FREE MEN and the crime thrillers THE TOURIST and 1/1:JIHAD-BRITAIN.

Michael F. Stewart

Michael F. Stewart is the author of several graphic novels published by Oxford University Press Canada. 24 Bones is his debut supernatural thriller, and The Sand Dragon is his first horror novel. His next novel, Hurakan, will be released in Fall 2010. Michael lives and writes in Ottawa, Canada.

Visit Michael at www.michaelfstewart.com.

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