Interview with N.J. Slater

When did you first start writing?
I have dabbled on an off for years and several half finished manuscripts can be found in my loft. It was not until 2010 that impending mid-life crisis provided the spur and my first novel was finally completed.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I began work on a thriller set in England in the 1990s. The plot centred on a plan by the agencies of the Government to unseat that very Government by what ever means possible. It was set and indeed written pre-9/11 so I am not sure it would stand up to critical scrutiny now but I know its sitting in a box in the loft so who knows one day?
What is your writing process?
My first two published books are historical thrillers, that is thrillers that are set in a specific historical time. This poses unique challenges in getting the background historical setting just right and then weaving into that background, an exciting believable but fictional story.
This is particularly daunting when as in An Agent of the King, the story is set in the Napoleonic Wars. This is one of the most studied periods of history and fans of the period and fiction set in the period, have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of events, military history and even uniform detail. That said there is plenty of scope for new stories to be told of the time.
My second novel, The Black Knight is set in Victorian times and again required extensive research before writing could even start. However I find this process thrilling and the surprises it throws up are wonderful and some a storytellers gift. For instance who would have thought that Irish terrorists build a submarine in the 1880s to use against British ships? Unbelievable? Maybe so but it still exists It is called the Fenian Ram and can be found in the Paterson Museum New Jersey
What are you working on next?
My next project will be a sequel to The Black Knight. Few details have crystallised in my mind yet but it will of course include William Dexter as the reluctant secret agent. I will be researching the well known and secret events that shaped the world in the 1890s and from there a plot for fiction will hopefully begin to take shape.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Book marketing for an independent little known writer is extremely difficult. Marketing across the whole sphere of business relies on one thing usually, money and lots of it. The temptation is to use up most of the meagre rewards for writing searching for the elusive silver bullet marketing stunt.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite writers change with time as I suspect is the case for most people. Most enduring is John Buchan, PJ Wodehouse and recently Julian Rathbone. When I was younger it was Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy but times and tastes change.
Describe your desk
Like most people these days I write on a laptop usually with some meaningless pap on the tv in the background.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has enabled the distribution of my three books with no outlay to me and for that I am grateful.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is hoping that somewhere there is someone who is enjoying taking the journey with your hero.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Like most people the need to work is still there and for now that is the great motivator but who knows, one day it may be the need to write that has to substitute.
Published 2014-08-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Peninsular Spy
Series: Archie Dexter, Napoleonic War secret agent, Book 2 · Archie Dexter, Napoleonic War secret agent, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,810. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
It is 1808 and Archie Dexter a British secret agent fights a series of deadly battles from London to the Iberian Peninsular to catch a traitor who plots with the French to give Napoleon an unstoppable military advantage. With the future of Europe in the balance, no price is too high to defeat the treachery at the heart of the British Army.
The Black Knight
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 101,530. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Historical » Victorian
It is 1881 and Afghanistan veteran William Dexter goes under-cover into London's underworld to thwart the evil schemes of society fraudsters and Fenian bombers. Working for a secret department of the Home Office, he must infiltrate a shadowy sect, bent on destroying the fabric of Queen Victoria's Empire. Murder, mayhem and the most audacious robbery ever, will test his resolve to the very limit.
An Agent of the King
Series: Archie Dexter, Napoleonic War secret agent, Book 1 · Archie Dexter, Napoleonic War secret agent, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 95,340. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
Disgraced soldier, Archibald Dexter,on a mission for Nelson is stranded in Egypt during Napoleon's invasion and plays a crucial role in the Battle of the Nile. Back in England, he joins the vital secret war against Napoleon's spies, from Spain to London, he must risk everything to save the life of King George. A gripping, realistic and at times bawdy Napoleonic War era adventure unfolds.