Interview with Damien Comerford

Cover Up looks deeply into five major world incidents from the 20th century, how did you choose which events to look into?
It was a combination of curiosity and random happenstance. For example, I knew nothing of the death of Princess Diana but was curious to know more. I was aware that there were unsubstantiated allegations and conspiracy theories. What I wanted to do was examine the official investigation reports to see what they said and when I did, I quickly realized there many things that were seriously wrong and needed to be written about. In the case of the death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and the Arrow Air disaster it was pure happenstance. But my starting point has always been, what are the official reports and investigations saying? Are the findings credible? Have they reached the correct conclusions? And the answer to these last two questions, in all of the cases examined in the book, is a resounding no. The death of Pope John Paul I always fascinated me after I read David Yallop’s book. And while I think he did an excellent job I was always troubled by his inability to provide the evidence to back his theories. So again for me it was a case of collating the research, deconstructing it and seeing what could be established as fact and what issues were raised.
Do you worry that you will be a target (of any sort) after publishing this book? Is taking on such a project dangerous in any way?
A lot of my friends have asked that question. I’ve faced down danger in the past. Being on the frontline in the war in East Timor had its moments. I guess there is always inherent danger in revealing something that someone would prefer wasn’t revealed. But isn’t something I think about or dwell on. There is no point. If someone wants to have a go, there is very little I can do about it. I just hope people read my book because they need to know about these cases. What happened here isn’t right. The only debt we owe the dead is the truth and in these five cases the truth has not been told. Covering up what really happened also demonstrates a profound lack of respect for the relatives and friends of the people who lost their lives.
Cover Up is meant to bring the truth to the surface, or at least bring the right questions to mind—do you believe that the events you cover truly are “cover ups” or are investigators just that passive?
Absolutely. No doubt in my mind. Deliberate processes were followed to steer everyone away from what truly happened. I did ask myself the question, are these people incompetent or are they following another agenda? I truly believe they were following another agenda and not necessarily their own. Whatever the reason, it was clearly something they were happy to do. The book is devoted to a fairly meticulous re-examination of the facts but I leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions.
Is it difficult to establish and maintain a writing career? What do you find most difficult and most enjoyable?
I am just starting out in my book-writing career so it’s too early for me to answer that question. But I ‘ve been a journalist for more than 30 years, so in one form or another I’ve been writing just about all of my working life. I hope I don’t sound arrogant, but for me writing isn’t difficult. As I’ve said in the past, getting the first paragraph nailed is always a challenge but after that, the rest pretty much takes care of itself. But of course I’m constantly re-writing, tweaking and changing words and sentences. Writing is incredibly enjoyable. It gives me the opportunity to write about the things that I feel passionate about and interested in so it’s never a chore nor is it a burden.
How do you feel about social media for book promotion? Do you feel that it is effective?
I am doing my best to utilise social media as a platform to launch Cover Up. I think the key to a good social media marketing campaign is about knowing the right buttons to push and when and where to push them. I have advertised on Facebook and Goodreads. But I feel I’m still on a steep learning curve in terms of social media marketing. I would be grateful for any advice?
This is your first book, what surprised you most about the publishing process?
Where do I start? I think I was surprised about the amount of work that needs to be done just to get your book into a state where it can be marketed and sold. Getting someone creative to design an enticing book cover, getting the book edited and formatted for paperback and kindle, getting book reviews done so they can be included on the back cover and the list goes on. There are so many things to think about and do. It is daunting and exciting at the same time.
Is there another book in the pipeline?
My word there is. Several. My next book is about the disappearance and cover up of Malaysian airlines flight MH370. It is an extraordinary story. Watch this space.
Published 2014-11-07.
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Books by This Author

Cover Up
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,910. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » True Crime » Assassinations & Conspiracies
Author Damien Comerford reopens the investigations of five major crime news events—including the death of Princess Diana—to reveal questions the media should have asked to get the truth.