Interview with Rory Harden

Published 2015-02-16.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm always looking for new fiction to read, preferably something well-written and exciting, with contemporary relevance.

I find a lot of 'literary fiction' to be disappointing, so I rely on writers like John le Carré and Robert Harris. If I could find newer writers of the quality of Gore Vidal or Tom Wolfe, I would read them. I'm not really into fantasy, but I like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. And I'm a big fan of P. G. Wodehouse.

As for non-fiction, I read books about politics, science, music and literature.

And I love reading computer programming manuals.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I've got a second-generation Kindle -- the one with the keyboard. That's pretty good.

And someone gave me a Kobo. Not bad, but I find the Kindle easier to use.

For reading PDFs or non-text-based material, I use a Windows 8 tablet.
Describe your desk
It's grey, functional, minimalist, and it's from Ikea.

I like to keep it clean and tidy.

I've got two 23-inch monitors on it. To the left is my Samsung black-and-white laser printer. To the right are my PC and my Yamaha MIDI keyboard.

I have a Logitech cordless keyboard which I like a lot. But I've worn off the letters on some of the keys.

Just behind me are my guitar amps: a Fender Champion and a cute little Ampeg bass amp.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Essex and Suffolk, in eastern England.

As far as I can see, it hasn't influenced my writing at all.

And, if it did, I'm not sure I would be happy about it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a thriller about a US Presidential election. It's called 'The Plutocrat.'

There's a third-party candidate -- Willard Prince -- who might just win. He's the 'Plutocrat' of the title. He's immensely successful, stupendously rich, and he's been selected by the 'Committee to Save America' to do just that, supposedly.

But is Prince what he seems? What will really become of America if he wins?

And who, if anyone, is going to stop him?

There's the Australian boss of 'Big Data Underground'. But he's on the run and his organization is under attack. Or there's the slacker blogger-girl who lucks into a job on his campaign, and who falls in with the Robin Hood Party. She seems out of her depth, but she discovers something astounding. Or there's the homeless woman who volunteers to help with the campaign and turns out to be crucial to its success. Does she know what she's doing? And how about Ray Krall, Prince's Campaign Director? Does he really want Prince to win?

Meanwhile, in the background, there's the Chinese Moon mission: what's its real purpose? Then there are strange military goings-on in the South China Sea. And there's something big about to happen in Madagascar.

And then there's the Chinese Spring...
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The realization that it is now technically possible to write the books you want to write, and to make them available to readers, entirely on your own terms and without having to seek anyone else's approval.

Indie authors are the future.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Finishing a book in the almost-certain knowledge that it said something worth saying; and that it said it well, and it did so in the most entertaining way possible.
What are you working on next?
The books I've written so far are contemporary -- or slightly futuristic -- political thrillers with a comic or satirical edge.

I intend to write more of them.

But my next project is something a bit different. It's a little bit sci-fi, and I suppose you'd locate it somewhere between 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' and Discworld. There'll be science, comedy and politics. And there'll be a dark side, too. A lot of ideas and characters and plot, but no dragons and no infinite improbability drive.
Who are your favorite authors?
John le Carré, Robert Harris, P. G. Wodehouse, Gore Vidal, Tom Wolfe, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Dickens, Flaubert, Henry James, Thomas Love Peacock, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Martin Amis, Sterne, Conrad, Trollope, Joyce, Kingsley Amis, Alasdair Gray, Philip Pullman.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A cappuccino from my Gaggia Classic.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking about writing.

And playing guitar or bass.
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Books by This Author

The Plutocrat (US Edition)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 131,000. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political
Who really won the Presidential Election? What’s the true purpose of the Chinese moon mission? Who’s building big in Madagascar? Who’s on a mission to disrupt? America won’t be the same again. In fact... Will it even be America?
The Populist (US Edition)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 154,970. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political
Who thinks he has an answer to the Greater Persian Question? Who’s going to save a nation on the brink? What’s going down in the Libyan desert? Why all the motorcycles? What’s the deal with the iguanas? And, most of all... Who is John Dolt?
The Régime Change Man (US Edition)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 157,650. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political
Who thinks running guns to Africa should be a nice little earner? Who’s accidentally acquired a soccer-mad private army of child soldiers? What happened at the Glue Factory? Who forgot to switch off the fountains? Oh, and by the way... Why is Africa’s richest country so poor?
The Plutocrat
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 131,000. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political
Who really won the Presidential Election? What’s the true purpose of the Chinese moon mission? Who’s building big in Madagascar? Who’s on a mission to disrupt? America won’t be the same again. In fact... Will it even be America?
The Populist
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 155,040. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political
Who thinks he has an answer to the Greater Persian Question? Who’s going to save a nation on the brink? What’s going down in the Libyan desert? Why all the motorcycles? What’s the deal with the iguanas? And, most of all... Who is John Dolt?
The Régime Change Man
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 157,670. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political
Who thinks running guns to Africa should be a nice little earner? Who’s accidentally acquired a soccer-mad private army of child soldiers? What happened at the Glue Factory? Who forgot to switch off the fountains? Oh, and by the way... Why is Africa’s richest country so poor?