Monday, December 17, 2012

Laurence O'Bryan, The Istanbul Puzzle

AUTHOR: Laurence O'Bryan

BOOK TITLE: The Istanbul Puzzle

PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Avon

Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?

I write in the thriller/mystery genre. I do so because I love adventure stories. My roots go back to a small estate deep in the Mountains of Mourne, near the Silent Valley, in County Down, Northern Ireland.

I went to school in Dublin, drank way too much, studied English and history, then business, then IT at Oxford University. While a student, I worked as a kitchen porter in a club near the Bank of England.

I was first published by a school newspaper when I was ten. The Istanbul Puzzle is my first novel to be published. The Jerusalem Puzzle is my second. I have also published a guide to social media, available on Kindle worldwide, called Social Media is Dynamite.

In 2007 I won the Outstanding Novel Submitted award at the Southern California writer's conference for The Istanbul Puzzle. I flew back to Ireland on cloud 999. It wasn't about the money. There wasn't any. It was about knowing I was on the right track.

Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.

The Istanbul Puzzle is the first novel in a series about the adventures of Sean and Isabel as they travel around the world solving a series of clues to one of the great puzzles of our time. 

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing almost every day for 12 years.

What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?

I was interested in writing since I was a child. Books were my escape and I always wanted to write one.

Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?

Yes, I do now. I sell my novels to major publishers and they like to know what's coming.

What comes first: the plot or the characters?

Interesting question. I have characters in mind before I write my plot, but plot is vitally important. A book is nothing without it.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?

I hate the evil characters in my work. They burn people, torture people, kill people. This is pure evil.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Editing, going back again and again to fix things.

Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?

My most recent book took one year. I love the research. I do it all the time.

Describe your writing space.

I write on a desk in a small room surrounded by books and pictures pinned to the walls! It's a total mess!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I look after my family, read and go to the gym.
What books or authors have influenced your writing?

JRR Tolkien, John Grisham, Robert Graves, Harlan Coben are some of my favorite writers.

What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?

Too big a question for me! I have no influence on the way the world will turn out and my crystal ball stopped working a while ago. 

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for

The Istanbul Puzzle is out now. The Jerusalem Puzzle is coming out soon!

What is your marketing plan?

Social media! I am also a social media consultant. If any of your readers would like a free copy of my guide to social media please visit and then email me at mentioning Penny! 

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Read the articles on writing at my website:

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

A brief synopsis:
Buried deep under Istanbul, a secret is about to resurface with explosive consequences…

Alex Zegliwski has been savagely beheaded. His body is found hidden near the sacred archaeological site of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

When Sean arrives in the ancient city to identify his colleague’s body, he is handed an envelope of photographs belonging to Alek and soon finds himself in grave danger. Someone wants him dead but why?

Aided by British diplomat Isabel Sharp, Sean begins to unravel the mystery of the mosaics in the photographs and inch closer to snaring Alek’s assassin. Evil is at work and when a lethal virus is unleashed on the city, panic spreads fast. Time is running out for Sean and Isabel. They must catch the killer before it’s too late.

An electrifying conspiracy thriller which will entice fans of Scott Mariani, Sam Bourne and Dan Brown.

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