Thursday, September 19, 2013

David Callinan,The Immortality Plot

AUTHOR: David Callinan
GENRE: Crime thriller
PUBLISHER: Ocean House (own self-published)

Please tell us about yourself.
I’ve had a varied career as a musician, journalist, PR consultant and editor. I started out after my education doing a huge variety of different jobs uncertain about career paths. I rediscovered Irish folk music and formed a folk band called The Spalpeens. We busked all over Europe and Ireland then toured with The Dubliners and many other luminaries. Later I formed a folk-rock band called Urban Clearway and toured with Elton John, Rod Stewart and Billy Connolly.

Then I co-wrote a Celtic rock opera for the Edinburgh festival called Pucka-Ri which starred a young Pierce Brosnan (it’s on YouTube). He had to appear naked with a goat for his first entrance.

I became a journalist, editor and PR consultant handling many different types of clients but was writing consistently all this time. I am a cross-genre writer: dark thrillers, young adult fantasy and children’s books.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I suppose I am full-time, although I do take editorial assignments on from time to time. I divide work between writing and promoting, which never seems to be one hundred percent successful. I have many books out in different genres with very different readerships – from Dean Koontz/Thomas Harris-type thrillers to Philip Pullman-like young adult fantasy.

When and why did you begin writing?
I can remember writing a series of adventures featuring a character called Thomas when I was around eight or 10. I grew up reading the adventures of William (Richmal Crompton) and I just copied the approach.

What inspired you to write your first book?
It’s funny but I put off writing a major book for many years. I used to say to myself that I knew I would write a book one day but never imagined I would write genre fiction. I wanted to write the great working class hero novel. Then I thought trying to write TV series would be easier so I tried that unsuccessfully. The first book I ever wrote was called All The Wild Young Children, the same title as a song I had written. I just launched into it and surprise, surprise attracted the interest of publisher Secker & Warburg who saw raw talent but felt the book was unpublishable. They were right.

What are your thoughts about promotion?
I have two blogs and two Twitter accounts plus a Facebook page but nothing seems to work even though the content is good. It might be luck. Self-publishing has opened the floodgates so it is just as hard to get notice now as it was in the past – in fact harder. And it means that as well as good books being written there is a lot of dross. If I knew the secret of propelling myself into the mainstream consciousness of book buyers around the world I would keep it to myself.

What are your current projects?
Apart from The Immortality Plot, which features ex U.S assassin, ex Hong Kong police and ex esoteric monk, Mike Delaney, I have just finished the next book in the series featuring this character Good Girl Bad Girl.

I have stand alone dark metaphyiscal thrillers: Knife Edge, Bodyswitch, and An Angel On My Shoulder. In addition, I have written the first of a YS SF/fantasy trilogy ‘The Creation Game’, called The Vanishing and the first of a children’s chapter book series featuring The Weather Kids.

What genre do you write in and why?
I have read widely over the years but found myself at ease as a writer with the darker side of crime thrillers. I have a strong leaning towards what you might call metaphysical or spiritual ideas (but not as you might know them). I have written many screenplays that became books. You can explore the human condition in some depth in the crime thriller format but I don’t really stick to formats as such.
I have toyed with the idea of writing romance fiction under a different name but I don’t think my wife would be convinced by the result.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
The Immortality Plot - first of series featuring Mike Delaney

Mike Delaney is conflicted, spiritual, charismatic – ex US government 
assassin, ex Hong Kong Police, ex esoteric monk and full time avenger as he 
seeks the killer of his murdered wife and uncovers an illicit human cloning 
operation for the super rich.

The antagonist, Lucius Gynt (alias Chantelle), known as ‘The Priest’ is a 
transvestite who is as tough as a male and as sensually alluring as a femme 
fatale who makes Hannibal Lecter look like Little Bo Peep. 

Mike Delaney is kicked out of the Hong Kong Force on a trumped up 
charge along with his partner Bob Messenger.Delaney drops out and joins a 
reclusive esoteric monastic brotherhood while Messenger forms confess-confess – a global crime busting website where ordinary people fight back against injustice, each with their own code name. 

Delaney falls in love, leaves the monastery and marries. One year later his 
investigative journalist wife is brutally murdered by a contract serial 
killer known as 'The Priest'. She is one of many.

Delaney vows to track down 'The Priest'. He discovers his wife was about to 
expose a global plot known as The Renaissance Project involving the richest 
and most powerful people on the planet who pay huge sums to attain true 
immortality. The 'Priest' is their tame assassin (but Lucius Gynt is not as 
tame as they think he is).

On the confess-confess website Delaney's code name is 'The Monk'. His search 
for 'The Priest', and uncovering the labyrinthine Renaissance Project will 
test his skills to the limit and put his life on the line. 

What comes first: the plot or characters?
In this case, because I constructed the character in great detail, the character came first. I then had to dream up storylines and plots to suit.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you?  Why or why not?
Most of my adult fiction is a touch erotic without being dominated by sexual action. Sex in a literary sense has never bothered me although I tire of badly written, semi-literate porn that has little to do with sexual experience. 

In the world inhabited by Mike Delaney, violence was a fact of life. However, he is a character who has vowed to try never to kill again unless is life or the lives of his loved ones are in danger.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process?
I tend to apply the same approach as I took writing a screenplay to writing a thriller. It would be different if I were to write literary fiction. I usually plot the overt and the subtle action on either side of a vertical line that I call the spine. One side details the action, the other the emotional undercurrents, implications and feelings of the characters. So I can deliberately plan a plot point by a certain page in the book, quite apart from chapter cliffhangers.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
Website containg blog Separate blog called The Bookwriters On Twitter, I can be found at @davidcallinan and @thebookwriters, and you can like my Facebook page at


1 comment:

  1. Nice interview! I think everyone has trouble marketing.