As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author and journalist Geoffrey Seed talks about the inspiration behind his new political thriller, Death In A Time Of Conspiracy.
Written by JJ Barnes
I inteviewed Geoffrey Seed about his life and career, what inspired him to start writing fiction, and the story of his new political thriller, Death In A Time Of Conspiracy.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m a former TV producer and journalist. After leaving the Daily Mail, I worked for investigative programmes like World in Action, BBC Panorama and also made documentaries for Channel 4 and ITV.
My shows range through human rights abuses in the Soviet Union, torture in southern Africa, cocaine smuggling in Colombia, corruption in British football and the music industry, political assassinations in the Balkans and the British State’s covert involvement in directing terrorism in Northern Ireland.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
A brilliant actor friend, Patrick Malahide, said I should fictionalise elements of my bumpier life and times, working in interesting places with fascinating – sometimes, menacing – people. Not everything one sees, hears or learns on the road makes it to the screen.
When I looked back over my career, I realised I had abundant research material just waiting to be dug out of old notebooks. For me especially, the great bonus about writing a novel is that unlike with TV programmes I made, it wasn’t necessary to “prove” every aspect of the story to the satisfaction of libel lawyer or an editor. But my current affairs background still demands that what I write must have a factual and realistic basis.
When did you take a step to start writing?
When I dyed my hair grey and commissioning editors got younger every month.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
I can’t remember exactly but it would’ve been at least eighteen months. The book, “A Place of Strangers”, was based on information given to me by a European diplomat who’d done favours for the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. It had rave rejections from the major publishing houses and finally came out as a paperback via a very small indie. An e-book outfit then asked to take it on and their Kindle version topped Amazon’s best-selling political thriller chart for three months and subsequently for several weeks.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
This is hard to answer because the disparate elements of this story have been in my head for more than thirty years. I had to wait till a guy I knew had died before I could fit parts of his undercover life into a wider narrative.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Death In A Time Of Conspiracy?
It’s a powerful story of human weaknesses, of ambition and greed and the willingness of the State to exploit both then cover-up the murderous consequences.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Death In A Time Of Conspiracy?
Finding the relevant notebooks in a cellar full of others…that and not running out of Rich Tea biscuits.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
In this latest effort, I have more than one protagonist. In each might be found just a hint of someone I’ve known or met on my travels.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
See the previous answer.
What is the inciting incident of Death In A Time Of Conspiracy?
Forgive me, I don’t feel that I understand the question. The book contains interconnecting incidents in the lives of different people. The sum of these incidents forms the basis of the story and keep the reading wanting to know what happens next and to whom.
What is the main conflict of your book?
The rivalries between people, lovers, the State and its arms and legs in the intelligence service when politics and the game move on.
Did you plot your book in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I usually have a beginning and a rough idea of where I’m going. But for me, writing a novel a very organic process.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Death In A Time Of Conspiracy need?
A friend who was a Fleet Street foreign desk sub editor reads my stuff chapter by chapter. He takes out spelling and style errors and tells me bluntly if the story is working.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Don’t faff about. Just get on and do it. If it’s there, it’ll come. But don’t – repeat, don’t – think it’ll be easy.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I’m currently 32,000 words into a fifth book, “The Woman Who Never Was”. This has a murder in Sussex, a motive in Afghanistan and a suspect in America. All good clean fun.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I’m not proud, no. One way or another, telling stories is what I’ve always done. This is just another way of doing it.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
I am on Facebook. My previous titles – “A Place of Strangers”, “The Convenience of Lies” and “The Boy From Zion Street” are now only available via Amazon in paperback or e-book.
We strive to keep The Table Read free for both our readers and our contributors. If you have enjoyed our work, please consider donating to help keep The Table Read going!
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.