Monday, February 6, 2017

Guest Post: Adrian Magson - The Bid

Adrian Magson takes time to share his journey on finding Midnight Ink and the idea for the Cruxys Solutions Investigation series.

I blame my parents. Well, if you have to blame them for something, it’s better if it’s something positive – and in my case it was for setting me on a life of writing.
They encouraged me from an early age to read, and by the age of eight I was into Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour and Leslie (The Saint) Charteris, among many others. I stumbled a bit over Hank Janson and Mickey Spillane, but only because a lot of it went over my head. At first. But along the way it struck me that writing books must be a great way to make a living.
That was a tad naive, but you live and learn.
For many years while holding down a variety of day jobs, I wrote romantic fiction for women’s magazines. Lots of it. It paid, and was a great apprenticeship, but it was a long time before I sold my first crime/mystery novel. It was even longer before I could make the leap into full-time writing. But persistence paid off.
That first mystery novel, featuring a female reporter, Riley Gavin, was followed by 4 more in the series, followed by a spy series (feat. Harry Tate - also 5), then a French police series (feat. Insp Lucas Rocco – 4). It was after writing the first in a new spy series (feat. Marc Portman – 4 so far), that I went for a change of tack. I decided to go back to writing about a female lead character.
But what to write about?
While mulling over a number of possible storylines, I opened a gym locker one day and found a card inside with Adrian scribbled on it. It wasn’t for me, but it started a chain of thought: what if the card was addressed to a specific person… a woman… and …? That was it, I was off.
And this is where Midnight Ink came in.
The story, titled ‘The Locker’ - Jan 2016 – (and the word locker has more than one meaning in this story) starts out as a kidnap novel, when a little girl, Beth Hardman, goes missing from her London home along with her Polish nanny. But it soon turns into something far deeper and puzzling. Unusually, there’s no ransom demand; no predator horror facing her mother, Nancy; simply an instruction that Beth’s father, Michael, must be told, and to keep the police out of it.
Nancy remembers that her husband once told her that if anything bad were to happen, she was to call a special number. This leads to a private security company called Cruxys Solutions, which specialises in insuring people in dangerous occupations. She calls them and before long two investigators arrive: Ruth Gonzales, a former soldier and British cop, and Andy Vaslik, a former NY cop and Dept of Homeland Security agent. The first problem they face is that Nancy has no way of contacting Michael, an aid worker, and has no precise idea where he is other than somewhere in Africa or the Middle East. The second problem is that the investigators can find no trace of a Michael Hardman anywhere; no documentation, no footprint, nothing. Yet Nancy insists he exists, and is out there somewhere.
So who is this mystery man and why has his daughter been kidnapped?
To tell would be giving away too much. But it’s very clear that whoever or whatever Michael Hardman is, snatching his daughter has been carefully planned, and that if he does  come back, he’ll be walking into a trap.
‘The Bid’ (Jan 2017) – the second in the Gonzales & Vaslik series, involves another disappearance, this time of Richard Chadwick, an American drone expert. Also missing is a shipment of small drones high-jacked from the cargo hub at Memphis International Airport. But these drones are not weekend playthings; used by film studios and wildlife rangers among others, they are the latest in high-tech machines capable of carrying small loads… with terrifying possibilities.
Ruth and Andy follow a trail from London to New York, and across the central United States, slowly tracking the missing expert and the men who have kidnapped him, from vague clues left behind. All the while their progress is being monitored by the FBI and DHS, who suspect Chadwick, a former USAF intelligence officer, has become involved in a terror plot.
As they soon discover, time is not on their side.
Adrian has had 21 books published, including a beginners guide for writers, writes regular book reviews and a monthly column for beginners in Writing Magazine (UK). For more information about him, see his website at:
Adrian lives in the Forest of Dean, in the west of England, with his wife, Ann.


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