GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview: Fantasy thriller Sci-Fi Author Richard Mann + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Friday, August 4, 2023

Interview: Fantasy thriller Sci-Fi Author Richard Mann + giveaway

Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I grew up in Bracknell, Berkshire in the 1960’s. I was always an avid reader of books, even from an early age I loved the literary giants Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Frank Herbert and Douglas Adams. By the age of 16 I had read Lord of the Rings 5 times! All these writers influenced me one way or another.

I started writing at 16 but the dream faded until 2011. During my 20’s I studied business studies and accountancy, trained as a king fu expert, worked as an accountant, now a Software developer in the City of London for banks and insurance companies. As I said in 2011 I started writing again, this time the Dominion First Blood series. Something exciting, fast-paced, with a mix of science fiction and fantasy. A huge amount of research goes into my books, for example on military technology like the rail gun. In my books our hero Bullet Proof Pete (his nickname) uses a hand help rail gun, which is the only thing powerful enough to kill the aliens which invaded Earth. But I don’t want to give too much away.

I wanted to write something that plays out in the imaginations of readers like a movie. At its core it’s fiction, but the novel also asks some much deeper questions about race, religion and the basic survival of humankind. When everything is lost how do we survive? I believe readers will turn the last page with plenty to think about, and be grateful for.

What is something unique/quirky about you?
In my 20’s I trained in Kung Fu, starting off with Shaolin style, then Wing Chun Kung Fu (which Bruce Lee did) and even starting a King Fu school with a friend. I used to do a 100 press-ups in 1 go. Not now though. I could only manage 6 punches in 1 second.

What are some of your pet peeves?
People who use the loos but don’t wash their hands. Also people in the gym changing room who spray deodorant everywhere – where people breathe it in. Very annoying.

Where were you born/grew up at?
I grew up in Bracknell, Berkshire in the 1960’s. Bracknell was a new town then and just being built. There were large tracts of forest Crown Land, which were later built on. Me and my friends used to spend many happy hours playing in the woods, building camps, and dodging the rangers in their land rovers-you were not allowed to walk in the Crown state then. Now you can and Bracknell is surrounded by beautiful forest.

If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
With my family having a nice meal and knowing I will meet them again 1 day.

What kind of world ruler would you be?
I would be tough but fair. I would focus on climate change, making the world a better place and implement a redistribution of wealth to help the needy.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
Walking in the forest, swimming, and watching a movie with my wife,

How to find time to write as a parent?
My boys are grown up now so no problem.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Thorough, thoughtful, kind, energetic and wiser.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I first published my first book in 2016.

Do you have a favorite movie?
Many. Excalibur by John Boorman, action movies like Heat, the Dune films, LOTR trilogy of course. Well done Peter Jackson – you should make a movie of my books!

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
All of them! HERO, VENDETTA and CAIUS. I’m a very visual person so the books play like a movie.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Tiger I suppose.

Hero (Dominion First Blood Book 1)
by Richard Mann
Genre: SciFi, Apocalyptic Fantasy
Lost in the desert our modern day hero SAS Captain "Bullet Proof Pete" has strange visions of a priest and an ancient book of prophecy, and a sword of unspeakable power. The Archangel Michael appears when all seems lost and tells him his destiny and his ancient name.

His visions continue, a dark cave, something diabolical within, a blackened sky and an ancient race of aliens invade earth in a monstrous ship. A woman of strange beauty appears in his dreams trying to contact him.

A brilliant archaeologist makes a shocking discovery in modern Iraq.

The magnetic Lucia and Count Cassian - vampires since the dawn of civilisation meet with the US President to persuade him of the impending threat. They also seek the ancient Hero contained in the book of prophecy.

In a frantic race against time our hero goes to New York to find out aboutthe alien agenda, but surrounded by alien forces he is saved at the last minute by two mysterious vampires.

Former enemies, both human and vampire, must become friends. But can humankind learn to set aside their petty conflicts and unite in a common cause?

Issues of race, religion and class are now irrelevant in a fight against a common and vicious enemy - determined to conquer earth and enslave its people. And one human holds the key - Caius.

“I wanted to write something that plays out in the imaginations of readers like a movie,” explains the author. “At its core it’s fiction, but the novel also asks some much deeper questions about race, religion and the basic survival of humankind. I believe readers will turn the last page with plenty to think about.”

Continuing, “There’s lots for everyone – including hardboiled hallmarks of sci-fi and fantasy for those who like a solid read, as well as lots of technical descriptions and some rather advanced weaponry, for readers who have a taste for the unconventional!”

**Only .99 cents!**

Peter arrives with Colonel Bradley at the MI6 building, River House, in Vauxhall Cross, London in a blacked-out Range Rover. The official name for MI6 is the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), but everyone at Hereford refers to it as 6. Peter hasn’t been told what the meeting is about, and when he asks his Colonel, he just smiles at him. ‘You will see.’

On the way down from Hereford, he has asked about his father. ‘It’s classified,’ was the curt reply. Peter felt miffed; he would have to use some leverage.

They go through airport-style scanners and a body search. Their SAS IDs are checked against a database, the smart-looking security guard checking their faces. ‘Sorry about the extra checks gentlemen. You are clear to proceed.’ Peter has heard a rumour that they had nearly let in a terrorist the previous week, who had explosives on him. It never got into the papers, of course, it would be too embarrassing. They are escorted into a lift which goes down to the lower levels of the building. Peter glances at their black-suited and silent escort—definitely ex-military, probably Special Forces.

Silent man.

He remembers the James Bond movies, with a suave debonair 007 driving an Aston Martin. If only the public knew the truth, it is people like him—battle-hardened SAS soldiers who have been recruited by MI6 to do their dirty work. Civvies are simply not up to the job of being a secret agent—not the 007 kind anyway. No going to casinos in tuxedos, but spending hours, days, holed up in a dingy room, eating unhealthy food, monitoring suspects, gathering intelligence. When in the field taking enough Imodium to constipate an elephant—an SAS operative must leave no trace of their presence there. No DNA evidence, smelling like a tramp. Boredom. Then moments of extreme danger and adrenaline.

And extreme violence.

Kill or be killed.

The lift opens, and they are escorted into a huge white room, which is empty except for a large rectangular glass room in the centre. It seems out of place. From a hundred yards away Peter can see someone sitting at a table in the glass room. Mid-forties. Posh looking. Pinstriped suit, combed back hair, old school. Their footsteps echo as they walk in silence towards the sterile looking glass room.

Silent Man punches a code into a panel, and the door slides open. The man sitting opposite them beckons them to sit down. Peter can see a perfectly ironed shirt with a motif, hand-made. Expensive. Gold cufflinks, old school tie—bet he went to Eton, but there is a hardness about him—as if he has seen military service. He has a scar on his left cheek.

His face cracks open as he smiles, ‘Ah welcome Colonel Bradley and Sergeant Morgan. I am Nigel Goldbroom. Peter—can I call you Peter?’ as he looks at Peter, questions in his eyes. Peter takes an instant liking to him, he seems genuine, not a bureaucrat.

Not a politician.

‘Yes, Sir Nigel, I just wondered why I was brought here?’ Peter asked.

Colonel Bradley and Sir Nigel smile, as the SIS Chief leans forward.

‘Myself and the Colonel were thinking of entering you into the Olympics young man!’ Colonel Bradley sniggered, and his blue eyes sparkled.

‘But then you wouldn’t be secret anymore would you?’

Sir Nigel looks at some papers on his desk.

‘You did the 65k endurance in three hours, a record unlikely to be beaten. The strength of ten men, super hearing, and vision. Everyone’s talking about you, Peter. And clever, a degree in languages, including Arabic. You can be a great asset to us. I have agreed with the Colonel here that you can work for us occasionally. Is that ok with you?’

‘Sir Nigel, I like you—you seem genuine, so I will say yes.’ Then Peter adds, ‘As long as Vinnie works with me. That’s my only condition.’

‘Ah yes but he doesn’t have your abilities.’

‘He’s my wingman, I don’t do missions without him.’ Sir Nigel looks through his papers again.

‘Corporal Vinnie Carson, of questionable character, rebellious, father a suspected gangster. Ok but you must vouch for his behaviour.’

‘Could provide useful intel—his father I mean,’ suggests Colonel Bradley brushing back his silver hair,’ raising his eyebrows.

‘On London terror suspects. Mmm,’ Sir Nigel rubs his chin.

‘Me and Vinnie are a team,’ prompts Peter.

‘OK agreed,’ smiles Sir Nigel who now leans forward, a worried look on his face.

Peter’s demeanour becomes intense as he stares at Bradley, then at Sir Nigel, ‘One more thing. I want to find out what happened to my father. And no bullshit.’

‘That’s classified,’ replies Colonel Bradley. Sir Nigel looks sympathetically at Peter. ‘Peter, I wish I could help you, but as the good colonel said, it’s classified.’

‘Maybe I will go and work for the Yanks then,’ says Peter, arms folded, the muscles bulging in his smart sergeants uniform, knowing that will set the cat among the pigeons. Leverage. They thought they could keep it secret – but he knows the CIA are looking to hire him.

Sir Nigel gives the colonel a panicked look.

‘Peter, please be reasonable. Look, as soon as you get back from the mission, we will have a chat. Promise.’

‘What mission?’ asks Peter, his blue intelligent eyes blazing.

‘This is a secure room, a sealed room, sound and bug-proof, for what we are about to discuss is above top secret. There will be no record of our conversation.’ Sir Nigel drinks some water, clears his throat, then continues.

‘Thing is Peter, we have a problem here at the Intelligence Service. A serious problem. We think we have a mole in our organization. A rat. We have a few suspects but nothing concrete. We suspect they are working for the other side. With the terrorists. In Yemen. We are not sure if its Al Qaeda or some or other terrorist group. They have kidnapped the ambassador to Saudi Arabia. It’s a black operation, no-one will hear about it. You will receive a full briefing when you get there. The thing is—and this is the important bit—I have arranged for all the suspects to go with you as MI6 liaisons with your SAS team, which you will be leading. Keep an eye on them. There’s Saunders, Ponsonby, and Ahmed. Here’s a file on each of them. Read it then give back to me. It cannot go outside of this room.’

Peter reads through the two-page report on each suspect. They all appear to be clean—good service records, no suspicious activities. Ahmed is a Muslim, but Peter will not hold that against him. He knows many good Muslims himself—hardworking and good family men. Saunders is from South Africa. Ex-military, a Christian, church-going. Immaculate record. Another good family man. Ponsonby. Single. Went to Eton.

‘Did you go to Eton with Ponsonby Sir?’ asks Peter. Sir Nigel, surprised at Peter’s perception leans forward, ‘Yes he’s a good man. He was my roommate.’ Peter looks Sir Nigel in the eye. There is a look of sadness in it, then it is gone.

‘Sir Nigel, let me be frank, these missions are dangerous enough, without rats in the pack. I need to trust people. I trust my men implicitly. It’s a dangerous variable.’

‘I understand Peter, but we want you to find out who the rat is.’

They sit silent for a while.

‘Thing is Peter, I don’t trust anyone,’ Sir Nigel said unhappily.

‘Here is my personal number, it’s a secure line.’ Sir Nigel looks desperate, as he hands Peter a card.

‘I have one more condition,’ asks a poker-faced Peter.

‘Yes…what is it?’ asks a desperate-looking Sir Nigel.

‘I want brown leather trim on my DB9 please.’

Colonel Bradley and Sir Nigel nearly fall off their chairs as they laugh. ‘Excellent, excellent, priceless Peter. I will enjoy working with you,’ laughs Sir Nigel, ‘brown leather trim,’ he chortles—then his face became serious again.

As they come out of the MI6 building into the fresh air, Peter thinks he will enjoy working with Sir Nigel.

The Range Rover with blacked out windows pulls up outside.

‘You are going directly to RAF Lyneham and flying out tonight. Good luck Peter. I don’t have to tell you how important this mission is,’ says Colonel Bradley as he shakes Peter’s hand.

Vendetta  (Dominion First Blood Book 2)


Caius (Dominion First Blood Book 3)

About the Author
Richard Mann grew up in being an avid reader of books, even from an early age he loved the literary giants Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Frank Herbert and Douglas Adams. He is also a big fan of Bernard Cornwell, the historical novelist and Frederic Forsyth, the great thriller writer. (Hint: If you love these authors you will love Richard’s books). He started writing at 16 but the dream faded until a few years ago when he started writing again. During his twenties he studied business studies and accountancy. During this time he also studied Shaolin and Wing Chun Kung Fu and even starting a school with a friend. He has worked as an accountant, Software developer in the City of London for banks and insurance companies, and is now an author.

HERO- Dominion First Blood is his first book. His mercurial book is action packed, fast paced, and guaranteed to keep the reader turning pages to the end. This wholly original book falls within the thriller, fantasy horror, and sci-fi genres. It combines incredible action, hair-raising scares and big laughs. It will shock the reader into thinking about his own place in the world. Warning: This book may keep the reader up all night!

Richard is a fellow Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians, Member of the Institute of Analysts and Programmers and a Member of the British Computer Society. He is 57, married to Brenda, has two sons and lives in Berkshire.

The best way to keep up with his latest news is to sign up for his newsletter.

$20 Amazon
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  1. Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and books' details, I am a huge fan of both the sci-fi and paranormal genres and this series sounds like a must read for me

  2. I enjoyed the post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This looks like a high octane read. Thanks for hosting