Monday musings: Alan McDermott introduces himself

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I’m Alan, and I’m the author of seven thrillers.  The first six are part of the Tom Gray action thriller series, while the latest, Trojan, is a spinoff featuring the MI5 team led by Andrew Harvey.

Back in July 2011, my first book hit the Amazon shelves.  Gray Justice was written as a standalone, just to see if I could do it.  My ambition back then was to make a few pounds a month to top up a meagre salary, and sales were pitiful.  It was six months before I received my first royalty cheque, because in those days you had to reach £10 before they paid you!  It was during that period that someone left a review on Amazon asking what was going to happen to Tom next.  The truth was, I had no idea!  Still, I wrote Gray Resurrection, and then Gray Redemption.  The plan was to stop there, but more and more people were interested in Gray’s adventures, so I started on Gray Retribution.  By this time, the books had sold roughly 50,000 copies, and I got a call from Thomas & Mercer offering me a four-book contract.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, as with Gray Justice and every book since, I write by the seat of my pants.  I’ve tried plotting books out beforehand but never manage to stick to the story.  My main character has evolved immensely over time, going from a thinly-painted figure (mainly to hide his true intentions) to a fully-rounded character loved by many.  One thing that has changed is my writing style.  Back in 2011 I had no idea what POV meant, and it shows in my early work.  However, working with the editor at Thomas & Mercer on my last four books has taught me so much about the art.   Reading a lot has also helped me add more descriptive content to my work without bogging the story down.  I like my action fast-paced, and I want to give the same to my readers.

Most of my writing is done during the week at the local library using a notepad and pen.  Once I have 20 or so pages, I spend a day at home typing them up and editing as I go.  Weekends are reserved for my family.  I’m not really one for flying, so my wife and daughters take holidays abroad while I stay at home and catch up on the things I can’t do while they’re around, such as binge-watching box sets like Game of Thrones.

Read more about Alan on his BestSelling Reads author page.

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Thursday teaser: Trojan

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By Alan McDermott

Founding BestSelling Reads member Alan McDermott returns to the group for 2017 with a brand-new book in a brand-new series: Trojan.

The moment the sound of the shot reached him, the SAS sergeant issued his order.

‘Light ’em up!’

He rose from his position on the roof of the elder’s house and picked off two Saif al-Islam soldiers who were staring at their dead leader; his rifle was soon seeking the next target. He found it in the form of a man guarding the young women of the village. Two bullets left his weapon and scored headshots.

His fellow troopers were also making light work of the opposition. The sniper and his spotter, hidden in the mountains almost a kilometre away, had counted twenty-five enemy soldiers in the trucks. Updates had continued to come in about their locations, and within ten seconds of the leader’s takedown, another twenty-two of his men followed him to the grave.

Two remained, however, and had enough wits about them to take cover among the villagers. One rose with his arm tightly wound around a young girl’s neck, his pistol jabbed into the side of her head, and he began shouting. The other was cowering among the elderly, raising his head now and again to take a pot-shot at the men on the roofs.

The sergeant, chosen for the mission because of his fluent Arabic, understood the terrorist’s order: drop your weapons or the girl dies. It wasn’t an instruction he was about to obey.

‘You got the tall one with the girl in your sights?’ he asked into the radio.

‘Just say the word,’ the sniper responded.

‘He’s all yours,’ the sergeant said, never taking his eyes off the target. Within two seconds, half of the terrorist’s face disappeared in a crimson cloud, leaving just one x-ray to deal with.

The sergeant knew the sniper couldn’t get a bead on the enemy, as a hut lay in his line of fire. It was up to him to end it. Unfortunately, this fighter had taken note of his friend’s demise and forced three women to stand in front of him, making it impossible to shoot him without striking them first.

The target had his back to a wall. On the roof above him, one of the sergeant’s men knelt near the edge.

‘Jones, he’s right below you,’ the NCO said. ‘Stand up and move one foot to your right, then get ready to fire.’

‘You have nowhere to go,’ the sergeant called out. ‘Lay down your weapon and put your hands in the air.’

He waited until the terrorist began his response, then whispered into his throat mic: ‘Take him.’

Jones leaned over the side of the building, pointed his weapon straight down, and sent three rounds through the target’s skull, ending the stand-off.

The sergeant climbed down from his perch and told the sniper to keep an eye out in case any of the enemy had managed to call in reinforcements, then ordered the troops to gather the bodies and photograph them before loading them onto the back of the trucks. Once the task was complete, he ordered his men to climb into the cabs and went to have a word with the elder.

‘We were never here,’ he said in Arabic, then pointed to the trucks. ‘And neither were they. Hide any bullet holes and throw away our shell casings, just in case they send someone looking for them.’

About Trojan

To be published January 12, 2017 on Amazon

When MI5 learns that a horrifying new weapon is in enemy hands, agent Andrew Harvey is called in to track it down before it reaches British soil.

But then a woman is found murdered by the roadside and it soon becomes clear that London is in the crosshairs. The clock is ticking. Andrew and his girlfriend, Sarah, also a secret service operative, have only one lead: a beautiful refugee, desperate not to lose her son. But is she desperate enough to betray everything she believes in? And will she do it in time to help them prevent a terrifying attack?

As Andrew and Sarah race to unravel a convoluted web of subterfuge and exploitation, they discover there is more at stake than even they knew. And somewhere, at the heart of it, lurks a faceless enemy, who is prepared to use everything—and everyone—at his disposal.

About the author

Alan McDermott lives in the south of England,  and is married with beautiful twin daughters. He recently gave up his job of creating critical applications for the NHS to write action thrillers full time.

His debut novel, Gray Justice, was very well received and earned him bestseller status. The next two books in the series — Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption — were enough to attract the attention of a major publisher, and he has since added Gray RetributionGray Vengeance and Gray Salvation to the list.  Alan’s seventh title, Trojan,
is a spinoff featuring MI5 agent Andrew Harvey. It will be released in early 2017.

You can find more information on Alan’s:

BestSelling Reads author page  |  Amazon Author page  |   Website and blog  |  Facebook page

And follow him on Twitter @jambalian.

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Alan McDermott joins BestSelling Reads

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Bestselling action-thriller author Alan McDermott has rejoined the ranks of BestSelling Reads authors for 2017.

Alan published his first book, Gray Justice, to critical and commercial acclaim in 2011. It tells the story of an ex-SAS (British special forces) member who takes justice into his own hands following the death of his son in an automobile accident caused by a repeat car thief, and the subsequent suicide of his wife. It struck a chord in the English-reading world.

McDermott followed his first book with Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption, at which point his success attracted the attention of a major publisher.

Since then, he has published three more books in the Tom Gray series:

His latest book, Trojan, is a bit of a departure from the Tom Gray saga. “I have decided to give Tom Gray a rest after all he’s been through, not least in his latest adventure, Gray Salvation. My seventh book focuses on Andrew Harvey, Veronica Ellis and the rest of the MI5 team my readers will be familiar with. It may not have Tom, Len and Sonny, but it’s the normal fast-paced read with a mighty twist.”

Trojan launches on January 12.

McDermott publishes a blog, Jambalian, which features interviews with other authors in the action-thriller genre. He is also a member of Independent Authors International, an authors’ collaborative publishing group.

Alan McDermott and his books will be prominent features of the BestSelling Reads website and promotions through 2017.

Read Alan McDermott’s BestSelling Reads author page to find out more.

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