Do you love gripping espionage thrillers full of great twists and plenty of action? Meet Thomas Bladen. Smart, sardonic, and in mortal danger. LONDON COMES UNDER ATTACK AND BLADEN’S LIFE IS FALLING APART. As the security services scramble to deal with the aftermath of a coordinated terror attack, undercover operative Thomas Bladen is in deep trouble. His department is taken over by MI5, his girlfriend’s gone, and he’s “lost” a handgun during surveillance of a politician. Then two of his senior colleagues disappear. Who’s taken them and why? Bladen’s search for answers is blocked at every turn. Is there a double agent in his team?
In a thrilling conclusion, Bladen must face his doubts and put his life at risk against forces whose allegiance is unclear. This is the reckoning. If you like Mark Dawson, Rob Sinclair, Lee Child, or Vince Flynnyou’ll enjoy these fast-paced thrillers. What people are saying about Derek Thompson’s books “Complex and full of twists and turns, this is a very good thriller which keeps the reader on tenterhooks throughout.” Ann Stanmore “Kept me up far too late at night.” Gemma Donnelly “Gripping and unputdownable.” Bsms585 “One of the best spy thrillers I've read in a long time.” Lacancan “Good read for anyone who enjoys a thriller that will keep them hooked from start to finish.” Jfaulknercourt “Couldn't put the book down ....brilliant characters...storyline excellent.” Kay Broome “Very good, gripping story.” Yorkypud THOMAS BLADEN SERIES Book 1: STANDPOINT Book 2: LINE OF SIGHT Book 3: CAUSE & EFFECT Book 4: SHADOW STATE Book 5: FLASHPOINT
Standpoint, the first Thomas Bladen adventure, is FREE to download from Feb 7th to Feb 11th.
Murder Your Darlings – when Derek Thompson’s pen ran red.
The Cornish author, Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863 – 1944), left an important legacy for writers in three magical words: murder your darlings.
For many writers this translates to deleting the prose you love most, well written or badly written, if it doesn’t benefit the book. What doesn’t add, subtracts. You may spot an author’s voice winkling its way in on the page. It could be a polemic crammed into the mouth of a reluctant character, who chokes on the words. Or a slew of historical references to demonstrate that the author worked pretty bloody hard on this bit and look at all the lovely research.
For writers of thrillers and crime stories, however, murder your darlings can mean just that. They may not be deliberately doing you harm but, like the dreadful D’Ascoyne family in Kind Hearts and Coronets, sometimes they simply have to go.
Why kill off a character?
It adds suspense. If someone unexpected is suddenly rubbed out, the reader is shocked into attention.
To advance the story. Always that, or it reads like the actions of a capricious demi-god. It’s a trade-off though if you’ve asked the reader to invest in the ‘victim’ – unless they deserve it.
To rebalance the cast. Characters can get too big for their boots and demand more time in the spotlight. If you can’t reason with them – most writers will spend more time than they admit reasoning with their literary creations – it’s time for drastic action:
Improve their role.
Promise them a spin-off story if they behave.
Drop a piano on them. To update a popular phrase – it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the bullet.
In Flashpoint, one of my characters had simply grown too important (and self-important). I blame myself. I saw their potential and succumbed to their charm. In the end though, they were more use dead than alive - something to think about when you next ask a thriller or crime writer to ‘please base a character on me’. We still do it all the time but you’re better off not knowing!
Killing off characters affects writers. JK Rowling apparently cried buckets after writing the demise of a popular character. I won’t name them in case, by some fluke, you’re part of the 6.2% of the world’s population who’s never heard of the books.
I felt a genuine sense of grief when I said farewell to…well, someone from the Spy Chaser series. I felt some guilt too – I was responsible after all. I chose the means, motive and opportunity. Hint: no one died peacefully in their sleep. I got over it in a few days. After that I felt excited at how that death could change things in the future and what different it might make for the next book. After all, a spare chair holds possibility.
So murder your darlings, as you will. And then forgive yourself. It’s all part of being a writer.
FLASHPOINT – Part Five of the Spy Chaser series
After London suffers a coordinated terror attack, Thomas Bladen questions everything – his future with Miranda, his Surveillance Support Unit job and even his clandestine role as a Spy Chaser.
When the Unit comes under MI5’s control and two senior SSU personnel disappear, his search for answers is blocked at every turn. But what Thomas discovers could change the rules forever. This time he must face his deepest fears and take extreme measures.
Derek Thompson grew up in London and started writing fiction in his teens. After spending a year in the US, he returned to London and subsequently moved to the West Country.
He wrote a commissioned piece for The Guardian in 2008 and entered the world of freelance writing in 2009. His short fiction has featured in both British and American anthologies, and can be found online. He has also written comedy material for live performance and radio.
His love of film noir and thrillers began with The Big Sleep, and has never left him. Much of his fiction involves death, loss or secrets. As the saying goes: write about what you know.
He writes about Thomas Bladen and his role in the Surveillance Support Unit.