1. Mr. Christer, thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed for my blog. Your thriller, THE ROME PROPHECY, comes out in January. Tell us a bit more about this book.
It’s really a story about people not being who they seem to be and how the biggest and ugliest deceits in the world can be carried out in one of the most beautiful and religious cities in the world. Rome and Venice are two of my favourite cities and having introduced Tom Shaman and Valentina Morassi in The Venice Conspiracy, it was too tempting not to move them to Rome for their next adventure. In doing so, I found this wonderfully rich world of myths and legends to draw upon, plus of course the astonishing architecture, hidden treasures and breathtakingly beautiful landscape of Italy.
2. Who is ex-priest Tom Shaman and where did the inspiration for his character come from?
I was brought up as a Catholic in Moss Side, a tough inner city part of Manchester and I was taught by priests and nuns until I was ten years old. I think Tom Shaman is a composite of a lot of strong, unconventional priests who had to be very savvy to control groups of feral boys like me.
3. What kind of research did you do for THE ROME PROPHECY? How much of what your write in this novel is real and how much is fiction?
It’s all fiction. I know Rome very well and have worked and travelled there extensively for more than a decade. There isn’t a place in the book that I don’t know intimately. The main research I had to do was into a lot of myths and legends, plus of course Dissociative Identity Disorder, what we used to call Multiple Personality Disorder.
4. Why do you write? Why thrillers?
Writing is a compulsion. It comes from deep within and can’t be held back. I have a background as an investigative crime journalist and specialized in making TV documentaries that were related to crime, forensic developments and psychological profiling. My first book was non-fiction, an account of interviews I had carried out with serial killers and this quickly led to me wanting to write fiction.
5. A word of advice for new writers?
Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t keep editing your work. Don’t stop and judge yourself until you’ve finished your story and stamped THE END on your last page.
6. What have you learned during the writing process for crafting a novel?
Everyone does it differently. I plan, plan, plan and plan again. Other writers I know just start with a great line and make it up as they go along. There’s no right or wrong way, just the method that works best for the author.
7. How do you interact with your fans? What is something significant you have learned from them?
Not as well as I should. I tend to spend too long writing. Facebook is very important to me though. When I gave up full-time work to write, my few Facebook fans were like a support group to me. They were so fantastic I personally credited them all in The Camelot Code, a novel that’s just been published in the UK.
8. What are your writing habits?
I write every day, as early as I can for as long as I can, until my brain gives up or my fingers are sore. I can write anywhere, any time. On planes. In trains. In my office or waiting at the dentist’s surgery. My Mac goes everywhere and as soon as I have a second I just open it and rejoin my wonderful inner world.
9. What are your favorite pastimes?
I have three sons, all soccer crazy, all mad Manchester City fans and I have a wife who is an amazing cook so football and food are high on my fun list.
10. What is your next book going to be about?
I’ve just finished The Camelot Code, which is available pretty much everywhere as an ebook and will be released in paperback and hardback in 2014 – http://www.amazon.com/Camelot-Code-Sam-Christer-ebook/dp/B00BU1DEWE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385322791&sr=8-1&keywords=the+camelot+code