It’s wonderful today to have writer Owen Mullen join me on Swirl and Thread for a break and a cuppa on what’s turning into a very busy blog-tour for him.
Owen is here to tell us a little about the man behind the pen and of course about his latest novel Old Friends and New Enemies.
Old Friends and New Enemies is just published by BloodHound Books and is now available to purchase (links below).
Owen, I’ve been following you on twitter for quite awhile now, so I think it’s about time I found out a little more about you. I’ve read that you are a man of music!! What were the musical influences in your early life and who/what encouraged you to follow, what I would perceive to be, a very tough path.
Hi Mairead, good question!!
My first musical influences came from my parents. They were big Sinatra fans, so I grew up knowing a lot of these songs. Later, the Beatles, the Stones, The Who – and all those sixties bands were big influences. I started playing guitar in my teens and switched to bass because nobody else wanted to play it!
Soon after, I started to write my own songs, and when I was 19 I turned professional. In those days, how tough a path it was likely to be was not a consideration. I was young and doing what I wanted to do.
Once, I had a conversation with a young unknown guy who was hoping to succeed ~ his name was Robert Plant!!
Just one of the many talented people I brushed shoulders with. How could you not love that?
You have written previously about the similarities between the music and the book industry. How was the transition for you from being a musician to being a writer?
From the outside, both the music and the book industries seem glamorous, even romantic. The reality is that they are both businesses and as such their motivation is profit. The artists, be they writers or musicians, are more interested in creating. Sometimes these two agendas are at odds. Also, both industries are incredibly competitive. To be successful in either takes a lot of luck.
My transition happened over many years. One day I woke up and said to my wife “I think I should write a book”.
From then on, it was writing for me.
London to Crete…..please tell us more. It sounds wonderful….
Again, this did not happen in a single move.
I left London when I finally realised Paul McCartney had already been done, and moved back to Scotland to pursue a neglected education. Then I met and married a beautiful woman who encouraged me to follow my dreams – just what I needed. We became great travellers: India, Africa, the Amazon, Vietnam and on and on – fantastic.
On a trip to Greece we made an instant decision to go and live there. So we did. We had never been to Crete but after a bit of research we knew it would be right for us. We bought some land and built a villa overlooking Souda Bay. Stunningly beautiful, and we now spend a lot of our time here. I do most of my writing here.
I have asked you about your musical influences but as a writer you also must read a lot. Can you share with us a few of your favourite writers and why?
In terms of Tartan Noir, it is difficult to see past Ian Rankin. In John Rebus he has created a character that never seems to run out of steam. What does he have? 21 books?
In the crime genre I still read Sherlock Holmes; what a fantastic character – you could not make it up!
I am also very much drawn to American crime writers like Michael Connelly, probably due to watching too many TV detectives as a kid!!
What would be your top tip for any inspiring writers hoping to be published…traditional v self-published route?
It is such a difficult business to break into, that sometimes you just have to get out there and do your own thing. I did self publish and once you get over the shock of just how much is involved, it is a lot of fun.
But given the choice I would definitely go the traditional route.
Owen, your novels centre around Glasgow. What was the inspiration behind Detective Charlie Cameron and why Glasgow as the location?
Originally, I wrote a detective series set in New Orleans.
The inspiration for Charlie Cameron came from an agent who was representing me at the time. She told me she could not get publishers to read a novel set in New Orleans written by a Scottish guy.
So, I decided ok, but I wanted the character to capture the aspects of those early detectives on TV. A real whodunit! And Glasgow because it really is a great city with so many colourful characters.
Old Friends and New Enemies is your latest novel and the reason we are here today!!! Please share with all us readers what your book is about…
The book has two overlapping tales ~ One deals with ghosts from Charlie’s past, and a lost love……which leads him straight into the path of the infamous Rafferty family.
Jimmy Rafferty wants Charlie dead if he does not get him what he wants. And Jimmy always gets what he wants.
The second story revolves around the search for a missing husband who walked out on his wife the day before their son is buried.
The body on the mortuary slab wasn’t who Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron was looking for.
But it wasn’t a stranger.
Suddenly, a routine missing persons investigation becomes a fight for survival. As Charlie is dragged deeper into Glasgow’s underbelly he goes up against notorious gangster Jimmy Rafferty and discovers what fear really is.
Rafferty is so ruthless even his own sons are terrified of him.
Now he wants Charlie to find something. And Jimmy Rafferty always gets what he wants.
There is only one problem… Charlie doesn’t know where it is.
Purchase Link: Old Friends and New Enemies