Today I’m delighted to have a Q&A with David Videcette, author of The Theseus Paradox and The Detriment. I read and loved The Theseus Paradox (review HERE) and I was thrilled to be able to read The Detriment pre-release. My review for that will be up soon too!
“I went out to work one day and came home two weeks later wearing the same clothes and with fifty-six people dead.”
A former Scotland Yard investigator with the Metropolitan Police, David has worked on a wealth of infamous cases. He’s chased numerous dangerous criminals, entered and searched hundreds of properties and interviewed thousands of witnesses.
With twenty years’ police experience, including counter-terror operations and organised crime, David was a detective on the Anti-Terrorist Branch during the 7/7 London bombings in July 2005.
Today he uses his police experience in his writing, as the author of a series of detective novels starring DI Jake Flannagan. ‘The Theseus Paradox’ is the first novel in the series. The truth behind the fiction was investigated by The Sunday Telegraph and ITV News.
DI Jake Flannagan returns in ‘The Detriment’.
David lives in London. He currently consults on security operations for high-net-worth individuals and is a key media commentator on crime, terrorism and policing for many broadcasters and newspapers, both nationally and internationally.
You can find out more about him here:
About The Detriment:
“The truth costs nothing, but a lie can cost you everything…”
June 2007: a barbaric nail bomb is planted outside a London nightclub, a spy is found dead in his garden, and a blazing Jeep is driven into Glasgow airport. Three events bound by an earth-shattering connection that should have remained buried forever.
From the author of ‘The Theseus Paradox’, the smash-hit 7/7 thriller based on true events, comes the sequel about a real-life mystery that threatens to destroy a nation. Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan must uncover how a series of astonishing events are inextricably linked, before the past closes in on him.
We all have secrets we say we’ll never tell…
Click HERE to get your copy of The Detriment!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a crime fighter turned crime writer. I spent twenty years as a detective with Scotland Yard. Now I write thrillers based around true events.
How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Much of my police career was spent in specialist operations and counter-terror units. I experienced some incredible things during my service, along with the darkest sides of humanity and pure evil. The Official Secrets Act forbids me from writing an autobiography – so I use my detective experiences in my crime fiction writing instead. I leave it up to the reader to decide how much is fiction and how much is fact…
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My books are based on real-life crimes and many real-life investigations I’ve been involved with. I like to give readers new insights into infamous cases that they will have seen on the news. It’s all about providing a different perspective on things we all thought we understood. I want to change the way we look back on things because all is not always as it seems.
How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?
My writing is as close to crime fact as crime fiction ever gets. You see the world through the eyes of Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan. You get the evidence in the same way and the same order that a real officer working on a case would. You get to experience first-hand the frustrations, the hard work and determination that it often takes to solve some of the most infamous crimes of our times. And Jake will give you new theories on the cases, as told from an insider’s perspective
Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?
Social media can certainly be a positive force in terms of book promotion and building a platform as an author. Working with the book-blogging community, you can definitely see how well-received books take off. A new release can soar if enough influencers recommend it on social media and subsequent readers also go on to really enjoy it. It’s like word of mouth but in the virtual world!
What’s your favourite thing about being an author?
There’s nothing better than hearing a complete stranger say you’ve opened their eyes to a brand new perspective on events they’d taken for granted. I’ve had some fantastic feedback from all corners of the globe. Hearing a reader in Australia rave about the book you’ve just released, or speaking to a radio interviewer in Canada who wants to know if you did that chase scene in real life. Those experiences are truly an amazing feeling – to think that you’ve given someone pleasure, entertainment and shared some new knowledge with them. Those are things I never foresaw when I started to write my first novel.
I’m also delighted to be working with a charity called the Police Dependants’ Trust. Sales and downloads of my crime thrillers are supporting the mental health of police officers and their families following traumatic events. Highlighting the issue of mental wellbeing in the emergency services is really important to me. If my books can do that, whilst raising money for charity at the same time, that’s an amazing bonus. I’ve also been lucky enough to speak as an ambassador for the 7/7 Tavistock Square Memorial Trust alongside families and other emergency services personnel who were affected by the 7/7 London bombings. Giving something back and sharing the benefit of my experiences are something that I wouldn’t swap for the world.
What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
I’m not a massive fan of red-tape, admin and paperwork and that probably lends itself to my lead character Jake, as well. As a detective, Jake doesn’t like to stick to the rules and can sometimes cross the line. I always say that to catch a bad guy, you have to think like a bad guy, and that’s why the best detectives always have a dark side. Therefore, I do have some readers who take an instant dislike to him and/or believe he’s a made-up cliché of a troubled detective – and they will vehemently say so! Mind you, because I write based on my own policing experiences, I know exactly what it takes to get results and just how much of my books are the truth. And they don’t…
Where do you see your writing career five years from now?
I want to continue building on the fan base and audience and increase the number of Detective Jake Flanagan books in the series. I’ve got many more adventures to share with readers, so there’s a lot more to come from him.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on the third DI Jake Flannagan book, which currently sees Jake working abroad, investigating infamous events you will have seen on the TV. I’m also working on another top secret project which may turn into a non-fiction book, and/or possibly a TV documentary. And I’m appearing at the Bloody Scotland crime fiction festival in September.
I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?
I’m definitely a voracious reader. I read every spare moment I get, but the majority of it is non-fiction – white papers, court documents, public inquiries, news reports, police statements, witness evidence, post mortems, I could go on… All work related and/or research for the next twenty books!
If I have to relax, I will sometimes grab an Ian Rankin or Patricia Cornwell. To really switch off though, I much prefer to go to the cinema, sit in a dark, air-conditioned movie theatre and allow myself to completely suspend disbelief for a couple of hours, uninterrupted. There’s not much I haven’t seen, or won’t watch. I find films a great way of breaking writer’s block.
Have there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
Andy McNab’s Bravo Two Zero – that really put the fact/fiction blend on the map. The book is a partially fictionalised account of an SAS patrol behind enemy lines in Iraq, in 1991. The controversy surrounding it led to a whole host of other books being written about what was and wasn’t the truth.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
A lot of my time involves working with the media, commentating on crime and terrorism for news outlets such as the BBC, Sky and ITV. I also provide a consultancy service for fellow authors who want help with the policing elements of their books.
When I’m not doing that, I enjoy spending time with my two girls, doing the usual dad stuff such as shopping and taxi driving. On a rare day off from all of the above, I will try and catch the latest exhibition at one of London’s art galleries or museums. I’m also known to enjoy a bit of photography. I like to document what I see when I’m out and about on my Instagram feed.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
I’ve visited some amazing in the places in the world, but I’d still come back to my domestic favourite. It takes some beating because of the happy childhood memories it evokes – St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall.
Depends what time and day you ask me this question! Today it would be sushi, perhaps Thai or a simple burger and chips.
I’m partial to a bit of Jameson Irish whiskey – but I’m just as happy trying out new wines, cocktails or the latest craft beer. When I’m writing, it has to be black tea, no sugar.
Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?
Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to work in TV – reconstructing crimes with ‘Crimewatch’, consulting on ‘The Bill’ and working on documentaries for the BBC. So I guess that writing was a natural extension of that crossover between crime fact and crime fiction. But at heart, I’ll always be a detective. Policing is what my father did. It’s in my blood. Writing for me is just a way of solving more cases, albeit in book format.
Find out more about David here or take a look at all his books on Amazon. Chat to him on Facebook, or Twitter or Instagram. And if you’d like the chance to win a signed paperback copy of his next book, you can enter your email address here to go into the hat each time he has a new release out.
My thanks to David for answering my questions. Make sure to keep an eye out for my review of The Detriment in July!