Q&A with Chris Ewan

Hi all,

Today I’m delighted to share a Q&A I did with Chris Ewan recently to coincide with the release of The Good Thief’s Guide books. Here’s the all-important bookish information for you guys to have a look!

About the author:

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Chris Ewan is the author of the popular GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO … series of mysteries about globetrotting crime writer and thief-for-hire, Charlie Howard. The series has been praised as “crime writing at its best” (Sydney Morning Herald) and a “delightful series” (The Seattle Times) and comprises THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM (winner of the Long Barn Books First Novel Award), THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO PARIS, THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO VEGAS, THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO VENICE and THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO BERLIN.

Chris’s critically acclaimed standalone thrillers include the major bestseller SAFE HOUSE (which has sold more than 500,000 copies in the UK and was shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award), DEAD LINE (which is optioned for film), DARK TIDES (an Observer “Thriller of the Month”) and LONG TIME LOST (a “masterful thriller” The Independent). He is also the author of the Kindle Single story SCARLETT POINT which, like many of Chris’s thrillers, is set on the Isle of Man.

In 2011, Chris was voted one of America’s favourite British authors by a Huffington Post poll and in 2017 he was longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library.

Born in Taunton in 1976, Chris graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in American Studies with a minor in Canadian Literature, and later trained as a lawyer. After an eleven-year spell living on the Isle of Man, he now lives in Somerset, England with his wife, children and labrador, where he writes full time.

Chris loves to hear from his readers and always responds to every email he receives. You can find out more at http://www.chrisewan.com, where you can also sign up to Chris’s newsletter to receive advance information about new books, enter competitions and giveaways and be sent a FREE Good Thief’s Guide short story.

Come say hello to Chris on Twitter @chrisewan or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chrisewanauthor

About the books:
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Meet Charlie Howard. He doesn’t just write books about a career thief, he also happens to be one.

The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam

In Amsterdam working on his latest novel, Charlie Howard is approached by a mysterious American who asks him to steal two apparently worthless monkey figurines from two separate addresses on the same night. At first he says no. Then he changes his mind. Only later, kidnapped and bound to a chair, the American very dead and a spell in police custody behind him, does Charlie begin to realise how costly a mistake he might have made.

The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris

Charlie is flush with the success of his Paris book reading when he agrees to show a complete novice how to break into an apartment. The next day, Charlie’s fence hires him to steal an ordinary-looking oil painting – from the same address. Mere coincidence? Charlie figures there’s no harm in finding out – until a dead body turns up in his living room.

The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas

Charlie is in for a tough vacation in Las Vegas. Losing heavily at poker is one thing, but to find his literary agent, Victoria, being charmed by the Fifty-Fifty casino resort’s star magician, Josh Masters, is another irritation entirely. Still, Charlie’s not one to hold a grudge, least of all when he could be holding Masters’ wallet. With access to the magician’s deluxe suite now tantalizingly at hand, a spot of burglary seems to be in order and Charlie’s only too happy to oblige. Problem is, everything’s bigger in Sin City – including the fall-out from petty crimes.

The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice

Charlie has gone straight. But holing himself up in a crumbling palazzo in Venice in an attempt to concentrate on his next novel hasn’t got rid of the itch in his fingers. And to make matters worse, a striking Italian beauty has just broken into his apartment and made off with his most prized possession, leaving a puzzling calling card in its place. Sneaking out into Venice’s maze of murky canals, Charlie’s attempts to tame a cat burglar embroil him in a plot that is far bigger and more explosive than he could ever have imagined.

The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin

Charlie is back in the saddle, robbing the people of Berlin blind. But his larcenous binge is about to be interrupted by a call to duty – on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government. A sensitive item has been stolen from inside the British embassy in Berlin. Four employees are suspected of the theft and Charlie is hired to discreetly break into each of their homes, identify the guilty culprit and steal the item back. There’s just one problem: the item is so sensitive that Charlie can’t be told what it is. But how do you find something when you don’t know what you’re searching for? And what do you do if you witness a murder during your first break in?

*The books are currently available in a box set, which you can see here, or you can pop over to Chris’s Amazon Page to see them individually. 
* The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam (book 1) is currently only 99p, click here to check out the book!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 

Sure. I’m the author of nine crime and thriller novels. My Good Thief’s Guide To … series of mystery novels about globetrotting crime writer and burglar-for-hire Charlie Howard have been published in thirteen countries and optioned for television three times. My first standalone thriller, Safe House, was set on the Isle of Man where I lived for 11 years. To date, it’s sold more than 500,000 copies in the UK and was shortlisted for the Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. My other standalone thrillers include Dead Line, Dark Tides and Long Time Lost. Nowadays I write full-time and live in Somerset with my wife and two kids where I’m hard at work at my next book.

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

 

I always loved writing and reading but I had no idea how to go about becoming a writer or if it was even possible to get published. That only changed when I read Jack Kerouac’s On The Road at university and decided to have a go at writing my first novel. It only took me ten years and three more books to get my break!

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

 

Everywhere, really. Stories in the news, things I read about or see on TV, rumours I’ve heard or myths I’m aware of. Usually I start out by deciding broadly what kind of story I’d like to tell and then I try to think of a fresh and inventive way of telling it.

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

 

I always find that a hard question to answer but I guess I’d hope that readers would find my books to be punchy and fast paced, filled with twists and reveals and stuffed with colourful characters. I’d like to think there’s some sly humour in there, too.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

 

It definitely can’t hurt but the main benefit to me is interacting with other people who happen to be real (rather than the imaginary characters in my head). That said, I think the most important thing any writer can do is concentrate on their writing and the stories they want to tell.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

 

Tragically, it’s the writing itself – when it’s going well. There’s nothing better.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

 

I really don’t have any complaints. There are always more things I’d like to write – the only problem, really, is finding the time to get to everything.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

 

If the past ten years have taught me anything, it’s that the future of any writing career is impossible to predict. I’d like to think I’ll be publishing more books and more readers will want to read them. I hope so, anyway.

 

What’s next for you?

 

I am just now finishing a new book that will be off on submission before long. After that … another book! And possibly this time it will be a new Good Thief’s Guide mystery. I really want to move the Good Thief on to a new city and a new adventure.

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

 

I read as much as I can and much of what I read is crime fiction and thrillers. These days, with two young children and lots of writing to do, I don’t read quite as much as I used to but I still read every day and miss it if I don’t.

 

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

 

My all time favourite is and will probably always be Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye.

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

 

Yes. Lots! But probably the reason I wish I’d written them is that I know they’re books I could never have written in the first place.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

 

Driving the people around me a bit nuts because I’m not writing …

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

 

I like to travel (which is a fancy way of saying I like to go on holiday). I love watching movies and catching up with the latest TV shows. And I realize I should put some form of exercise here – I must start to exercise!

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

 

Ooh, tricky. California, maybe. No, Toronto. No, Amsterdam. I can’t decide!

 

Favourite food?

 

Shepherd’s Pie.

 

Favourite drink?

 

Coffee.

 

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

 

Oh, I ask myself this pretty much every day. Believe me!


 

Huge thanks to the lovely Chris Ewan for answering my questions! 🙂

***New Monthly Feature***

Hi everyone!!!

Ok, so I’ve been thinking about new blog post features for months now and it turns out I’m not made for thinking 😂

However I was folding the washing earlier (random, I know!) and out of nowhere some ideas popped into my head so I’m just going to run with them. I won’t say anymore until I figure out logistics but the first of these I’m going to try is…

“I’m a sucker for a Series”

More than once this week, I’ve said the words “I’m a sucker for a series” on social media, mainly as I’m collecting certain authors books written in a series so where better to start with something I know a bit about and call it something I say all to often 😏
I’m thinking, initially, I’m going to do this post once a month… BUT I have a lot of series in mind, so it may even become a weekly feature if it takes off in any way.

I’m going to do an “I’m a sucker for a Series” post on the 13th of each month. 

Why the 13th I hear you say?!

Well 13 is my lucky number, I was born on the 13th, got married on the 13th and have two 13 tattoos so there’s no triskaidekaphobia here 😂

If there are authors who would like me to feature their series, then please feel free to drop me an email. Also, if there are any bloggers out there who’d like to take part in this new feature by discussing their favourite book series, you know where to find me! 😉

*This will be a regular feature, (bear in mind my main genres are crime thrillers, mystery, suspense, psychological thrillers and so on) and posts will be scheduled well in advance*

Please feel free to share this post with anyone you think may be interested! I’d love for this to become a regular and interactive feature on Bibliophile Book Club! 😊

Email bibliophilebookclub@gmail.com if you’re interested!

Here’s hoping this hare brained idea works out 😂

A Thank You post… 

Hi everyone,

 

2015 has been a great year for me as I started blogging much more regularly. I had my daughter last December and thanks to her great sleep schedule, I’ve been given plenty of opportunities to read and review wonderful books and chat with great people through social media.

 
Firstly, I want to say a huge thanks to my #blogsquad besties! I couldn’t have done half of what I did without their support and encouragement and daily giffing sessions! 😉

Sarah Hardy @ Bytheletterbookreviews

Noelle Holten @ CrimeBookJunkie

Joseph Calleja @ Relax And Read Reviews

As well as Claire Knight who’s a super guest reviewer! And special mention goes to the lovely Lorraine @ The Book Review Cafe who is always ready with the RTs and mentions! 😊

 

You guys have been great, from reviews, to recommendations, to friendship. I’m so glad we have our squad! Even though we have yet to meet in person, it feels like talking to old friends when we start! 😂

 

I also want to thank all the authors (Michael Wood, Ragnar Jónasson, Matt Brolly, John Nicholl to name a few!) and publishers (Bookouture and Orenda are brilliant!) who took a chance on a book blogging newbie. I’ve been so lucky to have had the opportunities afforded to me this year.

 

I’ve hosted a blog tour for Patricia Cornwell, hosted a Q&A with Chris Carter, had my blog named in a book for taking a chance with Fahrenheit Press, not to mention a quote of mine making it into an actual book and have been able to read some great 2016 ARC’s. I’ve had lots of highlights this year! 😊

 

Book Blogging is a great pastime, and thankfully, us bloggers are a friendly bunch. Always ready with advice if needed, great book recommendations if they’re needed and an endless supply of posts for us to read!

 

My biggest thank you goes to YOU. All of you who have read my blog, shared a post, tweeted, commented, interacted in any way. If it wasn’t for you guys reading my blog, I wouldn’t have had such a wonderful year. I am so grateful to be able to share my book likes and occasional dislikes with you all.

 

I hope you all have a wonderfully Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

 

Also, I hope Santa brings lots of books!!! 😉📖

Lots of love,

Kate xxx

😊📖

The TBR Book Tag

I spotted this on Janet Emson’s blog  From First Page To Last a couple of weeks back and I’ve been meaning to do a post on it since.
I’ve been so behind on my blog this month, between a massive migraine that lasted a couple of days, to losing my reading mojo, I’ve just not had the motivation or the content to post.

😔
However, I finally finished A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara last night after struggling through its 720 pages for almost a month. I’m not going to review it as I have no kind words to say. 😂
Anyway, as usual, I digress. Onto the TBR Book Tag…
How do you keep track of your TBR pile?!

To be honest, I don’t keep track of it. I’m not super organised, so I don’t have it listed or anything. Up until we put the Christmas tree up, I had it organised by genre, and also kept the newer books received towards the front to I knew which should be read first, but the tree now stands in place of books, so it’s all mixed up!!!
Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

I had a bit of a scout around the books this morning, and I have more print books waiting to be read than ebooks. I thought it was the other way round but obviously not. I don’t have a preference for one or the other though, they will get read regardless.
How do you determine which books from your TBR you read next?

I try to keep the books I receive for review apart from the other on my TBR, but that doesn’t always happen. I’ve got a lot of ebooks to read and review for authors but kindle doesn’t let me organise them chronologically the way I would like them, so it’s awkward for them. I do have a shelf in our sitting room, on which I put the “urgent” TBR, and most recently received if I can too. As regards ebook, sometimes I get my husband to pick a page number, and then a number between 1-6 and whatever number he picks is the book I read. That hasn’t happened in a while though as I have lots of books to get through.

A book that has been on your TBR the longest?

Honestly, I haven’t a clue. There are some that moved from our old house 4 years ago to our current home, so probably one of them. I reckon maybe Lynda La Plante Blind Fury has been on it since then.


A book you recently added to your TBR?

Just yesterday I bought The Killing Of Bobbi Lomax by Cal Moriarty for my Kindle. It’s been on my wish list since it was released, and it was down to 99p so I couldn’t not buy it! 😊


A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover? 

I don’t really buy books for their covers, but I’ll put my hand up and say I bought Simon Toyne’s Solomon Creed first edition because it has black edged pages. Beyond cool! 😍 There is a book on my wish list on Amazon that I would buy though because I love the cover.



A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

They’re on my TBR for a reason, so there’s none that I won’t read. There are some I know I won’t get to as they’re not new releases or my usual genre, but I will read them, eventually.


An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

I think it would have to be In The Cold Dark Ground by Stuart MacBride, purely because I’ve never read any of his books, and I have his first on my kindle waiting to be read too. I know I’m going to enjoy them.


A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

This is a tough one. I have lots of blogger friends, so I tend to listen to them if they recommend a book. As I’m typing this though, I cannot call to mind any books!!! 😂 Maybe Alexandra Sokoloff’s books!


A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

There’s a few of these I’d say! The Bad Things by Mary Jane Riley, all Stuart MacBride’s books, After You Die by Eva Dolan, The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood, the list goes on.


A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

Again, so many. All of the above 😉


How many books are on your TBR shelf?

Ahhh, the question I was waiting for. As of this morning, I have 393 books on my TBR shelves. I have 181 e-books to read between kindle and iBooks and I have 212 physical books on my bookcase. I have a lot. 😊


My Top Ten Books & Series of 2015 Part 1!!!

This is my first ever Top Ten list that I’ve done for the  blog and my god but it’s hard!

I’ve read so many great books this year, more than any other year, so there are a lot of standouts for me.

I’m also mindful of the fact that I don’t want to offend any of the lovely authors whom I have ‘met’ over the past year thanks to Twitter and Facebook.

While compiling the list, I’ve noticed that quite a few books I’ve read fall into the category of series as opposed to standalones, so I will separate the lists into two posts instead.

 

TOP 10 BOOKS

In no particular order:

  • For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood.

 

An absolutely stunning debut novel that has left me wanting more since I finished it. You can read my 5 STAR review HERE.

 

 

  • The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson.

 

A masterclass in epic plot twists, this book had me hooked from the first page. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Funnily enough, I never wrote up  a review after I finished it. Another 5 STAR book for me.

 

  • I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.

 

Another contender for best plot twists, my jaw dropped when i go to the biggest twist. I just couldn’t believe it. I had to re-read the previous pages to make sure I had read it right!! You can read my review HERE.

 

  • Normal by Graeme Cameron

 

This book was unique in that you are essentially in the mind of the killer as opposed to reading about them. It was a brilliant take on the normal style and I loved it. My 4 STAR review is HERE.

 

  • I Am Death by Chris Carter

 

No list of great books is complete for me without including a book by Chris. This year’s release was I Am Death and it was superb. I love all of Chris’s books but I was eagerly anticipating this one and thoroughly enjoyed it. My 5 STAR review is HERE.

 

  • The Widow by Fiona Barton

 

This book is one to watch in 2016. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of the book from the publisher and loved it. You can read my 4 STAR review HERE.

 

  • The Perfectionist by Simon Duke

 

Another one to watch out for, released in January 2016. I was lucky enough to help Simon with some promo on my blog and get to read an ARC of his book. I really enjoyed it, it has a great plot twist near the end! I gave it 5 STARS and you can read my full review HERE.

 

  • The Lobster Boy and The Fat Lady’s Daughter by Charles Kriel

 

This book deserves to be on this list because it is one of the most unique, fun and different books I have read in a long time. It was a breath of fresh air when I read such similar books all the time. My 5 STAR review can be read HERE.

 

  • The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

How could I not include this book?! A superb book based on the London Bombings. I loved this book, and it was an easy 5 STAR read from me. My review in full is HERE.

 

  • The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

I read this as part of Bookouture Thriller Week and absolutely loved it! I read it super fast, it was just so engrossing. You can read my full 5 STAR review HERE.

 

In my next post, I’m going to be listing my Best Book Series of 2015! 😊