That is a question that often comes up when I meet readers at various events. It is often a surprisingly difficult question to answer. As when asked this question it is often naturally about the book I am promoting at the time or even one from my back list. Whereas at that time I am often working on the next book while the genesis of the older title is receding into the mists of time. I often think ‘did I write that.’
However one of my books ‘Room 39: And the Cornish Legacy’published in 2013, the book that introduced my reluctant MI5 Agent character Rob Nicolson, I know exactly where the idea came from. When Margaret my wife suggested ‘why don’t you write a book set in Cornwall’ where we live thus was born Room 39. That part of the title refers to the World War II Naval Intelligence department at the Admiralty in London, where incidentally Ian Fleming worked. The book grew other chapters set in London, Cyprus and San Francisco; however the majority of this spy thriller does take place in Cornwall in our own corner of the South/East part of the county. Set during 1984 against the background of Britain divided by the Miners Strike and struck by IRA atrocities.
Rob Nicolson has a Royal Marine Commando background – I wonder where that came from – well they say write about what you know. I still take the Globe & Laurel magazine to keep up with events in the Corps www.royalnavy.mod.uk
To end on a note of good news the fourth book in the Rob Nicolson series Roundabout is currently in the writing process. Should be out toward the end of 2023.