A couple of people have asked what inspired me to come up with my title, ‘An Invisible Nemesis.’ It wasn’t really until I had almost finished
writing the book that I thought of it. Near completion I decided to go back through the book’s content and the word ‘Nemesis’ came up which was mentioned by my character, the unfortunate Suzanne Camilleri just before she was murdered.
I also remembered the word from a line in an old Marillion song called Assassing which was the first track on their brilliant Fugazi album which was released in 1984. “I am the assassin, providing your nemesis,”...
was the line which kept repeating in my head. In fact I was walking around with the 'ear worm' for a few weeks before the title for my new novel eventually came to me. The big fear though, had anyone already used the title before, it had to be original? Fortunately,
after a bum squeaky search on Google, nobody had.
The idea for my third novel had been buzzing around in my head for quite some time. Conspiracy theories
have always intrigued me.
As most people will know, various allegations about a conspiracy involving Diana, Princess of Wales in that fateful Paris car crash in 1997 have been rife ever since she died. Whilst most conspiracy
theories about the princess can easily be dismissed, some though, do have an air of plausibility about them.
In the end I decided to base ‘An Invisible Nemesis’
on a journalist who was so obsessed with chasing one such theory, it ultimately cost her, her life.
See Conspiracy Theories Courtesy: The Independent
characters and giving them names is a challenge that greets most authors when they begin a new novel. Making those characters descriptive and interesting enough for the reader to enjoy is also a daunting task. Whether that works or not, I will only know when
people have read my new book. (I've been quite lucky so far!)
Those of you who have already read both ‘The Asylum Soul’ and ‘Fly Back and Purify’ will have noticed an ancestral connection between
the two key characters from each title... Another example is that in ‘Fly Back and Purify’ which is set in 1994, Jack Compton, my main character, (He was born on the day England won the world cup!) is a local newspaper reporter just starting
out on his new career. Now, he will appear again in ‘An Invisible Nemesis’ as a seasoned investigative journalist in his 50s which finds its setting in the modern day. The flighty Lisa Luscombe, an office junior in ‘Fly Back and Purify’
is now the editor at the 'struggling' Woking Tribune.
Two characters in ‘An Invisible Nemesis’ have simply come about from banter in reaction from readers of my first two novels. They suggested that
I could base new character(s) on them, so look out for Rick Storey and Frankie ‘Fourfingers’ Fletcher. Many more characters in the book I hope will grab readers' attention, and I’ve really had some fun procurring them from my imagination.Indeed
it’s the initial research and creation of the characters I most enjoy when starting a new book. Putting the whole story together comes naturally after that. - You can let me know if it works!!!
Much of ‘An Invisible Nemesis’ is set on the Maltese island of Gozo. An island steeped with history as this Wikipedia link will show. A core location in the novel is the Grand Hotel which overlooks the picturesque
Mgarr Harbour. I’ve personally stayed at the hotel on numerous occasions and have researched a huge chunk of material for my book from there. It’s the place where my protagonist Jack Compton bases himself during his two stays on the island while
he investigates the death of his friend and former colleague Suzanne Camilleri. Many other locations such as the island’s capital Victoria (Rabat) and the villages of Nadur and Qala also feature. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gozo
Whilst around 75% of ‘An Invisible Nemesis’
is set in Gozo and Malta, London and Woking also feature... Jack, resides in Woking and has ties with his local rag, the fictional Woking Tribune. My sincere thanks to Richard Cackett who I've known since our school days for allowing me to ‘steal’
his old Twitter handle which I previously used in ‘Fly Back and Purify.’
Jack is also a seasoned drinker and uses his local pubs in the Woking area quite frequently. You’ll have to read the
book to find out which ones! Two London pubs, The Cole Hole in the Strand and the Union Jack in Southwark also get a mention, with the latter, being the scene of a serious incident involving one of the key characters in the book.
As a one-time real-life local journalist myself, albeit short-lived due to other working commitments, ‘An Invisible Nemesis’ has allowed me to write in two disciplines, as an author, and as a news reporter; two writing styles which are
very different, a challenge I enjoyed speaking about, quite nervously as it turned out, as a guest at a local gathering of ‘important’ village people, near where I live in 2017.
One October afternoon last
year I spent a couple of hours sitting in a pub. “Ah, nothing unusual for Mal,” I hear all those who know me say :-) The pub was the Union Jack in Southwark, South East London, just a short walk from Waterloo Station through The Cut and into
Union Street. From the outside, it looks a drab, mean and moody place. Indeed it is. Inside there were those real life characters, synonymous with those who we often associate with cockneys or ageing London gangsters long past their prime but who still discuss
their 'questionable' exploits like it was only yesterday. The perfect place then, for one of my key characters in ‘An Invisible Nemesis’ to ‘hang out’.
Another location mentioned in ‘An Invisible Nemesis’, is Venice, Italy. The place where I was taken for an early landmark birthday present, near the end of 2016. The weekend was a mixture of warm sunshine and showers. I remember San Marco
Square, the flooding, the polythene boots we hired from the hotel foyer to wear over our normal footwear. The food in the restaurants, particularly the Il-Caffegelato where we ate on the Sunday night. I will always remember the look on my then partner’s
face, when she saw how much I was enjoying each course. That weekend in Venice is something I will always hold dear to my heart. The right time, the right place and certainly, the right person to be with. I suppose it was only natural and typical of my train
of thought that I would find somewhere to write about the place, so including it right here in my third novel, was a definite no-brainer. Indeed without saying too much, this beautiful city is where my Princess Diana look-a-like goes missing in August 1997,
just before the death of the real Princess.
Mentioned in the novel, is the grossly over-rated and over-priced Harry’s Bar which opened in 1931 and was/is often frequented by such patrons as Ernest Hemmingway, Alfred
Hitchcock, Aristotle Onassis, George Clooney and many more. If you’re happy paying well over 25 Euros for a bowl of Minestrone, or twenty Euros plus for half a pint, then this is the place to go. Dare I say, we both f*cked off rather quickly. As an author,
it’s always best to write about what you know, even if you are transforming bits of fact into fiction.
Also mentioned is the Hotel Kette where we stayed for our weekend. Exploring the layout of the place, made life
easier when describing the circumstances around my Princess Diana look-a-like’s disappearance... Hopefully... all will become clearer about all my characters and the locations I have chosen "WHEN" you read the book!
When I was in my late teens, thanks to a girl called Martine, who lived in a suburb called Antony, (c.1975/76) it was a beautiful city that I frequented a lot, and, a place I have always
looked forward to visiting again. Jack, reluctantly ends up on a short weekend break, staying at a hotel near to the Moulin Rouge in Pigalle as part of his journalistic investigations.
Again, attempting to write a novel
is all about writing about what you know, to get the best results. It must be the “sentimental mercenary” in me, that sometimes helps me write like I do... and it’s those visits to Paris early in my adult life, if I’m honest, which
probably inspired me to continue writing in the first place.
(Notes taken from ‘An Invisible Nemesis’ FB Page).