To learn more about Ian, I've asked him some questions. Here goes...
1) What inspired the plot for No Remorse?
When I was running my marketing consultancy I traveled a great deal, and loved to read escapist thrillers while flying. I wanted to write a book that other travelers would enjoy.
In my younger days, my writing heroes were Ludlum, Maclean, Wilbur Smith—action, adventure, global conspiracies—so I naturally gravitated to thrillers. When I began writing No Remorse, in 2008, I had in mind writing a Ludlum-esque prologue about some mysterious event, and weaving a story around it. I was curious about Saddam’s missing WMD’s, so I came up with the idea of Saddam passing nuclear materials to an old Saudi Prince who buried them in the Arabian desert just before the invasion.
However, over the three years I was writing the book many things occurred that kept forcing me to rewrite the story. I came to the view that everyone wanted to put Iraq behind them, and more recently Osama Bin Laden was killed. In the end, I spent a further six months rewriting the story so that it would not date.
No Remorse in its final form is the story of the kidnapping of two American teenage girls on holiday in Mexico, and the subsequent search for them by a former special operations soldier Lee McCloud (Mac). I have retained the theme of ‘no remorse’ in terms of achieving retribution for the evil that bad people have done to others.
2) How did you conduct the research for No Remorse?
I love the research side of writing. These days the internet is a wonderful asset for writers. It is incredible how much information there is available, supplemented by You Tube videos, online newspapers, and government reports. I read a great deal about conspiracies involving the global financial system, about software that could be used to track bank transactions and efforts to bypass bank security.
I researched human trafficking, which is a massive global trade, rivaling drugs in illegal earnings. I also read many non-fiction accounts from soldiers, snipers, special forces operators and watched lots of movies and TV drama shows.
I traveled to Paris, London and the Middle East to help with setting.
I’m currently writing my second book. It’s a different type of story, a crime thriller set in Australia, where the hero is used as bait to entrap criminals. I have also begun plotting the sequel to No Remorse.
I read thrillers mainly, strange as that may seem…anything by Harlan Coben, Don Winslow, Robert Crais, Nelson DeMille, David Baldacci, Lee Child, Dennis Lehane, John Grisham, Daniel Silva, Vince Flynn, Wilbur Smith, James Lee Burke, Elmore Leonard, Steven James, Shane Gericke, James Rollins, Matt Hilton, Patrick Kendrick. I’m tending to read more debut novels these days by new writers, and also other genres, to broaden my knowledge of the craft. I enjoy Jodi Picoult, Karen Dionne, Gayle Lynds, Andrew Kaufman, Allan Leverone. Australian writers John Birmingham, Peter Temple, Leah Giarratano, Nick Earls and Katherine Howell are great too.
~Thanks very much, Ian. Fascinating to discover where your research took you. No Remorse sounds like an intriguing thriller. As a fan of Maclean and Smith, I love a good conspiracy and adventure.
Two men, exiles from their respective societies, take conflicting approaches in the quest to regain their place and self-respect, and find themselves at war over a kidnapped girl.Lee McCloud (“Mac”), a special forces soldier facing trumped-up charges of murder, is forced to work for a mysterious government outfit operating outside the law.
Khalid Yubani, cast out of Saudi Arabia for an offence against another member of the Royal family, seeks revenge through ruthless acts of evil. Engaged in the worst forms of human trafficking, Khalid buys Sophia, the daughter of Mac’s best friend, who has been kidnapped in Mexico. With time running out for Sophia, Mac enlists the help of a beautiful computer genius, a British SAS soldier and a Lebanese fixer to try to find Sophia and save her from the terrifying fate that Khalid has in store.
Although starting the quest as a man with no remorse, Mac gradually discovers a side of himself that he suppressed after witnessing the abduction of his own sister years before.
Dodging assassins, corrupt generals, evil medicos, Mossad agents, corrupt bureaucrats, and sharks, Mac ignores the order to stay out of trouble and follows Sophia’s trail from Mexico to Paris, London and Dubai, and the island of Andaran, where Khalid and his henchmen are waiting…
The girls’ fathers, Bob and Marvin, each carried a briefcase full of cash with a tiny GPS tracker hidden in a false bottom. They were both taller than the kidnappers, and through the scope Mac could read the pain on Bob’s face. The behavior of the kidnappers was still bothering him, but there was nothing he could do except watch. The leader held out his palm and waved his pistol like it was a flag. He addressed the fathers in accented English.
“You’re late. We think perhaps you do not want your daughters back, eh?”
“Sorry,” Bob said, his breathing short and sharp. “We took a wrong turn coming into the dam. The signs were confusing.”
The man grunted and glanced at the one with the knife. “Check them.”
Knife Man patted them down, searched their pockets, nodded the all clear.
“You have our money?”
“Of course.” Bob’s voice came through deep and confident in his earpiece, although the armpits of his shirt betrayed his anxiety. Be courteous but strong, Mac had advised him, otherwise they won’t respect you. Being a basketball coach undoubtedly helped. “And you have our daughters,” Bob said. A statement, not a question. He held out the briefcase. “Here’s the money. We didn’t contact the police.”
Several kidnappers gave a hearty laugh.
The leader smirked. “We wouldn’t be here if you had, gringo. But your daughters would be. With bullets in their heads.” He gestured to a kidnapper wearing a red bandana around his neck. “Abrirlos,” he ordered, and the man took both briefcases and unclipped the locks.
Ian Walkley has had a career in social and market research, and has been writing novels, short stories, travel articles and copywriting since 2008. He has co-authored two publications on small business and his first novel, No Remorse, was published in 2012. Ian's screenplay "Deniable Justice" placed fourth in the Writer’s Digest 2011 Competition for best screenplay. Ian has travelled extensively and researched his subject, and brings a knowledge of location and technical detail to the exotic settings and big screen thrills. Ian lives in Brisbane with his wife and three children.
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