A Quickie with James Swallow

James Swallow is a veteran author and scriptwriter with over 15 years of experience in fiction, television, radio, journalism, new media and videogames.

He is the three-time New York Times bestselling author.

He was nominated by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for his writing on the critically acclaimed DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, 2013’s blockbuster videogame with over 2.18 million copies sold.

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

SHADOW is the latest in my bestselling action thriller series, featuring ex-MI6 field technician turned intelligence agent Marc Dane and his partner, former Delta Force operative Lucy Keyes. In this story, Marc and Lucy are pulled into a desperate search for a kidnapped bio-scientist that takes them from the streets of Singapore to the desolate wilderness of Iceland and the dark underbelly of a fracturing Europe, where they discover a shocking atrocity in the making – a cadre of hard-line extremists plan to unleash a lethal virus, if Marc and Lucy cannot stop it, thousands of people will perish, and the continent will be plunged into chaos.

If you’re a fan of fast-paced, cinematic thrillers in the style of the JASON BOURNE or MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series, if you like HOMELAND or 24, this is a novel for you! SHADOW is currently out in hardcover and eBook, and the paperback will be on sale in November.

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

Ha! That’s a great question. I’d go with AN UNLADEN SWALLOW, because I can’t pass up the opportunity to make a Monty Python reference.

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

Generally, most of the fans I’ve met are great folks with a lot of passion, and it’s always brilliant for a writer to talk to people who are engaged with your work. The request I get most often is from people who would like to die horribly in one of my novels – and because the body count in my stories can stack up a fair bit, I’ve always got an opening…

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

I’ve never co-written fiction, so I don’t know if I’d be any good at it – but that said, I have been a co-writer on a lot of scripts, so I guess I could take a run at it! In terms of who I’d love to work with – I’d say the late, great Iain M. Banks… Although I reckon I would struggle to keep up with him!

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

I’ve never broken a bone in my life (at least, not one that belongs to me).

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

Looking back over the last few months of my reading, I’d recommend K.J. Howe’s SKYJACK, Adrian McKinty’s THE CHAIN and David Koepp’s COLD STORAGE.

SKYJACK is the second book in Kim Howe’s excellent Thea Paris series, and I devoured it in days – it has great pace and an engaging lead character. I got to read THE CHAIN just before it began to break big, and it’s got a killer hook that grips from page one. Get the drop on everyone else and read it now before the inevitable movie adaptation hits! And lastly, COLD STORAGE is the first novel from screenwriter Koepp, and it reads like a feature film, full of snappy pace and great dialogue.

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