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I’ve been writing novels since I was ten years old, but it wasn’t until I was twenty seven that I actually completed one. They were all the same, war stories, spy stories, detective stories, you know, the kind of thing adolescent boys read. They were probably influenced by the fact I was born in 1950.

When I started reading, stories about World War Two were all the rage. There were comics like The Lion, The Tiger, The Victor and the Hotspur. I devoured W. E. John’s books about Biggles. My first attempt at a novel featured a character based on the hero in the comic cartoon, I Flew With Braddock. I managed to write about ten pages, but then lost the copybook it was written in. Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, as Thomas Gray said.

In 1964, someone gave me a copy of Moonraker and I discovered James Bond. In ways, he was just like Biggles, but with girls. As anyone as old as me will remember, there was a rash of copycat writers turning out similar stories. A mature version of Biggles was produced by Gavin Lyall in The Wrong Side of the Sky, published in 1961. There were also overtones of Raymond Chandler, and even phrases taken from the Marlowe novels. Gavin Lyall produced seven novels in this genre, the last, Judas Country, published in 1975. These were the books that provided me with the inspiration to complete my own first novel.

casablanca-ricks-cafe-come-back-sam-all-is-forgivenSince 1977, I’ve managed to complete seven novels, along with a few nearly past the finishing post efforts. However, none of them have really reached the standard I’d be happy to publish. About two years ago, I went back to the Ian Fleming novels to see what it was that made them work. Fleming was the son of a British officer, Major Valentine Fleming, who was killed in France in 1917. Being of a rich banking family, Fleming was a member of the establishment. Educated at Eton, Sandhurst  and various European universities, he was in turn a reporter for Reuters, covering the 1936 trial of six British engineers in Moscow on charges of spying, a stockbroker and assistant to the Director of Naval intelligence, Vice Admiral John Godfrey, during world War Two. After the war, he worked as Travel editor for the Sunday Times.

His contract allowed him to spend three months every year, usually the winter, in Jamaica in the house he built there, called Goldeneye. There in 1952 he wrote Casino Royale, the first of the James Bond books, basing it on his wartime and travel experiences. He went on to write a total of fourteen novels, setting them in exotic locations. Who better to take inspiration from, I decided.

This is a blog about spying, crime and love affairs, both fact and fiction.

The fact part is based on my previous life as a civil servant in the Department of Justice and an army officer in the Reserve Defence Force, or the FCA as it used to be known. The fiction part refers to characters and stories I’ve based on my experiences. I will post some pictures that will serve as a reference to my writing. The blog will consist of anything that comes to mind when I’m sitting in front of the keyboard, and will include a reviews of other people’s novels, especially people I know.

I intend to blog as often as I can, building up to once a week, or hopefully a little more often.

copyright © Paul T. Lynch

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