Friday, 2 October 2015

Roger Boutwell talks about Eric; the pensioner who became an assassin

Today we welcome Roger Boutwell to Promote Me Please. Some time ago I read Roger's first novel; Conscious of Guilt. It has stuck in my mind very clearly as one of the most unusual crime thrillers I've read. Now Eric, the pensioner assassin rides again in a brand new book and Roger agreed to answer five curious questions about Eric Brand Revisited.

 Eric has to be one of the most unusual hitmen in the history of literature Can you describe him in five words?
     Vengeful, Meticulous, Persistent, Fearless,                      Purposeful.
How did the idea for Eric and his unlikely new identity come to mind?
Having been an avid reader since early childhood I was looking for a new challenge in my retirement. So I decided I would attempt to write a book. I was never any good at English or Grammar at school so I didn’t hold out much hope of completing a book. As I had worked for twenty years in Hospitality Management I thought maybe I could write about the Tourist Industry. I stumbled around and never got to grips with the subject, when I came across a quote on the net which stated that one of the most read genres was Crime fiction. Over the years I have read reams of Crime non-fiction, so here was a subject that immediately enthused me. Abuse and crime against the elderly is on the increase so my central character had to be someone I could relate to, hence a seventy year old pensioner. I developed Eric, an ordinary guy, father to an only son and daughter-in-law and tenderly caring for a chronically ill wife. I had to have something truly shocking to dramatically alter his life. And then came the horrific murders of his loved ones which were the opening scenes in the book. At this early stage I thought the book would consist of a long detailed story of Eric hunting down and slaying of all the individual killers. I put myself in Eric’s position, and yes I would have wanted revenge if someone had murdered my son. On the other hand I’m not saying I would turn into an assassin. As the plot progressed Eric turned out to be very efficient at tracking down his son and daughter-in-law’s killers, and also efficient in the cold calculating way he eliminates them. No guilty conscience here but a feeling of power from the gun which he acquired from a trip into the crime underworld. Here he was earmarked as a possible killer. Then there’s the approach by a stranger for Eric to kill for monetary gain which came at the lowest time in his life. Now alone and with no family responsibilities he dramatically slips into the macabre world of an assassin.

Thinking about other books in the same genre can you suggest a few which might appeal to the same audience?

I have read very little crime fiction, most notably, such as the likes of Childs, Patterson or Baldacci; books from these authors I have read tend to deal with FBI and CIA agents and would require some intimate knowledge of these organisations. I found the plots to be all very similar and in most cases they failed to hold my interest; perhaps I should have persevered and read more. Some of my readers have commented, “Conscious of Guilt” is not your “run of the mill crime fiction novel”. I prefer to read non-fiction crime but one of my favourite authors is Jeffery Archer; a great storyteller.

The sequel to Conscious of Guilt is Eric Brand Revisited; did you always plan to write a sequel?

No, I did in fact write several endings to the book but none sounded right or appealed to me. I didn’t want to kill Eric off, or have a soft finish. I thought there was another book left in Eric, hence the lead-in-to-a-sequel ending.

Can we expect more novels in 2016?

I’ve been asked this often, I’m not so sure about continuing with another episode of Eric but I am considering another book, perhaps something entirely different. I’m working on several plots at the moment.
My new website…
I’m not really into social media and don’t utilise it as I should, I think it’s a younger person’s thing. '

I realise I’m probably showing my age. I’m also on LinkedIn.

Thank you, Roger.

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