THE NEXT BIG THING

Just before Christmas, my fellow author and Momentum compadre, Nathan Farrugia, asked me to participate in a blog challenge doing the rounds amongst some writerly types called 'The Next Big Thing'. In it, the writer blogs about their latest writing project and tags other authors to blog their experiences too. I like that it's creating a collective online record of what writers are working on at this point in time - what is, in my humble view, a pretty exciting time to be involved in the publishing industry.

So, with my compliments, here's the latest goings on from deep within the Chez Allen mancave, more commonly known as The Real Intrepid HQ.

What is the working title of your next book?

AVENGER: Intrepid 3.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

AVENGER will be the third outing for my provocateur and star agent of Intrepid, Alex Morgan. I like to keep my core subject matter as relevant and contemporary as possible – for instance, HUNTER: Intrepid 2 was all about fugitive Serbian war criminals. The book was written and released at the very time that many indicted fugitives of the ICTY* had been captured and were on trial. So, in keeping with my plan to ensure that Intrepid continues to operate within real-world scenarios, the theme for AVENGER is human trafficking. The issue of human trafficking is particularly relevant.  In fact, UNICEF is currently running an awareness campaign on the subject.  While delving into the world of the traffickers it’s my intention to also splice together a number of threads I suggested in DEFENDER: Intrepid 1 and HUNTER: Intrepid 2 which will round out a couple of storylines for readers who enjoyed the first two in the series.    

*ICTY: International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

What genre does your book fall under?

I think my Alex Morgan novels fit somewhere between Crime, Action and Spy Thrillers, which makes sense because my agents are part-policeman, part-soldier and part-spy!

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

My stand-out to play Alex Morgan is Alex O'Loughlin who stars as Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett in the new series Hawaii 5-0. Apart from being Australian and already named Alex (!), I think that as McGarrett he has really captured the essence of being an elite ex-serviceman while successfully managing to keep the character grounded and likable.  I believe he once screen tested for James Bond back in 2005.  So, starring as Morgan would be a great career move for him to transition from the small screen to a big screen action role and I know he could give Daniel Craig a real run for his money.  Hands down, O'Loughlin would do an outstanding job. If anybody knows Alex, send him one of my books!

Alex O'Loughlin, star of Hawaii 50 and top choice to play Alex Morgan in the Intrepid movie series.

The next major character of my series who will appear in AVENGER is the patriarch and head of the agency, General Davenport. This character needs an older actor who can convincingly portray a history of elite frontline service back in the day, balanced with the calm and wisdom of a man with great responsibility and the burden of real leadership. My favourite to play Davenport is Liam Neeson. He has a long history of tough guy roles which immediately suggest an action man past.  Along with his more sensitive and paternal roles and, dare I say it, the all knowing Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn which he portrayed in Star Wars, he’s perfectly placed to play Intrepid's chief. He’ll need to grow the Davenport beard though.      

Liam Neeson, here in Taken, is an ideal choice for General Davenpoit, agency head at Intrepid, in the action thriller movies based on the books by Chris Allen.

At this point the rest of the characters are still under wraps.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

‘When international law fails and the weak and helpless are traded like cattle, left to the mercy of criminal cartels, Intrepid is their only hope. Or is it?’ 

Something like that anyway!  

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Represented by an agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I’m currently in the planning stages. I intend to have the first draft completed by March 2013.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The closest I can think of would be DEAD CENTRE by Andy McNab, featuring his Nick Stone character.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The people who take the time to read, comment on and overall just to enjoy my stories so far have inspired me to write AVENGER. I want to give my readers something new every time they pick up one of my books. I’m only two into the series so far but there’s been an incredible reaction already. With a developing and very loyal readership, it’s important that I extend myself with each new opportunity to present a story that they will not want to put down. I like to give my readers a heavy dose of realism balanced with an equal dose of escapism. I believe that my action thrillers set within these real-life, contemporary scenarios achieve that. I take the approach that, like the Bond or Bourne movies, each successive adventure in the series has to better its predecessor.  

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

There's serious interest and activity to make these books into action films, so I expect you all to go along and see Defender, Hunter and Avenger when they make it onto the big screen! 

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Now comes the time when I'm going to tag a handful of other people to participate in the blog challenge. Well, here's looking at you:

Tony Park

Keith McArdle

James Tabor

Steve Hamilton

Best, Chris

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My Top Five Action Thriller Book Characters
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