Today’s guest is the very cool and funny John Dolan and he’s chatting with us about his newest book in the “Time, Blood and Karma” series. Hungry Ghosts is Book Two and, of course, I found that title particularly intriguing given my own series with ghosts.
About John Dolan
“Makes a living by travelling, talking a lot and sometimes writing stuff down. Galericulate author, polymath and occasional smarty-pants.”
John Dolan hails from a small town in the North-East of England. Before turning to writing, his career encompassed law and finance. He has run businesses in Europe, South and Central America, Africa and Asia. He and his wife Fiona currently divide their time between Thailand and the UK.
Please read on for more about John and Hungry Ghosts!
About Hungry Ghosts
For the last half-hour my mind has been playing games with me. I keep thinking I see Claire at the periphery of my vision, but when I turn my head she vanishes.
But then of course she would.
She is a ghost, after all.
It is the spring of 2005 and the macabre ‘burning murders’ have ended. Life has apparently returned to normal on the Thai island of Samui.
For private investigator David Braddock ‘normal’ means finding a missing drug smuggler, sleeping with the Police Chief’s wife and ensuring his office manager’s latest money making scheme doesn’t bankrupt him.
For Police Chief Charoenkul it means resuming his seemingly-endless wait for that elusive promotion to Bangkok.
However, the peace is destined to be short-lived. Unbeknownst to both men, karmic storm clouds are gathering and murderous forces are about to be unleashed which could destroy them both …
Hungry Ghosts is the second volume in the Time, Blood and Karma series. It marks the welcome return of David Braddock, the charismatic anti-hero from Everyone Burns.
Now let’s shine the spotlight on John!
Maer: John, thanks for joining us to tell us about Hungry Ghosts.
John: You are most welcome, Maer. Like most writers I’m only too happy to talk about my new book when I’m not talking about myself. That’s a joke, by the way, in case you were wondering.
Maer: Caught that. 🙂 I love your sense of humor. Speaking of funny: what is the funniest or oddest thing that has happened to you as an author?
John: Having complete strangers read my books then write reviews about them has been a pretty odd experience. Moreover, hearing my wife Fiona introduce me to people as ‘a writer’ also feels extremely weird. It somehow makes me want to apologize.
Maer: I can sympathize with that. Do you use beta readers and, if so, what qualities do you look for in a beta?
John: While I didn’t use beta readers for my first book, Everyone Burns, I did for the recent sequel, Hungry Ghosts – mainly because it was a more complex storyline involving multiple POVs and I wanted to see if a reader would be confused. I like betas who are sticklers for grammar, detail and whether the psychology of the book rings true. I am fortunate that I have a few people who will give it to me straight. I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to take beta reader criticism of my first book, but these days my skin is the thickness of rhino hide. Well, usually it is.
Maer: John could you give us a one line synopsis for your book?
John: Bloody hell, I can’t give you a one line synopsis for Hungry Ghosts. What do you think I am, an author or something?
Maer: LOL. Please?
John: OK, if you insist, how about this? “Private investigator David Braddock searches for a missing drug smuggler in Bangkok while being pursued by a ruthless enemy bent on his destruction.”
Maer: Perfect. I know how painful that was. 🙂 How many books do you have planned for the series?
John: Hungry Ghosts is book two (of seven) in the Time, Blood and Karma series. The series is about interconnection; how our decisions and actions affect others – sometimes over protracted distances and time. The storyline moves around various parts of the planet, but most of the action is in South East Asia, specifically Thailand (which is where I live, by the way).
Maer: It sounds fascinating! Which character, other than David, is one of your favorites to write and why?
John: I guess this would have to be the Old Thai Monk who acts as the voice of David Braddock’s conscience, but is also a bit of a crafty, wily so-and-so.
Maer: I like crafty! Now, if you had to pick a color to describe David what would that be and why?
John: Being a Brit, I would have to choose a ‘colour’. Sorry! I guess red would be Braddock’s colour. His character can be like a red rag to a bull sometimes and he is a mite dangerous.
Maer: Yes, being a Brit you can add the extra letter. 🙂 John, who are your favorite authors to read?
John: Currently Haruki Murakami and William Boyd. But this changes regularly. In the past it has been Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh. It has never been Tolkien, and never will be.
Maer: *gasp* No Tolkien? Actually I find that very interesting. Can you share a bit about your current project?
John: I’m just about to embark on two projects. The first of these is writing book three in the Time, Blood and Karma series – entitled A Poison Tree, after the poem by William Blake – and the second is co-authoring a novel with Fiona Quinn, the creator of the Lexi Sobado series. That’s going to be quite a logistical challenge as Fiona lives on the East Coast of the USA and I live in Thailand!
Maer: Wow, you have some very cool things in the works. Can’t wait to see them. John, what do you do when you’re not writing?
John: Until recently I was the Chief Operating Officer of an International Power Company, and I will go back to the power business when my current 1-2 year ‘Sabbatical’ in Thailand is over. At the moment when I’m not writing I’m usually thinking about writing. Or annoying my family.
Maer: That annoying family thing sounds like fun. I think I’ll take that up. So, what influenced you to write in your genre? Do you write in others?
John: I’m not sure what my genre is, actually. My first two books I suppose you could describe as detective/mystery/thrillers, but I wasn’t consciously writing in any genre. I have a little man in my head who makes up the stories and I write them down for him. The stories are heavy on characterization. I’d like to say they are really literary fiction, but that sounds awfully pretentious. Ask me about music instead.
Maer: Okay, fine. 🙂 What music, if any, do you like to listen to while writing?
John: I don’t listen to music when I’m writing…
John: …unless I need to inject some deep emotion. Then I will listen to some corny love song or whatever is needed to help generate the ‘fix’.
Maer: You had me going there for a second. John, thanks so much for a fun and entertaining interview. Do you have anything you’d like to add?
John: No thanks, Maer. But there are probably one or two things above that I’d like to subtract.
You can buy Hungry Ghosts (Time, Blood and Karma, Book Two) at Amazon. Here are some other links for both books:
Hungry Ghosts – Amazon UK
Everyone Burns – Amazon US
Everyone Burns – Amazon UK
And to follow John, you can find him at the following links: