This week’s Featured Author is Aidan J. Reid, a thriller author and freelance blogger originally from Cloughmills, Northern Ireland. His first full-length novel is a sci-fi thriller called Pathfinders, released in February 2016. The second book is called Sigil, a detective thriller set in a small village in Ireland, released in June 2016. He has also written a short sci-fi story called Spectrum, which you can purchase on Amazon or receive free when you subscribe to his newsletter.
Welcome to the blog, Aiden! Can you tell us about your latest book, Sigil?
A small village in Northern Ireland wakes up one morning with the discovery of the death of a local man, hanging by apparent suicide. The village is stunned, not least Father Tom Regan. As the figurehead of the community and an amateur sleuth, he decides to investigate and soon discovers a series of clues which suggest foul play.
He begins to suspect that the pious and tight community might be hiding a murderer. The tag line is – ‘Every Village Has Its Secrets’.
Can you tell us the inspiration behind Sigil?
I was born in a small village in Northern Ireland and have fond memories of my childhood there. Despite leaving at the age of eighteen to attend University in the city, some of the characters I grew up with continued to dominate my thoughts, especially as I pursued a career in writing.
I love the idea of a tranquil, ‘safe’ place touched by evil, and the idea was spawned probably from reading the Sherlock Holmes books. I wanted to create an unlikely ‘hero’ who also fell in love with a clever detective and wanted to emulate him (in the novel, the object of Fr Tom Regan’s obsession is a character called Detective Bourbon).
I also wanted to create a series around a strong character and I feel I’ve found that with Regan.
What’s your writing style like?
I have the opening scenes and usually, but not always, the end in mind before I begin. I don’t like to think more than 3 chapters ahead. My characters aren’t on a tight leash. I’m willing to be pulled in whatever direction they want to go, but ultimately they all have a fair idea of their fate!
With Sigil, because it is a mystery thriller, I had to put a little more structure in place and connect characters/narratives and motives to ensure it fit like a jigsaw. Other than that, I just like to sit down and get writing. The end product will always be shared with an editor and beta readers to identify any inconsistencies.
Who has influenced your writing?
I was a bit of a dork as a teen and read the classics – books from Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Cervantes. They remain some of the best books I’ve ever read. It helped construct my radar for what good books REALLY looked like. Dan Brown and Lee Child still have their place. They’re pacy, enjoyable…but instantly forgettable.
I love books to hook me and won’t let go. It’s getting harder to find books like that anymore. For that reason I’m currently going through the Top 100 Books of All Time, as listed by the BBC in a nationwide study in 2003. I’m finding some interesting new/old voices, that could teach current authors a thing or two.
What do you love about writing?
I love creating something from nothing. I love receiving positive feedback from strangers.
What don’t you like about it? Or rather, what are the things you like the least about writing?
The voices in my head! I can’t switch off the characters, especially when I’m deep into a new writing project. They keep me up at night!
I know about those voices! Are there any challenges you’ve come across since you became a published author?
I’m relatively new, although my first novel – Pathfinders – which was published in February of this year was ten years in the making. Challenges include – getting noticed, building a marketing platform and everything sales related. Writing is the easy part!
So, tell us about your plans? Any new books in the making?
I’m writing Book 4 as we speak – a sequel to Sigil set in Peru entitled ‘Yage’. I’m also working on a short story called ‘Crystal Clear’.
I’ve finished the first draft of my third book. It’s called ‘Raising Lazarus’. It will be set for release in December 2016.
It tells the story of a young man who believes that 2,000 years earlier he was cursed with eternal life by a wandering prophet. We pick up the narrative in a prison where a University student is doing her thesis on prisoners mental health, and she meets this guy who calls himself Lazarus. She can’t decide if he’s mad or if there’s some truth – he seems well balanced and very clever. It builds to an ending, one that could affect the entire world. I still need to work on the blurb!
What’s the last book you read? Or at least, one that gave you what we call a “book hangover?”
Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. I was late to the party. I can see the attraction and look forward to getting into later books.
Any advice for writers out there?
The best way to become a good writer is a) read a lot, b) write a lot. Stephen King.
To learn more about Aiden J. Reid and his books, check out:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Aidan-J.-Reid/e/B01BS8XUYU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1