Todays’ guest on our Mystery November Book Tour is Ray Stone and his book Isia’s Secret.
1) Where is your home town?
I was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex; a seaside town on the estuary of the Thames. A popular holiday resort, it was once the annual holiday destination for EastEnders from London. The town also boasts the longest pleasure pier in the world – just about a mile and a quarter with its own passenger trains running back and forth. I still visit every few years just to smell the Thames and remember my boyhood.
2) How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was eleven. From the age of seven I read to my father each night as he ate dinner. I would read short items from the newspaper. One night he asked me to go and fetch any book I liked from his room. I started reading a book and by the time I was two chapters in I became inspired to start telling stories and writing. The book was Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. I later won a writing competition at school and in my teens started writing poetry. I later went on to win an internet national poetry competition, had a full page article published in my local press with a by line and collaborated with a composer to produce and record five Blues numbers. I have been writing for 57 years.
3) What is your favourite sub-genre of mystery?
Thrillers top my list, particularly political mystery thrillers and some modern gritty British crime thrillers. My favourite authors are John le Carre, Vince Flynn and Daniel de Silva. There are many more.
4) Where is Isia’s Secret set?
The story originates on Cyprus during the 70’s when Greek s and Turks were involved in bloody battles over a period of twenty years, fighting for sovereignty over the island. The plot switches to modern day after the intro prologue. It follows a political correspondent assigned to write a story about a Greek billionaire who has a lot of dark secrets and skeletons in his family’s past. He will murder to keep them hidden. One of them relates to a young girl named Isia and an illegitimate son. This leads Enda to uncover political manoeuvrings by the billionaire within Brussels EU and a dangerous plot to start a civil war on Cyprus. The plot thickens as our reluctant hero races to expose the plot, following leads from London to Cyprus and on to Istanbul, Nice and across the Mediterranean in a cruise ship. The story ends in a spectacular attack on the ship and a couple of unexpected and surprising twists.
5) Can you introduce us to Enda Osin?
Enda is a political columnist for a large London newspaper. He is a flawed man with an extraordinary sense of integrity who expects everyone else to live by traditional ethics. His Irish personality and workingman’s attitude make for outstanding news articles that constantly offend the corrupted hearts and minds of the men at the top of the British government. Enda is a bachelor with one dark secret from his childhood and a guilty conscience he lives with. Love is something he has a lot to learn about, especially after meeting his new assistant, Jessica Du Rosse. Half his age, a beautiful West Indian raised by parents within the diplomatic corps, she is soon putting him in his place as he falls in love with her. As the story reaches a climax, Enda faces his demons and overcomes his greatest fear.
6) Who is Paul Hrisacopolis?
Paul Hrisacopolis, powerful and popular with the Greek public, is a man who is used to getting his own way. He has attracted notoriety for his fight for Cypriot sovereignty, funding the EOKA terrorist organisation during the sixties and seventies during which time he lost his son in the fight. He is paranoid about anything that could stand in the way of his bid for a powerful position in Brussels and the subsequent successful conclusion to his secret political dream. Under threat he is not averse to silencing those who would expose his dark secrets and a family history that would ruin him and bring disgrace to his family name. So wrapped up in his own ambition, he is blind to death threats coming at him, one seeking profit, another seeking political victory, and another seeking revenge.
7) What is Paul’s dream for Cyprus?
Paul seeks sovereignty for Cyprus by causing civil unrest through his powerful position on the Agricultural and Fisheries committee, awarding trade agreements to Greek companies only. With escalating unrest within the Turkish community it would not take long before violence erupted. His plan is to influence an EU decision to use UN troops to stop the violence. With help from an unscrupulous Turk in his pay the violence would escalate into civil war and the UN would have no option but to evict the Turks. Greece, unlike the Turks, already EU members, would be in a position to request sovereignty.
8) What are the artifacts that Enda travels with are they stolen or lost items being returned home?
The Elgin marbles were originally obtained by Lord Elgin with permission while Greece was part of the Ottoman empire. Disputed to this day, the Greeks claim the marbles were never given and they should be returned. When they arrived in Britain, Lord Elgin had the marbles stored and later sold them to the British Museum. The marbles were part of a massive shipment sent back to England and after Elgin’s team of workers had finished they had ruined many parts of the Parthenon. Priceless artefacts lay on the ground for years. The British Museum and the government continue to claim they received the marbles legally.
9) Tell us what you are working on at the moment.
I am currently working on the third in the trilogy of Enda Osin Mystery books. Glassfrogs & Chameleons takes place in Venezuela and sees Enda Osin involved in oil and secret military deals with the Russians. I like to use some current political situation as part of my plot and mixed with fiction to create believability. I like reality – not James Bond.
10) Where can readers find out more about you?
I have a blog site at www.raystoneauthor.co.uk
Ray’s first book a thriller titled Trojan Towers is currently FREE on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/341881
Ray also has 10 AUDIO copies of Isia’s Secret, 5 copies for US readers, 5 copies for UK readers. E-mail Ray to request a copy (once they’re gone, they’re gone)