Hello readers, and welcome to the inaugural post on the Severn House blog!
This is our new home for news, features, exclusive author content and much more, and we are delighted to welcome author Pauline Rowson as our very first guest blogger. What with our shiny new site and a brand new marine crime series sailing towards a library near you, Pauline has been musing on new beginnings.
Spring heralds new beginnings, so what better time to launch not only the new Severn House blog but also a new crime series introducing a brand new action hero, Art Marvik in Silent Running. I could say I was clever and planned it that way but that would be telling a lie, and while lies are not the sort of thing a nice girl should stoop to they are, however, the stuff of any crime novel. Someone, somewhere along the line always lies to prevent the truth from being exposed, hence being found out in committing or covering up a crime! But to get back to new beginnings.
What prompted me to create a new hero?
Half way through writing Silent Running I asked myself that question several times; especially as I was getting withdrawal symptoms from not being with my rugged and flawed detective, DI Andy Horton on a new murder case. But as Silent Running progressed and the story took shape I began to understand my new character more and soon became immersed in his troubled world. In this new series I wanted a hero who was not bound by the official rules of the law like DI Horton is (although he does stretch them many times!) but who was nevertheless on the right side of it. I wanted someone fit, intelligent, fearless and able to take care of himself when faced with danger. Enter former marine commando, Special Boat Services Officer, Art Marvik. Every character has to have a back story. Our past experiences, our upbringing, our education all shape us and fictional characters are no different. Just as all is not roses in the garden for DI Horton so it isn’t for Art Marvik. Injuries inflicted while in combat have forced him out of the marines. He thought he’d be able to adjust to civilian life and carve out a new career for himself as a private maritime security operative, but it all goes pear-shaped when the luxury motor cruiser he was detailed to guard gets attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean. Marvik finds himself with a bullet in his shoulder and the boat’s owner dead. He’d failed on his first mission, and Silent Running opens with him still reeling from it.
Where did the idea for Silent Running come from?
From a lift in a high-rise building in London, which also happens to be a club for service personnel and veterans (my husband being a former RAF Police Officer). I wondered what would happen if the lift got stuck and if I was in it with one other person, a man I didn’t know. I dislike lifts and avoid them if I possibly can and I thought of a woman in this lift alone with a man she’d never met before. What would have enticed her into that lift if she was afraid of them? Who was the man with her? Did she know him? What would they speak about while waiting to be freed? Why would she invite him back to her room after they’d been released? And why would he kill her? The rest of the plot sprang from there. Marvik’s first mission in Silent Running, takes him on his motor cruiser into the Solent and the English Channel, into marinas and bays on the south coast of England, a landscape familiar to me and one that is never without incident and atmosphere. In a race against time, Marvik is sucked into a dangerous assignment and a web of lies (yes, we’re back to those lies) that will need all his skills to get to the truth. Does he succeed? Well I’ll leave you to find out; but let’s just say I’m working on the second in the Art Marvik series.