Friday, August 16, 2013

@NickWastnage Guest Post: "How I Came to Think a Ruthless Assassin was Cool"

Nick Wastnage is a crime writer, an optimist, and lover of things wild and wonderful. This eclectic mix makes his books different from other crime novels. His life hasn't been dull, and he's used his rich life-experiences to write books with unique, compelling plots that twist and turn, and where the characters are multi-layered and life-like. He's written ten books and short stories. At present, he's in the middle of writing a trilogy, The Harry Fingle Collection, about a crusading journalist, Harry Fingle, dedicated to publishing the truth, regardless of threats to his life. <i>Playing Harry</i>, the first in the trilogy, is available now.

Nick was born in a small, seaside town in Essex, England. After school, he joined The Royal Marines as a Lieutenant, and led a troop of marines in a military operation in Borneo, where he was shot and airlifted from the jungle to a nearby hospital. During his time in the marines, he learnt about leadership, dealing with stress, and dedication to achieving a goal. His most cherished moments were leading and working with his team to achieve their mission.

He spent five years in the marines, and then went into business, where he was able to blend his understanding of human nature, experience of stress, and goal-setting logic -all learnt from the military - with business expectations, and bring about some success.

Over the years, he's experienced a few death-defying moments, business success and failure, near bankruptcy, and some sporting achievements. He's enjoyed much personal happiness, and been touched by tragedy. He thrives on adversity - thinking, Where one door closes, another opens.

He's sanguine about life, and doesn't see his past as special, just stuff he's been through. He works hard to use his life experiences and understanding of people to make his books realistic, compelling, and as good as he can get them. Most of all, he wants the reader to enjoy them.

Now, of course, book 2 in the Harry Fingle Collection, Assassination Continuum, is also available! Nick Wastnage just provided me this guest post, so enjoy!

How I came to think a ruthless assassin was cool.
The second book in the trilogy, The Harry Fingle Collection, Assassination Continuum has been released early.
While Harry searches for the truth, his nemesis–a ruthless Russian Assassin, Grigoriy Nabutov–will settle for only one thing: Harry’s execution.
I’ve been writing about Harry and Grigoriy for over two years, and am close to finishing the third and last book in the trilogy. I’ve come to get to know them both quite well. Harry’s Harry, as they say–a cool guy who gets screwed by the CIA and MI6, narrowly misses death on several occasions, and isn’t too clever with woman, though he might pull it off in the last book!
However, Grigoriy is something else. He’s a sinister-looking, ruthless assassin who’s relentless in his pursuit of his targets, and who’ll stop for nobody or nothing until his assignment is complete and he’s able to notch up another kill.
But he’s pretty cool. Here’s an excerpt from Assassination Continuum.
Grigoriy has been abducted by a couple of heavies to a deserted house in South-West France who’ve been told to teach him a lesson for failing to kill Harry in the mountains of Ethiopia.
The man lit the match, and held it under Grigoriy’s chin for a moment. ‘Just wanted you to feel the heat,’ he said as Grigoriy flinched and moved his head away. The man moved the burning match slowly up towards Grigoriy’s nose. Grigoriy held his breath. The man lit the ends of the matches, and laughed. ‘This’ll teach you.’
‘Argg,’ Grigoriy yelled, and smelt his own flesh burn. In the blink of an eye, he rocked forward, sliced the last thread of rope, and plunged his knife deep into the middle of the man’s back. He pulled the knife–dripping with blood–from the man and stabbed him hard a couple more times. A gush of blood spouted up towards the ceiling. Grigoriy pulled the burning matches from his nose, plucked his knife from the man’s crumpled body, and started to cut his feet and body free. As he did, he heard a car pull up outside.
‘Vlad, where are you?’ the other man yelled as he burst through the door with a powerful torch. ‘What the fuck?’ he said, as he saw his colleague’s body, awash in a pool of blood.
Grigoriy stepped out from the shadows, glad of the illumination, and pumped three shots into the man’s chest and stomach from the gun he’d been given at Marseille airport. The man fell to the ground. Grigoriy moved to where he lay. He was still breathing. Grigoriy leant close to the man’s head. ‘Thanks for bringing the car round,’ he said, and fired four times into the man’s mouth. He kicked him over so he was flat on his face, stood up, gave the other man one look, and left: in the men’s car.
Grigoriy paced around his hotel room in Marseille and thought about his next move. He went to the mini-bar and pulled out another small bottle of vodka, poured it into his glass, and took a large slurp. He noticed there weren’t any bottles left. He made for the room phone. ‘I need some more vodka, and I want a large filet steak, some sauté potatoes, and a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, quickly,’ he snapped and hung up.

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