Monday, 13 May 2013

Journalism to Authordom. A well worn path travelled anew.

My guest post this week is from Matt Bendoris - a journalist, who like many others before him - turned his hand to novel writing. Here's what Matt has to say about how his day job has helped his new ambitions.  

I honestly don’t believe I could have written a crime novel without becoming a journalist first.
Why? I’ve actually met and interviewed the bad guys I’m writing about. I have had to quiz a former terrorist leader while his bodyguard sat menacingly nearby.
And I have spent countless hours in the company of Archie ‘Mad Dog’ McCafferty – convicted for four murders in Australia.
Archie once even called me during the middle of a police siege (he was ‘allegedly’ holding family members hostage). I even got to the dubious privileged of hearing him being over-powered by the long arm of the law while on the phone. (Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident!)
The flip side of the coin is I’ve also interviewed First Ministers and the Prime Minister where it’s like a scene straight out of The Thick Of It.
And I’ve witnessed the growing influence of the PRs and agents in the candy floss world of showbiz, where they can make you believe a nasty piece of work is actually a lovely, caring person.
It’s those journalistic experiences that money simply cannot buy.
So I doth my cap to the hundreds of other crime novelists who come from various other backgrounds to write best-sellers.
But I couldn’t have written my book without my nearly quarter of a century working on newspapers in Scotland and London.
Matt Bendoris has been a journalist for 24 years.
He started as a pop columnist for the Glasgow Guardian, before working as a feature writer for The Scottish Sun, followed by The Sun in London (where a once youthful Matt was hired by a once youthful Piers Morgan), The Daily Record and The Mirror in London (when he was hired for a second time by Piers Morgan who was clearly suffering from amnesia).
Matt returned to the Scottish Sun in 1996, where he is currently Chief Feature Writer.
In 2004 he released his first book, a ghost written autobiography of TV stars The Krankies called Fan-Dabi-Dozi, on Blake Publishing. This contained the ground breaking exclusive that the duo had once been wife swappers, which suddenly became a Twitter sensation in 2011 - sadly far too late to help with the book's sales.
While in 2005 he wrote the autobiography Simply Devine for Scottish singer Sydney Devine, on Black& White Publishing, with every national newspaper in Scotland running stories on its more salacious content!
But when Matt’s work relocated to Glasgow city centre in 2007 he began writing his debut crime novel Killing With Confidence on his BlackBerry, which is released in March 2013.
This year will also see the publication of his second crime novel, The Ned Detective, which he co-wrote in a mad, seven week frenzy during 2012.
My thanks to Matt for the post. I've been lucky enough to read Killing With Confidence and can honestly recommend it.
Next week it'll be a post from me and then the week after I'll be posting my interview with Lee Child.
July will see a guest post from Tom Cain and his alter ego David Thomas.

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