In crime on January 3, 2012 at 7:44 am

Laurence O’Bryan is a first time novelist.

His book, The Istanbul Puzzle, will come out on January 19, 2012.

Snapped up by Harper Collins, the story is one of mystery and intrigue with two more follows-up already scheduled in the next couple of years.

Here’s Laurence to tell us more about the moment he had been waiting for a long while and his evening in the House of Commons.

First off, when did you get your MS accepted?

My MS was accepted in late February 2010.

What were your writing credits prior to that?

This is my first published novel!

I had a short story published in a school newspaper when I was ten. Does that count?

What happened after your MS was accepted. Did you get carried away by the swirling of work I imagine happens when something like this finally turns into reality?
I started laughing a lot and wanted to create lots of visuals in connection with the novel.
I experienced a rush of creative energy I have never experienced before or since.
Was this before or after you had built a platform – your Twitter following is over 10k…
It was well after I had started on Twitter. I had about 3,000 followers then. I have been using Twitter for well over two years.

How did you get to build what is a pretty impressive platform for a writer who hasn’t yet been published?

I believe in simple regular things on Twitter – follow people with similar interests, follow back people with similar interests, keep a steady flow of Tweets in the area of your interest.

I Tweet ten times a day, or more.

Do you think it was the platform you built prior to getting published that eventually impressed your agent enough to give you a chance?

Being able to market yourself is a definite plus. If you have an MS that is well edited and has an interesting theme, then Twitter and a blog give the publishing company confidence that you can help with the marketing.

You spent an evening in the House of Commons. How did you get there?

I spent an evening there as a guest of an MP who was a Chelsea supporter. I was working for one of Chelsea’s sponsors in marketing and he invited a lot of us to come in and have dinner and drinks. I still have the free pen he gave us all to mark the occasion. A scene from The Istanbul Puzzle is set in the House of Commons.

You have a kind of tourist guide at the end of the book, The Istanbul Puzzle. What made you think of such an addition?
The publishing company Harper Collins came up with it.
They have done it for a few of their other authors.
It adds value and I can see how people would like it.
Would you like to tell us what the book is about?
The Istanbul Puzzle is a thriller/mystery novel, which will be published January 19, 2012. It’s the first in a series of novels featuring Sean Chancellor and Isabel Sharp, and will be published by Harper Collins.
The Istanbul Puzzle starts when Sean Chancellor discovers a friend and colleague has been beheaded in Istanbul.

How did you come up with the idea?
I was walking around Istanbul and the beauty and mystery of the city inspired me.

Istanbul, you certainly seem to have fallen in love with the city. Was that before or after you decided to make it the setting of your novel?
I went to Istanbul many times before I thought of setting a novel there. My wife is from Istanbul and we have been going every year for more than ten years.
What are you currently working on?
The Jerusalem Puzzle! It’s a follow up set in ……well you know where! And I will be there in February soaking it all up!

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?
Writing novels is a hard road. I spent twelve years writing various novels and struggling with difficult jobs and a young family. But the sense of accomplishment in getting published is wonderful. Truly wonderful!
It hasn’t made me rich, by any measure, but the feeling is among the best I’ve ever had.
Come and visit me on to find out more about my advice for aspiring writers and my personal journey, and of course about the secrets of The Istanbul Puzzle!
All the best, Laurence!
Next week our interviewee will be a surprise. Don’t miss it!

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