Friday, June 14, 2013

The Orange Moon Affair by AFN Clarke

The Orange Moon Affair - by the bestselling author of CONTACT - is the first book of a compelling new thriller series, an action-packed conspiracy with a hero and heroine you hold your breath for. If you enjoy the action of Robert Ludlum, the intensity of Brad Thor and the international intrigue of Daniel Silva, then this book’s for you!

Ex-British Special Forces soldier Thomas Gunn is drawn back into his old life of international intrigue and danger following the murder of his billionaire father. The deeper he digs the more complicated the puzzle becomes until he finds himself working for MI5 uncovering a global conspiracy that puts the freedom of the western world at grave risk. His girlfriend Julie becomes his accomplice surprising him with her loyalty, strength of character and physical prowess.

While traversing the globe being shot at, shot down and losing loved ones – a haunting question tears at his soul – was his father really at the heart of this evil conspiracy? Or was he a pawn in a larger more insidious game that even he could not control?

Seeking the final answer could cost Thomas dearly, ripping from him all that he most loves and cherishes and leaving him questioning his past, his future and what kind of person he is or wants to become. The final outcome depends on him. Or does it?

As a former Captain of Britain’s elite Parachute Regiment and son of an MI6 operative the author brings his own unique and eye-opening experiences to the character and exploits of Thomas Gunn, as well as an unsettling blurring of the lines between fiction and reality when exploring the ruthless abuse of power and position for personal gain.

“… The Orange Moon Affair is timely, eye-opening, fast-paced … you will find you want to turn the next page, and the next page, and the next … the first of the Thomas Gunn series … you don’t want to miss them!” 5 Stars, Remy Benoit.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG13

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Are Mentors Important? by AFN Clarke

My first book Contact took two years to finally be accepted for publication. Two years and seventeen rejections from publishers, not because they didn’t like the book but because they weren’t willing to take the risk on a tell-it-as-it-was soldier’s story about a highly controversial time in history.

Then I received a rejection letter from John Blackwell of Martin Secker & Warburg (an imprint of William Heinemann) with an impressive list of Nobel Prize winners. It was a rejection with a difference though, because John suggested that if I decided to rewrite certain sections of the book, they would be willing to take another look. Taking a week off work, I went to Spain, holed up in a rented apartment and rewrote Contact. That version was accepted and the book became an instant best seller.

So what has that to do with mentoring? Simply put, John Blackwell along with his colleague Peter Grose became my mentors at a crucial time in my career as an author, steering me gently through the minefield of having a bestselling book, the lunacy of instant fame and myriad interviews that came with its success. But that was only the tip of their contribution to my career.

I was to learn that they had a unique way of relating to authors. A deeply personal relationship where they did not just advise and discuss writing issues, but quietly debated the intricacies of writing and the reasons why people feel the need to write books. They never forced their opinions on me but rather initiated intriguing discussions to open my eyes to a new way of looking at my work and its impact on a reader. Their wealth of experience left me humbled and yet uplifted, eager to continue to write and explore this extraordinary medium.

It’s this kind of mentoring that is crucial to any author and I owe a lot to John and Peter, but all was not in total agreement at the time and I still had a very important lesson to learn about trusting myself as an author and not totally surrendering to my mentors.

After CONTACT was published I wrote the first draft of The Orange Moon Affair, a thriller that involved drug dealing, arms smuggling and financial corruption. The story was set around an American car company in Belfast, and was sourced from actual events surrounding the Delorean Car Company of which I had some personal knowledge and experience.

But to my frustration John rejected the book because he simply didn’t believe the basis of the story. Several months later, Delorean was all over the news for drug smuggling and unimaginable acts of corruption. John apologized, as my story had actually been profoundly prophetic. He wished he had published it ahead of Delorean’s downfall. But publishing after the fact wasn’t an option.

Yet the basic concept stayed with me, and now thirty years later The Orange Moon Affair has a new lease on life. It’s been completely rewritten as the first book in an ongoing series of action-packed thrillers dealing with global conspiracies that pose intense dangers to our world today.

I guess I’m a slow learner, but I’m glad that I finally followed John’s advice that “if you really believe in your work, don’t let anyone stand in your way, even your editor”. When John died in the late 1990s, it was a savage loss, but I think he would be proud of my work to date and would relish the expansion of creative opportunities and the freedom that the move from printed books to eBooks gives authors today. And I hope he’s still willing to give me a gentle nudge in the right direction when I need it.

AFN CLARKE is the son of a British MI6 operative, pilot, sailor, screenwriter, father of four who’s lived all over the world, served in the British Army and recovered from the physical/emotional traumas of war. His bestselling memoir Contact was serialized in a British newspaper and made into an award winning BBCTV film. He’s insatiably curious, loves heated discussions and has a rascally sense of humor. He now writes fiction of various genres – thrillers (The Orange Moon Affair and An Unquiet American); human drama (Dry Tortugas), humor/satire (Dreams from the Death Age; Armageddon), horror (Collisions) with more coming soon. For more information visit, connect on Facebook or Twitter (@AFN Clarke).


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