Thursday, May 17, 2012

Interview with Jack Devon

The Digital Ink Spot interviewed Jack Devon, a former British intelligence agent and subsequently a Reuters correspondent and editor. He has lived and worked in 40 countries and covered a dozen wars, including the Soviet and U.S. occupations of Afghanistan. He divides his time between Shropshire in England and south-east Asia where he teaches English. The D.I.S. ask Jack Devon about his book, To Kill A Stranger.

Visit the author's website:

The Digital Ink Spot: Tell the readers a little something about To Kill A Stranger
Jack Devon: To Kill A Stranger is about a former soldier down on his luck. He's lost everything dear to him, and lives rough on London's streets. Harry is haunted by his past as a paratrooper, by atrocities in the Falklands War, for example. An old comrade offers him a good deal of money to work for a
covert organization as an assassin. He's a tough guy, but also very vulnerable.

The Digital Ink Spot: What inspired you to write your book?
Jack Devon: I used to walk and cycle around London a lot and I met quite a few homeless people; some of them were indeed former soldiers. I also gave talks at prisons in the UK and discovered there were inmates who'd been in the military, people who'd come unstuck and made mistakes on returning to civvie street. This gave me the idea.

This isn't my first book, incidentally. My first was non-fiction, an account of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and written under another name nearly thirty years ago.

The Digital Ink Spot: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Jack Devon: Writing is an itch that doesn't go away. It's cathartic, a release. It's not particularly sensible or financially speaking, a rational occupation. It's something one just has to do. A book is begun with immense optimism, but the result is inevitably unsatisfactory.

The Digital Ink Spot: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Jack Devon: I've always written. I wrote stories and plays at primary school and won short-story contests as a teenager. It's a basic instinct, one I don't fully understand.

The Digital Ink Spot: What can readers expect from you in the future?
Jack Devon: Another thriller, only better. It's written with the strong narrative pace of a thriller, but it's a satire. It's both hilarious and savage. Self-styled patriots won't like it. An agent and literary scout who's very
enthusiastic about it will start representation in a few weeks; she has a brief to find an indie publisher who loves it as much as we do.

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