Chris Sanders -- Author Spotlight on Blondie's Books From Friends
Be sure and follow my blog for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. I will choose a winner on April 1st. Stealing Time will be in paperback and in other outlets like Barnes and Noble and iTunes in the next week. I'll be sure and update you with links and details as soon as I have more information. Stay tuned. In the meantime, check out my latest Author Spotlight.
This week’s Author Spotlight features a dashing fellow from south London, Chris Sanders, and his novel the Thief’s Son. This is Chris’ first novel and since he has written a collection of short horror stories called The Folly and Other Tales.
I met Chris on Facebook and he’s been a great support of my first novel, Stealing Time. He’s always posting pictures that remind me of Humphrey Bogart and classic Hollywood films, so I’m expecting that his novel will have the international mystery and feeling of simpler times.
Chris has travelled extensively and layers an international flair in his fast-paced, edgy thrillers. He was an English teacher in South Korea and prior to that was a realtor in Manila, Philippines, and spent some time as a freelance journalist, and explored Eastern Europe and the Far East.
Along with two novels, Chris has also written three high-concept screenplays and a radio play for the BBC new writer’s project.
Show some love and connect with Chris
Twitter : www.twitter.com@CSanderswriter
Here is an excerpt from his thriller novel,
The Thief’s Son
Room number six was just like any other cheap room he'd found whilst staying in a small
town Colombia. Nothing special. Apart from the bed and washbasin, only a towel, a tiny piece of used soap and a roll of toilet paper existed. The toilet, Samuel knew, would be hidden somewhere down a dimly lit corridor that he had no intention of locating until it became imperative to do so.
He fell against the hard mattress, letting his arm drape across his face, but woke when he heard the telephone ringing, only deciding to find the machine when its ring persisted.
“Yes...Who is this?”
“You pay for phone calls too English, okay?” the owner barked down the line.
“Fine,” Samuel replied, replacing the receiver and stuffing the ancient contraption back under the bed where he'd found it. He'd been asleep for perhaps an hour, when, upon waking he'd found his cramped quarters filled with dark shadows. As he struggled out of bed, threw open the wooden shutters, a long, narrow street with no sunlight faced him.
Halfway down this street, as he looked to the right, he spotted a second hotel. Only this one seemed to be doing a lot more business. A wild succession of flashing lights blazed out from each of its windows and deep inside loud Vallenato folk music and frenzied conversation spilled onto the street. A fiesta was brewing. The Colombians loved their parties. Even with their country in such a terrible state they still knew how to enjoy themselves, a testament to their national character.
Further down the street a large crowd of people had gathered, and were now making their way towards the two hotels, each of them boasting a silleta full of flowers on their back. Hard though he tried Samuel couldn't remember the name of this particular festival, but he remembered seeing larger versions while staying in bigger cities like Medellin to the north. Soon fireworks would be lit, there would be more music, more noise. Samuel checked his watch. It would be early morning back in London, and sooner or later he'd have to find the courage and phone his editor, who'd been expecting him back for over a week now. He sat back on the bed, dragged the phone from its hiding place, and began to tap in the numbers.
“Yeah?” a gruff voice – his editor’s voice – answered after almost thirty, very long seconds.
Samuel hesitated. He could still hang up, think up a list of watertight excuses and perhaps save himself a shed load of grief.
“Who the hell is this?” the gruff voice continued down the line.
Samuel knew he should have waited until lunch was over. His boss had usually downed a few pints by then, and generally behaved like a rational human being for the rest of the day,
“It's Samuel...Samuel Locke.”
A pause. The line crackled.
“I said it's Samuel...Samuel Locke,” he repeated.
“Not the young man we sent to Colombia? The little creep who was due back over two weeks ago?”
“I’m afraid so, John.”
“So where the hell are you? Have the rebels stopped their fighting?”
“I have your shots, John.”
“Oh, you have my photographs hey?”
“Decent shots too, you're going to love them, I promise.”
“Well do I get to see them sometime soon Samuel? We don't want to rush you or anything but you've already missed the last two deadlines!”
Leaving the bed, Samuel leant against the window frame, phone caught between shoulder and chin as he sparked up a cigarette, watching as the parade below began to pass by the second hotel.
“I'll be back first thing Monday, John.”
“First thing Monday? It's Tuesday today Sammy boy!”
“I know, but there's not a whole lot I can do about the situation.”
That was a lie. There was a whole lot he could do. He estimated a crowd of maybe a hundred people gathering below his window. He could sink a few beers himself. Chase a few girls. Hell, this was Colombia. LoColombia. He could do anything he wanted.
“You still there Samuel?”
“Yeah, I'm still here John,” Samuel replied, taking a long, slow drag on his dying cigarette.
“Your job’s on the line Sammy. Don't care how good you think you are. We run a team effort here. No room for loners. You understand?”
They could stick the job. He was good enough to earn a tidy sum working freelance. He took risks. He liked to take risks. The picture libraries loved him. One day, damn it, he'd own his very own picture library. He was still young. He could still make it big. He was still in control of his own destiny. To hell with the lousy magazine.
“You out of money yet?”
“I still got enough to get back.”
“Good, because we can't afford to finance your lavish life style any more. You got that Samuel?”
“Every word John, every word.”
Samuel was still looking out the window as he'd replied, only now his eyes were sharp, searching. He'd seen something, someone out of place. More than that. He'd recognized a face, a face from his distant past. His unhappy past.
“Sammy? You still there?”
“Yeah, yeah, I'm still here.”
“Now don't you go ignoring me! Don't you even dare!”
Samuel wasn't listening. His eyes were stuck on the passing parade. He'd caught a glimpse of a figure, a, lean figure mingling in amongst the growing mob down below. A figure that stood painfully out of place in comparison to those who surrounded him, pushed into him: A very tall old man who wore a loose, white cotton suit.
“Samuel! Answer me damn it!” the voice at the end of the line continued to rave. Again, Samuel ignored it, waiting for the crowd to part, to reveal its hidden visitor for a second time.
The crowd did part. Samuel let his cigarette slip from his mouth and fall to the room’s grubby tiles, his keen eyes still following the old man as he'd quickly ducked through the packed doorway of the second hotel.
“Dad...” he then whispered, his face pressed up against the window.
“Sammy, Sammy! I know you can hear me, what the hell are you playing at?”
“I have to go now John...See you Tuesday.”
“Don't hang up on me Samuel, and it's Monday damn it! You come back Monday!” Slowly, Samuel replaced the receiver.