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E.V. Seymour was born in West Bromwich in the West Midlands
and spent much of her early years in the surrounding area. Through an
unhappy chain of events, she was sent away to school in Malvern then
Cheltenham, later fleeing institutional life for the bright lights of
the Edinburgh Festival. Captivated by the city, she decided to stay –
home being a grotty bed-sit next to a football ground – and paid the
rent by selling stationery supplies.
After a move to London, she began an arts degree, which she dropped out of to join a public relations consultancy – home moving up several gears to a flat in Kensington, shared with a couple of old school-friends. During her P.R. career, she was involved in a number of accounts, mainly medical and nutritional, and included the Woman’s Own Children of Courage awards, which she ran for two years.
After another move to a P.R. consultancy in Birmingham, she married and moved to South Devon. Five children later, she began writing in her spare time. Previous writing credits include a number of short stories broadcast on BBC Radio Devon, and articles in Devon Today magazine. She has since bent the ears of a number of police officers in Devon, West Mercia and West Midlands, including Scenes of Crime and firearms, in a ruthless bid to make her writing career more enduring than previous attempts.
Below is a Q&A with this author.
How would you describe your novel ‘The Last Exile’?
It’s easier to describe what ‘The Last Exile’ isn’t! The novel is broader than a straight crime thriller and, although it combines typical elements of the spy story, it doesn’t really fall into that genre either. Cutting to the chase, I’d say it’s a distinctly British thriller with political overtones. It’s also very character driven. Our main man is Paul Tallis, former soldier and ex-firearms officer turned off-the-books spook.
What gave you the inspiration for the story?
Tragically, the inspiration for the story resulted from the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station in July 2005.
Following the incident, there was a radio discussion and phone-in programme examining the actions of the firearms officers involved. Criticism was strong and in some cases highly emotive. The officers were variously accused of being ‘cowboys’ and ‘gunslingers,’ and this got me thinking. What must it feel like to be in their shoes?
While the killing of an innocent man was a tragedy, I wondered whether the blame was being aimed at the wrong people. It seemed to me that the firearms officers were following orders based on what they considered to be credible intelligence. Catapulted into a situation where they believed their target was a terrorist, the threat of losing their lives in a possible retaliatory response was all too real. With that as my starting point, the rest of the story developed reasonably easily.
Who do you base your characters on?
I’m not sure I base my characters on anyone. They’re a composite of people I’ve come across, but I also rely heavily on imagination. Tallis, my main protagonist, is less easy to explain. As a woman writing as a man, I can hardly say that he’s my alter ego! His physical appearance, his values, and beliefs probably come close to what I find most desirable in a bloke. Having said that, I recognise that some of his attributes are mine, which is probably a bit odd! Safe to say, if Tallis were to walk into the room, I’d recognise him immediately.
From where do you get your ideas?
I’m a bit of a news junkie and my ideas are ripped straight from the headlines – hence the focus on immigration in ‘The Last Exile.’ But I also think you require an X-factor element, a way of stamping that idea as your own and, therefore, making it unique. To try and do this, it definitely helps to approach an existing idea or story from an oblique angle. I always go back to the classic ‘What if?’
March 2010 Book of the Month. Paul Tallis returns this time to bring back an old friend it is feared has turned rogue agent. However, things are never that straight forward for Tallis and the question of whether to trust his bosses, his old friend or his instincts leads to an action packed thriller to keep you on the edge of your seat. Paul Tallis also features in a number of other thrillers by E V Seymour: The Last Exile Land of Ghosts The Mephisto Threat Click here to view the above titles together The following title is only available as a Kindle download. Click here for more details Resolution to Kill
August 2009 Book of the Month. An ex-SAS family man is employed on an ad hoc basis by MI5. He goes undercover to get closer to a fraudster who, after becoming a grass in prison, is released early … and so the fun begins. Terrorist threats, rivalry, revenge and duplicity heat up the plot which develops into a good beach read. It is the second in a series to feature ex-firearms officer Paul Tallis. Paul Tallis also features in a number of other thrillers by E V Seymour: The Last Exile Land of Ghosts The Mephisto Threat Click here to view the above titles together The following title is only available as a Kindle download. Click here for more details Resolution to Kill Comparison: Robert Ludlum, Gerald Seymour, Greg Iles.
July 2008 Debut of the Month. An exciting new author in the mystery thriller market is EV Seymour. This debut novel is action packed page turning stuff. Each chapter wills you on to the next as you wonder where the plot will twist to next. Conspiracy theories abound to keep you guessing right until the final pages. Great stuff from a writer to definitely keep an eye on. Paul Tallis also features in a number of other thrillers by E V Seymour: The Last Exile Land of Ghosts The Mephisto Threat Click here to view the above titles together The following title is only available as a Kindle download. Click here for more details Resolution to Kill