Monday, August 22, 2011

Matthew Dunn

Matthew Dunn is the author of the debut novel, Spycatcher (aka Spartan in the UK).

From his dialogue with Ali Karim at The Rap Sheet:

AK: So tell us, where did you get the idea to pen this novel? And did you have any issue with your former employers at SIS [Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service] when you completed it?

MD: I was very clear that I wanted to write a novel that really captured the essence of what it feels like to be an operative in the field and to give the reader the feeling that they were actually on a real mission. The plot derives from my imagination, though it is grounded and inspired by real situations that I and others faced. I also wanted my antagonists to reflect the type of people that I was combating when in MI6--evil people, yes, but nevertheless highly intelligent, sophisticated, and often charismatic individuals rather than unintelligent fanatics.

SIS has to vet and approve all of my books. I’m on very good terms with them, and thankfully they made no deletions or amendments to my first novel.

AK: Tell us about your main character, Will Cochrane, as well as the mysterious Megiddo and Lana. And most writers I know mine their personal experiences to craft characters. Have you done the same here?

MD: Will Cochrane is an experienced MI6 operative and the Service’s most effective officer. He is a loner because of the extreme nature of his work and his complex and tragic background. He mentally toys with the idea of another life and love, but his problem is that he worries that if people get close to him, they will die.

Megiddo is a senior general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He’s planning a massive terrorist operation against a location in the West. It will be his “masterpiece,” and Will is tasked to capture him. For most of the book you do not see [Megiddo] but, rather like Professor Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes’ day, you feel his presence at all times.

Lana is an Arab woman who is trying to carve out a living as a freelance journalist in Paris. She has a connection to Megiddo that goes back to the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s. Reluctantly, Will uses her to try to lure out Megiddo.

These characters, and all others in the novel, are fictional. But...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue