Guest Post: Brian Drake—My Days with Peregrine Maltravers
I suppose my sub- title may confuse you, but I can explain. My name is Brian Drake, and Gary has graciously allowed me to use this space to talk about my latest indie spy novel, Show No Mercy.
Astute readers and fans of Ian Fleming, who is a regular topic on this blog, will know exactly who Mr. Maltravers is, and I hope feel included in a somewhat inside joke. For those of you just joining us, Ian Fleming once said in a BBC interview that if he hadn’t found the name James Bond, he may have called his hero Peregrine Maltravers. One assumes he was joking, and you can hear a wink in his speech, if you will, suggesting he indeed was fooling around.
I read Fleming growing up. There was always a James Bond book tucked in my backpack. I’d read him on the school bus, between classes, whenever I could. I still read Ian Fleming, and continue to learn a ton from him. And to acknowledge my days under Mr. Fleming’s influence, I wanted to, somehow, dedicate a book to him, so I dedicated Show No Mercy to “my Etonian pal” Peregrine Maltravers.
The funny thing is, friends who have known me for quite some time know I never went to Eton, and ask me what the heck I’m talking about. But friends who haven’t known me for very long want me to tell them about my time in England.
For Show No Mercy, I wanted to do a story about a conflict in a family, and thought that taking that subject matter into the established spy thriller genre would be a nice twist. In the story we have a son and daughter who are faced with the possibility that their father, who taught them their values and helped shaped their beliefs, has betrayed those beliefs. All three are CIA officers. The kids—if I can use that term when referring to 30-somethings—have to determine if Dad has truly done what he’s accused of, or if he is being manipulated.
I wanted this spy story to have a stronger emphasis on the characters and their connection to one another than spy novels of the past. I also wanted an adventure that didn’t reference any current political or social event. You can read Show No Mercy and not be hit in the face with the same issues that boiled your brain during the day. This book is pure escapism in the truest sense. I think that’s how any writer should approach a story of this type, and what we need right now. Too much “entertainment” lately revels in current events. Sorry, but I have had enough of the news. I want to read a story that takes me away from all that. Don’t you?
I hope you give Show No Mercy a try. If you like stories with a lot of action and good characters and one that has a twist at every turn, this is for you. And you can read it knowing that the author was influenced by one of the best thriller writers of the 20th Century. Thanks, Ian.
Brian Drake has been a writer of mystery and crime fiction since his first publication at age 25. In his spare time, Brian, a California native, can be found racing through the back canyon roads of the Central Valley in a bright red hot rod. Someday he may get a dog.
Find Brian's blog HERE