Today I welcome author Malcolm Hollingdrake to my blog to celebrate the release of his fifth booking his Detective Chief Inspector Cyril Bennett series Dying Art.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
May I start by thanking you for including me in your blog and thank your readers for their interest.
My name is Malcolm Hollingdrake and I am responsible for the DCI Cyril Bennett books, the crime series set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. I was signed to Bloodhound Books last year after having book three accepted; the first two self-published Bennett books were also taken and a fourth commissioned. The first three were released quickly and owing to their success I was offered a further three book contract. With a seven book deal I knew that I had the makings of not one but two Bennett series.
Book five, ‘Dying Art’ released 17th July commences the second series. In Book four, Cyril faced not only a traumatic case but an emotional conclusion that leaves him psychologically crippled and broken. He has decisions to make as to whether he can return to the force. In book five we see if Bennett manages to overcome his debilitating insecurity, regain his confidence and return to DS Owen and his team.
I have not always been a writer; I spent many years in education and this year’s success is a huge bonus. I think we all have targets and ambitions and to see those realised is a huge pleasure. I have to nip myself every now and again when I attend readings and book signings. This success is not down to just the stories, it’s down to people who have never lost faith in my ability as a writer. My wife has been fantastic, as have the bloggers for whom I have the utmost respect, the social media readers’ groups have been so supportive and of course, the readers. Their reviews have been a real inspiration.
1. What was you favourite book from childhood?
Probably The Beatrix Potter Tales.
2. What type of books did you read as a teenager?
I was introduced to the Dr Syn books by a school friend, Malcolm Stott. I found the Russell Thorndike books totally fascinating. For a boy brought up in Bradford, Romney Marsh and the life of smugglers intrigued me.
3. When you were at school what was your favourite book you studied?
I think it must be Kes.
4. What is your favourite classic book?
5. What would you consider to be one of the best books you have had over the last 5 years.
Antony Beevor’s ‘Ardennes1944′ Hitler’s Last Gamble’. My father fought with the 53rd Welsh throughout this dreadful period of WW2. I’m sure that those experiences affected him, how could they not? I’ve read it twice and will continue to go back to it. I can never fully comprehend the desperation of those times.
6. What book do you think you should read but never get round to?
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. A friend bought it for me when I was struggling with a difficult situation in school. It has been on the shelf for many years and I look regularly at the kind, supportive dedication!
7. What do you consider to be your favourite book ?
‘Sagittarius Rising’ by Cecil Lewis.
8. Is there a book that you have started but been unable to finish?
‘Wild Swans’ by Jung Chang.
9. If you were stranded on a desert Island which 2 books would you want to have with you.
‘SAS Survival Handbook’, please! Just kidding. Two is so difficult. ‘Sagittarius Rising’ Cecil Lewis and I’d like ‘The Feather Men’ by Ranulph Fiennes but if you would allow The complete collection of Saki’s short stories that would be kind.
10. Kindle or Book?
Kindle ( I think!)
Dying Art is available to buy now.