Book lovers today I am very excited to be featuring author Blair Denholm for my spotlight! Recently I read and reviewed an incredible book courtesy of Blair Denholm which is called Sold; Sold is a thriller that kept me entertained for many hours, I awarded the book five stars because of its gripping and intriguing nature so of course I have to recommend the lovely book for you readers! Below I will be listing my review and a preview of the book but before we get to this I want to let you readers know more about Blair Denholm!
Blair Denholm is a writer and translator who has lived and worked in Moscow, New York, Munich, Abu Dhabi and Australia. He has written content for commercial websites and done corporate voice-over work in English and Russian. As a published author, Blair has found his niche in the comic noir genre. He has also self-published a children’s book called Escape from Passing Winds.
His first crime novel in the Gary Braswell series, SOLD, was released by Clan Destine Press in November 2017 and is getting rave reviews. He is also working on a murder mystery based on a real event that occurred in Moscow in the late 1980s.
Blair interpreted for the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Moscow, translated for the Sochi Winter Olympics and voted in a foreign election despite having no eligibility to do so. He was also almost lost at sea on a dilapidated Russian fishing boat sailing from Hobart to New Zealand. He currently resides in Hobart, Australia with his partner and two crazy canines.
It is safe for me to write that Blair is definitely well traveled! The fact that Blair is so well traveled does contribute to his phenomenal literature and has certainly mastered the noir genre thanks to his experiences and talent as a writer. I was lucky enough to ask Blair some questions so here is the short Q&A for you lovely readers to enjoy!
SOLD is my debut novel, and I was lucky enough to have it accepted by the first publisher I approached – Clan Destine Press based in Melbourne, Australia.
The idea for the novel came from my partner, a real estate agent and teller of funny and amazing stories. One day we were taking a drive to do some shopping when the conversation turned to the subject of me always wanting to write a novel. I’d already self-published a book for kids, but my dream was to write a book for adults. Sandra said to me, “Why don’t you write about real estate?”. Indeed, I thought, why not? real estate offered the perfect setting to weave in some dodgy characters, crime, and mystery. I started out with a vague idea of a plot about a dishonest used-car salesman who switches to real estate and gets involved with some questionable enterprises. Pretty soon, the protagonist and other characters came to life and, well, took over! The ending of the novel is nothing like the one I had planned. Much to my surprise and delight.
Overall, although the novel has lots of humor in it, there are plenty of gritty and dark elements for lovers of noir crime fiction to savor.
My main piece of advice would be to set realistic goals. Many aspiring writers have stars in their eyes (as did I) when starting off. They’re going to write a best-seller that everyone will rush out to buy and they’ll be an overnight success. Sure, it’s great to be ambitious, but you have to temper that ambition with a bit of a reality check. Writing is hard work, and if you aren’t prepared to put in the hours and effort required, you can forget about being successful. Another thing I would urge is to read, read and read some more. Widely and across all genres. You never know where the inspiration for the next novel will come from. Plus you can always learn from the great masters.
I’d tell myself to start writing earlier. I’ve left it a bit late to get serious about writing, but I’m fit and healthy with lots of years ahead (touch wood). But I think if I’d put in more of an effort, starting from my teenage years and maybe even younger, I might be a well-established author by now. Maybe.
A book has to entertain, first and foremost. If a book is boring – no matter how important the message or theme – then readers will switch off fast. In fiction, I like to create larger-than-life characters. Indeed, great characters will save a book with a weak plot, but a strong plot won’t save a book with uninteresting characters. I try to make my characters the focus of my writing and let them lead the way, carrying the story along with them.
My sequel to SOLD is well underway (I’m calling it Sold to the Devil), and I hope to have it finished and published by the end of this year. I have two other novel ideas up my sleeve, which I think will break new ground in the genres of crime fiction and dystopian fantasy. For those curious to see what a comic noir author can write for children, check out Escape from Passing Winds, available on Amazon.
How wonderful are Blair’s answers book lovers! I particularly loved his answer to my advice question, it is useful and I hope it inspires all of you writers. We are nearing the end of my spotlight now but if you would like to learn more about Blair then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to read a preview of Sold! You will not regret it.