I am delighted to be on the blog tour for P.S Bridge’s novel, Hit and I have a wonderful post from the author himself …
About P.S Bridge
I grew up on a very rough Hampshire council estate after the loss of my father to cancer when I was just four. Initially, it was your typical new build, full of mostly private families but when the local authority moved in some unsavoury characters, those who had purchased their properties, sold up and moved out, leaving the place pretty much to the mercy of crime and disorder.
As it was just me and my mum, my two sisters having moved out, married and had children, and being the only boy in the family for nearly thirty years, I was surrounded by females and did most things back then, females did. I was taken to my local riding stables and taught to ride. I adored horses and was found in a stable more often than I was anywhere else. As I approached twelve, the horses took a backseat to the theatre, my Godmother being a dance teacher, and I was enrolled into her school. Once again surrounded by females, I found myself quite a sought after commodity, and began to become quite popular, taking main parts in west end shows and favouring classical ballet. My sister was a professional singer and dancer, and whilst I did not inherit her vocal abilities, I took to dance naturally and vowed one day to perform on stage with my favourite ballet company the English National Ballet. Unfortunately, with this and attending an all-boys school, came the need to be able to stand up for myself, and I quickly achieved more black eyes and broken knuckles than I care to remember. As a boy dancer, if you learned how to dance back then, you learned how to fight.
When I left school, I expected to keep this as a hobby while I pursued a legal career, desperate to get back at those people I had lived amongst because I felt the law had failed us and many others. I was determined to change the system and my determination to save others from a similar fate fuelled my studies and focussed my mind. The stage and dance was still very much a hobby until I received a phone call from a dance teacher who provided dancers for shows at the Mayflower Theatre Southampton. They required a dancer of my height, build, and look for the English National Ballet in two weeks. Naturally I said yes and promptly ran over to the theatre ready for rehearsals. Ok it wasn’t a big dance part, but it fulfilled my dream.
Sadly, not long afterwards, I was at a party in a bar and, being the only sober one there, was asked to collect a tray of pre-ordered drinks from the bar. In a split second of carrying the tray across a wet dance floor, my dance career was over, with a broken ankle, four broken toes, torn ligaments, damaged metatarsals, and damaged tendons. I spent months on crutches and my dance career was over. I cried for a week straight at aged eighteen. If I’m honest, if the injury didn’t end my dancing days, the rapidly increasing bouts of stage fright, which struck with growing intensity and severity, would have.
Once I was fully back on my feet again, and having not spent a penny of some hard earned cash, my social life took off and I was soon back with my friends and spending as much time as possible with them and family, having worked away a lot with different shows prior to that point. I also had every intention of rediscovering dating!
My legal career took off also, after a four year stint working for the government and it seemed that was where I was headed until retirement, dreaming of someday owning my own practice. However, fourteen years later, I grew disillusioned with the legal industry and, in 2014, I began to write ‘Hit’. I suddenly realised I had an awful lot of people, some good, some not so good, to base my characters on. After intensive research and many sleepless nights and lots of coffee, the main character of Mark King, a disgraced English lawyer turned hitman, was born. But off the back of my main character’s inception, and starting off writing Hit as a TV series in script format, my seriously ill mum helping me to turn it into a book, the unthinkable happened. That July, my mum was told her cancer was terminal, and she only had weeks. Hit took a backseat until mum insisted we work on it during her chemo sessions, to take her mind off the pain and sickness which came with the treatment. A few weeks later, near the completion of Hit as a book, just after Christmas, sadly mum passed away and she never got to see it as a book.
I refused to touch it, believing it was somehow cursed, as mum was one of seven relatives and friends who had died consecutively. However, after a while I began to think of how much mum enjoyed helping me with it and what a great story she thought it was.
After my mum’s funeral, my partner and I discussed at great length, the idea of her going back to work full time. Her daughter was at school full time and as I had my shot at career success, working with huge multi-national corporations, major clients in fine art, building and engineering. It was time for her to have her success, and I stayed at home, writing between school runs, cooking dinner, doing washing, ironing, housework, and food shopping. As a teenager I never really wanted children. I think it was because of the way I had seen other children grow up into a life of crime and, looking back, it was very narrow minded. Our family had always been close, in fact, through testing times we stood together more firmly than any other I had witnessed. This gave me resolve, and my mum, together with my grandmother who had lived through two world wars and with whom I had lived after my father’s death when my mum couldn’t cope with me, taught me to take care of a home.
Classical atmospheric and jazz music helped a great deal in writing Hit. I write to music, especially if it’s a battle or emotional scene. I lean towards music when times are tough or I need to focus. It seemed like natural progression to use music to inspire the words to come out and onto the page. I read this type of story regularly and I looked to other authors for inspiration, but it soon became apparent that I had to do my own thing rather than emulating someone else’s style who did it much better than I ever could!
I am very focussed and driven, but I do tend to put myself under an awful (and sometimes un-necessary) amount of pressure, and I find myself getting worked up when I’m writing exciting or emotional scene. As I plan to release a book every six months, and the Mark King Series currently spans nineteen books and I’m halfway through book five, there are times when I’ve had to get up and walk away from the laptop and go and sit on my balcony for a little while to regain my composure. Initially when I left the corporate office environment I thought it would be hard to discipline myself to work at home, what with the beach just across the road and the TV in the next room, but it’s amazing how deeply involved a writer can get in a story, almost to the point of being late for school runs because I lose track of time!
I also tend to get very animated when I write, re-reading what I’ve written back to my partner and friends in the kind of voice that would be used if it was a movie.
Currently, I’m working on book five in the Mark King Series, and still using the same old beat up laptop with the ‘I’, ‘J’, ‘K’ ‘L’ and comma keys missing due to overuse and the battery doesn’t hold its charge so I have to leave it plugged in on the kitchen table. Luckily for me, there are lots of natural settings where I live so I just use the traditional pen and paper when I go out and about.
I tend to go out to write a lot if I need a new character. One of my great passions is behavioural profiling and I’ve studied it since I was a teenager. When it comes to building characters, I like to get inside their heads and work out how they would react in certain situations. Some of them are based on people I meet and if anyone asks, I do tend to slot them into the book I’m working on somewhere along the line.
Working on Hit and subsequent books, I have often woken up in the middle of the night with a fantastic idea, and keep a small pencil and notebook on the bedside table for such times. There have also been times where I’ve gotten so involved in writing the night before, that when I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, I have tiptoed into the kitchen and shut all the doors, before opening the laptop to put the idea down properly. Most of the time this results in entire chapters being written overnight!
I don’t tend to go to the theatre much anymore because, I just simply don’t have time, and I still get stage fright even as an audience member, but I can often be found wandering around Hamble, Netley or Weston Shore in Southampton where I live, getting ideas or just having a break from writing. I’m also a massive cat lover, having owned many in my life, so that’s also next on the cards; I’m a sucker for animals!
Thanks so much for sharing with us today!
If you’d like to know more about the book, here’s the blurb …
A terrorist threat, a sinister organisation, and a threat to the security of the free world.
Renowned British lawyer and Sandhurst military academy dropout, Mark Lucas King is assigned the case of his career: to prosecute known terrorist Mohammed Al-Azidi.
All King wants is justice and to do his job successfully. But his peaceful life is shattered when a team of merciless hitmen targets him and his family and the court case collapses. Framed for assault and suspected of his wife’s murder, King must leave his legal career behind and go back to his old career as a British Army sniper in order to catch those responsible and hold them to account. Mark King’s brand of justice doesn’t involve a court room.
Forced to battle against highly trained hitmen to clear his name, King discovers that a sinister organisation known as Invictus Advoca is operating behind the scenes. What is their connection to him and the Al-Azidi case?
As the hunt for those responsible takes him far across Europe, can Mark unravel the mysteries that shroud this secretive organisation and peel back the layers to discover why he and his family have found themselves the target of professional hitmen?
Time is not on Mark King’s side as he races to prevent a global terror threat, discover who killed his wife, and find out who wants him dead, and why.
Sound good? You can get your copy over at Amazon:
About the author …
Living in Hampshire, right on the edge of Southampton Water, P.S Bridge has spent over a decade working in the private financial and legal sector. Away from his professional life, he embraces his creative side and is often found writing stories whilst listening to music. An avid reader from a young age he counts author Scott Mariani as one of the many influences that finally encouraged him to put the finishing touches to the first in his Mark King thriller series.