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My First Time...with Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson studied English at Durham University and Merton College, Oxford. After a brief spell as a freelance journalist, he began working as a researcher and speechwriter in Westminster. My Name is Nobody is his first novel.

Matthew Richardson | The Riff Raff

Here's the blurb...

'I know a secret. A secret that changes everything . . .'

Solomon Vine was the best of his generation, a spy on a fast track to the top. But when a prisoner is shot in unexplained circumstances, and on his watch, only suspension and exile beckon.

Three months later, in Istanbul, MI6's Head of Station is violently abducted from his home. With the Service in lockdown, uncertain of who can be trusted, thoughts turn to the missing man's oldest friend: Solomon Vine.

Officially suspended, Vine can operate outside the chain of command to uncover the truth. But his investigation soon reveals that the disappearance heralds something much darker. And that there's much more at stake than the life of a single spy . . .

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book.

I was working in Westminster as a speechwriter and began walking around Whitehall during the evenings. It has the intimacy of a village, even though it’s at the heart of a global city. I knew then that I wanted to write something that explored that.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write it?

Structure! Thrillers are all about story structure. Understand the basics of that, and you can save yourself countless drafts and revisions.

What’s your go-to procrastination method?

Checking BBC News and Twitter.

What was the biggest tantrum you had while writing your book?

Starting on the tenth draft wasn’t a fun moment.

Best thing about writing your book?

Seeing the hardback for the first time.

And the worst?

The copy-edit – checking all the street names and references caused a lot of sleepless nights.

Go-to writing snacks?

Lots of coffee and chocolate digestives.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Robert Harris – great prose, great plots, barnstorming premises.

The book that changed you?

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. It was the first time I realised books could be fun.

Your pump up song?

For some reason, I can’t write with music. Only silence.

If you could share a bottle of wine with one writer dead or alive, who would it be?

Arthur Conan Doyle.

One piece of advice you’d give first time writers hoping to get a book published?

Writing a novel is lonely and often infuriating. The only hope of success is blind persistence.

Matthew is joining us at The Riff Raff on November 9th - come along!

Grab your tickets here>>>

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