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Smile of the Stowaway by Tony Bassett - Book Tour + Giveaway

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Smile Of The Stowaway

A married couple, a stranger from far away and a murder that rocks their lives. Desperate to reach England, a bedraggled immigrant clings precariously beneath a couple's motor home as they cross the Channel. Once holidaymakers Bob and Anne overcome their shock at his discovery and their initial reservations, they welcome the friendly stranger into their home in defiance of the law. But their trust is stretched to the limit when the police accuse the smiling twenty-three-year-old of a gruesome murder. Could this man from six thousand miles away be guilty? Or is the real killer still out there? Former national newspaper journalist Tony Bassett tells how Anne turns detective, battling against a mountain of circumstantial evidence and police bungling to discover the truth. This gripping first novel concerning a death in a remote Kentish country cottage is packed with mystery, suspense and occasional touches of humour.

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Author Q&A

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?
    First of all, thank you very much for inviting me here.  One or two children’s books probably moved me to the brink of tears when I was a boy.  I honestly cannot remember any particular book upsetting me.  These days, as I read a novel, I’m far more likely to smile, become intrigued, or become angry (possibly at the way it’s written!)

  1. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
    It usually takes me between three and four months to write a novel that is 100,000 words long. Some of that time is spent writing, but I also do a lot of research. I wrote my crime novel Smile Of The Stowaway in three months, but then I spent another three or four months revising it and discussing it with my publisher, James Essinger of The Conrad Press in Canterbury.
  1. How do you select the names of your characters?
    I have various methods for selecting characters’ names.  There are websites listing regional variations in surnames.  If I’m writing about someone in Derbyshire,  I might be inclined to use the surname Hadfield, while a character in Kent would be more likely to be called Huckstep. I always try and have a mix of single syllable and dual syllable surnames, to try to reflect the real world.  I am particularly interested in the derivation of names after working as a part-time genealogist for many years.
  1. What creature do you consider your “spirit animal” to be?
    As a newcomer to journalism, I was told I would need the eyes of a hawk, be as cunning as a fox and be able to ferret out news. But I’m afraid I don’t think I have a spirit animal . . . unless someone, somewhere knows otherwise.
  1. What are your top 5 favorite movies?
    What’s Up, Doc?; French Connection; The Godfather; Schindler’s List; Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
  1. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
    Try to find out what killed everyone before it gets to me.
  1. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?
    It would be great to have a chat with Sherlock Holmes about his various cases. There are obviously crimes which he must have solved but which never saw the light of day in any of Conan Doyle’s books and it would be really interesting to hear about those.
  1. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
    It is hard to be a really successful author these days – partly because there is so much competition, but one should never give up.  I was actually very quick in finding a publisher.  I wrote to two literary agents and two publishers, and one of the literary agents took an immediate interest in my crime novel Smile Of The Stowaway.
  1. What book do you wish you had written?
    I would have liked to have written Hound of the Baskervilles.  I’m a great admirer of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle.
  1. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself! :)
    1)      I was once chased through the streets of Stratford, East London by the overweight matron of an old folks’ home after interviewing residents about an alcohol ban.
    I nearly got arrested on holiday for bringing a British apple into Australia.|
    My son sometimes represents Wales in European computer war games contests.
    I own a Japanese sports car which is 24 years old and drives like a dream.
    I once asked Princess Anne to dance in Germany, but an Army press officer cut in.
    I broke the news in The Sun that former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith were getting married.
    I took a London gangster back to jail when he escaped from hospital.|
    I was once offered a job playing a piano in a Croydon pub.
    The Sunday People ran my story about a man who left 33 pairs of trousers at a Hackney dry cleaners and became frantic when the premises closed.
    I once spotted a basset hound in Canterbury and told my friend: ‘That dog has the same name as me.’  The woman owner overheard me and asked: ‘What? Buster?’

Author Bio –
Tony Bassett, who was born in West Kent, grew up wanting to be a writer from the age of nine when he edited a school magazine. After attending Hull University where he won a `Time-Life' magazine student journalism award, he spent six years working as a journalist in Sidcup, Worcester and Cardiff before moving to Fleet Street. Tony spent 37 years working for the national press, mainly for the `Sunday People' where he worked both for the newsdesk and the investigations department. He helped cover the Jeremy Thorpe trial for the `Evening Standard', broke the news in the `Sun' of Bill Wyman's plans to marry Mandy Smith and found evidence for the `Sunday People' of Rod Stewart's secret love child. On one occasion, while working for `The People', he took an escaped gangster back to prison. His first book, `Smile Of The Stowaway', is one of four crime novels Tony has written over the past three years.  He has five grown-up children and eleven grandchildren.  He lives in South East London with his partner, Lin.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @tonybassett1
Tony’s author website

Giveaway to Win 6 x PB copies of Smile of the Stowaway (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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