Hidden Steel by Stuart Field Q&A #BlogTour

In the UK, Detective John Steel is investigating the organization who killed his family. When he comes across information that something big is going to happen on the cruise ship Neptune, Steel goes undercover. He has fourteen days to figure out what is going to happen - and to stop it.

In New York, Steel’s NYPD partner, Detective Samantha McCall, is investigating a series of deaths. All seems run of the mill for the homicide detective until they find out that the deaths are somehow connected to the cruise ship John Steel is on.

McCall is convinced there is a mole in the department, but can she figure out who he is - and who he's working for? Meanwhile, Steel is running out of options... and the clock is ticking.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Hidden Steel, the second book in Stuart Field's John Steel series, today. Many thanks to Stuart for taking the time to answer a Q&A and to Emma Welton from damppebbles blog tours for inviting me.

First of all, can you please tell us about your latest book:
Hidden Steel is the second book in the John Steel thriller series. It is a fast-paced thriller with plenty of action, mystery and its fun to read. After the events of the first book, Detective John Steel finds himself back in Britain to track down any information he can gather on the identity of the organisation that killed his family years before.  Detective John Steel ends on a cruise ship after discovering a clue he had found in an apartment of a person of interest. The cruise ship is on its maiden voyage heading from Southampton in the UK to New York via Spain. The ship -  a massive liner which is supposed to be a modern version of the Titanic, is a mix of British and US collaboration.  Soon Steel finds there is more to the ship and the some of the passengers, also the return of an old nemesis. Back in New York, Steel’s partner in the NYPD – Detective Samantha McCall and her colleagues investigate what at first seem to be everyday crime incidents but find they might all be connected.

Where do you find inspiration for your novels?
I am quite lucky to have an overly active imagination, so inspiration can come from anything, from something someone says to a thing or place. Sometimes it is just an idea that pops in there for no reason. However, the inspiration for the characters or settings is more difficult sometimes than the story, but sitting in cafes and watching the world go by helps a lot. You can have the best story in the world, but if the characters or setting is wrong, you need to reevaluate everything. Never bin anything, It may not work for that book, but it may for another.

Who is your writing hero?
Always a good question, and equally hard to answer. There are so many brilliant writers out there it is difficult to narrow it down. That said some of my favourite authors are H.G.Wells, J.R. Tolkien, Lee Child, Jo Nesbo, Zoe Sharp, Vanda Symon, Edgar Alan Poe. The list goes on.

Which book do you wish you had written?
Any of the Bond books, especially Goldfinger, but then you can’t add to genius. I read Dr No when I was young and fell in love with the story and the style of writing.

What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?
First, find out what kind of writer you are, A Plotter or A Plunger. What I mean by this is you have Plotters – those you have everything detailed out before they start writing like Dan Brown or Plungers – these are writers who start with a blank page and an idea, Like Lee Child.  Myself, I’m a plunger, I don’t plot, I let the story go where it goes. I tried plotting once, but it soon fell to the wayside.  Second, always have a note pad with you and a big jotter next to your workstation, I use post-it notes and a pinboard. Thirdly, and most importantly, don’t give up. Yes, you will have ups and downs, but if it is your true calling, don’t give up.  Lastly, enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you are failing yourself, your readers and your work. 

If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?
I think it would be more of a sit outside with a fire, beer and a BBQ rather than a dinner party. Shakespeare would be interesting. I think he could be quiet funny when he’s drunk, Lee Child, but I’d need to have a tv somewhere with the football on, lastly would have to be Jo Nesbo because he is a good laugh.

What’s the one question you wish I had asked and what’s the answer?
Why do you have strong female characters in your stories?
I hate stories where the woman is this damsel in distress, yes; OK, some are like that in real life. However, women are strong and deserve a place in the books as such. I like the strong female characters that can give as good as they get. My books are there for all genders, creeds, alien life forms. 

Thank you so much for answering these questions, Stuart. I loved reading the Bond books when I was young too - although I think From Russia, With Love was my favourite!

Hidden Steel (John Steel 2) is published by Next Chapter. It can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Stuart Field was born in the UK, in the West Midlands. He spent his early years in the army, seeing service in all the known (and some unknown) hotspots around the world. He now lives in Germany with his wife Ani. When not engaged in highly confidential security work, he writes thrillers which perhaps mimic his life-experience more than the reader would like to believe.
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