This week commencing May 9th, Waterstones in Wells will be the first branch to stock UnderCurrent.
Join friends, old and new, for the official launch of UnderCurrent
Friday June 3rd, 6pm to 8pm
Alan Stratford’s stunning A2 Gallery, 80 High Street, Wells
Wine, fun and great art
Strode course inspires Wells man to write début spy thriller
It was the Creative Writing evening course at Strode College that gave Simon Lawder the confidence that has finally seen his spy conspiracy thriller Under Current launched in print this month.
“Under Current, now published by local company Mercer Books of Mells, is my début novel. It concerns an international espionage conspiracy at the heart of government. I found it odd that, since the Cambridge Five in the 1950’s, no more spy networks had been unearthed in Whitehall; or at least we were never told. So I decided to invent my own, deep cover traitors dedicated to the humiliation of this country. The story describes their recruitment, how they set up a plot to assassinate a leading figure, and the desperate race to stop them.
“While I was away living and working in France, I wrote a series of irreverent newsletters about the French way of life, as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family back home. By the time I returned to Wells, I’d really caught the writing bug. The Strode course leaders did a great job of training me to craft my work. One short story led to another, then I started exploring some of the big What if? questions we all face in today’s world.
“By then, a small group of us were meeting every two weeks in Glastonbury under the guidance of author and course leader Liz Williams, where we each present the latest chapter of our novel for the others to review.
“Under Current is my third novel, all featuring several of the same characters, heroes and villains, but this is the first one to go public. The other two, a conspiracy by billionaire businessmen to take political control and the rise of extremism in the Western world, need more work. That’s my next task: to get them ready for publication.
Contact: Phone 01749 572672 / 07976 098581.
A masterly début novel
“Under Current by Simon Lawder will have you transfixed after the first few pages. It will hold your interest throughout until its dramatic conclusion.
The diversity of characters, from different national and political backgrounds, are thrown together in the most intriguing way. Who are they, what is their objective and where is their allegiance? As the story unfolds, you will get to know them, what drives them and learn about their individual desires and ambitions.
Lawder has clearly researched the locations and the technology needed to make this story both plausible and unsettling. He will take you to different continents and introduce you to a leader with political aspirations that would have malign consequences. Also, being a story for today and tomorrow, intriguing advances in technology play their part.
This story will challenge your preconceived beliefs about the establishment and world politics.
This is a masterly début novel with a complex plot and brisk pace which will leave you looking for more from this author.”
Cilla Grain, author of “Watershed”
Lynne Sandbach, teacher and artist
A pacy page-turner
“Simon Lawder’s pacy page-turner zips around in time and space like a spook with a shady tail. An excellent, enigmatic start make you want to read on, to find out just why the Chinese wish to control the minds of UK’s movers and shakers. Will the Last Resort Squad rid to the rescue in time, or will the known world collapse in a welter of badness? Pack this hot rod of a spy thriller, and head for your favourite hide-out”
Best new spy novel
“A terrific debut novel by Simon Lawder: intelligent, well-researched and thoroughly entertaining. Can’t wait for the next one!”
“Great yarn with pace and imaginative background theme Chinese power and new technology. Compulsive read to the end.”
Intelligent and fast moving
“Intelligent and fast moving. For once I agree with the promo on the back cover – ‘… memorable characters and thought provoking use of technology’. Give it a try.”
AN INTERNATIONAL CONSPIRACY AT THE HEART OF GOVERNMENT
Under Current’s big question goes like this:
Can we believe that no more spy rings have been discovered inside British Government since Philby, Burgess, Maclean, and Blunt in the 1950’s?
While the book is a work of fiction, the political crisis and the use of technology described here are both founded on extensive desk research.
When an old friend, a top anti-corruption blogger, is accused of soliciting young boys, former undercover agent Patrick Cameron smells a rat. His ex-boss at the Security Service, who is looking into the disappearance of two more corruption activists, persuades Cameron and his brilliant young colleague Julian to investigate. One step at a time, they unearth a conspiracy by a foreign country to rescue its economy by destroying Britain’s Commonwealth – and its Establishment for good measure – using a network of traitors already embedded in key positions in Government.
After gunmen try to kill Cameron, Julian comes face to face with Jenna, a Russian professional killer with exotic tastes in after-hours fun, who has been hired by the plotters to carry out an assassination that will shake the world.
With background support from the Last Resort Squad, a group of elderly gents charged with protecting the country in times of extreme danger, Patrick and Julian have only a few days to infiltrate the conspirators, unmask the spy ring and prevent the assassination.
Simon Lawder’s career in advertising and his subsequent work lecturing and coaching on ethical leadership have given him plenty of opportunity to observe the great and the good (and the bad) at close quarters. He likes to start each story by exploring what he calls “one of the big questions – like many people, I look at what’s happening in our world and ask myself Why? Is that the whole story? What if? Once I start looking, it’s amazing what I dig up. And that’s when I shut the door and type.”
With his long-term partner Catriona, Simon now lives and writes in Somerset. A rugby fanatic who speaks fluent French, he cooks other people’s recipes, is passionate about local communities running their own affairs, and really should lose some weight.
“My philosophy of life? I took a long time to get there but it’s really simple: Trust, Passion and Fun, in equal measure. It doesn’t work every time but when it does …”