Friday 25 September 2020

Blog Tour: Interview with Author of Reliance Paul McMurrough @Pmcmurrough @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Reliance by Paul McMurrough and I have a very exciting interview with the author for you today. If you like the sound of that, you can click here to order a copy of the book now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews.

Here's what it's all about...

An eruption on the Sun leaves the Earth powerless, but is it a temporary inconvenience or the start of a spiral into anarchy?
Belfast Professor Martin Monroe knows the answers, but once branded a conspiracy nut, he struggles to get anyone to listen to his warnings of the impending disaster. His only friend, Simon Wilson, still coming to terms with the loss of his wife, is the only person who will listen.
Government Communications officer, Lisa Keenan, fights against bureaucracy, and her own lack of confidence, to get the word out. She enlists the help of Martin, despite the protests of her colleagues.
With a wife and new-born child to think of, prison supervisor, Derek Henderson, must weigh duty against family and live with the consequences of his decisions.
Will the world’s total reliance on technology, and the electricity that powers it, lead to the irreversible disintegration of society on a global scale?

‘Some works of fiction are simply pure entertainment, while others go that extra mile; Reliance alerts us to just how close to the tipping-point the majority of our societies dwell.'- STEVE ROGAN - Author of The Rain Saga trilogy & Tracks

Are you ready for that interview?

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer and for a few years now I have thought (more joked) about writing a book. So, when I started to think about some of the questions that the premise behind Reliance threw up, I thought “Okay just do it.” So, I did. English was never my thing, being partially dyslexic, Maths and Science had always been my field. But once I got into it, I found writing to be extremely therapeutic and relaxing. Now I find myself with more ideas than my poor little fingers can keep up with.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

No, writing for me is currently a hobby. I would love to be able to give up the day job and spend a few months a year sitting by a pool at a villa in the south of France writing, and that is what I will do – as soon as I win the lottery.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer to write?

My debut novel Reliance (and the next two books in the series) are in the dystopian post-apocalyptic genre, however, I am also developing ideas for three other books in the Action/Thriller genre.

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

Since the release of Reliance I have been asked numerous times whether certain characters are based on real life individuals. The answer is yes and no; I think all my characters borrow certain traits from people I know or have worked with, interestingly those are mostly the negative traits. There are a couple of characters in the book who are based entirely on a group of people that I had the misfortune to have run-ins with (namely the group of drug addicts who reside in Heroin Heights)

What was the inspiration behind your book?

I have always liked posing the question “What if…?” usually related to a slight variation on reality. In the case of Reliance that “What if” concerned the sudden lose of power and what the immediate impact would be on society. For example what would YOU do if the power went off with no warning and was off for say a day, a week or even a month? The more research I did the more alarming were the answers – there are no aliens or zombies involved but it is frightening how quickly the mundane everyday things which we take for granted, can cause serious issues when they are no longer available.

What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?

In my day to day life I am a planner and that has certainly influenced my approach to writing. Once I had developed the main premise for the story and some of the key plot points and characters in my head, the first thing I did before putting pen to paper for the book proper, was to develop an Excel spreadsheet (total nerd!) outlining the full timeline for the story. I just had bullet points in most cases, but I found it extremely helpful as a guide and it made structuring and pacing so much easier.

How much of you is reflected in your writing?

I think every character must have a little bit of me in them, after all everything they do and say comes from my imagination or experiences but I consciously try not to make any single character be too close to my real self. I think a story would be pretty boring if it were just filled with caricatures of me running around interacting with each other.

What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing behind your book?

When I first made the decision that I was going to commit my daydreams to paper, it was important to me that everything in the book would be realistic and believable (as much as possible). With that in mind I think I spent about six months researching a myriad of topics; everything from Space Weather, electricity grid infrastructure, the mechanics of gas and water supply, right down to how petrol stations work. I was a little nervous though (particularly living in Northern Ireland) when I started Googling things like – How many active soldiers are present in N.Ireland? or What kind of weapons do prisons have and where are they kept? I wouldn’t have been overly surprised to hear a size 10 boot kick my door in and uniformed men haul me away in the middle of the night.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

I think reviews are important in that they let you see how your ideas are being received but they are a double edged sword – as elating as it is to hear complimentary words, criticism of your work can cut deep. I can see why they say authors need to develop a thick skin. The whole writing process for me was cathartic (apart from the inevitable moments of writer’s block) but it is always nice to think people have enjoyed the story.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?

Very few people knew that I was writing a book at all until I had completed it. The last thing I wanted to do was to add more pressure to myself. For most of my family and friends the first they knew of it was when I handed them the proof copy that I got from Ingramspark, my parents actually thought it was funny that I had found a book written by an author with the same name as me (not a common name). Since then everyone has been very supportive and many of them are already giving suggestions for plots in the sequel and asking when it will be ready (better start writing it then!)

How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

When you mix half a cup of dread with an equal measure of excitement you get a tonic that leaves you thinking of nothing else but all of the things that could go wrong on the lead up to actually pressing the button on release day. One minute you’re thinking “This time next year Rodney we’ll be Hundredaires” the next your finger is hovering over the delete button as you contemplate binning the whole thing and going back to paperfolding as a hobby.

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

I discovered an author a few years ago called D.J Moles, firstly through his excellent post-apocalyptic series The Remaining and then later some of his standalone works. He is an independent author and is now a New York Times bestseller.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

I hadn’t originally intended Reliance to be a series but I did weave some ideas into the story that would allow it to be extended and since its release, I have had a number of people ask when the sequel will be out, so I am currently working on book two. I am also at various stages with three other projects; a crime thriller, a two action thrillers. The problem is that the characters from each keep hopping over the fence and fighting with one another in my head so I need to be disciplined and force myself to develop one story at a time.

I also have a couple of short stories based on Reliance which I would love to get out; the girl in the red hat and the disgraced GP locked in his prison cell have stories that are worth telling, we’ll see.

Author Bio

Paul was born and raised in Belfast. Until the age of 15 he couldn't read. Then, when introduced to Computing at school, he forced himself to make sense of the letter spaghetti on the pages of the text books.
He went on to get a First Class honours degree in Computer Science followed by a career in Software and later IT and Business Consulting.

You may know him from Game of Thrones, where he played "Back of Head from 100 yards" or in The Fall with Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson where he played "Elbow at the bar" - His acting career ended soon after.

Author's page  -
Goodreads page -
Amazon US -
Amazon UK -

The audiobook version is also now available at and narrated by Belfast actor Jonathan Harden.

And the Spanish version is available at

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