Keith: When, how and why did you start writing?
Greg: I was running my own business and things weren’t going well. I’d always wanted to be a writer, so I decided to start in the hope of making some money out of it. Of course, being real life it took me more than ten years to get a publisher, though I wrote every day from then on.
Keith: How would you describe your books to someone who hasn't read your work?
Greg: I quite like the tag intelligent thrillers. I like to move a story along, but also work hard to add depth to every character and situation.
Keith: What do you find most challenging writing a book?
Greg: There are so many challenging things about writing that it’s hard to single out just one. Sitting down at a computer and writing 100 000 words is hard enough, but making it all work together as a story is very, very difficult.
Keith: Where did the idea of your main character Marika Hartmann come from?
Greg: Originally, believe it or not, her name was Raelene, and my agent laughed at me. ‘You can’t call her that,’ he said. ‘Everyone will think she’s a bogan.’ So I changed her name to Marika and strengthened her role in the first book. After that she basically just took over.
Keith: Are there any authors who have influenced your writing?
Greg: Definitely. Alistair McLean, Wilbur Smith, Leon Uris, Colleen McCullogh, Rosemary Sutcliff, Jack Higgins, Desmond Bagley, James A Michener, John Grisham, Dean Koontz to name just a few. Oh, and of course … Keith McArdle!
Keith: That's quite a list, mate. Not sure about that last one, though. Which literary character is most like you?
Greg: I really identified with Martin Fallon in 'A Prayer for the Dying' by Jack Higgins, but I’ve never been in the IRA, I promise!
Keith: What’s your opinion regarding eBooks vs paperbacks?
Greg: I prefer to read novels in print but I sometimes buy non fiction for research on my iPad. Ebooks are great for research because of the search function and bookmarking.
Keith: Any tips for aspiring writers?
Greg: You are competing with millions of other writers. Be prepared to put in the time to get very, very good at it, or don’t bother.
Keith: What do you read in your spare time?
Greg: I don’t read that many thrillers, unless I get a strong recommendation. I feel a bit manipulated by authors like Harlan Coban and David Baldacci. Of the thrillers I have read in recent years, Terry Hayes’s 'I am Pilgrim' was absolutely outstanding.
These days, I generally read mainstream books, sometimes literary fiction. I also love Australian classics. My all time favourites are novels that combine a strong plot, travel, some action, and great characters. I read every Wilbur Smith book up until he started co-creating them.
Keith: Which books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?
Greg: My novels often get compared to Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth and Tom Clancy, but of course they’re not really just like any of those. I would love to write books like Leon Uris (Exodus, Mila 18, and Trinity). He was an amazing author.
Keith: What are you working on at the moment?
Greg: My next book is set partly in medieval Portugal and partly in modern Western Australia. So it’s different to the last three books, but still fast paced and lively. I’ve been working on this one, on and off, for more than ten years.
Keith: Wow, that sounds intriguing. Perhaps some time travel is in order! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule Greg, enjoy the rest of your week and I look forward to reading your future books!
If you'd like to know more about Greg and his action-packed thrillers, be sure to check out his: