JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Daniel Borough, author of Poisoned Mind
A terrorist bomb explodes on the London Underground with devastating effect. Nobody is more surprised than Sanjit, the man duped into carrying it by Jaminda, an older man from his mosque. Sanjit finds himself trapped with Nick, an undercover policeman on the lookout for terrorists after a mysterious tip-off, and Mike an unhappy accountant with his marriage on his mind.
While Sanjit comes to terms with what has happened and they all try to escape their underground prison, they are unwittingly becoming embroiled in a sinister plot. As Sanjit disappears to seek revenge and prevent Jaminda from repeating his deadly deceit, Nick and Mike realise they are in a race against time to stop their young friend from doing something he will regret.
Unknown to them, their troubles are only just beginning.
Poisoned Mind is a fast-moving thriller full of tension and suspense which gives great consideration to the protagonists’ thoughts, feelings and motives. As the story unfolds, the reader will discover that, as in real life, things are not as black and white as they first seemed.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Poisoned Mind?
Daniel Borough: I’ve been through a bit of a personal journey, done some self-examination and a bit of work on my emotional maturity. It’s helped me see things more in shades of grey rather in black and white – less absolutes and more balanced consideration.
In our culture, we are influenced by many things, including the media, to put things in convenient boxes and pigeonhole people. The criminal justice system does this too. I wanted Poisoned Mind to make people think about the characters in a more holistic way and see that most people are capable of good and bad, depending upon their situation and what life has dealt them.
I also read the autobiography of an amazing woman called Gill Hicks who was a survivor of the 7/7 subway bombings in London. Her account of how somebody normal, not a hollywood action hero, can get thrown into a terrible situation inspired me.
Her descriptions of her experience fed my imagination to describe various events in the book. I think it worked as several people have asked me if I was personally involved in 7/7, which of course I wasn’t, apart from as somebody witnessing it on TV.
JP: What sets Poisoned Mind apart from other books in the same genre?
DB: You’d expect a thriller to be full of suspense, exciting and fast-moving. I’m told by the people who’ve read Poisoned Mind that it does all of those things really well, which is great. What sets it apart is that the characters are real, and you will care what happens to them. I have been told this by readers.
You will understand why they do what they do. It may just make you think about some things a little differently. It’s no moral crusade, but it’s hard to pigoenhole the characters. It also contains surprises and the unpredictable happens, so don’t get too comfortable when you are reading it.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Poisoned Mind getting out to the public?
DB: I’m an indie author. The first hurdle is writing something that people enjoy. The feedback I’ve had is amazing. I never expected the kind of praise I’ve received. The hard thing after that is actually getting people to know about Poisoned Mind. Without a properly funded book launch and pre-publicity, which most of us indie guys don’t have, the book may be ranked 5,000 -50,000 on Amazon. Unless you are looking for it, it’s lost in the masses.
For me, it’s been a case of telling people about it one by one. I’m actually happy that one person enjoyed it to be honest. That makes it worth the time I spent writing it. But getting enough people to read it to create the critical mass necessary for a much wider readership is a long-term project. I suspect will take several more novels to achieve, but luckily I’m not short on ideas and already have another 6 in mind and am writing the second right now.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Poisoned Mind?
DB: This was my first novel. It took me about eighteen months. I did have a break of about 6 months in the middle. My process is that I have an idea of a scenario and a rough idea of a plot. If I have enough to make a start, I try to stick to it and produce a good story.
In reality, the characters come to life. They decide what they will do next. I just report it. It is an amazing experience, and I’m lucky my characters know what they are doing. Actually, that makes me sound a little crazy, and maybe that helps!
JP: What’s next for Daniel Borough?
DB: I am writing my second novel. The working title is The Killer. The final title, which I am 99% sure I have, is a little more imaginative. I sent copies through in batches to some friends that have encouraged me. They tell me what they think – good or bad. The feedback so far is that my skills have developed and that this is an even better read than Poisoned Mind. We’ll see! I’m planning to release it later in 2012.
There are free short stories to download on my website, which I wrote when I first started writing. You can see how my style has developed. The website also has a blog which I update regularly.
Poisoned Mind has achieved main 5 star reviews on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Goodreads.com. It also very competitively priced at just under $1 or £0.72 on most sites.