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Why you must read Nick Brown’s The Dead Travel Fast

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The Dead Travel Fast” is an imaginative supernatural chiller set on the beautiful, volatile Greek island of Samos.

It is the story of a young archaeologist, on the run from unearthing something that should have been left buried, who is manipulated by forces he does not understand into excavating a site feared by the islanders through the centuries. Across the island a troubled Greek detective, seconded from Athens, is trying to solve a series of ritual killings that make no sense. A story of love, death betrayal and terror set against a backdrop of Greece torn apart by political and economic revolution.

What genre is this? You called it a “chiller”.
The genre is hard to categorise but it mixes elements of horror and thriller fiction with a twist of quantum strangeness. Like the first book in the series, Skendleby, it has a well researched archaeological background.

Tell us about the series.
This novel, along with Skendleby and Dark Coven (published next year) are the first three in the Ancient Gramarye series. The series begins with Skendleby (which is a supernatural thriller and has been really well reviewed) and becomes stranger and faster moving.

Tell us about the main characters.
Along with the archaeologist, Steve, and Theodrakis, the detective other characters include Vassilis a powerful and feared figure on the island and his beautiful daughter Alekka who Steve loves. Are these two forces for good or evil? Are they alive in the sense we understand the term?
Claire the psychic healer and heroine of Skendleby, changed terribly by an exorcism she attempted and her archaeologist lover, Giles.

We know this question is a bit of a cliché, but who would you cast if you were to make a movie of the book?
Mr Depp and Ms Jolie would be ideal as Theodrakis and Claire while Hugh Grant could try his hand at a straight role as Giles.

Have you written any other novels?
My other two books are a series based in Ancient Greece. The first “Luck Bringer” is already out and the second “The Wooden Walls” comes out later this year.

There are numerous books set in Ancient Rome but not many set in Greece which has as good stories, larger than life characters and which the Romans largely copied. The series is fictional but features some of the historical figures that have fashioned our world. The series tells the story of the birth of democracy and the struggle for freedom through the eyes of Mandrocles a young Greek exiled from Samos and fighting for Athens. The second in the series ends with him watching the last rites of the 300 Spartans stand at Thermopylae. The series tells a fast paced story but is based on meticulous research and tries to tell it like it most probably was stripped of the hype but none the less moving for that.

Sounds really interesting.
And if you were to make a movie of this series?
For starters Russell Crowe would be perfect as Miltiades and Brad Pitt, if he could master the accent, as the older Mandrocles.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have an honours degree from Leeds University and a research degree from Manchester University. I Started out as an archaeologist which is still my passion, drifted into teaching but continued with archaeology as a sideline.

In Sept 1986 I was on the senior management team at Burnage High school when a Bangladeshi pupil was murdered in the playground. A year later, following the violent aftermath I decided to leave teaching and joined Oldham council to build the working reconstruction of a Romano British Villa next to the Roman fort at Castleshaw. This was about to reach fruition when the council moved me into one of their secondary schools as head teacher as the school was troubled by violence and racial strife. While there I had to deal with a second murder when a student was shot dead on the street. 


Oh my God! That’s horrible!
These events changed me and as a consequence I agreed to be the principal of a new multi- ethnic Sixth form College( for 16-19 year olds) built in Oldham town centre to deal with the town’s social, academic and race issues.
The college became one of the country’s best and during the Oldham riots were described as “A haven of peace and calm”. I was very proud of that.

I left the college after twenty years to write full time and have had three books published with two more to come in the next ten months. I’m married with three sons was made an OBE (Officer of The British Empire) by the Queen, a frightening experience, for work in Oldham during the riots.

Wow, that’s very, very impressive.
We’d love to know more. Do you have a website?
http://www.nickbrownbooks.com.

What about social media?
@NickBrownAuthor

What’s next?
Once I’ve finished the two series I’m writing I hope I’ll be a good enough writer to do justice to a book about the reality and politics behind social and racial tensions in our cities based on my own experience. Then perhaps a book for children.

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