Interview with Mark Dawson, Author of The Ninth Step
14 Jan 2016
It’s the ninth novel in my bestselling John Milton series. Milton, who was an assassin for the UK government until his conscience got the better of him, is trying to live a quiet life in London. He meets a man at his regular meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, and offers to help him with a problem. But the man is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Milton finds himself drawn into a conspiracy involving the upper echelons of government and the depths of the criminal underworld.
BAM. You’re a Superhero. What’s your superpower?
The ability to slow time so that there are more than 24 hours in a day… that would be useful.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Great Expectations. Money. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. The Stand. The Friends of Eddie Coyle.
What is your weirdest story from working in the London film industry?
I have a few. Going to a restaurant to take instructions from the management team was interesting. There was a tasting going on, and I was roped in by the extravagant chef. I didn’t recognise him, and, when he asked my opinion on the food and I said it was average. He was unimpressed and we quickly made our excises and left. I learnt later that it was Marco Pierre White. Another time, backstage with hair-metallers The Darkness, I saw a very well known celebrity I had represented putting things up his nose that ought not to have been there. That was awkward…
What is something you’re truly terrible at doing?
Drawing. Writing longhand. Delegating (unfortunately).
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. Seriously! That’s always been the dream.
What’s your favorite quote or scene from The Ninth Step?
There is a scene that sees Milton breaking into a vault in Hatton Garden, London’s diamond district. It’s based on a notorious crime that took place in the area in the summer of 2015. As it turns out, the audacious heist was allegedly carried out by criminals with an average age of around 60. The press dubbed them the “Diamond Wheezers…” Milton’s heist is a little more complex, but it draws very heavily on what the alleged criminals are said to have done. The research was great fun.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I try and remind myself how lucky I am to be doing this, and earning a good living with my stories. It’s a privilege.
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