The Assassins by Alan Bardos / #Interview #BlogTour @maryanneyarde @bardosAlan




Tensions are reaching boiling point in Europe and the threat of war is imminent.

Johnny Swift, a young and brash diplomatic clerk employed by the British embassy is sent to infiltrate the ‘Young Bosnians’, a group of idealistic conspirators planning to murder Franz Ferdinand. The heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in a bid to liberate their country from the monarchy’s grip.

Swift has been having an affair with his employer’s wife, Lady Elizabeth Smyth. Sir George Smyth dispatches the agent on the dangerous mission, believing that it will be the last he will see of his young rival.

The agent manages to infiltrate the Young Bosnian conspirators’ cell, helped by Lazlo Breitner, a Hungarian Civil Servant.

However, Swift soon realises that he may be in over his head. His gambling debts and taste for beautiful women prove the least of his problems as he

struggles to survive on his wits in the increasingly complex – and perilous – world of politics and espionage.

Desperate to advance himself and with the lives of a royal couple unexpectedly in his hands, Swift tries to avert catastrophe.




When and where do you prefer to write?

My main place to write is my desk at home, generally I like to write in the mornings at the weekend, and on weekdays I write in the evenings after I finish work. But really it could be anytime, anyplace, anywhere as the saying goes. If an idea hits me or something I’ve been thinking about suddenly comes together and starts to make sense. I stop what I’m doing to make a note of it. Which can be quite annoying for the people I’m with.

Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?

It depends, if I’m writing up notes or sketching out a new chapter, I like chilling out in front of the TV. When I’m writing up my notes or have something specific I want to write I shut myself away, with some classical music to help me concentrate.

If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

Bernard Cornwall he’s the master of historical fiction, there would be so much you could learn from working with him; in terms of his craft and most importantly for historical fiction what to include and what to leave out.

Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

Oh definitely a baddie, much more scope for fun and people always remember them! Especially if I’d get to have a ‘Luke I’m your father!’ Moment then to have the opportunity for redemption and become a goodie… I like characters that are ‘shapeshifters’ and change allegiances. They keep you on your toes!

Who would you like/have liked to interview?

I’d like to say George RR Martin so I can ask him when the next Game of Thrones book is coming out! However I’d probably have to go for George Macdonald Fraser, my favourite writer, it would have been amazing to talk to

him and get his insights on the craft and how he got his ideas for the Flashman novels.

Where can I find you when you are reading?

I read anywhere, but mainly in my living room. In normal times I read on the way to and from work and at lunch times… anywhere there is light really and I have a spare five minutes to wait.

Where can I find you wen you are not writing/reading?

Netflix binging mainly, I’m really into the Crown at the moment and the Queens Gambit. I’ve also been watching a French show called Spiral. In normal times in the pub! Or in a nice restaurant with my wife, or if we’re feeling virtuous on a long country walk.

What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

Excitement, relief and pride that a long process has come to an end.

How do you come up with a title for your book?

I wanted something that would instantly describe what the book was about and convey the genre to the reader.

How do you pick a cover for your book?

It was chosen by my publisher, but I think this one is a very strong image. It shows Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie leaving an official reception for them at Sarajevo city hall. Moments later they were assassinated.

Thank you, Alan Bardos and The Coffee Pot Book Club


About the Author 

Alan Bardos is a graduate of the MA in TV Script Writing at De Montfort University, he also has a degree in Politics and History from Brunel University. Writing historical fiction combines the first great love of his life, making up stories, with the second, researching historical events and characters. Alan currently live in Oxfordshire with his wife… the other great love of his life.

Despite the amount of material that has been written about the twentieth century there is still a great deal of mystery and debate surrounding many of its events, which Alan explores in his historical fiction series using a certain amount of artistic license to fill in the gaps, while remaining historically accurate. The series will chronicle the first half of the twentieth century from the perspective of Johnny Swift, a disgraced and degenerate diplomat and soldier; starting with the pivotal event of the twentieth century, the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in ‘The Assassins’


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