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Friday, April 1, 2011

PROFILE: Derek Lantin, author of COME HERE...AND I'LL SHOW YOU

by Cyrus Webb

(This interview appears in the March/April 2011 issue of Conversations Magazine.)

Author Derek Lantin has a reason to celebrate. His book COME HERE...AND I'LL SHOW YOU is earning praise from readers around the world, and the hard work he put into a book geared towards men is paying off in a big way.

Though he is now living in France, thanks to technology I had the opportunity to take him away from promoting the new book long enough to ask him about the message, the process of writing it and what he hopes readers are taking away from it.

Here is our conversation.

Derek, first of all congratulations on the new book COME HERE...AND I'LL SHOW YOU. Before we get into what inspired it, why don't you tell our readers when you realized that you enjoyed writing?
Thank you, Cyrus. First off, could I please say Thank you for making the time to read the book and to write the review. It was very kind of you to devote your time in that way.

Actually I have always enjoyed writing. Even when I was in school, I enjoyed writing letters and essays. I always wanted to write a book and about ten years ago I wrote two novels. Actually they were not bad books at all, but sadly I could not find an Agent or a Publisher for them. I was very disappointed and I actually stopped writing completely for a few years, - that is something I have never done before.

Then I started writing a few humorous short stories which I managed to get published. That helped me to get my confidence back and so I started to write Come Here and I'll Show You.

Was it something that you found that your family and friends encouraged along the way?
Actually I am not sure that they encouraged me! I think they were perplexed that I would work so hard for nine months on an endeavour that had no guaranteed result and in a field that is terribly difficult and competitive. In a way I suppose they were right, - after all, I had devoted that much time and effort to playing the stock market, maybe I would be quite rich by now!

What about now that you have a book that has been published and is available for readers all around the world to enjoy?
You mean, do my family and friends encourage me now? Yes, I think they do. A lot of them have asked me if I plan to write a sequel so I suppose they have accepted that I have not been entirely wasting my time!

For those that are just hearing about you and the book, tell us about it.
COME HERE...AND I'LL SHOW YOU is an adventure-thriller. It is not graphic. It is often amusing, often surprising and always entertaining. The action takes place in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

The central figure was previously with the USA Army Special Forces during the Secret War in Laos. He is employed by a Client to go back to the jungles to locate some missing property and he becomes involved with all sorts of low-life who are determined to stop him.

The book is aimed at the adult male market; the book provides a means for males to escape to some harmless, male-orientated entertainment without being made to feel guilty about doing so.

At the risk of sounding corny, I would describe the book as a rattling good read for real men.

When I wrote my review for Amazon.com about your book, Derek, I said that it showed us that people can be incredible in some aspects of their lives and make unwise choices in others. Is that one of the messages you hope people take away from it?
Yes, definitely. The central figure in the book is a man called Edwards. He makes mistakes but he's not slow to admit them and to try to learn from them. As a result, he is a very confidant sort of person. Some might say that Edwards is chauvinistic and arrogant, but I think it is more a question of self-confidence. He takes success (with work and with women) for granted, simply because he is confidant in his own ability.

We often see the same qualities in military personnel and in Veterans. They speak slowly because they are confidant that people will be listening to them. They hold their heads high and their shoulders back; they walk into a room as if they own it. They are not really arrogant, but they are very self- assured.

Some authors put a great deal of themselves or people they know in their work. What about you? Can we find pieces of you in COME HERE...AND I'LL SHOW YOU?
I jokingly tell my friends that the book is mainly autobiographical- fortunately none of them believe a word of it!

Thinking about it, I would say that there is probably quite a lot of me in the book. I was blessed with an abundance of energy and so I keep very fit, I play a lot of sports and I do train at a fight-club.

I have visited all of the places described in the book and I have fired all of the weapons described in the book. I still keep my hand in at the range and although I am not the best shot in the world I do all right. I was in the military. I have also done jungle survival courses so the jungle survival techniques in the book are fairly factual.

Though it is an enjoyable read, what do you hope readers take away from the book in the end?
I wrote the book hoping that it would provide a pleasant and enjoyable read. I hope that it is the sort of book that people will buy to read on the plane to help them forget the indignities of air travel these days. If I have achieved that, I will be very happy!

Derek, I know you are just beginning to enjoy the release of COME HERE, but is there any plans for a continuation of the story, or do you have something new planned for your readers as they begin to follow you?
Actually I do. I do not wish to seem over-confidant or anything like that, but I enjoyed writing this book so much that I would love to do it again. I have been making notes about the outlines of the story-tale for the sequel.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there who need a bit of encouragement?
I honestly would not dream of trying to advise other writers. I can explain what I did, however, and how it worked for me.

I totally understand and respect that. Thank you again for your time, Derek. How can our readers stay in contact with you online?
I would love to hear from your readers if possible. My book blog is at http://dereklantin.booksabuzz.com. Please just drop me a note on the blog and I will get back to the sender as soon as I can.

Thanks for having me, Cyrus. It has been fun and I hope that we can do it again soon.

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