Saturday, July 29, 2017

Author Saturday Spotlight: Thom Collins #Interview #Review #Giveaway

Our Author Saturday Spotlight today is the thrilling Thom Collins. He's written some serious nail biters like Closer By Morning and his latest Anthem Of The Sea, book one in his Anthem Trilogy. He's also written Silent Voices, Gods of Vengeance, and more. He's here today to talk with us, show us some of his work, I have a review of his latest book, and there's a spectacular giveaway! So, get comfy and stick around.

Anthem Of The Sea
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Pride Publishing


Book one in the Anthem series
An ocean of possibility. For love, revenge and murder.
Daniel Blake, a handsome young singer, boards the Atlantic Anthem in Portugal for the final voyage of her maiden season. The state-of-the-art ship is the jewel in the Royal Atlantic cruise fleet. For Daniel, a one-time boy band member and TV talent show winner, it’s an honor to perform on board such a vessel. Daniel loves the freedom and adventure of the sea. He began his solo career as a cruise ship entertainer and returning to the ocean as a headline act brings him full circle. He isn’t looking for love.
Neither is comedian Elijah Mann. Working at sea has given Elijah’s career the boost it desperately needed. Often considered too good-looking and sexy to be funny, he’s found work hard to come by since his TV show was canceled. With a potential new career opening up, he must remain focused. But when Elijah meets Daniel the attraction is mutual and instant. As the ship sets sail for England they have three days to get to know each other. Elijah can’t let that opportunity pass.
The voyage home is far from smooth. Also on board is a figure from Daniel’s past. A man who’s been holding a grudge for years, waiting for his moment. As a storm builds in the North Atlantic, Daniel and Elijah discover that the trip of a lifetime could be their last.

Purchase Links


Thom Collins writes amazing suspense thrillers. Anthem of the Sea is book one of a trilogy. As a fan, this is immensely exciting and if the other two books are as good as this one, it will be a reread trilogy for me.

The writing for this is beautiful. Wonderful flow and the plot was marvelous. I was never bored, there is zero lag time with this. Even when you're not on the edge of your seat, you're engrossed with the characters (main and secondary).

The characters. Daniel who is an entertainer (was in a boy band once) and Elijah who is a comedian. I loved how Elijah broke the typical mold of a comedian. We often don't find magazine model beauty standing on the stage making jokes. Elijah is both gorgeous and hilarious and I really was thrilled with his character.

I really liked Daniel, even more when he was with Elijah and that shows how well the author succeeded with the chemistry.

The daunting secrets on this ship really makes this story reach it's peak. Someone on the ship is out for revenge against Daniel. As I was in the thick of it, deep into this plot and invested in these characters something occurred to me. A ship has to be one of the most terrifying places to be with someone who wants to kill you. There's nowhere to really run. You're surrounded by water. What are you going to do? There's that rat in a maze feel. Perfect for suspense and as much as I was chewing my nails down to the nubs I loved every second.

If you are a suspense, thriller, mystery fan, you must read this author. Truly masterful.


Thank you, Thom, for being here today and talking with me. You are quite an amazing author and I look forward to asking you a few questions.

TC: It’s an honor. Thank you for having me today.

First, this may be a typical questions but the answer always fascinates me. What got you into writing?

TC: No, that’s a great question. I love hearing the same thing from other authors. Finding out where we’re different and where we’re the same.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t into writing. It was always there, even as a kid. My favourite lessons at school were the ones where we had to make up stories. I was a huge day dreamer when I was little. I grew up on the coast and would play on the beach imagining sharks and monsters in the sea, or creatures lurking beneath the sand. I was probably ten or eleven when I started writing my own stories in exercise books, the usual kind of boys adventure stuff, rip-offs of the films I loved, like Jaws or James Bond. When I was a bit older, around thirteen, I started writing soapy stories using people I knew for characters. So it’s always been there. I remember my granddad used to write a lot of brilliant, funny poems that he’d read to us, so I must have inherited the writing bug from him.

Your book Closer By Morning is a mystery/suspense but many have said it danced along the line of horror. When you wrote this was that your intention and what was it like dipping into that darkness?

TC: That’s really interesting because I didn’t realise Closer by Morning was so dark when I wrote it. My intention was to write a romantic thriller. I’ve always been drawn to dark stories. I’m a big fan of Val McDermid’s novels, especially her Tony Hill series. Those books are really dark, especially the first novel called The Mermaid’s Singing, so the kind of thrillers I read definitely had an influence on me if only subconsciously. I’m influenced by movies too. My all time favourite film is Basic Instinct, which is famous for it’s raunchy sex scenes and Sharon Stone’s leg crossing, but I think a lot of people forget how violent the murders in that movie are. When I first saw it I was blown away by the graphic violence and sexuality. It totally crosses the line into horror. So, that was probably bubbling away in the background when I wrote Closer by Morning. In fact, I often play the soundtrack album to Basic Instinct when I’m working so it was definitely in there.

Some readers have said I went too far and were disturbed by the darkness in the book and that was never my intention. I wanted to thrill people not put them off, so it’s something I’m very conscious of now.

Anthem of the Sea is a terrific book that kept me thoroughly entertained. It’s said to be a trilogy so what can you tell us about what’s to come? *chin hands*

TC: Thank you very much. I was absolutely thrilled by your review of Anthem 1. So, as you know, in the first book we meet Daniel Blake and Elijah Mann as they fall in love on the cruise ship The Atlantic Anthem during a turbulent voyage. At the end of the book – SPOILER – they get their happy-ever-after-for-now. They are somewhat battered and bruised but they survive.  

Anthem of the Dark picks up about eleven months later. The guys are still together but it hasn’t been easy. The events of book one have left Daniel with a degree of post traumatic stress, but with Elijah’s support he’s dealing with it and has returned to work. The majority of the book is set in Blackpool where Daniel is starring in a show at the Winter Gardens. When a young man is murdered, and then another, it’s soon established that Daniel is the connecting factor between the victims and that their deaths are directly linked to what happened onboard The Atlantic Anthem. Like any good trilogy, book two piles on the suspense, the twists and the bodies that lead the reader towards the final revelations in book three.

What is the hardest part about writing a mystery/suspense?

TC: I think it’s probably getting the pace right. Knowing when to reveal, when to hold back, and when to build up the tension. A lot of authors write “cold” discovering the story as they go along, but I’m a planner. I plot the full story in advance so I can measure the rises and falls. I know some writers find that boring but for me it’s doubly exciting. I get excited when working on the plan and even more excited when it comes to writing the scenes.  And it’s a bit like driving with a map. You can’t get lost if you know where you’re going.

What are some of your all-time favorite mystery, thriller, and suspense books?

TC: Oh, tough question. There are far too many to choose. I mentioned earlier Val McDermid’s Tony Hill series. They are sensational. I think the next novel is due later this year. If you haven’t read her books and like your thrillers on the stronger side, I highly recommend them. I’ve loved Ian Flemings James Bond novels since I was teenager and have re-read them all several times.  Mark Billingham is another great thriller writer, though I’ve fallen behind with his Tom Thorne series. I must pick them up again.

Can you tell us what you are currently working on?

TC: Right now I’m exactly halfway through Anthem 3. I hope to have it finished by September but that target looks a little unlikely at the minute. We’re in the middle of home renovations which makes it really difficult to write. Thankfully I do most of my first drafts in long hand so it’s easy enough to drop into a quiet cafe or bar to get a bit of peace. The work is due to finish in another week or two then I hope to get my head down and finish the book. Because of the detailed plan I made at the start, I find it easy to pick up the book and know exactly what I have to do that day. It’s really exciting writing the conclusion to the trilogy. I want book three to be the most suspenseful and thrilling of the series.

How can people follow you? Twitter, FB, website?

TC: On Twitter your best to find me as @ThomWolf That was my old pen name and I’m most active there. I do have an account @realthomcollins and copy most stuff there, but @ThomWolf is better.

But also check out my blog  I’ve recently been posting some of the deleted scenes from Anthem of the Sea. The first draft was much longer than the finished book, so if your readers enjoy Anthem, they’ll hopefully find the deleted scenes interesting. The deleted stuff were some of my favourites and great fun to write, but they had to sacrificed for pace. I always moan when I go to the cinema and the films are hugely overlong. Quite often they could cut half an hour and really strengthen the film. So I have to apply that principle to myself. Pace is everything.

What is your ultimate dream as a writer?

TC: I’m a huge fan of those doorstop novels that were popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Lace, Hollywood Wives, Valley of the Dolls, authors like Jackie Collins and Harold Robbins. We used to call them “bonkbusters” here in the UK. Those huge, soapy sagas that spanned two or three decades. They were also labeled “trashy novels”  but what’s trashy about a fun, entertaining read? My dream is to write a novel like that. Romantic fiction is often limited to quick reads, rarely more than 250 pages, and I love writing those fast reads, but I really want to attempt something epic. With the Anthem Trilogy I dipped my toe into those waters, seeing if I could sustain a longer story or had the stamina to write one. Once the trilogy is finished, I have a couple of novella length stories to write, then I want to get stuck into this big book. I’m developing it already, with characters notes and story ideas in my note book. That will be my big project for 2018 and I’m excited about it already.

Fast Fire Questions:

Favorite beverage?  French Chardonnay

Cats or dogs?  Cats. I have two. Purdey and Gambit. They’re currently staying in a cattery while we have the house work done and I can’t wait to see them.

Hot dogs or hamburgers? Hot dogs

Favorite vacation spot?  The sea. I love being at sea, I don’t care where the boat is going, I just want to be on it. Breathing in that fresh sea air – there’s nothing like it. I grew upon the coast and now live inland and I miss it terribly.

Coffee or tea?  Tea. Brewed in a pot. None of this teabag in a mug stuff.

Best comfort food?  A Spanish stew of chickpeas and chorizo with some warm bread for dipping. I’d eat it everyday if I could. It’s delicious.

Beer or Wine?  Wine.

Thank you, Thom, for talking with me today.

Other works by Thom Collins

Passion and love bring them together. Murder could tear them apart.
When Matt Blyth, a handsome young lawyer, joins an early morning boot camp, all he wants is to get in shape. His thirtieth birthday is approaching fast. He’s ready to throw away the past and embrace a new future. The last thing he expects is to fall in love…or become embroiled in murder.
Dale Zachary, an American actor, is stuck firmly in the closet. He spent his twenties playing good-looking jocks in bad horror films and romantic comedies. But that boy-next-door act has a limited shelf life. Dale lands the role of his career playing a sexy, psychotic killer in a major British TV series. It’s a part that could make him a star. It’s no time to fall in love, but when Dale meets Matt, the attraction is impossible to resist and they both fall hard.
Someone is killing young men in the city. A killer like no other. The murders bear an uncanny resemblance to the script Dale is shooting. A devious mind is at work. As their relationship becomes more complex, Matt and Dale find the murders intruding further into their lives. The killer is closing in on his next target. It could be either one of them…or both.

Part of the Brothers in Arms anthology!
United in passion. Driven by vengeance.
Owen Hazard, a young farmer, is dead. Murdered while he tried to prevent a robbery on his land. His older brother, Captain Mark Hazard, returns home for the funeral. Owen’s best friend, Riley, runs the local pub. He has information about the night Owen was killed—he knows who was responsible. The police are doing nothing. Vengeance is their only option. United in their passion for each other and a thirst for revenge, Riley and Mark must take the law into their own hands if there’s going to be any justice for Owen.

A desire for justice as strong as their passion for each other.
Concerned about the welfare of his young cousin, Josh Jackson, a restaurant owner, traces the boy to Winterstone Grange, a gated manor deep in the country. Miles from anywhere, the protected walls of this stately house conceal dark secrets. Josh’s search brings him into contact with Ed Brolin, a handsome journalist who has spent weeks investigating the secrets of the Grange and its owner. Ray Armstrong is a wealthy businessman with influential connections in parliament and the police. Ed knows exactly what goes on at the Grange but, without evidence, he hasn’t got a story.
Drawn together by instant attraction and a powerful hunger for justice, Josh and Ed are determined to expose the sordid secrets of the Grange despite the risks. Josh has never met a man like Ed before—so strong, determined and masculine. Falling in love is easy. But they’ll have to put their emotions aside if they’re going to give a voice to all the silent victims of Winterstone Grange.


First prize
Signed Anthem of the Sea paperback plus and an ebook bundle featuring:

Anthem of the Sea
Closer by Morning
Silent Voices
Gods of Vengeance
Two runner up: prizes of the ebook bundle.

Ebooks are available in Epub or PDF

This giveaway will end on August 4th and is open internationally.
Thank you to Thom for hanging out with us today.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thom Collins is a new to me author. I'll have to check his backlist because I love a good suspense book.

  2. Looking forward to reading this book!

  3. Thom Collins is a new author to me. His books sound really good.

  4. Thom is a new author to me, the books sound really good I enjoy reading mystery/suspense books adding the books to my wish list.

  5. Looking forward to reading this book!

  6. Looking forward to reading this book!

  7. Hi Thom. hank you for the interview! Congrats on your new book!

  8. I've read book 1 in the Brothers in Arms trilogy and really enjoyed it :)

  9. The first book of yours that I've read was your story in Men in Love anthology & from then on, I became a fan. And Anthem of the Sea has been on my TBR. Musical hero & a comedian? Yes, please!

  10. New to me author but love the sound of these so totally adding them to my TBR.