“5 Questions With…” is a new series that shines a spotlight on talented authors and what motivates them to create. The series will highlight authors who are inspired by the film industry and focusing on adapting their work for the silver screen. Eric Gates is author of Primed, the sequel to Outsourced. Now available on Amazon.

What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

This is a difficult question to answer. Often I find the adaptation of books to screen involve so many changes that the essence of the original written work is all but lost. By essence, I’m referring not just to the storyline but the emotional charge created in the reader’s mind by the author’s choice of words. However one movie stands out as having captured the reader experience so effectively and, coupled with an outstanding principal actor, managed to create the sense of deep disquiet I experienced when reading the book: The Silence of the Lambs.

Which actor(s) would you choose to play the lead character(s) in your book?

I confess to finding photos, usually on-line, to ‘fit’ with my ideas on my characters for almost all my novels as a device to help me get into their heads when I write scenes featuring them.

With my suspense thriller Outsourced I went a step further and settled on images of actors who would be models for the characters should a movie version be made. Thus, the tough, no-nonsense, out-of-her-depth Defense Intelligence Agency

operative Bridget Mason was Zoe Mclellan; the dour Nic Stiles would be James Frain and conspiracy-theory obsessed Phil Beasley was a mixture of Denzel Washington and Cuba Gooding Jr.

When it came to the sequel, Primed, the fourth protagonist, New York Homicide Detective Kristoffer ‘the Dane’ Hansen was clearly based upon one of my own personal favourite character actors, Christopher Heyerdahl.

What film, novel or other creative work most inspires you as an author?
I freely acknowledge that my novels are influenced and inspired by three sources, all writers. Charles Dickens (for his inclusion of social commentary in, what for his time, were serialized thrillers), Ian Fleming (his efficiency with storylines and use of mini-cliffhangers as chapter endings, plus his dominance of pacing), and British author John Gardner (who taught me how to use dark humour as a counterpoint in thriller novels). It would be almost impossible to single out one work of these excellent authors as a seminal inspiration although perhaps A Christmas Carol by Dickens contains elements of all three, and is a superb thriller template even now in the twenty-first century.
What tips do you think authors could learn from Hollywood (e.g. location scouting, casting, marketing)?
Readers frequently comment that my fast-paced thrillers are very cinematic. By this they mean I don’t fill pages with either place or character descriptions and allow movement to dictate reader perception of the tale. I think this is an important lesson for writers today, in a world where the twenty-second sound bite dominates and attention spans are ever decreasing: allow you characters deeds to define them and keep things moving constantly.
What is the best writing tip you’ve ever received?
Previously I mentioned British author John Gardner. I had the pleasure of corresponding with him many, many years ago and finally meeting him at a book signing. He gave me many practical tips regarding writing, but perhaps one stands out as a universal truth: always get your research right. Gardner was a stickler for placing his characters in places he personally knew and, especially noticeable in his sixteen James Bond books, using technology that really existed yet was so cutting-edge many thought he had invented it. The author’s familiarity with the details comes through in any written work in any genre without being explicitly stated on the page.

Eric J. Gates – Biography


Eric J. Gates has had a curious life filled with the stuff of thriller novels. Writing Operating Systems for Supercomputers, cracking cryptographic codes under


extreme pressure using only paper and pen and teaching cyber warfare to spies are just a few of the moments he’s willing to recall. He is an ex-International Consultant who has travelled extensively worldwide, speaks several languages, and has had articles and papers published in technical magazines in six different countries, as well as radio and TV spots. His specialty, Information Technology Security, has brought him into contact with the Military and Intelligence communities on numerous occasions.

He is also an expert martial artist, holding 14 black belt degrees in distinct disciplines. He has taught his skills to Police and Military personnel, as well as to the public.

He now writes thriller novels, drawing on his experiences with the confidential and secret worlds that surround us.

Links (author & books mentioned in above)

Website: www.ericjgates.com

Blog: http://my-thrillers.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/eThrillerWriter

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Eric-J.-Gates/e/B0030H3Y3A/


Global Amazon link for books