Press coverage - magazines
Writers' News August 2007
Writers' Forum September 2005
The second international thriller, Pandemic, in the Paul Richter series by James Barrington has been launched by Macmillan. The novel follows Richter as he investigates the connection between a wrecked US government jet, a deadly epidemic and the murders of several CIA agents.
Barrington's work as a helicopter pilot for the Royal Navy and as a special operations officer has provided him with the knowledge on which to base the sequel to the first novel, Overkill. Pandemic is available in hardback for £10.
The Bookseller 25th February 2005
Of Matt Reilly ilk for the Tom Clancy generation (if you get my drift) but by a Brit - a helicopter pilot who worked in covert operations - so full of authenticity. I think Pan may have found itself a winner.
Writers' News September 2004 Jonathan Telfer
In for the kill
"Image is important in securing a publishing deal, points out thriller writer and subscriber James Barrington, whose first novel Overkill is published by Macmillan.
'Because Overkill is a hard-edged thriller with a lot of military background, the people at Hodder were perhaps expecting a tough ex-SAS man who would kick the door down on his way in and tell them exactly how they were going to handle things, and that really isn't my style' said James, a retired Royal Navy pilot who now runs his own communications company in Andorra.
The preconception didn't damage his chances, however, with two agents and then two publishing houses vying to take him on. In 2002, with Overkill and the chase thriller Trade-Off completed, James prepared two proposals - including the first three chapters, synopsis, an analysis of the target market and a short biography - and picked agents from the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook who handled the right type of work.
After a couple of false starts and the usual 'host of rejection slips', Sheil Land Associates' Luigi Bonomi suggested a few changes, just as another agent got in touch offering to represent Trade-Off. After meeting with both, it was clear that Luigi was more used to the kind of books that James wanted to write.
'Luigi is a wonderful agent,' said James. 'We've got on extremely well from our first meeting onwards, and he has been largely responsible for shaping Overkill into what we are hoping will be a bestseller. His suggestions for cuts and changes have been based on his years of experience in publishing, and all have made perfect sense. The result has been a shorter, tighter book with more action and less waffle.'
Having never stepped inside a publishing house before, meetings with staff of Hodder, Macmillan and Orion on one day made for a fraught experience.
'Hodder was intimidating as the editor had assembled virtually the entire team who would be involved in the production of the book to meet me,' said James. 'It wasn't really an inquisition, but that was rather what it felt like, firing back answers to a host of questions mainly related to my military background and experience of the kind of events described in Overkill, and whether or not Ministry of Defence clearance would be required prior to publication.'
As at Hodder, Peter Lavery's 'enthusiastic, highly professional' team at Macmillan left James in little doubt that he could work with them and Luigi sure that one or both of them would make an offer.
'We were actually in the middle of the meeting at Orion when Luigi's mobile finally rang, and he stepped out into the corridor to take the call,' continued James. 'Once we'd left Orion, Luigi told me that, despite believing that I was rather too nice a person to be writing a gritty thriller like Overkill, Hodder had made a good opening offer for two books. Orion declined to bid but Macmillan easily topped the Hodder offer and in the end we accepted an enhanced two-book deal from Macmillan.' Sheil Land's Foreign Rights department, who were involved from the outset, had received an offer from Bertelsmann for the German language rights even before the UK deal and Overkill has also been sold to Dutch and Japanese publishers. Macmillan have now accepted the manuscript for their second book, Pandemic, and James is working on a third, Prophecy.
Though not directly inspired by his experiences, the ideas for the books are grounded in James's areas of expertise. 'My plots and action are firmly anchored in reality, and I avoid inventing marvellous and implausible weapons, vehicles or techniques. My characters bleed real blood, they use real guns with real bullets, not specially-designed weapons; drive Fords, not invisible Aston Martins; and cannot leap into a convenient jet aircraft or a hovercraft or a space shuttle or whatever and drive the thing to safety. Having said that, my protagonist, Paul Richter, is a qualified Sea Harrier and helicopter pilot - like me, he's ex-Royal Navy - and is therefore entitled to fly about the place!'"
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