The Road of a Thousand Tigers
Posted by Robert Craven on Sat, 10 Nov 2018
This started as a 'Project' while waiting for edits of my next Eva installment (Eagles Hunt Wolves). I had an idea from reading Ian Fleming's 'From Russia with Love' where Bond suggests a different kind of spy join the 00 ranks. I had some 'shaving's' from Eagles Hunt Wolves, chapters that never quite worked or wound up in the bin, taking two deleted scenes, like a starter for bread, I took out Eva, created Sebastion Holt and re-worked the passages.
I drafted a detailled synopsis and pitched it to The Ian Fleming Society calliing it 'Ghost of a chance - 009'. I was surprised at how quickly The Ian Fleming Society came back to me. Because Bond is iconic, its a brand and within the rules of the brand is a minefield of copyright issues. They wished me the very best of luck and I re-drafted and draft #2 became 'The Andalan Affair' (all the drafts are on my page). I then coralled the wonderful Sam Blake - author of the Cat Connolly series of books (available at Amazon) who read the opening 5 chapters and guided the direction and characterisation. The novel's next incarnation became the 'The Road of a Thousand Tigers'.
The Road of a Thousand Tigers came very quickly together. Its a big departure from the Eva series, I wanted a truly lean beast in the 'Casino Royale' vein, and was fortunate to contact two other mentors - Howard Jackson of Red Rattle Books and Ellis Shuman, a Tel-Aviv based author.
Howard and myself spent 2 months hammering out dialogue and Holt's character, we worked on long dialogue-only exercises and I then pared everything back.
(An example is my piece 'The last job'.)
Ellis loved the idea of Tel-Aviv and gave me valuable insight into the city in the 1950's where the story is set.
I needed a sentence, a single line that summed up both Holt's breeding and his bloody-mindedness; I thought about a scene in an exclusive setting - a restaurant; somewhere obvious, I wanted him to peruse a wine menu and request the best vintage. I have an old friend, Nisea Doddy Burke who is a Sommelier at The Shelbourne Hotel. I pitched her the scene, explaining what I wanted and again, like all aspects of this project she came back the following day with a few suggestions.
It was exactly what I needed.
The term 'Serendipity' needs no explanation, The Road of a Thousand Tigers was an absolute joy to write, I was extremely lucky to have the right people within reach at the right time and I am truly grateful.
I kept the blurb simple -
Set in the era of Bond and for fans of Lee Child, meet Sebastian Holt.
Holt is a troubled man. Adrift after a mission in Egypt that didn’t go according to plan he’s returned to London. Enter Case Officer Petrie with an offer: travel to France and locate a missing CIA asset named ‘Cochise’. Sounds easy? Holt agrees and flies into Paris only to collide with a beautiful French journalist who isn’t all she seems to be and the KGB hunting ‘Cochise’ down. From London, Paris to Tel Aviv, Holt finds himself running out of options and out of time on the road of a thousand tigers...
Slow release - I have only 2 platforms Kobo & Amazon.
The Road of a Thousand Tigers is now live on Kobo this mornng. I plan to release the Amazon one early December.
What started out as a 'pitch' for the 007 Universe, evolved into a wonderful little book.
I'm extremely proud of this (link below)