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Xander Richards
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Canadian espionage author
Canadian espionage author

5 followers
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I have to convey an unusual thing that happened recently which is both funny and very cool, but first let me tell you about the cover painting for my espionage novel, which is now finished.

It’s AMAZING!

Jon has done an absolutely fantastic job. The painting looks incredibly real, there’s a very photographic quality to it. The characters look like genuine special-ops guys and have a gritty realism about them. I just can’t get over how good it is and I fawned like a little kid presented with a Ferrari. I’m sure I’ll be able to share it soon on my website, but just let us get the copyrighting out of the way first. I like to think that our intellectual property is at least somewhat protected before we ‘go public’. Anyway, I’m VERY excited about the cover and what a privilege to have such a talented artist create it for me. Thank you Jon!

So, to get back to starting price, Jon and I sat around shooting the breeze for a bit and knocking back a couple of cold ones. His art studio is one of the best ‘man caves’ that I’ve ever seen. Whilst I contentedly enjoy what I consider the luxury of a spare bedroom as my office, Jon has converted his massive double garage to create a pleasant, airy space in which he can paint to his heart’s content. It’s also his music studio at the same time, although it’s abundantly clear that painting is the main pursuit.

In the course of our conversation Jon expressed an opinion which absolutely knocked me sideways, but in a good way. Through reading the novel, he’s started to wonder whether I’m actually a real retired special-ops guy! Can you believe that? He was saying “I don’t know; moving to another country? Plausible back-story? Amazing detail in the description of what it’s like to be a secret agent? I think you could be a spook!”

This was hilariously funny, a little weird and really rather exciting. Not because I could be a retired espionage operative but because of the fact that my narrative is having that effect on an intelligent and perceptive reader like Jon. This means that the absolute masses of research I did to create realism in the work are paying off. If a well-read guy like Jon is forming that impression, then I feel that I might allow myself a reasonable pat on the back for getting all that research right.

Curiously, it’s not actually the first time this has happened to me.

And who really knows? Maybe I actually was a ‘spook’ in a previous chapter of my life. Wouldn’t that be something? See, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Read it for yourself in February and see what you think!
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A curious distinction of my novel is that I share a cover artist with none other than the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. See, my cover artist Jon had his work stolen by the famous gentleman for his book (which was more than likely ghost-written), 'Zabibah And The King'. The amazing story of this can be found on Jon's website. I guess not many people can lay claim to having the same cover painter as an infamous dictator, but stranger things have happened I suppose. What would be really interesting now would be to pen a story about how my three heroes actually caused this to happen as they hunted Saddam down. That'd be a laugh, eh?
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The cover image is a work in progress. Here's an excellent early version.
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