Five on Friday with Simon Booker @simonbooker

Today I’m delighted to feature author and screenwriter Simon Booker who writes novels and prime time TV drama for the BBC, ITV and US TV. His latest book, Three’s a Crowd, asks the question: ‘What happens when an estranged father and son unwittingly fall in love with the same woman?’

Without Trace was published by Bonnier Zaffre in 2016 and is the first in a series of psychological thrillers featuring Morgan Vine, a single mother and investigative journalist obsessed with miscarriages of justice. Kill Me Twice is the second in the series.

Simon’s recent credits also include Animal Instinct, a 2018 Audible Original audio drama starring Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey). The e-book is published simultaneously by Canelo.

Simon’s TV credits include BBC1’s Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Holby City and The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries starring Diana Rigg and Neil Dudgeon; ITV thrillers The Stepfather and The Blind Date; and Perfect Strangers, the CBS romantic comedy starring Rob Lowe and Anna Friel. He has written many plays for BBC Radio 4, worked extensively as a producer in television and radio and as a journalist.

Over to Simon:

Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

Let There by Love by Nat King Cole. I adore his voice and the piano arrangement.


The Flower Duet by Delibes – sublime music (as long as you can stop yourself thinking about British Airways!)


In My Life by The Beatles. Tender, touching and true.


Nutbush City Limits by Ike and Tina Turner. Guaranteed to get me dancing!


Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves – pure feelgood fun!


What 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.

Can a dog be a ‘thing’? If so, my adorable dog Milo, a Romanian rescue.

By the same token, Minou, my adorable cat.

My iPhone and MacBook (for work and play)

Red wine

Chocolate

Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?

Don’t worry so much.

In particular, don’t worry what people think about you – chances are, they’re not!

Ask your parents about important stuff while you still can.

Be sensible about financial planning for when you get ancient.

Don’t smoke so much!

Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you

I saw the Beatles live at the Palladium (I was 8!)

I later met three of the Beatles while working in TV production (not John)

I cook a good coq au vin

I once spent a bizarre evening with Barry Manilow and Margaret Thatcher (when I worked on Michael Aspel’s chat show.

I changed my name to Luke, for five years, when I was a teenager.

Tell us 5 things you’d like to do or achieve.

Go on safari

See my new book THREE’S A CROWD made into a film. It’s a romcom about an estranged father and son who fall in love with the same woman.

Go on set while it’s filming

See flamingos in the wild

Become a better cook

Thanks for joining me today Simon it was great to discover more about you. Lovely to hear In My Life again, it’s from one of my favourite albums Rubber Soul. As far as Milo and Minou are concerned, very happy to count them as family, rather than things – I must amend that question. I think bizarre probably does cover the combination of Barry Manilow and Margaret Thatcher, not a natural fit I’d have thought, but a great after dinner story for you. I hope the financial planning advice is something that you didn’t learn too late in life, but when we’re young it’s as if old age is something that happens to other people. I really hope you get to tick off those things you’d like to achieve, I must say that the new book sounds ideal film material so fingers crossed!

Simon’s Books

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

Three's A Crowd: 'If ever a book was a mood-lifter, it's this one. I cried laughing!' MILLY JOHNSON Kindle Edition

Three’s a Crowd

What happens when an estranged father and son unwittingly fall in love with the same woman?

Out-of-work actor Harriet is recuperating from a crash-and-burn affair with Damian – aka ‘Cockweasel’ – and making ends meet as a barista when she meets two rather lovely men. Tom is a regular at the café, and seems like such a nice guy. Smooth-talking DJ Richard is older, but in great shape – a real silver fox.

Deciding to take a chance on both of them, Harriet doesn’t realise at first that she is actually dating father and son. Tom and Richard aren’t on speaking terms, and don’t share a last name – so how was she to know? By the time everyone finds out, both Tom and Richard are truly madly deeply in love with Harriet, and she’s faced with an impossible choice.

But as the battle for her affections intensifies, ‘Cockweasel’ makes an unexpected reappearance and begs her to give him another chance…


Animal Instinct: A compulsively gripping crime thriller Kindle Edition

Animal Instinct

Ex-policeman Joe Cassidy investigates the gruesome killing of a young woman, but will he learn things about those closest to him that he would rather not know?

Since a tragic case went horribly wrong on his watch, Joe Cassidy has left the police force and separated from his wife. Living in a dilapidated shack on a Kent beach, Joe takes on occasional work as a private investigator. When the daughter of a wealthy zoo owner is murdered a long-owed debt is called on and Joe agrees to help solve the crime – much to the chagrin of his estranged wife who happens to be the senior investigating police officer working the case. Things become further complicated and both are conflicted when their son falls under suspicion.

As Joe learns about the victim’s family and unearths clues about a legacy of secrets, he must use all of his insight and experience to prevent further deaths occurring. Can the behaviour of the animals he observes offer a clue to the identity of the murderer?


Kill Me Twice: A compulsively gripping thriller perfect for fans of Harlan Coben (A Morgan Vine Thriller) Kindle Edition

Kill Me Twice (Morgan Vine Thriller book 2)

Karl Savage is dead.
He must be. His ex, Anjelica, is in prison for murdering him in an arson attack. Multiple forensic experts testified to finding his charred remains.
So when Anjelica begs investigative journalist Morgan Vine to prove her innocence, it seems an impossible task. It doesn’t matter that Karl was abusive. That Anjelica has a baby to care for. That she’s petrified of fire. The whole world knows Karl is dead.
Then he turns up outside Morgan’s window . . .


Without Trace: An edge of your seat psychological thriller (A Morgan Vine Thriller) Kindle Edition

Without Trace (Morgan Vine Thriller book 1)

YOUR DAUGHTER IS MISSING. WHO CAN YOU TRUST?

Morgan Vine has devoted her years of her life to campaigning for Danny Kilcannon’s release, after his dubious conviction for his wife’s murder.

At long last, he’s released.

With nowhere to go, Danny comes to rely on Morgan and her impetuous teenage daughter, Lissa.

Then Lissa goes missing.

When it’s your own child on the line, who can you trust?

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