Editor, Professional Photographer and Author of International thrillers, and contemporary romances, David W Stokes has worked as a broadcast journalist for many years, for Independent Radio News in Northern Ireland, covering all of the major 'Troubles' stories. He won a Sony Award for his radio coverage of former US President Bill Clinton's historic visit to the Province.
Currently, he is Group Editor at 4SM, a highly respected and long established publishing company based in Hillsborough, County Down, where it produces a series of trade and business-to-business magazines.
Along with his wife Jackie, he has travelled abroad extensively and, as you will appreciate if you pick up a copy of THE ICELANDER, which is set in one of his favourite European cities, Venice in Italy. His latest novel THE POPE & THE PIGEON is also set in Venice, and Vatican City - an extract from the storyline:
"The Italian city of Venice is on lockdown ahead of the first official visit by Pope Fabian, but little did he or his security advisors know that dark forces were planning an agenda that would result in mayhem and murder on a scale they had never before encountered.
When it becomes clear a shadowy cell of Irish dissidents is involved, British MI6 agent Nick Savvas is sent in to help the Italian security services track them down.
The investigation sets in motion a chain of events that ultimately leads to a violent and bloody conclusion that rocks the Vatican to its very core and shocks even the most battle-hardened.
From the cosmopolitan city of Dublin to the historic setting of Venice and Vatican City, this is a gripping, action-packed story that will grab you from the very first page and drag you towards an unexpected climactic ending that will leave you wanting more!"
Like THE HUNT FOR BLACK FRIDAY, it also features Nick Savvas and Lyndsay Mitchell, first introduced to readers in THE ICELANDER.
"I've been writing all my life, so it's second nature - the hard part is constructing a story that is believable, that grips the reader right from the first page, a story that can be sustained to the very last page. It also has to be original and fresh and, yes, sometimes relevant to what is happening around us in the world today - it has to be a lot of things on a lot of levels - that's the hard part."
Does he have any advice for aspiring authors? "Just the usual, I suppose. Never give up. Don't take rejection lying down. Some of our best known writers were rejected 20, 30, 40 or more times before they eventually ended up in print.
"It takes a lot of perseverance, a lot of belief in yourself . It can be a lonely old life behind a keyboard, but at least you get the opportunity to create your own world, your own characters, even the type of life you might want to live. You are the writer - you can do what you want, when you want and where you want, and with whomever you want - at least on the page if not in reality."