About Owen Mullen
Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist. And So It Began earned a coveted Sunday Times Crime Club ⭐Star pick
How did the idea for Out of the Silence develop into a full novel?
Hi Benjamin, and thank you for inviting me here.
I woke up with the idea one morning; it came to me almost whole. The beginning and ending arrived exactly as they appear in the book. After that I pieced the individual character’s stories together, then folded them in and out of each other as I wrote. The original draft underwent many, many revisions until I was satisfied I was telling the tale I’d imagined.
Did you decide that Ralph Buchanan would be an investigative reporter early in the process?
Ralph wasn’t in the original run of the story and didn’t appear until my wife read what I’d written and asked ‘Yes, it’s very good, but which part will Leonardo play?’ And Ralph was born.
Why was he banished to Pakistan by his Newspaper?
He was banished because of his drink-fuelled behaviour. In the original I spent 40,000 words exploring Ralph’s back story until again, my wife Christine asked ‘What story are you telling?’
Who is Simone Jasnin and what’s her role in the story?
Simone is the Doctor who treats the injured Afra in a rural hospital. Incensed by what she’s seen she goes to Lahore seeking someone to help her expose these types of injustices. That someone turns out to be Ralph Buchanan
How did you determine Pakistan was the setting for the story?
Pakistan was perfect for this story…a beautiful, diverse country rich in culture and history, but like most places when you scratch the surface a darker truth lies hidden.
What was your research about Pakistan like?
Exciting! I travelled to the region, read many books, spoke to people and spent long hours on the internet.
What’s next for you?
I’ve literally just finished the follow-up to In Harm’s Way which picks the story up five years on. Next project is already underway; a story about two South London gangsters.
When no one knows you are in danger how can you ever be saved…
The Baxter house in the Lowther Hills, in Scotland, has been on the estate agent’s books for decades. Dilapidated and near-derelict, nobody is interested in it. But, for one potential buyer, the remote location and rat-infested cellar are perfect.
For the first year, Mackenzie’s marriage to Derek was ideal. But Derek believes she is having an affair and when she realises her husband is becoming controlling, she knows she’s made a terrible mistake.
But Mackenzie has a drinking problem so when she threatens to leave Derek and then disappears no one believes she has been abducted.
DS Geddes is handed the case but isn’t convinced anything criminal has taken place until a startling development comes to light.
Has Mackenzie been abducted or has she simply left her husband?
And who has bought The Baxter house and for what purpose?
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Owen Mullen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; Owen still loves to perform on occasion. His great love for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home away from home in the Greek Islands where the Charlie Cameron and Delaney series’, and the In Harm’s Way psychological thriller were created.
My books raise a lot of social issues…If you would like a set of questions for #bookgroupdiscussions please contact me.