Spider001 Spider Says

"Stephen's a funny guy. No, really! He never knows where he's taking me half of the time, and he's often as surprised as I am! Oh sure, he'll have a basic plot in his head. But it sometimes doesn't go the way he thought it would. I was meant to have made Detective Inspector by now, did you know that?! Instead I've ended up as an undercover officer at MI5. And goodness only knows where my holiday went to! Stephen insists that he won't have me killed off, but it's not for the lack of trying. I've been shot twice, had a bullet graze the side of my head, been beaten up more times than I care to think about and honestly, I think I'm going to be lucky to see my fortieth birthday!"

Stephen Leather "Maybe one day we'll see a TV series based on Shepherd. With Shepherd, I wanted a policeman who could also take part in military scenarios, so I gave him an SAS background. I also had the idea of making him the father of a young son, so that we see him as a real human being and not just an action figure. One of the things I enjoy about writing about the character - I get to explore his home life as well as his police work. I am really enjoying writing about Spider Shepherd. The one thing I won't be doing is killing him off. I made that mistake with Mike 'Joker' Cramer who appeared in The Chinaman, The Long Shot and The Double Tap. But Spider is going to run and run.

Hard Landing marked the return of several other characters from previous books, including Major Allan Gannon of the SAS and former SAS trooper Martin O'Brien who both appeared in The Double Tap, and surveillance expert Alex Knight (Tango One) who might well one day get a book of his own. There's an American character in Hot Blood called Richard Yokely, a shady former CIA guy who now works for a black ops department of Homeland Security. He's great fun to write and I plan to have him making regular appearances in the Spider Shepherd books. Ditto with Charlotte Button, the former MI5 agent who now heads up the SOCA undercover unit. I'm thinking about doing a novel with her as the central character. Both are very strong characters and deserve books of their own. I just wish there were more hours in the day!"