Seth Garner writes psychological thrillers based in the advertising and communications industries. As he puts it, ‘I write novels about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.’
In his day job, Seth is a creative director working in online advertising. He has won over fifty major awards for his work.
To escape from the pressures of working in London, he lives in a 400 year-old thatched cottage in Cambridgeshire with his Japanese wife, Midori, and two young children.
He writes his books sandwiched between fellow commuters going to and from King’s Cross.
Seth lived in Hong Kong from 1992-1997. Initially, he expected to stay only a month, but a chance meeting led to him being offered a job in one of the territory’s leading trading companies and he ended up living in the territory for five and a half years.
The job took him all over Asia, including six months in Bangladesh, but eventually he switched career to become a copywriter at one of the world’s most awarded – and controversial – ad agencies, The Ball Partnership.
The Blood Partnership by Seth Garner
Ben Spencer is the ambitious young owner of The Blood Partnership, an online property marketing company. Over the past few months he has become heavily involved with every member of the wealthy property-developing Westlake family – including becoming engaged to beautiful young Caitlin Westlake – and now he’s beginning to regret it.
Things go from bad to worse when Ben’s own family are targeted by the Westlakes. Now he must choose a side and it seems the only way out is death – but whose will it be?
The Blood Partnership was the second book to be written by Seth, and the first to be released.
The title of the novel is taken from a small ad agency Seth used to run, which was launched in 2000 and bought in 2001 by one of the UK’s largest communications groups.
‘This book is all about family versus business,’ says Seth. ‘Anyone who has a family, but has to often work long hours, can relate to the pressure it creates. I wanted to explore that pressure, that torn loyalty if you will, through the main character, Ben Spencer. And to do that, I had to make things as difficult as possible for him. His problems multiply from the first chapter.’
To buy the book from Amazon.co.uk, ‘The Blood Partnership by Seth Garner.
Broken Surface by Seth Garner
Synopsis:Fifteen years ago, two teenagers kill a mentally handicapped boy called Doofy. It was an accident, but things get out of hand and they never report it – and drown his body. When they grow up, the secret still burdens them both – but while one of them, Richard, matures into a psychopath, the other, Duncan, becomes a respectable and successful businessman with a lot to lose if this secret in his past comes to light.
The novel opens at the point where the secret, like Doofy’s body, is about to bob up to the surface again…
Broken Surface was Seth’s second book to be accepted for publication.
‘Looking back, the inspiration for the beginning of the book came from a very difficult board meeting with the holding company who bought a majority stake in our agency. Setting the opening chapter within such an environment seemed ideal – it’s a great canvas on which to create a major crisis. From then on, the guilt and insecurity of the main character – Duncan Kelly – just keep on building…and when psychopathic ex-friend Richard Regan comes back into his life, something has to give.’
The release date is currently scheduled for end 2006.
Seth is currently working on his third novel, and progress is going well.
‘I can’t divulge much about the plot as it’s still at an early stage,’ he says. ‘But the characters are developing well. The protagonist is as beleaguered as those in the other books, if not more.’
Taking a tip from leading financial thriller writer Michael Ridpath, Seth plotted the novel using post-it notes on an A3 board. ‘That helps tighten up the plot strands,’ he says. ‘I use a different-coloured note for each sub-plot, and arrange them carefully on the board so they weave neatly in and out of each other. After that, I write a full chapter-by-chapter plan and keep that stuffed in my pocket when I’m writing on the train.’
The third book will be in the same genre, yet set in a different industry. ‘I was grilling a mate in a pub near Euston station at lunch the other day,’ says Seth, ‘to find out as much as I could about his industry. I think there’s a lot of scope for a tight, involving plot, with a very diverse range of characters. I’ll keep you posted.’
‘I’d say my all-time favourite book is ‘The Up and Comer’ by American writer Howard Roughan,’ says Seth. ‘It’s the story of a guy who has everything, but yet can’t resist manipulating those around him – with disastrous results. The writing style is fantastic; tight, sharp-edged and intelligent. I knew the moment I’d read the first page in Waterstone’s that I’d found my ideal book.’
‘Nice Work by David Lodge is another all-time favourite of mine. It’s basically a chalk-and-cheese story about two polar opposites – an English literature lecturer and the managing director of an engineering firm – who have to spend time together in a job swap. I first read this book in 1990, and it’s been close to me ever since. Subtle, yet ferociously well observed, it’s a book I like to delve into from time to time, just to see how David Lodge made such a wonderful job of establishing the characters without ever resorting to stereotype. Like the reviews say, A very Nice Work indeed.’
‘There are two books by Douglas Kennedy that will always be in my top reads: The Dead Heart and The Big Picture. Both are really well plotted, and both are based around a simple central idea. I read them when I was living in Hong Kong and they were responsible for me arriving very late to work on the days after I’d bought them. I’m not a fan of his new covers, though!’
Buy the books
The Blood Partnership by Seth Garner is published by Robert Hale and can be purchased on Amazon.co.uk The Blood Partnership by Seth Garner
Seth Garner’s agents are Pollinger Ltd, London.
To contact Seth Garner please click here.