Interview with Financial Guru and Bestselling Author Ray Green

Ray Green is married with two daughters and lives in West Sussex, England. He graduated from Southampton University with a BSc in Physics and then went on to a career spanning some 30 years in the electronics manufacturing industry. For much of that time he was operating at Director or Managing Director level in several different companies and so he is well qualified to give an insight into the world of business and corporate politics and intrigue.

His business career culminated in his participation in a management buyout of his last company. It was an incredibly tortuous process, and the experience, which provided the inspiration for his first novel 'Buyout' in which the principal protagonist, Roy Groves, battles similar issues in a fictionalized management buyout. The sequel 'Payback' tells what happens when the human desire for revenge takes hold. Ray's third novel 'Chinese Whispers' explores the shocking consequences when legitimate business is infiltrated by organized crime. The fourth book, which completes the 'Roy Groves Thriller' series is a comedy-thriller charting Roy's fortunes after he decides to quit the corporate rat race and retire to an up market expat community on Spain's Costa del Sol.

'Lost identity', the first book in the 'Identity Thrillers' series, is a tense psychological thriller set in the criminal world of drug trafficking and murder.

1. There are so many genres today that authors write in, how did you come about writing in the financial thriller genre and why?

The corporate and financial world is an area I know well, having spent more than 30 years navigating that world. It seemed natural to base my debut novel 'Buyout' on my own real-life experiences. And although my subsequent novels are not so closely based on my own experiences, I believe my knowledge of the financial/business world enabled me to write with some authenticity and authority.

Having said that, my later books diverge significantly from this genre. 'Chinese Whispers', while based in the business world, is really more of an action/adventure thriller. And 'Lost Identity' is a tense psychological thriller.
2. It's evident that you have a lot of fans reading your books based on your reviews. What has been the most thought-provoking feedback you have gotten from a fan?

Oh, that's a tough one! Reviews vary so much - I've had levels of detail ranging from just 'Good book' to a detailed critique running to almost a thousand words. Obviously, the more detailed reviews offer the most useful feedback.

While it's very tempting to dwell only on the 5-star reviews, it's often more revealing to take a close look at the less positive ones. When I wrote my first novel, a few fans suggested that there was, perhaps, too much technical financial and business stuff in there and that I could have cut this down a bit and concentrated more on the effect of the management buyout - which was, of course the subject of the book - on the relationships and marriages of the characters involved. At first, I thought 'don't be silly - I've already simplified all the financial stuff as much as possible' but I eventually came to realize they were probably right: because I had lived and breathed that stuff for 30 years, I might have overdone it a bit. I have since taken this on board and the subsequent books are somewhat lighter on the technical detail.

3. You've spent many years accumulating a wealth of knowledge in the corporate field. How has that shaped you into becoming the successful author you are today?
While writing is, predominantly, an artistic pursuit, one of the things I've discovered is that you also needs to be able to think very logically and analytically when structuring the plot of a novel. It's all too easy to get into a real tangle when you have several different plot threads running. And you can easily introduce all sorts of logical inconsistencies. I think my many years of project management and business analysis have honed my analytical thinking skills and have probably helped considerably with this aspect of writing a novel.
4. From the busy corporate world to being a busy author, we all need to wind down at the end of the week. What is your idea of the perfect weekend?

A takeaway meal and a movie at home on Friday evening.

Up before dawn on Saturday for a few hours fishing before returning home for a hot bath. Then out for lunch at a country pub with my wife, Rhonda. A snooze in front of the TV in the afternoon to catch up on lost sleep.

Up early on Sunday for a bike ride, before returning home for another hot bath in time for lunch at home with our two grown-up daughters and the grandchildren. Sunday evening, catch upon all the week's political TV programs that I'd recorded earlier.

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