Author Interview: Guy Mankowski


Today I am delighted to welcome Guy Mankowski to my blog. Guy is the author of ‘An Honest Deceit’ which I review here

1. You have done what so many writers dream of and had your novel published. How have you found this experience?

It’s very exposing to write something that is so personal and then have its value publicaly debated- and An Honest Deceit is my most personal novel yet. In order to create a lifelike, credible world in a novel you have to portray the world as you know it. So you are putting a great deal of yourself into the characters and the setting you present and so it can be strange when the book is finally released because people are evaluating you. An Honest Deceit is my fourth book and because it is so personal the whole process has felt intense. But it is wonderful when people engage with something so personal and take it to their hearts and I’ve had some touching messages.

2. Urbane require collaboration with authors in marketing their books. Has this worked out as you expected?

I think that because novels are personal a personal touch is needed, so Urbane’s collaborative approach works. It is good to have a publisher you can contact at any time and debate ideas with. The publishing industry is changing and I think that approach is required to give books a fighting chance in the big bad world. You aren’t just competing with other books for attention but with video games, X Factor, newspapers, whatever Donald Trump has written last night on Twitter. To get people to take a story to their heart requires work.

3. Have you done many live author events and, if so, do you enjoy them?

Yes, I’ve done talks on my travels to Russia to research a novel on ballet and talks on how I met experts in corruption and worked with whistle-blowers to research An Honest Deceit. I am doing a talk next week with Books On The Tyne about how I turned this research into a thriller. I find the talks nerve-wracking to be honest. It is hard to make a private process public. Like any venture the writing of a novel requires sheer graft and tenacity and people are more interested in hearing about the latter than the former.

4. What is your approach to the on line reviews of your book?

I dismiss the good ones and analyse the bad ones that seem credible because I want to be a better writer. I don’t want to compete with Jordan’s latest biography and just get a few book sales. I want to compete with the writers who made me feel alive and who expressed how the world really is, like Albert Camus and Leonard Cohen. I have a long way to go.

5. When asked what you do, do you describe yourself as a writer?

Yes. I write to try and make people feel less lonely.

6. Are you going to do this again – is there another novel in the pipeline?

My next novel is called A Club Called Meaning and it’s about a nightclub where everyone gets to live their fantasy life for one night. It’s also about how the elite class and the super rich are pulverising the artistic class and it’s nearly finished.

Where my readers can find you

Website: Guy

Twitter: Dr. Guy Mankowski (@Gmankow)

Blog: Guy Mankowski


Guy Mankowski is a journalist, academic and author. He was born on the Isle of Wight and educated at St. Johns College Southsea, commuting to school every day by hovercraft. He was then educated by monks at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire. He trained as a psychologist, working in a hospital by day and as singer of a signed band, Alba Nova, by night. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing and currently lectures in Creative Writing at York University. An Honest Deceit is his fourth novel.


An Honest Deceit is published by Urbane Publications and is available to buy now.



Book Review: An Honest Deceit


An Honest Deceit, by Guy Mankowski, is a psychological thriller with a theme of domestic noir. It is written in a language that is almost poetic so vivid is the imagery and emotion conjured. It tells a story that had my heart racing and my anger growing as the protagonist battles a corrupt system which is hiding behind due process, determined to protect its own.

Ben and Juliette have worked hard to provide a home for themselves and their two children, Marine and Christian. They met at university where Ben was encouraged to ask Juliette out by his best friend, Philip. Ben subsequently becomes a teacher, a job he enjoys. Philip makes his name as a stand-up comic and moves to a modern flat nearby the couple.

When Marine dies whilst on a school trip their world is blown apart. They are told it was a tragic accident, but the reactions of a few key staff at Marine’s school plant seeds of doubt. Juliette wishes to mourn and move on. Ben determines to fight for the truth. In the process he discovers that this may cost him his job and thereby their home.

Philip uses his contacts to raise public awareness as Ben battles to keep investigations into his daughter’s death open. A new headmaster appears to hold all the cards and resents what he regards as the unnecessary expense of detailed enquiries, and the adverse publicity this can cause. The confrontations that ensue threaten not just Ben’s job but his remaining family. He must dig deep to find the resolve to go on.

The pain of losing a child is unimaginable. The rawness of this hurt is sensitively portrayed yet does not overwhelm the tight progression of the plot. Ben’s choice to grow and then draw on public support makes him enemies who could prevent him ever working again. Juliette questions his loyalty and motives.

This book has a potent depth – it is rare for me to feel so emotionally invested in a story. An impressive and absorbing read.

My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Urbane.