‘I do a ton of research, a lot of it online, a lot through books and traditional media, and quite a bit of it face-to-face with experts in various fields. This was one area where years of reporting really helped: I’m very used to asking total strangers to tell me stuff they’d normally keep private. What was fun, though, was discovering how much happier people are to talk when you say that you’re writing a thriller, rather than a newspaper article. Contributing to a thriller sounds like fun. Giving away information to a journalist is very rarely that!
So, there’s a lot of research, [for the 2008 'Accident Man' thriller The Survivor, U.S.A. title No Survivors] into everything from the construction of small-scale nuclear weapons, to the beliefs of fundamentalist Christians, to the precise role of fish tank oxygenating tablets and nail-varnish remover in putting together a home-made bomb from everyday household items. I try, within reason, to make the plot as plausible as I can. But I was very mindful of the fact that this is fiction. So what really matters is not that you get every factual detail 100 per cent right, but that you tell a damn good story.’
~ Tom Cain