Philip Prowse is the author of Hellyer’s Trip, an espionage novel set in Egypt at the time of the Six Day War.
What did the press say?
“This author knows and conveys his chosen period and place well, aided by a central character who displays exactly the right balance between naivety and foxiness.” — Morning Star 24 May 2018
Why spy fiction?
I spent a third of my working life overseas and worked hard at learning the language and fitting in. So I’ve always relished moments when I was taken for a local. The duplicity of being and not being what you appear to be is seductive. After I returned to the UK I continued to travel worldwide, and inevitably came across people whose faces did not match their stories.
Do you mean they were spies?
And were you one?
I’ve signed the Official Secrets Act.
And why Egypt?
Alexandria was my first posting and they say you never forget your first love. I returned a few years ago to check my recollections and found that, like Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, ‘Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.’ But the hard-drinking, free-wheeling, promiscuous sixties culture I describe has gone.
Hellyer’s Trip is doing really well as an e-book and paperback and the Audible version will be available from early summer 2019. The second book in the Nick Hellyer series will be published in the autumn of 2019.
Set in the Portuguese colonial war in Mozambique in the early 1970s, and the drama of the 1974 Portuguese Carnation Revolution.
Don’t tell me. Did you?
Well, I lived in central Portugal during that period and subsequently worked briefly in Beira, Mozambique, in the thick of the post-independence civil war.
So are your novels fiction or faction?
The settings and some of the events are certainly based on my personal experience. As for the rest, I leave it for the reader to judge.