Click here to return to the Classified page

Author Q&A For The Secret Bunker: Darkness Falls

Spoiler Alert!

The Secret Bunker: Darkness Falls

Q: First things first, where did you get the idea for this book?

A: The book is inspired by a visit to Scotland's Secret Bunker at Troywood in Fife.

Check out their website at:

We made a family visit to the bunker in 2011, when my children were a lot younger.

In many respects the family scenes in Darkness Falls are based around our own experiences.

We were all struggling without wi-fi, praying that the bunker would have some connectivity and disappointed when we arrived and all we could see was a cottage.

However, having gone below ground and explored the bunker we were hooked, we all loved it.

I like it even more every time I go back, if you're able to visit it yourself, please do so.

I never meant to write a book about it, it wasn't for another 3 years until I started writing the trilogy.

Q: What made you start writing the trilogy?

A: I never intended to write a book about the bunker, but it did make a huge impact on me and it must have been perculating in my mind over that time.

In early 2014, I'd put a bid in for a tender related to my ‘day job' (digital marketing) but I got a knock back when I wasn't expecting one.

That meant I had some time on my hands!

I'd seen a competition (Run by Chicken House at which I had passed on to my wife, my sister and my eldest child, as they'd all expressed
an interest in writing.

I decided to give it a go myself.

I'd woken up early one morning and all of a sudden the idea came to me whilst dozing in bed.

I got a very strong image of somebody being caught inside the bunker whilst their family was trapped outside.

I was struck by how terrifying that would be, so I jumped out of bed, rushed to my study, and started typing out my story.

Initially, the competition was just to write the first 5000 words.

I wrote that text, polished it and sent it off.

It was only then that I spotted the small print.

If I had any luck in the competition, I'd need to have the full book written for submission by September 2014.

So I sat down at my desk and got writing!

To be honest, I got deeply into the story and couldn't stop writing.

I wrote the entire trilogy of 154k words in 8 months, and absolutely loved being immersed in the story.

Q: How do you go about your writing?

A: I still have to work a ‘day job', so I have to fit my writing around family time and work.

I found that I could easily write 5000 words in a day once I got into my stride, so that's how I do it.

I write on days when the house is quite – the kids are at school and my wife is at work – and the minute my wife steps out of the door, I sit at my desk and I write.

The phone is unplugged, the internet turned off and I don't stop until it's done.

This is what Stephen King calls ‘the vomit draft', where you just get the story down on paper.

I have found that it takes me ten writing days to get a 50k word ‘vomit draft' of a book completed.

My wife reads along as I write, spotting the spelling mistakes and plot holes which I fix as soon as she feeds back to me.

To reach the final version, the books have through six or seven reads now, plus a total overhaul from a professional proofreader.

Q: Who designed the cover?

A: All of the covers in the trilogy were designed by Peter O'Connor from

I've been delighted will all of the covers, he does a great job of taking what's in my head and making it look amazing.

The Secret Bunker: The Four Quadrants

Q: Why did you choose to self publish?

A: I'm new to this publishing lark but I do know how to do things like building blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter sites and so on.

In fact I'm really lucky, I love all the tech stuff that has to be done.

In addition, I wanted to get my books out there as soon as possible.

I will be seeking agents and publishers, but I didn't want to wait around in the meantime, it makes sense to me to start building an audience as soon as possible.

Q: What's all this about ‘transmogrification'?

A: I was amazed as you to discover that there's a word for this!

I needed a word that was more evocative than ‘transformation'.

I can't even remember how I found it now … but transmogrification it is!

And yes, it does really exist … check out this web page.

As Dan quite rightly says, ‘This has the sound of something unpleasant that might happen to a cat.'

Q: Can we ask questions about what goes on in book 1?

A: It's better if I do that in the Q&A following book 3, I don't want to give anything away!

Q: Have you written anything else?

A: Yes, I also write ‘how to' guides on geeky topics like setting up WordPress blogs and creating Facebook business pages.

I write these as P Teague and they're part of my Stuff Made Simple series.

I love tinkering around with websites, so it's great to share all these practical tips in my guides.

Paul Teague Kindle Guides

Q: What are your writing plans after The Secret Bunker Trilogy?

A: At the moment, I'm planning to write another YA/crossover trilogy called The Grid

I'm plotting this out at the moment and hope to get writing July 2015.

Q: Can you give us a sneak preview of what happens in book 2, The Four Quadrants?

A: I can't tell you why, because I'm proud of all of the books in this series, but book 2 is my favourite.

I think it's because we get to meet so many intriguing characters in this book, and the story pivots in a way that you wouldn't foresee in book 1.

There are just as many plot twists – and yes, of course it ends on a cliffhanger – but I think that you'll really love meeting all the new characters in this part of the story.

Want to get your own question answered on this page?

Just send your question via this form and I'll be happy to answer it … so long as it gives no book 2 & 3 spoilers 🙂

Paul Teague signing books at Scotland's Secret Bunker

Click here to return to the Classified page