Augustine Sam, author of Conspiracy explains how he pulled off his career by writing in English from Italy

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has made this resumption quite an auspicious one for me as I can restart with the
author of one of the best books I
ve reviewed recently. Today I’m very
lucky to be interviewing Augustine Sam, author of The Conspiracy of Silence

v Hi 
Augustine, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Augustine:      Thanks for having me. It’s quite
an honor to be given an opportunity to talk about my work.
v Tell us a little about yourself and your
Augustine:      I am an Italian citizen of
African descent. I’m a journalist by profession, a bilingual poet, and a
novelist. I was formerly Special Desk editor at This Day newspapers, an African
daily first published with the Financial Times of London, I later became
correspondent for central Europe. I’ve been involved with the art of
storytelling in one form or another ever since I was a kid. While still in
school I wrote plays for radio; I also scripted and voiced a satirical radio
program called “City Caravan” that was quite successful for a few
v So, what else have you written?
Augustine:      Well, apart from the radio
plays, I’ve written short stories for magazines. And I’ve published poems in
two international anthologies: The
Sounds of Silence
& Measures
of the Heart
. My contest entry in the North America Open Poetry
Contest, Anguish & Passion,
was adjudged winner of the Editors’ Choice Awards sponsored by the National
Library of Poetry, USA. I am also the author of Take Back the Memory, a contemporary women’s fiction, which was
awarded a 5-star medal by
Readers’ Favorite. My second book, Flashes of
, a collection of poems, was the 2015 International Book Award
finalist. The Conspiracy of Silence
is my latest work.         
v Where can we buy or see them?
Augustine:      I have a blog –
– where I post stuff about my writings, poetry, articles, and wisecracks. My
books are available in all major online bookstores like Amazon, Barnes &
Noble, etc. For The Conspiracy of Silence,
the following link is global – It works
equally in the U.S., U.K., India, Canada and so on. Same goes for Take Back the Memory on this link:
and for the poetry collection, Flashes of Emotion. The books may also
be purchased directly from the CreateSpace store here:
Readers who
also enjoy visuals may visit my YouTube channel –
– for movie book trailers of my novels. Interestingly, excerpts of The Conspiracy of Silence can be read on
my website (see link below) or on where readers have a rare
chance of taking in the “story behind the story” on my current book
buble at this link:

v Give us an insight into your main
character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Augustine:      In The Conspiracy of Silence, the main character is Rita Spencer,
a young defense attorney who shied away from the spotlight until her boyfriend’s
indictment for murder threw her into the very limelight she dreaded. By an
uncanny twist of fate, she stumbled on an important piece of evidence that turned
out to be a game changer. Spurred by the information in her possession and the riveting
legal tricks she had learnt from her boss and mentor, she embraced the
challenge with determination. Despite personal issues with her boyfriend, a
Hollywood megastar (who clearly lived in a glass house and should never throw
stones), she went to great lengths to outwit diabolical forces in order to save
him from the murder rap. Now, what makes her special is not just her feminine
grace but her courage as well and the mesmerizing way she transformed herself
from an underdog into a player with an ace, as was evident in the epic
courtroom showdown.
v What are you working on at the moment?
Augustine:      I’m currently working on the
first part of a suspense trilogy that I’ve been developing for some time now.
It’s a Literary piece that runs like a fast-paced thriller, imbued with all the
elements of mystery. But I’m afraid I can’t give out the details yet, I hope
you understand.          
v What genre are your books?
Augustine:      Well, The Conspiracy of Silence is a thriller, a genre I really feel at
home with, though my debut novel, Take
Back the Memory
, is a contemporary women’s fiction because of the nature,
and particularly, the evolution of the story. Of course, it has elements of
suspense and romance in it. But I’m also a poet, so that puts me squarely in
three genres.           
v What draws you to this genre?        
Augustine:      I love poetry because it helps
bring out thoughts and expressions in ways that other genres suffer a
limitation. And I’ll say what draws me to the thriller genre is its rousing and
fast-paced nature that kind of helps the author simulate the reader’s moods by
providing that sudden rush of excitement, and exhilaration that eventually
drive the narrative. By its nature, the genre spawns surprise and a high level
of anticipation as well as an ultra-heightened expectation. I think that though
we read thrillers sometimes to ‘escape’ and/or to be entertained, we also read
them to be informed because thrillers, in manifold ways, give us valuable
insights into many of life’s realities.         
  v Which
writer inspired you to this genre?
Augustine:      In poetry, I have always been
inspired by the writings of Oscar Wilde but no particular writer inspired me to
the thriller genre though I used to be fascinated with the crime novels of
James Hadley Chase and the thrillers of Frederick Forsyth and Robert Ludlum.           
  v Do
you expect The Conspiracy of Silence to be made into a movie?
Augustine:      I’d really love that. But at
the moment I don’t have the right contacts to enable me achieve that.           
v Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the
lead character?
Augustine:      I would cast Jennifer
Lawrence or J
essica Alba as Rita Spencer and Blair Underwood as Benjamin Carlton, Vera Farmiga as Susan Whitaker, Bruce Willis as Governor Whitaker and Danny Trejo as Manuel Ernesto Rodriguez. (Yeah,
dream on…haha)

  v Did
you feel that the disguise of Susan Whitaker could have been more convincing? I
mean does eye and hair color necessarily disguise someone? Please correct me if
I went wrong somewhere.

Augustine:      Of course, eye and hair color alone can’t be an
effective disguise strategy especially for someone under public scrutiny. The
character of Susan Whitaker did not rely on eye and hair color to disguise
herself. As a public figure who sometimes needed to go somewhere incognito, she
used unconventional dress codes to disguise herself but that had nothing to do
with her transformation from one personality into another. Of course readers of
the book would note that in her revealing encounter with Carlton in Chapter 17,
she revealed that she’d had several plastic surgeries that had helped in her
various transformations from Lindsay Miller, first into Sally Gordon and then
into Susanna Hernandez, a fashion model, and finally into Susan Whitaker. But
Carlton remembered Lindsay Miller as having green eyes, which he thought should
have remained the same in spite of the plastic surgeries. That’s when Susan
told him about the contact lens and the bleached hair. So, you see, those were
not the main elements of her disguise; she altered her physical appearance with
every new personality she transformed herself into. I hope this clears up any
misunderstanding about the character’s evolution and habit.      
Oh, so I missed out the plastic surgery
part somehow. I apologize.
v Moving on, How much research do you do?
Augustine:      A lot. I am, first and foremost, an investigative
journalist, so research is the bedrock of my work and that applies to all my
other my creative endeavors as well.   
v Do you read much and if so who are your
favourite authors.
Augustine:      Yes I read practically everything I can lay my hands
on, both fiction and non-fiction. My favorite authors are Oscar Wilde,
Nathaniel Hawthorne (author of The
Scarlet letter
), Umberto Eco (author of The
Name of the Rose
), Arundhati Roy (author of The god of small Things), and Frank McCourt (author of Angela’s Ashes).   
Good to hear that you liked Arundhathi
Roy because she is an Indian, moreover a Keralite, which I myself am.
v  For
your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Augustine:      I don’t have a preference per se. I read books in
any form that’s available.   
v What book/s are you reading at present?
Augustine:      I have just taken a break from re-reading some of my
favorite classics, like Edgar Allan Poe’s works, so as to concentrate on my
writing. I usually read less when I am working on a new novel.   
v Do you proofread/edit all your own books
or do you get someone to do that for you?
Augustine:      I do as much proofreading as I can but like every
decent author, I always have a professional editor work on it before
considering it done.   
v Do you let the book stew – leave it for
a month and then come back to it to edit?
Augustine:      Yes, I do that but not only with a finished work.
Sometimes I “walk away” from a chapter for a while so that when I
come back to it, I can view it with “a reader’s eye” and possibly
spot any structural weakness. I prefer to do my own critique/editing before
submitting the work to a professional editor.   
v Would you or do you use a PR agency?
Augustine:      I do not use one at the moment but I might consider
it in due course.   
v What’s your view on social media for
Augustine:      I do not really know how effective social media is
for marketing but in terms of creating visibility, it helps a lot.   
v Which social network worked best for
Augustine:      That, I am unable to determine at the moment, I
suppose because I haven’t yet succeeded to generate the right kind of
v Did you do a press release, Goodreads
book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
Augustine:      I announced the release of the book in advance to many
people by mail, did a cover reveal on social media, as well as a virtual book
tour when it was released. I believe it generated a buzz, now I’ll wait and see
if it’ll generate sales too.   
v Did you get interviewed by local
press/radio for your book launch?
Augustine:      No, unfortunately, I didn’t do interviews on the
local press/radio. I have the singular disadvantage of living in Italy and
writing in English, so that penalizes me locally.   
v How can readers discover more about you
and your work?
Google +:             
Amazon Author Page: 

Book Links:
Amazon global links:
Conspiracy of Silence
     Take Back the Memory
Flashes of Emotion       
Barnes & Noble: 

v Thank you very much for taking the time
out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Augustine:      Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity.   
Other Books by the Author:

Recipient – Readers’ Favorite 5-star seal                             


International Book Award Finalist
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