Tag Archives: thrillers

Interview: Featuring Co-Authors of Shadow Run, the YA Sci-Fi Thriller

For fans of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising, and Star Wars, SHADOW RUN is an addictive, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride.

“A grand space adventure, chock-full of action, battles of good and evil, love, and betrayal. The world-building is excellent…Fans of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and the Starbound series by Amie Kaufman will especially enjoy this strong debut in the YA space opera genre.” —School Library Journal

Hi friends! Random House Children’s Book imprint Delcorte Press contacted me about reviewing their new YA sci-fi SHADOW RUN and interviewing its co-authors AdriAnne  Strickland and Michael Miller in a limited online promotion. Many people know I’m a lover of all types of books, and generally with a couple of teenagers, I gather additional insight now too! As a lover of sci-fi myself in all the ways the book described I was sold on featuring it. I’ll be reviewing the copy they sent me once I get it read too. Today, I have a great interview with the authors – I’m quite impressed that AdriAnne is a commercial fisherwoman in Alaska! The concept of co-authors is also interesting. The book can be for adults or for a young adult in your life, so check it out! Enjoy the interview below and I love to hear from you, so feel free to leave comments.

Shadow Run

 

Hi AdriAnne and Michael! Welcome to Oh, for the Hook of a Book! I am a huge fan of DUNE and FIREFLY both, and yet, my teen daughter had caught me on to books like LEGEND and SIX OF CROWS so your book, SHADOW RUN, just popped at me when I read the synopsis. Where did the inspiration come from for this book?

AdriAnne: The usual sci-fi classics like Star Wars, Firefly, and DUNE were definitely inspirations, but also Alaska. I’m a commercial fisherwoman in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and that definitely worked its way into the book in the form of harvesting a dangerous energy source, a.k.a. “fishing” for Shadow. And also, we wanted to capture that “found family” feeling that doesn’t just exist on ships like the Kaitan and Serenity, but up here, where the wilderness and the low population really make for tight knit groups of friends that essentially become your family.

As I mentioned, you’re hitting all sort of decades and age groups with the comparisons. Did you keep that in mind when writing it or have you just happened to be able to target not only teens but their moms or dads into sci-fi as well?

Michael: We targeted ourselves, I think, and it turns out we love the stories as much as the age they were intended for! I don’t think we’re alone in that. I firmly believe is a good story is a good story, even if the struggles might refer more to one stage of life than another. Qole and Nev are dealing with issues of identity we typically ascribe to younger ages, but they are also grappling with intergalactic intrigue. It beats C-SPAN, what can I say.  

You’re getting some rave reviews so far! That must make you so excited. What is some of your favorite lines of praise so far from readers or reviewers?

A: That people who don’t like traditional hard sci-fi love our book. That we’ve gotten people more excited to read other sci-fi. That we’ve written characters that people can root for. Also, I think someone called Basra “Our Lord and Savior,” so that’s just hilarious/the best.

This is part of a bigger series called Kaitan Chronicles, and is book one, so when are the next books scheduled to be out? How many to do you think you’ll write? What are some of the vague ideas of where you’ll take the readers with this series?

M: The Kaitan Chronicles are intended to be about four books, although I think I’d be perfectly happy to write forty—the story ideas in this universe don’t stop coming. The next book is already written, actually, and going through copyedits right now—it should be out in spring of next year!

I really hate it when people just say, “I can’t spoil anything!” but now I see why they do––it’s tricky to provide anything of substance without giving away the good bits! We do have a definite story arc in mind, and I’m really looking forward to people realizing that story threads are getting laid now that will be important later.

How difficult has it been or is currently to write a book/series as a duo? What does that involve? Positive take aways? Challenges?

A: It’s been remarkably easy. We work together well, and also having dual POVs really allows us to run with our own voices for our characters without sounding out of sync. We generally brainstorm a lot in person, where we can gesticulate wildly, cackle fiendishly, and scribble things down, but we also do a lot of writing apart, using Google docs on smaller files and the latest MS Word for the full manuscript, which lets people edit simultaneously from the cloud. It’s been a mostly positive experience—when you’re stuck, you have a sounding board and can usually brainstorm a way out of a sticky situation in moments, when it would have taken me days and days on my own. Of course we have our disagreements on how to resolve issues or plot points, but meeting challenges like that honestly led to some of the stronger bits of the book.

What are some words of advice you have for teen writers?

A: Keep writing! Everyone wants to be a massive success the first go around but really, it’s such an accomplishment to just finish something. And don’t stop there. Keep writing, keep practicing. I know it’s cliché, but practice makes perfect. Even if you need to write two, three, four or more novels to get published, you’ll make it so long as you keep writing.

AdriAnne, you do commercial fishing you mentioned in the summer season. Does that give you plenty of time to be creative in your head with your writing? What’s it like living in Alaska?

A: I don’t have much time to do anything more than work and sleep in the summer (and sometimes not even sleep), but it gives me plenty of time to be creative during the rest of the year. It’s what let me really dive into writing full time—I’d make my living for the rest of the year in the summer, and have the rest of the year to devote to something that would take a while before it made me any money. And living in Alaska is incomparable. The wilderness, the towering, craggy mountains and raging rivers, the long, brutally cold winters and endlessly sunny summers—this place works in extremes, and I love it.

Michael, what are your hobbies? Tell us about yourself.

M: I grew up in the woods on an off-the grid homestead, which definitely led to a profound love of reading. We would go to town every few weeks and I would load up on books to last me the month. They lasted about half that. My Mom was also a big influence in instilling a love of reading in me—she spent a lot of time researching high-quality books to recommend that both fell into my interest range but were more challenging. In retrospect, I see she was very crafty.

I later became an Apple consultant. As you might guess, that means I’m a giant nerd, so my hobbies include things like board gaming, video gaming, and attempting to game the system (not that last one). But growing up in the woods also made me love hiking and horseback riding and being on the water, so I’m basically a hiking, typing contradiction.

Where can everyone find you both online?

A: As for websites, we each have personal sites (adriannestrickland.com, michaelmiller.website), but we also have a site just for the series, to which we’ll be regularly adding more nerdy content about the world—or galaxy, rather! You’ll find it at kaitanchronicles.com.

We’re also both on Twitter (@AdriAnneMS and @begemotike), and AdriAnne is on Instagram at adrianne.strickland.

Thanks so much to you for stopping by and telling us about your book and yourselves! Best of luck with SHADOW RUN and the rest of the series. 

Shadow RunShadow Run
(Book One – Kaitan Chronicles)

Delacorte Press
Random House Children’s Books
402 pages
March 21, 2017

Synopsis –

Her ship. His plan. Their survival.

 Nev just started as the cargo hauler on the starship Kaitan Heritage. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person on Alaxak to have her own ship. She’s brassy and bold, and she tolerates no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. As for Nev, he’s actually a prince in hiding. He thinks Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, but when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, he resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.

Before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive. Nev’s mission to manipulate her becomes one to save her. To survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. Nev may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power of her own–and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.

For fans of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising, and Star Wars, SHADOW RUN is an addictive, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride.

Praise –

“An entertaining intergalactic ride.” —Bulletin

“[A] well-executed sci-fi caper…full of intriguing commentary about wealth inequality and exploitation.” —Booklist

“Readers will want to join Qole’s crew.” —Kirkus Reviews

An explosive debut! Shadow Run is a high-octane space tale that brings back everything there is to love about classic science fiction—I can’t wait to see what these two come up with next!”—Lindsay Cummings, author of NYT bestseller Zenith

Purchase at Amazon and other online retailers and stores. Ask your indie bookstore and library to carry too!

Amazon

AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller Coauthor photo credit Lukas StricklandADRIANNE STRICKLAND and MICHAEL MILLER met in their hometown of Palmer, Alaska, where they agreed on 99% of book taste and thus decided to write together.

AdriAnne spends her summers as a commercial fisherwoman in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and the rest of the year writing.

Michael grew up off the grid in a homestead in Alaska and now works in IT and tech.

This is their first book together. Visit them on Twitter, AdriAnne at @AdriAnneMS and Michael at @begemotike.

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E.M. Powell, UK author of The Blood of the Fifth Knight, Stops By for Tea, Scones, and Interesting Discussion!

Hi Elaine, I’m so happy to have you stop by my friend! Quite the plane ride from the UK, but thanks so much for coming in to our snow covered little town and plopping down on my big comfy couch in my cozy library. I’ll put on the tea, what kind of tea would you drink in America…same as at home, or something new? That’s your toughest question of the day. Kidding. I’m having English Breakfast Tea with honey, but what is your pleasure? Would you like sugar and milk?

Elaine: Erin, it’s so lovely to be here! English Breakfast with milk would hit the spot. Or even a Mojito.  But probably a bit early for that. Sigh.

Erin yells from the kitchen: Oh, stay for afternoon lunch too then, I’ll make mojitos too (blueberry, mango, original…), you know they are also my fave!! Now, I’m also bringing in a plate of homemade cranberry scones, warm from the oven! I’ll be right in. (I’ll answer here to your tea comment) Make yourself at home, just don’t get any ideas about stealing my Paddington Bear sitting by you in the corner. I have an obsession.

Elaine: Scones?! Hold the cocktail- I’m going to need all the room I can get. And don’t worry about the bear. He’s already giving me one of his Hard Stares. I wouldn’t dare go near him.

Erin: Ah, here we are then. Tea, scones, and comfy socks and splendid conversation. Shall we begin?

Elaine: Yes, please! I’ve been so looking forward to this since we had our last lovely chat.

Q: The Fifth Knight, published by Thomas and Mercer, had extreme success reaching high on the Amazon charts and receiving acclaimed reviews. How has that made you feel going into the publishing of its sequel? More excited? More nervous? More confident and secure?

A: Abso-blooming-lutely petrified! I had heard of Second Novel Syndrome, in all its definitions. That a very successful debut will lead to disappointment with Book #2. That you’ll have spent years on Book #1, so you’ll have to rush Book #2. That you’ll find it so hard to write another book when faced with not just a blank screen but the weight of expectations from Book #1. Oh, and don’t even THINK about writing a sequel! They’re really hard at the best of times, let alone as Book #2. That, my dear, adds up to what I think we can call a challenge.

Powell_Knight_Cover_Template_UK.indd

Q: When you first had your idea to write a historical mystery set in the time period of Henry II, where your “detective” searches for the killer of Archbishop Thomas Becket, did you imagine a series featuring your sleuth, Palmer?

A: Not at all. I can let you and Paddington in on a secret: The Fifth Knight was meant as a stand-alone novel. My agent, the peerless Josh Getzler, suggested that I add a few short pieces that left the door open for more stories featuring Palmer. I’m so glad I followed his smart editorial advice.

Erin comments: We are also glad!! You are a good listener!

Q: How does The Blood of the Fifth Knight differ from its predecessor? What tactics did you employ to try to “outdo” the first? I have my own ideas and opinions, but I’d love to hear what you’ll say.

A:In The Fifth Knight, I used Becket’s horrific murder in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 as the spring board for the plot. It is one of the most infamous events in British history. It also provided a hugely dramatic event on which to base my novel. What followed was a pursuit of the hero and heroine by the murderers. My agent was very fond of describing it as car chases with chain mail. As I was writing a sequel, I then had to look around for material to support a novel that also fitted the time frame. And I happened on the legends surrounding Rosamund Clifford, also known as the Fair Rosamund.  She was the beautiful mistress of Henry II and she died at a young age. The legends have it that she was murdered by Henry’s jealous Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Not true, as Eleanor was imprisoned by Henry at the time. But it gave me another terrific ‘what if?’ to work with, although I couldn’t just produce another murder/chase-the-witnesses book. So Palmer, on Henry’s orders, becomes investigator-in-chief when someone attempts to murder Rosamund.

Q: You obviously do an enormous amount of research for your books. What is the best part about the research for you and on the flip side, what is the part that frustrates you, if any? What is something you came across in your research that surprised you?

A: I think most historical novelists work really, really hard on their research. We have to, if we are to credibly build our worlds. What I love about the research is the sheer fascination of it and yes, it can be frustrating when a timeline doesn’t fit your carefully crafted plot. Yet history is wonderful in that it can throw up the most bizarre events that you couldn’t make up. Such a gift to a novelist! As for surprises, finding that leopard in twelfth century England is up there.

Erin comments: That was so cool!

Q: Your portrayal of the reign and time of Henry II and his dealings with his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, was historically accurate overall. In writing your mystery, did you keep it this way due to wanting it to be historically accurate first and foremost, or was it what fit better in setting up your mystery?

A: As with all recounting of history, people’s characters, their relationships and their actions are open to interpretation. Some people are very pro-Henry, others paint him as a villain and are of the view that Eleanor was badly wronged. So my version, where she is most definitely out to get him and his throne, is simply one of many. She did take part in the rebellion against him, though! Fellow historical fiction writer Deborah Swift has described our trade as ‘Storians, not Historians.’ I think that sums it up perfectly.

Q: Where did you come up with the ingenious idea of using the menagerie that became the zoo at the Tower of London?! I loved that you utilized that, infused with your great imagination. What other tidbits can you share that didn’t make it into the book?

A: One of those research gifts! Many people who have visited the Tower of London will know that a menagerie of exotic animals was kept there, and that the collection formed the basis of what was to become London Zoo. But the first menagerie was housed at Woodstock, the hunting lodge built by Henry’s father. The historical record puts Henry at Woodstock with Rosamund. So I have the King’s mistress in the company of lions, lynxes and a leopard. (no bears: sorry, Paddington). I really wanted to make more of the winter of 1175/76, where the country was buried in snow and ice up to the roofs of the houses and many people perished. Some of that was in an earlier version. But it slowed the story too much so it had to go.

Erin comments: That might part might make a cool free short story e-book!

Q: Your characters are superb, full of depth. How do you create your characters? Outline? People you know? Long walks?

A: I’m a magpie. I pick up bits from everywhere. That covers bits I like and bits I’m less happy with. Bottom line is my characters are pure fiction, but helped out by real people I’ve encountered.

Q: What is the best part for you about writing a historical mystery? Will there be a third Palmer mystery?

A: Just the fun and sheer hard work of putting it all together. It’s so satisfying when it works. And yes, Palmer book #3 is in the pipeline. The working title is The Fifth Knight: Lord of Ireland. It’s based on John’s (youngest son of Henry II who will one day become the despised King John) disastrous campaign in (yes, you guessed it!) Ireland in 1185. Palmer is sent by Henry to keep watch on the impetuous John. But Palmer uncovers a plot by John to make his mark on the Lordship of Ireland by appalling means. John has to be stopped at all costs, with only Palmer standing in his way.

Erin comments: I knew it! I look forward to reading it.

Q: Who are some of your favorite mystery writers of old and new? What are some of the best mystery books you’ve read? Do you believe that a good writer must read often?

A: I think C.J. Sansom’s Shardlake series set in Tudor times is second to none. I’ve had a few reviews comparing me to him. (Hang on: did that bear just roll his eyes?) That’s a wonderful comparison but probably a tad generous! I started to read Agatha Christie novels in my teens and never, ever guessed who the murderer was. For writers who write contemporary thrillers/mystery/crime, I love Tess Gerritsen and Michael Connelly. And as for reading? How on earth can anybody not do it! But seriously, when I was about to read my final, edited draft of The Blood of the Fifth Knight, I read my favorite Rizzoli and Isles novel first. That, for me, is a pacing masterclass. Going back to my own work, I ask myself: ‘What would Tess do?’ It really works!

Erin comments: I didn’t mention it, but truly you are on the same level as Sansom. Don’t sell yourself short. His books are very good and his readers would love your books.

Q: Why do you think people love mystery books so much? What gives them lasting value?

A:I think people love a puzzle and they love trying to figure it out. That’s what I do when I read a mystery. And that’s what makes them so challenging to write. You’ve got to juggle your knowns, your unknowns and lay your red herrings. You must never cheat your reader. It’s amazing what you can actually get away with. I have one of my characters say something that (reading the words in hindsight) completely reveals the truth. But people don’t see it, which pleases me very much.

Q: What draws you to the medieval ages for your books and/or overall as a passion?

A: Because it is such a wild time in history. I believe it to be one of the most exciting, extraordinary and at times downright bizarre periods there is. What other period has Magna Carta, Becket’s murder, Richard the Lionheart, the Wars of the Roses, the Great Plague, the building of the greatest cathedrals, stunning manuscripts, a belief in the Devil? I could go on. And on.

Q: What other types of historical literature do you see yourself writing in the future? Will you try other genres or other time periods?

A: As well as writing Palmer’s next adventure, I’m working on a Steampunk series set in the Coroner’s office in Victorian Manchester. A Coroner’s duty is to investigate unnatural, sudden or violent death. Watch this space!

Erin comments: I will watch my inbox for news and share with readers. I’m excited for this one too!

Q: I know you are from Ireland, but live in England. Favorite place to visit in the UK? Favorite place in Ireland? Favorite place in England? Favorite place in the world? Why?

A: I love visiting Harrogate as I have friends there who are very talented on both the food and history front. Ireland? It has to be the beaches in Cork where I learned to swim. Jackson NH is pretty special, with the fabulous White Mountains nearby and crystal clear falls you can swim in. It’s even got an Irish pub. London and Washington DC are neck and neck on museums. And I love them all because of having had the best time there with my wonderful husband and daughter.

Q: As you know, we are both dessert foodies. Favorite English treat? I’ll be looking for it when I come to visit. 🙂

A: Chicken Madras, tarka dhal and nan bread. Yes, curry is the most popular dish in the UK! And there’s great marmalade for the bear. Promise.

paddington

Paddington says, “mmmm, marmalade!”

Erin comments: Well being born and living in England when I was little, my mom says my fave was blueberry buckle. I still love it, but in fact, I love curry too. Maybe this is where I get it from? And Paddington is very pleased about the marmalade.

Q: Favorite TV show at the moment, when you watch? What is a guilty pleasure? Mine is Vikings!

A: Sleepy Hollow is so, so good. They even get the Middle English in the flashbacks and spells right! Guilty pleasure is the Great British Bake Off. People bake stuff. Someone wins. That’s it.

Erin comments: I also LOVE Sleep Hollow! And ironically, Great British Bake Off. Last year or so there was an American version (though at the time I thought an American thing). Then I saw on BBC here recently, the British version. Oh, my! Cherry cake and they had me sold. I am a faithful watcher now!

Q: Where can readers connect with you best? What types of questions do you hope they’ll ask?

A: My website is www.empowell.com, where all those details are. I have a Facebook page at E.M. Powell Author. I tweet as @empowellauthor. Questions I would like are: ‘Where can I buy your book?’ and  ‘Would you like an award?’

Excuse me, why is that bear sighing, Erin? I’m joking! Seriously, I get all sorts of questions and love answering them. It’s so great to hear from readers. Without them, us writers couldn’t do what we do.

Erin: You make me laugh!!! Thank you so much for coming over and chatting with me, Elaine. It’s always a pleasure to see you and as well, to read your novels. You’re a gifted writer and a lovely person. Best of luck with your newest novel!

Elaine: Thanks so much, Erin! I had a wonderful time, as I knew I would. And P.B.: I’ve got my eye on you. Okay?

Erin: Aw, Paddington, put his little hand to his heart.

Powell_Knight_Cover_Template_UK.inddThe Blood of the Fifth Knight, Synopsis~

Publication Date: January 1, 2015
Thomas & Mercer
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 368p

Genre: Historical Thriller

A triumphant sequel to Powell’s acclaimed historical thriller The Fifth Knight. A desperate king trusts a lone knight to unravel a web of murder.

England, 1176. King Henry II has imprisoned his rebellious Queen for her failed attempt to overthrow him. But with her conspirators still at large and a failed assassination attempt on his beautiful mistress, Rosamund Clifford, the King must take action to preserve his reign.

Desperate, Henry turns to the only man he trusts: a man whose skills have saved him once before. Sir Benedict Palmer answers the call, mistakenly believing that his family will remain safe while he attends to his King.

As Palmer races to secure his King’s throne, neither man senses the hand of a brilliant schemer, a mystery figure loyal to Henry’s traitorous Queen who will stop at nothing to see the King defeated.

The Blood of the Fifth Knight is an intricate medieval murder mystery and worthy sequel to E.M. Powell’s acclaimed historical thriller The Fifth Knight.

Review Praise for The Fifth Knight

“Powell does a masterful job. Highly recommended.” Historical Novels Review

About the Author, E.M. Powell~

????????????????????????????E.M. Powell is the author of medieval thriller THE FIFTH KNIGHT which was a #1 Amazon Bestseller. Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State) she now lives in the north west of England with her husband and daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog.

She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America.

She is a reviewer of fiction and non-fiction for the HNS. Find out more by visiting www.empowell.com.

You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/heirtoaprophecyblogtour

Hashtags: #TheBloodoftheFifthKnight #TheBloodoftheFifthKnightBlogTour #Historical

#HistFic

Twitter Tags: @hfvbt

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Horror/Thriller Author W.D. Gagliani Talks About Writing Like a Film Director: Does It Work?

This afternoon I welcome to my blog the great and amazing W.D. Gagliani, the author of the Nick Lupo Werewolf Detective Series. He’s a wealth of writing knowledge (and well, on most other things as well) and he’s one of my best friends in the writing business and all around for that matter. He’s a great writing teacher and this guest article will give you a glimpse…..

A Bram Stoker Award Finalist Author for Wolf’s Trap, the first book that started it all, his series has been well-received and it isn’t over yet! He just released book five this year and is working on six. If you’ve read them you know how amazing he is, and if you haven’t, then there is always time to catch-up. He also has some other hard-noir thrillers and stories out and is a man of many writing talents. Today, he’s with us to talk about writing like a film director! In the next week or two we’ll have a PART DEUX and will feature an interview. But for now, take it away, Bill…..but don’t run too far away with my blog.

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POV in the Nick Lupo Series: Using Shifting Points of View Like Movie Directors
by Bram Stoker Award Finalist Author W.D. Gagliani

BillI’ve decided I would make a rather poor film director, yet that doesn’t stop me from writing my novels exactly as if I were directing a movie.

There’s the whole “filming scenes out of sequence” trip, which is messy and sometimes gets me into trouble, but I keep doing it. I could write thousands of words about that. In fact, maybe I will. Just as soon as I get myself out of my latest trouble.

But here I just want to explain (and explore) my obsession with being a low-rent director. I’m sure that’s what I would be. Influenced by Hitchcock, but hampered by reality and limited talent. So, no, I wouldn’t be directing any classics. But that doesn’t mean I can’t steal the movie techniques that help me tell a story more effectively. Call it an obsession if you want, but I always find myself wrapped up in a directorial mess. Maybe, who knows, it’s the only way I can work. The only way I can be forced to finish, and the only way I can best tell my story.

One of the ways I follow through on my obsessive behavior is to use a variation of a movie director’s shifting points of view (POVs). It’s one thing many beginners use incorrectly. I see this all the time – the writer lets the point of view slide inadvertently and unnecessarily from character to character in the same scene until the reader can’t quite figure out who’s seeing and thinking. The key words there are “in the same scene.” I won’t lie, some of the big bestselling authors do it, too, right in their blockbuster books. But it’s still usually a bad idea, and at least they do it more carefully than the beginners who may be doing it inadvertently. Beginners want to be in everyone’s head at all times… to the point that readers will be undoubtedly confused by the action and the thoughts sliding from character to character. (Add another beginner mistake, a few overly colorful metaphors and similes in the narration, and you have the recipe for narrative disaster.)

But I will also admit that their instinct may be partly on target, because both thrillers and horror tales are best served by multiple POVs – I believe they just have to be kept under control. I’ve always enjoyed the claustrophobic feel of a strict First Person POV in thrillers and mysteries (especially in hardboiled detective stories), but one must recognize the limitations. Choosing to tell the story that way limits what the writer can do, and what the reader can see, because the protagonist isn’t privy to any information he/she doesn’t witness or experience. It’s so limiting a POV that it must be used sparingly, maybe even lovingly and in a way that embraces the difficulties. You rarely see a strict First Person POV used in a movie because you would literally never leave the protagonist’s side, which would be difficult to sustain without causing boredom.

In my Nick Lupo series, starting with Wolf’s Trap, I made a conscious decision to present multiple characters’ points of view, taking as my model, in part, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. I liked how in that classic work each chapter was narrated from a different POV, and by labeling each section with the name of the character it’s always obvious whose head you’re in. But unlike in Faulkner’s novel, I chose to present the different POVs not as separate First Person accounts, but as Third Person limited. So in essence we look into each character’s head in an omniscient way, but not into anyone else’s within the same section. The technique allows me to create a sort of quilt or tapestry, with some sections overlapping as the same action is seen and described by different narrative points of view, while other actions occur elsewhere and are experienced by different characters – all to connect (hopefully) into a coherent whole by the end.

Occasionally I’ve taken some heat from reviewers/readers who find the jumping around confusing, especially since I also employ parallel stories along two separate timelines. One reader referred to it as (paraphrasing) authorial ADD. “For one thing it jumps around from character to character too much,” another reader complained. Well, that’s certainly part of the reason I use the technique. Whenever I’m stuck or blocked, with no clear “next move” ahead, I will jump forward and take another plot point or section from farther up the timeline (or in the past) and start fresh from that point, trusting my quilting skills later on to patch the pieces together. In essence, I’m “filming scenes out of sequence” and trusting I’ll fix it in the “editing room.”

More often than not, it works. When it does, I am rewarded with the feeling that maybe I wouldn’t be so bad a film director after all. But the process can be excruciatingly painstaking, and there’s the reason I keep saying I’ll stop doing it this way. I’ll stop with the next book.

W.D. Gagliani, Biography~

W.D. Authorpicgambit-210W.D. Gagliani is the author of the horror/crime thriller WOLF’S TRAP (Samhain Publishing), a past Bram Stoker Award nominee, as well as WOLF’S GAMBIT (47North), WOLF’S BLUFF (47North), WOLF’S EDGE (Samhain), and the upcoming WOLF’S CUT (Samhain). WOLF’S TRAP was reissued by Samhain Publishing in 2012. Gagliani is also the author of the hard-noir thriller SAVAGE NIGHTS (Tarkus Press), the collection SHADOWPLAYS, the novella THE GREAT BELZONI AND THE GAIT OF ANUBIS, and the holiday-themed short stories “The Christmas Wolf” and “The Christmas Zombie,” all available for the Kindle and other formats.

A collection of collaborations between David Benton and W.D. Gagliani, MYSTERIES & MAYHEM (Tarkus Press), is available for Kindle and all other formats. Five collaborative short stories are included, as well as one solo short story from each author, and several bonuses along with a guest short story.

Gagliani is also the author of various short stories published in anthologies such as ROBERT BLOCH’S PSYCHOS, UNDEAD TALES, MORE MONSTERS FROM MEMPHIS, WICKED KARNIVAL HALLOWEEN HORROR, THE BLACK SPIRAL, THE MIDNIGHTERS CLUB, THE ASYLUM 2, ZIPPERED FLESH 2, MASTERS OF UNREALITY, DARK PASSIONS: HOT BLOOD 13, MALPRACTICE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BEDSIDE TERROR, and ZIPPERED FLESH 2 (the last four with David Benton), and more.

He has also written book reviews, articles, and interviews that have been published in places such as THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, CHIZINE, CEMETERY DANCE, HORRORWORLD, PAPERBACK PARADE, CINEMA RETRO, HELLNOTES, FLESH & BLOOD, BOOKPAGE, BOOKLOVERS, THE SCREAM FACTORY, HORROR MAGAZINE, SF CHRONICLE, BARE BONES, and others. Also published in the Writers Digest book ON WRITING HORROR (edited by Mort Castle), THEY BITE! (edited by Jonathan Maberry and David Kramer), and in the Edgar Award-nominated THRILLERS: THE 100 MUST READS (edited by Morrell & Wagner), published by Oceanside for the International Thriller Writers. In October 2011, THE WRITER magazine published his article on writing werewolf epics.

His interests include old and new progressive rock, synthesizers, weapons, history (and alternate history, secret history, and steampunk), military history, movies, book reviewing, and plain old reading and writing. He is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). He lives and writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

You can find W.D. Gagliani online at his website www.wdgagliani.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

Newest releases is………..

Wolf’s Cut, Synopsis!

WolfsCut72lg-330resizeThe Nick Lupo Series Book Five.

Nick Lupo: A cop, a werewolf…and a target!

Homicide detective–and werewolf–Nick Lupo is hoping to finally have a chance to focus his attentions on the woman he loves, instead of the Wolfpaw mercenary werewolves who tried so hard to kill him. Lupo survived that battle–barely–and brought down Wolfpaw. But Wolfpaw was backed by a super secret group within the Pentagon whose sinister plan is already in motion. And a new enemy has set its sights on the local casino. Nick Lupo thought he was home free, but whenever he tries to get out, they drag him back in…

Wolf’s Cut is fourth novel following the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel Wolf’s Trap, so it is the fifth in the savage series of horror/thrillers about the werewolf/cop. These “North Woods Noirs” are set mostly in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, where werewolf legends abound and the moon paints the treetops silver. Warning: adult content. The next book in the series will arrive in 2015.

Wolf’s Cut is a stellar addition to Gagliani’s Nick Lupo series. An impressive and addictive read… cements Gagliani’s place at the top of the new wave of horror/crime fiction.”
–Dreadful Tales

“With his series of Nick Lupo books, W.D. Gagliani has done more than pump a little oxygen into the tired werewolf thriller. He’s resurrected the entire genre and added a rush of nitrous oxide excitement. Do yourself a favor and pick up Wolf’s Cut, a nice addition to this superior series.”
–Gene O’Neill, author of Dance of the Blue Lady

“W.D. Gagliani’s Detective Lupo series is the best of the werewolf genre. Top-notch writing, nail-biting suspense, and a ferocious mix of serial killers and werewolves… Gagliani continues to deliver fast-paced horror that will get your heart pumping. Highly recommended.”
–Brian Moreland, author of Dead of Winter and The Devil’s Woods

“Being Italian and a former cop I can relate to Lupo on many levels. The whole series is a big hit at our store with several of our staff. We can’t wait for the next book. Keep howling!”
–Tony D’Amato, Chief Armorer of The Gun Store, Las Vegas, NV

“Let out a howl, because Lupo’s back, and badder than ever!”
–John Everson, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Violet Eyes and NightWhere
Wolf’s Edge is an exciting page-turned full of suspense, mystery, and thrills. Don’t miss it.”

–The Horror Zine, on the 4th Nick Lupo novel

“Riveting, disturbing, gut-wrenching — and entertaining as all get-out — and I loved every page!”

–Jay Bonansinga, author of The Killer’s Game and co-author of The Walking Dead Series, on Wolf’s Trap, the 1st Nick Lupo novel

“Gagliani once more proves that werewolves are scary as hell.”
—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times-bestselling author of The Dragon Factory

“Gagliani has brought bite back to the werewolf novel!”
–CNN Headline News Book Lizard

“The best werewolf novel since The Howling!”
–J.A. Konrath, author of Whiskey Sour on Wolf’s Gambit

Buy on Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Cut-W-D-Gagliani-ebook/dp/B00GMKWLUE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397364156&sr=8-1&keywords=Wolf%27s+Cut

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Interview with Jonathan Moore about His Debut of Redheads, How He Writes, and His Love of Sailing

Today, I finally have my interview up with Jonathan Moore, author of Redheads, after technical difficulties last week during his launch! I’ve been dying to share it with you, as I feel Jonathan is a new author who is one to watch! If you like horror, crime, thrillers, serial killer dramas, supernatural twists, or just great literature, this book is one you must read for yourself.

You can read my review HERE if you’re curious about my thoughts on the book! But set aside some time this weekend and check out our interview, we get in-depth about his work and genres and he shares some beautiful photos of his boat in Hawaii…oh, we went sailing, didn’t you know? *in my dreams*

Redheads

 

Hi, Jonathan! Welcome to Oh, for the Hook of a Book! I’m so excited to have you here to talk about your debut novel, Redheads, as well as to introduce you to other authors and readers! What did it feel like for you to release your first book last week (Nov. 5, 2013)?

Jonathan:   Hi Erin, thanks for having me.  This is a great blog, and I’ve been following it for a while now.  Watching my book release felt great—it was something I’ve been working towards for a long time, so seeing it come together was thrilling.  The whole publishing process, in fact, has been great fun.

Erin: Thanks for following and I’m so glad you enjoy it! It’s snowing and cold here, so I definitely want to come where you are!  Let’s take a ride on the boat, drink some coffee, and discuss while I get tan in your warm Hawaii environment! I need some sun about now (Ohio doesn’t have that every day!)!

Jonathan: Get yourself settled in.  If you want something stronger than coffee, I keep cold beer on the boat, and there may be a bottle of rum in the freezer.  The boat’s name, by the way, is Pez Vela, and she’s been a good friend for a while now.  In fact, she helped me get this novel going.  Here’s a picture of her in Pokai Bay:

boat

Erin: The boat is lovely and the water inviting! Ah, I’ll have the rum with some coke, or if it is coconut rum (my fave) I’ll have with Sprite! *smile*

Q:  I know you’ve been a man of many talents career wise over your young life. Normally, knowing you now work as an attorney, I’d ask how you made the switch to writing, but I also know you used to be an English teacher! So how about you tell how writing started for you, why you chose to become a lawyer, and then why you took the dive back into a creative profession?

A: This is going to be a really long answer, so if you haven’t grabbed a beer yet, now would be a good time.

Erin: Thanks for pouring me a second of that rum…I’m all ears!

I’ve always wanted to be a writer.  From the time I was a kid—in fact, before I could spell—I’d write stories.  My first stories, when I was in kindergarten, were about a dog and a snake who were friends.  I’d like to think my stories have gotten better, or at least more complicated, since then. 

In high school, I bugged out of Central Texas as soon as I could, and went to Interlochen Arts Academy, in Michigan, where I majored in creative writing.  Interlochen is mostly known as a music school, but its creative writing program was top notch—I mean, seriously, what other high school even has a full-fledged creative writing major?

In fact, Interlochen was so great, it almost set me up to fail in college.  I dropped out of more undergraduate colleges than I’d care to mention before I found one in San Francisco that left me alone and let me write.  That was the New College of California, which sadly no longer exists.   

I graduated in 2001 with a degree in creative writing, and (unsurprisingly) no job prospects whatsoever.   I had this half-baked idea that if I studied a foreign language, I might improve my writing style by getting a different perspective on language.  So I moved to Taiwan and found a job teaching kindergarten, and spent my spare time studying Mandarin.  On the side, I tutored adults, taught high school classes, and started a Tex-Mex restaurant.  It was all good fun, but at some point I realized that with my particular skill set—i.e., making stuff up and writing it down—I’d be a great lawyer.  I went to Tulane Law School, in New Orleans.

I met my wife in law school, and she and I moved to Honolulu together after we graduated, in 2007.  Eventually we both got great jobs in the same law firm, and as things settled down, we bought the boat you and I are sitting on now—Pez Vela.

I hadn’t written anything creative in years, but Pez Vela unlocked something in me.  Here was this vessel that had been floating around the world’s oceans for years—when we bought her and cleaned her out, Maria found Thai bahts from the 1970s in the bilge—and whenever I stepped aboard and sat in her saloon, I felt this sense of history and adventure.  I’d felt  the same thing before, when I was writing regularly.  I wanted that again.  So eventually, I’d stop by the marina on my way home from work, light the oil lamp in the saloon, and sit at the table to write.

Redheads came out of that.

Erin: That is amazing! I love how your connection with the water and your boat, annd your love of books probably too, helped you reach inside yourself to challenge and pursue your writing dream!

Q:  Redheads is your first novel to be published and went live Nov. 5, published by Samhain Publishing. In your own words, can you tell us what your novel is about and where you came up with the idea of such a dastardly killer?

A:  Redheads started as a story about love and loss, and ended up as a revenge tale.  That’s probably a natural progression of human emotions, so I’m happy with it.  It’s about a man whose wife was murdered six years before the book begins.  The murder was brutal—Cheryl Wilcox was raped and eaten alive—but the police never even came close to solving it.  So Chris Wilcox rededicates his life to finding the killer.  Along the way, he discovers a bloody trail of similar, unsolved crimes, and he teams up with two other people who have lost loved ones.

When it comes to the killer in this story, there’s a bit of a twist.  I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and write something I’d never written before—and maybe in the process create something other people would pay to read.  So yes, the killer is dastardly.  This isn’t your grandfather’s Silence of the Lambs—which, by the way, is a great novel, but Thomas Harris already wrote it, and it didn’t need to be written again.

Erin: Yes, definitely for those who like the Hannibal story, but I think even MORE scary with a great twist! I also noted that in your love story within the book, I found myself thinking, even in something so bad that happened to those two, they still found love and happiness, so that out of something horrible came something good…

Q:  Your book is loaded with technical information, from police procedure, criminal behavior, technology, surveillance, etc. How did you research or come to know all this information in such a precise manner? Did you mean to write the book in this format or did it just happen this way naturally?

A:  The technical information in Redheads was a lot of fun to write.  Most writers probably have a panel of go-to people for asking all kinds of weird questions.  I’m truly fortunate, because my dad is a top-flight computer scientist, my mom worked in pharmaceutical design, my sister has a Ph.D. in ecology, my stepbrother is a commercial pilot, and my best friend is a cardiologist.  From my own job, I had easy access to learning all kinds of things about police and F.B.I. procedures, and legal issues that came up.  It was a lot of fun.

It was also totally unexpected.  My two favorite writers are Cormac McCarthy and Ernest Hemingway.   But I challenge you to imagine either Hemingway or McCarthy ever writing anything that involved DNA sequencing, computer hacking, or biometrics. 

It’s not that they couldn’t do it—clearly, either of them are capable of writing anything—it’s that those things aren’t (or weren’t, in Hemingway’s case) a part of their particular aesthetic.  When you read McCarthy and Hemingway, the natural world has huge, beautiful resonance, and comes at you uncluttered by modernity.  High tech information would just look like litter on the mountain trail.

But to tell this particular story, I couldn’t ignore that stuff.  DNA, computers, biometrics and joint intelligence task forces might not have been part of Hemingway’s artistic universe, but these were all necessary to the palette of Redheads.  And when I started writing about them, I discovered my own voice.  It was a great feeling.

Erin: So many men who write action and horror tell me they are Hemingway fans (me, I just was so tired of the bullfighting and prefer Fitzgerald)! My friend, horror author Hunter Shea, said that Hemingway helped him learn to write his action sequences. But yes, modern technology is so far advanced beyond anything anyone (other than some sci-fi authors) might have envisioned. You certainly did seem to take all the elements of things you enjoyed or were knowledgeable about and turn them into a thrill ride of a book.

Q:  How long did it take you to write Redheads? How many drafts to make sure all that detail was sewn up and loose ends completed? It seems when you get precise with details it lends also to find more fault, though in your book I didn’t seem to catch any. Did you find yourself revisiting the draft often to ensure all the technical aspects were logical?

A:  I spent thirteen months writing Redheads.  A lot of that was down time, where I was caught up with work and not writing anything at all.  I then went through several drafts while I was trying to get the thing published.  One editor, Mallory Braus, was interested enough to send me a detailed letter suggesting revisions and inviting me to resubmit.  I made the changes, but she still felt it wasn’t right for her line.  After that rejection, I took another look at her letter and did some further revisions, and that was when I found Don D’Auria, my editor at Samhain.

Erin: Honestly, I would have guessed it took you much longer! There is so much technical detail!

Q:  How did you decide to put in the supernatural element (without giving too much away of course!)? It felt very gothic by the end? That was a cool mixing of styles.

A:  Thanks!  You can call it supernatural, or science fiction, or anything else you want.  I’m not too concerned with labels.  But I decided to take the story in this direction because I wanted to push some boundaries and write something that was out the ordinary.  It was a question of “What if…?”  So it was an experiment for me, but I think it worked.  I sincerely hope readers think so, too.

Erin: I try to label everything, I am in marketing…haha! People like to identify with a product before buying it. Putting a science fiction label on it would be wrong and probably turn readers away who would normally buy it! You’re right though, it worked. So I’ll just call it what I want to….a crime thriller with a gothic twist.

Q:  Your works have been compared on some level to some very best-selling authors. Though I know everyone is an original, who do you feel best aligns with your own writing on this novel? Who are your own favorite authors and why?

A:  I love those comparisons.  Please keep them coming.  Some other super-popular writers I wouldn’t mind being compared to are: Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Elmore Leonard and Dennis Lehane.  Tell me I write like one of those guys and I’ll spend the whole day gloating over it and posting it on Facebook.

Q:  Do you consider yourself in the thriller, crime, suspense, or horror genres? Or all? Explain your answer please.

A:  I’ll follow the story wherever it goes, so I guess I’ll write in any genre that fits.  I don’t dislike genre labels—they can be very useful for marketing—but I don’t consider myself as belonging to one group and not another.  That said, I think Redheads is right at home in all sorts of genres.  It is a crime story, because there is a crime at its heart, and it delves into the procedures of solving it.  It’s a thriller, because there is so much at stake for the characters, and there is a ticking clock to find the killer before he devours the next victim (or one of the main characters).  It’s a horror novel because—let’s face it—when you have young women getting eaten, that’s a horrible thing no matter how you tell it.  It was published by a horror publisher, but I don’t think that limits this story in any way.

Erin: Your answer was what I was looking for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to fit you into one genre only, just trying to allow readers to get a feel on if they’d enjoy this type of book. Many people say to me that they could never read horror, but then they’ve been reading books on serial killers, crime, and the like. Readers get confused and I’m on a mission to inform them better so that more authors get more books sold to the right people. *smile*

Q:  Do you feel that more of the aforementioned are crossing boundaries with each other? Is horror being redefined?

A:  I honestly don’t know.  Like I said, I don’t mind genre labels, but I’m not attached to them in any way, so I don’t think a lot about definitions.  Does Stephen King write horror?  It depends who you ask.  He’s a beautiful stylist, and his novel It is a great example of a literary novel disguised as a horror novel.  Or take Cormac McCarthy—Child of God is probably the creepiest horror novel ever written, but establishment critics like Harold Bloom (who are paid to know these things) say McCarthy is the heir to William Faulkner.  So my feeling is that genre labels are simply useful for marketing—they tell you this is a book you might like, because it is sort of like other books you liked.  But that’s all they tell you; they don’t say anything about what a book actually is.

Q:  What other kinds of writing are in the works for you? Do you have another novel for us to look forward to?

A:  My agent recently sold my second novel to Random House.  That novel is called Close Reach, and will be released on May 6, 2014.  I just dissed genre labels as a way of telling you about a book, but forget I said that.  Close Reach is a thriller.  A very dark thriller.  It’s set aboard a sailboat in the Drake Passage, between Antarctica and Chile.  Terrible things happen to my characters, and I am still apologizing to them for what they had to endure.  Some scenes in that novel were so hard to write, they followed me around for days afterwards. 

I also have a third novel, which is a murder mystery set in San Francisco.  My agent and I are discussing the ending to that book now, but I hope to have it fixed up and ready to go soon.  I’m confident a publisher will like it.

Erin: I can’t wait to read both of them!

Q:  How hard is it to find time to write creatively with your busy career schedule?

A:  It’s not too hard to write, even though my schedule keeps me very busy.  Hawaii has a nice saying: we stay on island time.  So although I’m busy, I don’t have it nearly as bad as my attorney-friends in New York.  I can usually write on the weekends, and when I’m really cranking on a book, I’ll write at night when I get home from the office.

Q:  Are you a person who uses an outline or are you a “pantser?” If you don’t know what I pantser is, it is a term some of us recently identified with since we “write by the seat of our pants.”

A:  I am a panster—or a shortster, since this is Hawaii and it’s always warm.  I have a hard time writing outlines for legal briefs, so I’d never be able to do one for a novel.

Q:  You live in a paradise in Hawaii. How does this help or hinder your writing career? I would imagine it would spur creativity, but with so much nature to enjoy it would hard to be so dedicated! Ha!

A:  Happiness and comfort are totally undervalued as artistic motivators.  For me, Hawaii is extremely comfortable, and I’m lucky.   There are a few breakfast spots in Waikiki where you can usually find me with a laptop on the weekends, and I’ll be having the time of my life.  Plus, the coffee here is fantastic.

Erin: Sounds so lovely….

Q:  What are your hopes for your writing career? Do you plan to write more crime novels in which you can utilize your investigative strengths?

A:  I’d like to write and publish a novel every year, if I can.  Though Redheads took thirteen months, my second and third novels took three months each.  Like I said, I can’t write from an outline, so for me, writing is really a matter of getting hit with a whole book at once and then trying to get it all down before I lose it.  A lot of great sculptors talked about the idea of not actually creating their works, but just uncovering them from the marble.  I’m not comparing my works to Italian masterpieces, but I do feel the same way about the process: the stories are already there, and my only job is to dig them up once I find them.  Finding them is sometimes hard, but once I kick around and know there’s something there, it’s just a matter of bringing it to the surface. 

But this is all a fancy way of saying: I have no freaking idea what I’m going to write next.

Erin: HA! But I bet your subconscious does, even if you don’t think so!

Q:  Have you ever thought about writing a different type of novel, or am I putting the cart before the horse so to speak?

A: My last answer probably addressed this.  But to reiterate, I’ll write anything if I think I can get it done, and if I love it.

Q: What do you like best about writing?

A:  The whole process is fun, except for the first ten pages.  I enjoy having a project to work on, and I love the research.

Q:  Do you have any advice for any aspiring or upcoming authors? What motivation or words of encouragement can you give?

A:  Yes, I do have a little.  The writing community is a lot more friendly and giving than I ever would have imagined.  If you are a budding writer, go ahead and start reaching out to writers you admire.  You’d be surprised how many of them will reach back, and how generous they can be with their thoughts, their time and their contacts.  There are some truly wonderful people out there.  I met my agent because I met an author I’d admired for a long time at KillerCon, in Las Vegas.  I’d gone to Vegas to meet Don D’Auria, after he’d agreed to acquire Redheads for Samhain.  But then I met Jack Ketchum, who read Redheads, liked it a lot, and put me in touch with his agent.  Things really started to fall into place after that.

I guess that was more ‘publishing advice’ than ‘writing advice.’  For writing advice, I’d just say this: read as widely as you can, and then sit down and write the novel you want to be reading—not the novel you think you should be writing.

Erin: I think you were extremely lucky to get Jack Ketchum on board your work!

Q:  Your favorite place for dinner or your favorite type of food?

A:  There is a sushi place in Waikiki called Chiba Ken.  They know me well there, and usually pour the Otokayama sake before I even sit down.  And their uni nigiri is delicious.

Erin: I have no idea what any of that even is!! Go ahead, laugh…

Q: What else do you enjoy doing besides writing?

A:  I love sailing.  Readers who buy Close Reach in May will probably pick up on that.  And in December, Maria and I are going to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  That will be fun.  I also read a lot.  I just bought The Jack in the Green, by Frazer Lee, and I got books from Brian Pinkerton, W.D. Gagliani, Mick Ridgewell and Brian Moreland and this year’s KillerCon.

sail

Jonathan sailing!

Erin: That sounds like so much fun for Maria and you! I bet you find a story there! I like to read too, can you tell? I have Jack in the Green from Frazer too, and those other guys, well they are pretty wonderful too!

 Q:  I know you don’t have too much up online yet, but is there a way readers or fellow writers can contact you?

A:  I’m ashamed at how little I have online.  About six months ago, I hired a great website designer to build a site for me—I have the domain already: www.jonathanmoorefiction.com.  But I’m sure I’ve been the worst client this web designer has ever had.  He asks me to do stuff, and I just don’t do it.  He has been waiting for months for me to supply content, and patiently sends me an email and calls me every Monday morning.  At first I didn’t get him anything because I was finishing my most recent novel, and I could only think of that.  Then two of my cases started gearing up towards trial, and I just bought a new house and had to move…and….and I’m running out of excuses.  I need to get it done.  In the meantime, people can always find me on Facebook.  I’m friends with you, so if people see my post’s on you pages (Erin Al-Mehairi or Hook of a Book), they’ve got the right guy.

Erin: I’d say yes, probably should. Your book is going to be huge and people will want to connect with you and you’ll want to grow your fan base. If you need help, I’m raising my hand!

Q:  Where can your book be purchased?

A:  My book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and wherever ebooks are sold.  It is also available on the Samhain website, and can be ordered as a beautiful trade paperback, or in any electronic format.

Erin:  Thank you so much, Jonathan, for the wonderful boat ride.  I can smell the island flowers and feel the warmth of the sun in my hair. Almost makes me forget what a scary book you just published!! Kidding!  I had a great time discussing your book and your life with you. Hope to have you back in the future and best wishes your writing!

Jonathan: Thank you, Erin, for the chance to come here and talk. 

For a last comment—there is a scene in Redheads when two of the characters escape by boat to Haleolono harbor, on Molokai.  Here’s Pez Vela in that harbor:

sunset

Erin: BEAUTIFUL!!!

Redheads, Synopsis~

RedheadsA killer far worse than insane.

Chris Wilcox has been searching for years, so he knows a few things about his wife’s killer. Cheryl Wilcox wasn’t the first. All the victims were redheads. All eaten alive and left within a mile of the ocean. The trail of death crosses the globe and spans decades.

The cold trail catches fire when Chris and two other survivors find a trace of the killer’s DNA. By hiring a cutting-edge lab to sequence it, they make a terrifying discovery. The killer is far more dangerous than they ever guessed. And now they’re being hunted by their own prey.

Author Jonathan Moore, Biography~

JMJonathan Moore and his wife, Maria Wang, live in Hawaii. When he’s not writing, or fixing his boat, Jonathan is an attorney. Before completing law school in New Orleans, he was an English teacher, a whitewater raft guide on the Rio Grande, a counselor at a Texas wilderness camp for juvenile delinquents, and an investigator for a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C. He is working on getting his information up online!

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5 Star Mystery: Trial Junkies by Robert Gregory Browne. Enter to win!

Looking for a crime mystery drama to fuel your e-reader for the summer? I have just the book for you full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing: Trial Junkies, by Robert Gregory Browne.  Keep reading for a chance to WIN IT!! All you have to do is leave a comment to enter to win with your e-mail or way to contact you.

A few days ago my fiance Tim (www.timbusbey.wordpress.com) wrote a FIVE STAR review for Robert Gregory Browne’s newest thriller Trial Junkies.  You can read on to see his review and learn about Trial Junkies right here, then leave me a short comment to be ENTERED TO WIN a FREE E-COPY of Trial Junkies by Robert Browne!

Book Review – Trial Junkies by Robert Gregory Browne

 

by Tim Busbey, www.timbusbey.wordpress.com 

Penname Press/Braun Haus Media

Available now

The quote on the cover of Robert Browne’s new book Trial Junkies says, “A mystery I dare you to solve.” Well, I always love a challenge, especially when it comes to solving a mystery.

Whenever I watch shows like “Monk” or “Psych,” I always try to solve the mystery before the grand reveal at the end of the show. I’ve watched enough of these shows by this point in my life that I often have figured out the culprit halfway through the show. So with that in mind, I eagerly started Browne’s new self-published book.

With my busy schedule working a full-time job, commuting three hours a day and coaching both of my daughters’ softball teams, I don’t have as much time for reading as I would like. However, Trial Junkies was so fast-paced and so well-written that once I had started, I couldn’t stop turning the pages and I had finished the book in no time. Did I solve the mystery before the end? I’ll get to that in a minute.

Ethan “Hutch” Hutchinson is a washed-up actor who returns to his Chicago roots when his former college sweetheart who he hasn’t seen in years is found murdered. Hutch reluctantly reunites with the rest of their group of friends at her funeral. When another member of the group is arrested for the murder, Hutch and his friends band together to find the real killer before their friend is convicted. The case takes multitudes of twists and turns as the police and Hutch follow the breadcrumb trail of clues until Hutch at last discovers the horrible secret hiding in plain sight. To say any more about the story would ruin the surprises for you.

Did I solve the mystery before the big reveal? Not entirely. But I loved trying! Throughout the twist and turns, I was able to partially figure out what was going on, but not 100%. In spite of that, I was left feeling very satisfied by the ending. Sometimes, a surprise ending in a mystery feels like it came from out of left field, or, at the other extreme, it is too completely telegraphed to actually be a surprise. This falls perfectly in the middle, with just enough clues to give you a taste of what is coming without completely letting the whole murderous cat out of the bag.

Trial Junkies is a pulse-pounding thriller that is populated by real characters. Browne’s snappy dialogue and masterful storytelling makes the characters come alive. You will quickly feel as if you know Hutch and his friends and will want to fight along with them to discover the truth.

Browne has said this is the first book in a series and I can’t wait for the next one. I am eager to see what twist and turns Browne has in store for us in book two.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give Trial Junkies a 5.

Book available for purchase at:  Amazon

***********************************************************************************************************And Don’t forget to COMMENT to win!! You get ONE entry for that. If you’d like a second entry, just follow my blog and let me know in the comments. Thank you Robert for the giveaway!!

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Guest Review of Corridor, by Robin Parrish: a Mysterious YA Thriller

Guest Review Day!

by Tim Busbey – www.timbusbey.wordpress.com ~Tim’s been on a mission to write a review a day on his blog this week. Check out this review and then head to his blog to see what else he’s reviewed.

Corridor by Robin Parrish

Robin Parrish is one of my favorite authors. From book to book, you never know what to expect from him. Well, let me correct that. You know that you can expect a well-crafted story that will have you turning the pages faster than a speeding bullet. But he has written in a variety of genres – sci-fi, horror, superhero. With “Corridor,” Parrish ventures into YA territory for the first time, and the results speak for themselves. He makes the transition seamlessly, crafting a fast-paced story with characters that readers of all ages can relate to.

Troy, on the eve of his 17th birthday, awakens to find himself in a white room so bright that  he can’t even open his eyes. He has no memory of how he arrived in this blinding environment. His only companion is the girl’s voice he hears in his head telling him to run. With her help, he escapes from the white room, only to find himself in another room with another deadly challenge to overcome. This continues from room to room as Troy and his guardian angel continue to bond as she assists him in his journey through the titular Corridor.

Troy is tested both mentally and physically as he works his way through the mysterious Corridor. He faces three questions: What is the structure? What is its purpose? How does he survive it? Slowly the layers of the structure are unpeeled as Troy discovers the true purpose of the Corridor and why he was brought there. The ending is a surprise, one you will NEVER see coming. Or maybe you will, but I certainly didn’t.

Parrish does a great job of building up the mystery of the corridor and building the tension as the danger grows from room to room and the dilemmas Troy faces grow, as well. You are pulled into Troy’s decisions as he struggles over making the right decision, as we all do every day. I loved the different details Parrish chose to build into the structure of the Corridor. He uses just enough prose to help you picture how each room is unique without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.

Parrish is a Christian author, but in “Corridor,” as with all his books, he doesn’t beat you over the head with a religious message. Instead, he uses powerful imagery and allegories to relate truths in a way that pulls you in, rather than pushing away.

The book is available for the Kindle for only $2.99 and it is well worth the money. Engaging characters, a unique premise and excellent storytelling make “Corridor” a must-read for all ages.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give “Corridor” a 4.

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Introducing the Start of My Fiance’s Novel, “The Truth”

I want to take an opportunity on my blog to introduce you to my fiance, Tim Busbey. He is a freelance writer and aspiring author who plans to finish is first book, “The Truth,” this year! I’ve read up to 20 chapters so far myself and it really keeps me wanting to read it. Well, it isn’t fun you know….I mean I can’t because he hasn’t finished it yet! A great book that ties in history, secrets, paranormal, religion and science fiction makes up a great recipe for what I think is set to be a winner. With locals in India, Treasure Coast off of Florida and many more, this book travels you places in search of Truth.  I know you’re saying I’m probably bias, but truly I think it is a fast-moving thriller that is well-researched and well-written.
Below is the link to Tim’s page on Scribd, where the first 10 chapters are posted. He’d love you to read them and offer feedback. He is constantly reworking his chapters right now. Below that link is half of Chapter 1, just to give you a taste. For more information on Tim and/or his novel, go to his blog at www.timbusbey.wordpress.com
  
Check out the start of Tim’s book, “The Truth” at:
  
Chapter 1
 
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will
prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
A cts 2:17 (New International Version)
 
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State
 
Searing flames!
Flash!
Streaks of fire blazing across the skies, destroying the earth!
Flash!
The screams! The cries of anguish!
Flash!
Buildings crashing to the ground as the Earth buckles underneath them.
Flash!
Noooooooooo!´
Anne Thompson shot upright in her bed as her scream trailed off into the darkness.
What the ?

Anne quickly spun toward the voice as the darkness gave way to illumination. As her eyes
struggled to adjust, Anne saw that the voice belonged to her terrified roommate, Brandie Logan.
The dreams again?´ Brandie asked. That’s the third time this week. You’ve got to do
something about this.

Anne shook her head, trying to shake away the remnants of the now-familiar nightmares.
Anne pulled her shoulder-length blonde hair out of her face as she looked around the crowded
dorm room in Halloran Hall she had shared with Brandie for the past three months. Her heart felt
like it was about to burst out of her chest. It took her a moment to get her bearings and realize it
was just another dream. It seemed so real. But, they always did.

The dreams had started a year ago. At first, they were just an occasional annoyance that Anne
dismissed as simple manifestations of her anxiety; the kind of stress most girls her age feel over
graduating from high school, going to college, boys – the usual teen drama. Now, the nightmares
had become an almost nightly occurrence. And they were starting to take a toll on her, both
physically and mentally.

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A 2010 Thriller, Eight Days to Live, by Iris Johansen is Reviewed

I have to admit, I hadn’t read any novels of the bestselling author Iris Johansen before. Her well-known forensic character, Eve Duncan, just hadn’t come my way. I read two book jackets by her and bought them both not knowing even where they fell in line with other books surrounding her recurring characters. 

I chose to read her book, Eight Days to Live (came out in 2010) purely on the premise that the character in this book (which happened to be the adopted daughter of Eve Duncan) was an artist who gets embroiled in a mystery of monumental proportions.  Eight Days to Live was definitely a book I couldn’t put down and read through it quickly because of that. It was very suspenseful~full of intrigue, thrilling villains, heroes, paranormal and romance all rolled into one!

When Jane, the main character for this particular novel, is pinpointed by vicious killers to die on April 1 (8 days from the start of the book), she didn’t know why. All she realized was that she had painted a portrait of a man she saw in a dream and then named it Guilt.  When she has a gallery debut, an unknown business man makes an absurd monetary offer on it and the same night the gallery owner, and her friend, is violently murdered. 

As powerful men start killing those around her and come after her, she starts on a mission to find out why. She even pulls in Caleb, a “hunter” that Eve had used on a previous forensic case to find a serial killer. His known tracking instincts prove helpful, as well as his paranormal gift of being able to mentally penetrate the minds of others to get them to do exactly what he wants them to do. However, with his power comes a real desire to hunt to kill bad men and this scares all that are around him. Even with knowing this, Jane feels connected to him somehow and ultimately he helps her to see that her dreams are visions of the past. He helps her to embrace this side of her and even assists in her dream states when they are needed to find out further information. The subtle dance of romance between them in the book is very intriguing.

As Jane, Caleb, and team pursue these powerful men closer, they uncover a type of religious cult worshiping one of the most well-known betrayers in history.  The mystery surrounding the cult and Jane’s dreams are thrilling and suspenseful. This is definitely a plot you won’t want to miss.  This book is for anyone loving historical fiction, secret society mysteries, paranormal gifts, action and suspense!

To learn about the book, or more on Iris Johansen, go to www.irisjohansen.com where book excerpts are available.

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Stephen King’s Full Dark No Stars–His Newest Book in Review

I have several other Stephen King book on my shelf awaiting a read, but after reading Duma Key and Under the Dome, two of his latest books I was craving more. I heard of another new book coming out last year, so I researched it and decided to go for reading these four long prose stories first in the book Full Dark, No Stars. You never can really tell by the jacket of his book if it will be horrifyingly scary as of his earlier days or if it will be a more exploratory scribe into the depths of the human psyche. I prefer this latter. I believe he is truly at his best when he is delving into more psychological thrillers. I jumped in the book head first (not literally of course!) to see which it was.

I was horrified, in an emotional sort of way, by the first story (1922) about a family in the pre-depression era Nebraska farming town and the husband’s love of his land so much that when the wife causes him problems about it, he and his young son formulate the idea to kill her.  King’s character building and the detail really do make you feel like you are a fly on the wall, that you have some vested stake in the story and seem to be a part of it. I think that is what sometimes makes me so scared inside while reading, and with this story I felt the same. Sometimes murder can get out of control, away from the original plan that characters (and humans) sometimes concoct in their head that seem so easily done. This story was very graphic, very bloody, and very scary. It was one of those stories where he was classic King and as the characters sunk more and more into total psychosis they start talking to the dead body or themselves, or seeing things, or hearing things that may actually just be in their own mind. What happens in this story really made my skin crawl and once I saw it was so much in the character’s mind…how an experience can make you “see” things…I was shocked. The ending was instrumental and amazing. This story also dealt with the fact that when we do a bad thing, and when we bring someone else into the situation (in this case his young son) it can totally change that person’s life for the worse as it messes with their mind.

The next story, Big Driver, riveted me to the core. It hit me emotionally hard in the belly. It starts soft with a young thirty-something writer of puffy crime dramas for old ladies accepting the call to be a back-up presenter at a library. With the librarian offering to give her a faster way home, and a back way at that, the authors life is changed when she is brutally raped and thrown in a culvert for dead. Being a victim of rape myself, and an avid women’s liberator due to rape, sexual assualt and domestic violence, I was proud of Mr. King for writing this novel. He certainly got into the character’s head to show her fear, her shame and her determination. Again, her “plan” didn’t go so smooth and finding things out along the way led to even more fun turn and twists in the story.  Sometimes a horrific crime as such happened to the young woman sends one on a certain cycle of investigation and revenge that is truly deadly. This story wasn’t psychologically scary, just emotionally deep and draining. I felt she was justified by the end however, and though a life is a life, sometimes some don’t deserve to live. Like rapists and their accomplices. One more note on this book, King certainly rings true to his psychological style once again with the character’s mind talking to things like tomtoms, their pets, dead bodies….hahahaha.  It seems so absurd, but clever way to get us into the mind of the character and make the revenge or killing somewhat comical!

The story, Fair Extension, is short but the proverbial make a deal with the devil story based on a relationship that most of us have with someone we know in life, the person who always gets the fair break, the woman, the perfect life. A man is dying of cancer and he agrees to pay the creepy man to take away his cancer and also in return for his friend’s life (who used him his entire life and got all the breaks) to be destroyed. It makes you think too how fast your life can turn around, for the good or the bad, and how we shouldn’t focus (covet) on what others have and be more happy with we have in life so that we don’t turn into bitter-ridden and revenge-driven people.

The final story was my favorite and it was called A Good Marriage.  In the Afterward, King mentions that he writes this loosely based on something true that happened in the news, the serial killer Dennis Rader (BTK killer) and his wife who was married to him for 34 years and claimed she did not know. He stated that many people commented that they didn’t see how she could not know all that time living with him. King writes the story from the aspect of the wife of a serial killer that doesn’t know he isone  and how this might happen. He really develops the character well from the mind of the main character (the wife) and we can see how she might not know but truly feel she has a good marriage and truly loves her husband. In the story, she discovers his secret and it unravels from there as he immediately knows that she knows and wants to start over. He promises not to ever do this awful bondage and biting and killing again, blaming it on the ghost of his dead childhood friend, but she knows better. When the opportunity arises, though she loves the husband she knew, she pushes him down the stairs instead of turning him in to save their two children from a life of “my dad was serial killer media-hype.” It was an emotional and sad story that really delved into the emotions of how a woman might feel if ever having to deal with something like this happening. Her total disgust with what he had done knocking up alongside her true love for the man she knew causes her to mourn with double intensity.  With this story and Big Driver, I am really proud of King for reaching deep into the mind of a woman and emotionally gripping us with their characters.

I left theentire book feeling emotionally drained in a way. He is so detailed and so good at bringing you into the character that I think you sometimes feel you have gone through what the characters have gone through. The stories do bring real raw emotions to the forefront and deal with the true emotional nightmares that do scratch this earth and the mind of many.

In the afterward I was surprised to see him write that as I reader I should feel that these might leave me emotional as these raw feelings were harsh and stemmed from the dark surfaces of the human mind. King mentioned that he himself had moments of having a hard time dealing with some of the emotions while writing the book. I am thankful that he wrote the afterward and explained his thoughts behind some of the stories. I love how he is so creative when he writes and plays with the names of characters (turn around rats or devil) and the locations, his game of repeating slogans and words for effect. This also makes the reading tempo go quickly.

These stories are a gripping, amazing ride through human nature and pysche. I was impressed and totally recommend this read to anyone who can tuck themselves away for a day or two to read this title. Believe me, you’ll want to keep reading till you finish.

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Linwood Barclay’s newest book is a total winner!

Wow. I’d been searching for an un-Stephen King book to read from my bookshelf for a few months. I kept trying to pick one up and start it, to just put it down. That happens to me sometimes if it doesn’t grab me from the beginning. I had purchased some new books that looked good many months back, but one in particular kept calling to me to read it.  The book was Linwood Barclay’s newest book, Never Look Away.

Touting itself as a thriller, it certainly lives up to that description many times over. Quickly starting out with a small town New York journalist turning up information about a private prison looking to be built in town, it twists immediately to a family trip (his wife, Jan and their 4 year old Ethan) to the new amusement park that ends up with the almost kidnapping of his son and the disappearance of his wife. Soon suspected in her disappearance, he sets his own journalistic skills to the road to try and uncover what happened to his wife of six years.  What he is soon to find out is that his wife is not who she says she is, but is using the identity of a childhood friend of hers that died tragically when they were in kindergarden.  From then, she certainly is not who she seems. However, the plot thickens as all these other players come into light.  In the end, she certainly realizes that she truly is not who she thought she was, although much too late. The story is also about emotional redemption to me and the realization of true happiness and love is not found in money.

The other thing I liked about this story is the description of small town newspapers, their cuts, outsourcing, doing only politically correct stories in order to keep their door open.  The character’s journalistic style is one that all fellow journalists can appreciate (this intrigued me as I have a bachelors in journalism and hold true to the dying career field) and the well-rounded depiction of his character truly was a welcome addition to the story.

I picked up this book a few days ago and it’s 300 pages took me no time to read as I didn’t want to put it down. It’s one of those you just don’t read before bed, but you take it with you in the car (if you are in the passenger seat of course) and sit down to read even while watching a television show you like. It truly grabs you and keeps you investigating right along with the main character.

I had never read any of Linwood Barclay’s (www.linwoodbarclay.com) books before, but be certain that I’m going to add a few more to my list to read very soon. A super read that kept me guessing and thinking, I truly enjoyed it.

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