Tag Archives: thrillers

Interview: Michael Drakich, Latest Release “Lest The Dew Rust Them”

DSCF08011From the author: “No awards, no accolades, no writing degrees or diplomas, only a deep rooted love of reading and writing. You can find me at Goodreads.”

Lest The Dew Rust Them is a thriller released on February 23, 2013. Blurb: “Terrorism in America has a new game…decapitations!”

Cover

Description: “Homeland Security Director Robert Grimmson faces the task of catching five men in New York City. They call themselves the Sword Masters with a single minded plan of terror through decapitations.

Barely has the task begun when a new arrival at JFK is a man importing thousands of swords! Alexander Suten-Mdjai is a trainer in the deadly art of swordsmanship and Robert cannot help but believe there is a connection between him and the Sword Masters.

As he goes about the task, each step in his search is made more difficult through the interference of politicians, the media and his own government. Robert’s examination constantly draws him back to Alexander who regales him with a tale of swordsmanship from his lineage featuring events of mankind’s bloody past and often oddly having a connection to the case before him.

With the clock ticking as New York collapses into a deep panic, he must catch the Sword Masters before it is too late!”

INTERVIEW

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I consider myself a speculative fiction author as I write mostly science fiction and fantasy. My first two novels were exactly that. My first was a science fiction adventure entitled, Grave Is The Day. The second is an epic fantasy entitled, The Brotherhood Of Piaxia. Saying that, I have strayed just a little with my most recent release, a thriller entitled, Lest The Dew Rust Them. I’m currently working on two new novels, another science fiction entitled, The Infinite Within, and an epic fantasy entitled, Demon Stones.

As a youth, I grew up in the sixties and seventies when science fiction was entering its heyday. Authors like Isaac Isamov, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke were filling the market with great reads. Fantasy was also making itself known. Already out there was J. R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings, but a number of new authors, Terry Brooks and Stephen R. Donaldson for example, were making an impact. Needless to say, their works had a profound impact on me and why I chose the genre’s that I did.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Strangely enough, it arose out of reading what I considered a horrible novel. I have a habit of visiting the large Chapters/Indigo bookstore at the major mall. They have a Starbuck’s right in-house. My usual modus operandi was to buy a large vanilla almond latte and peruse the mark down shelves for something to read. Often, the book I ended up buying was cheaper than the coffee, but I digress.

Some seven years ago I picked up a novel that was part of a very successful epic fantasy series. It is always my habit to read in its entirety any book I purchase. This one was a task. I found it abysmal. No sooner had I finished the book when what to my surprise, they had made a television serial out of the series. I was flabbergasted.  If what I considered a very bad novel could have such success, then anybody could do it. I sat down at my computer to prove it. On Monday, February 20, 2006, at 5:23:53 PM, I began my writing career.

Over the next ten months I kicked out my first novel. Feeling like a proud papa I showed it to family and friends. The lukewarm reception it received was enough to tell me the truth. It was crap. But in the meantime, what had happened was I had been bitten by the bug. I wanted to be a writer. I dedicated most of my spare time to joining a number of online workshops and honed the craft. The results are the novels I am producing today. I’m proud to say they are being well received and getting glowing reviews.

Do you remember the first novel you read?

Amazingly, the answer is yes. I want to qualify it as not including children’s books such as the wondrous works by Dr. Seuss. I was ten years old and in the school library I chose Moby Dick by Herman Melville as my first reading project. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Bickerton, advising against it as being too difficult for a youth of my age. I set out to prove her wrong.

Your Writing Process

What excites you about writing?

Without a doubt, it’s the entire creation thing. You start with an idea and over the next several months you expand it into something formidable – a complete novel. If you know Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, then you can appreciate how the pinnacle, Self-Actualization, is achieved through writing. It is a most rewarding experience.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Be prepared for the long haul. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t take short cuts. They all end up in dead alleys. Don’t get discouraged. There are many roadblocks you will have to circumvent. I like to think of the character, Captain Peter Quincy Taggart, from the movie Galaxy Quest and his famous quote, “Never give up! Never Surrender!”

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?

I don’t think you can pinpoint a specific amount of time. Different novels are different lengths and I usually only write about fifteen thousand words a month. I still do have a full time job as other than a writer. Using my current release, Lest The Dew Rust Them, as an example, including the editing process, it’s about eight or nine months.

Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?

There is a trend in speculative fiction for writers to write series. They are all bent on producing the next best trilogy, or quadrology or octology or whateverology they can produce. As a reader, I find it most frustrating to read a novel and discover it’s the first part of a series where the rest of the books have yet to be written or released. I’ve decided to make my novels stand alone. Saying that, my current work in progress, Demon Stones, is set in the same world as The Brotherhood Of Piaxia, but one would not have had to read both. The links between the two are small.

What would you like readers to know about you the writer?

My style. My editor describes me as an easy style. Simply put, it flows. I think one of the most distinctive things about it is my practice of never using dialogue tags. Instead, when necessary, I use actions to identify speakers. It gives the reader a visual as to what is occurring during the dialogue.  Filling up a novel with a number of – he said – she said – is disconcerting to the reader. And don’t even get me going on descriptive dialogue tags! If you are unable to portray the way a character says something without having to use words like mumbled, whispered, screamed, and taunted, or whatever, you need to hone your craft. It disturbs me to see their use becoming more prevalent in writing today. It’s the lazy way out.

Your Books

When a new book comes out, are you nervous about how readers will react to it?

When I released the first novel, absolutely. I’m only human in looking for acceptance. In the early days of learning the craft of being a writer I suffered my share of indignity from those critting my work. It was, at first, a hard pill to swallow. My apologies for the cliché but I think it is the most appropriate term I can use. Now, I’m no longer so concerned. I have faith in my work as a result of the good acceptance of my earlier novels. With success comes confidence and with confidence comes the strength to write even better.

What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

This is an important issue to me when writing. I have always recognized the order in the title, science fiction. “Science” is the first word. I want my science fiction to have some measure of believability. I am an avid watcher of the science channel, the NASA channel, and the history channels. They are a great source of ideas and information. Programs such as “Through The Wormhole” are filled with mind bending concepts.

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?

I haven’t really ever found a problem with my muse. Whenever I sit to write I am able to roll out the prose without having to wait for my muse to kick in. As to deadlines, I like to think of an entertaining quote from the author, Douglas Adams. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I believe characters are everything. As a writer it is imperative to get the reader to emote with your characters. Failure to get this connection is certain doom for your novel. They must love them, hate them, and want to be them. Understanding this concept is what drives how a character is portrayed. I visualize how I want the character to be perceived then drive the makeup of that character in the direction needed. I would be lying in saying that is the be all and end all of their makeup. In some, I insert certain attitudes to resemble my own. Call it a weakness.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters?

Normally, no, but in Lest The Dew Rust Them, it was a challenge. The diversity of the cultural backgrounds required a lot of research in selecting names. All I can say is “Thank God” for Google.

Which of your stories would make a great movie?  Who’d play the lead roles?

I believe they all would. I have even had reviewers comment so. Rather than address all three I would like to keep my focus on the new release, Lest The Dew Rust Them. The three central characters are Homeland Security Director Robert Grimmson to be played by Tom Hanks, lead terrorist David Crombie by Leonardo DiCaprio and enigmatic sword trainer played by Johnny Depp.

Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?

Not a character, but a name. Early in my writing career I wrote a short story entitled, The Intrepid Explorer. The main character was named Bartholomew Higginbottom. Since then I have reinvented this character in a number of ways to appear in my novels – sometimes as a cameo, sometimes a major character. Each reincarnation is unique. It’s just a little quirk of mine.

Other works by the author:

Grave Is The Day CoverMDRAKICH COVER 2

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Filed under Interviews, Suspense/Mystery, Thriller, Writers and Writing

Terminal Departure: A Cleo Matts Novel by Joe Crubaugh

Review: The majority of the time, I do not read other reviews about a book I am in the processing of reviewing, but in this case, I wanted to gain as much objectivity as possible.  I personally found many of the descriptions odd for the character or situation being described, and this distracted me often throughout the book. I would have preferred more of a streamlined version especially during crucial scenes or when action was taking place. The author does have a distinctive, dialogue-heavy style that might certainly appeal to some readers, and while others have described “Terminal Departure” as witty in the turns of phrasing, that aspect didn’t work for me. Sense of humor can and often does vary from culture to culture, as well as personal tastes.

Very pro-American, with a great deal of action and explanations on topics of everything from redheadedness to possible species and their populations throughout the universe or mattresses, the reader is taken on a wide-ranging “trip” including aliens, undercover operatives, deadly plots and all with a dash of romance. I particularly liked the part with the aliens and wish there had been more, yet it’s a fast moving story overall, which compelled me to continue reading. I would recommend “Terminal Departure” to those looking for an off-beat, quirky thriller, and I believe there is second Cleo Matts book in the works.
Description: In the first of an exciting new series, hotshot covert agent Cleo Matts goes to war against an international cabal of the influential elite.

While working desperately to thwart the assassination of a highbrowed microbiologist, Matts runs into scorned Hollywood actress Julia McMichaels. Romantic sparks fly, but there’s a bomb on the plane, aliens outside their window, and a CIA hitman in seat 13-C.

Though they manage to survive the doomed flight, little does Matts know he’s at ground zero of a germ-warfare conspiracy approved by the President of the US.

From the back streets of New Orleans and the corridors of NASA to the super yacht of a gigolo Saudi prince and a showdown in a raging ice storm, the laughs, chases, and shoot-outs come fast and furious in this balls-to-the-wall espionage action thriller.

  • Kindle Edition
  • Published: July 4th 2011
  • ASIN: B005AJBC9O
  • Source: Author

Author Bio:

 

Joe Crubaugh is the author of thriller Terminal Departure: A Cleo Matts Novel, and many intriguing articles posted on his blog, Hard-boiled Dreams of the World.

When he’s not writing about himself in the third person, Joe spends weekdays masquerading as a software consultant in the ship, plant, and offshore industry.

Joe was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama with his wife, three children, and a couple of dogs. At this very instant, he’s working on the next Cleo Matts novel and sliding around the kitchen floor in his socks.

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Author Interview & Review of Brian Springer’s “Highway to Vengeance”

Review: Volume One of Thomas Highway Novels. Whether it’s about Navy SEAL training or what a body does as it dies, when the extra steps an author takes to make sure his facts are as accurate as possible is obvious, it’s a special thing. There’s always the other side of the coin, making sure the reader is not flooded with too much superfluous information, but I greatly appreciated the authentic voice. For me, it showed absolutely showed this author is serious about his craft, and he means business just like the main character Thomas Highway.

“Highway to Vengeance” had the phrasing and euphemisms associated with “avenge the fallen” type books, so fans of the genre might be pleased with that aspect of Springer’s tale. The main character, Thomas Highway, is presented in such a way you see the human side of him also, not only a man willing to kill those responsible, outside the boundary of law, when his wife is murdered. He remains a sympathetic figure throughout, with a quiet charisma that grows on you. One thing I would have preferred, in this dialogue heavy first person POV, was to have scenes and personalities develop more through description of behaviors than descriptions of actions. Especially at times when high tension or great suspense is presented, too many details can be distracting.

Springer kept up a steady pace of action and methodical progress as we followed Thomas Highway’s path of vengeance and created an anticipation that is unique for me: I was curious about what happens next. We know this is the first volume in a coming series, and Springer really made me want to watch Highway’s evolution. We’ve seen him struggling with his wife’s murder, seeking out and killing the bad guys (and girls), and finally in the end, getting the SOB behind it all. He’s grown as a person, he’s smarter, harder and even more seasoned. And where will he go from here? I’m sure Brian Springer will tell us. “Highway to Vengeance” has a more common theme, like many suspense thrillers, but was very successful in creating a main character people will want to get to know further.

 

Published: March 29, 2011

Publisher: Ann Egan Publishers

Available at Amazon in print and Kindle ,and Smashwords.

Source: Author

To learn a little more about the author behind the thriller, here’s our interview, but you can always contact the author through his website listed below. 

Brian Springer in his own words:

 

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I started off writing supernatural thrillers with a heavy horror element. After I landed an agent, however, he wanted me to write crime thrillers with no supernatural elements, so I did. Three years and two books later, he was unable to land a deal with a publisher so we went our separate ways.  I self-published the crime thrillers I wrote for him but have since gone back to my first love, writing supernatural thrillers. They just offer so much more freedom and the opportunity to talk about issues that matter to me the most; life and death, belief and unbelief, mankind’s purpose (or lack of one) on this earth. It’s much easier to delve into those subjects with a broader canvas to work with. Limiting yourself to the “real” world is just so damn, well, limiting. Ideally I’d like to marry the style and setting of a crime thriller with the subject matter of a supernatural horror novel.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

It was actually in class while getting my MBA. I’d always been a serious reader, but it wasn’t until we were in the middle of a three-hour long discussion about what would make the perfect handheld device (this was way back in 1997) that I realized that I wanted no part of the business world. So I decided to write a book. My first book, a really bad political thriller modelled loosely after George Orwell’s 1984, was written during the year and a half I was getting my MBA. Mostly in class.

Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?

I’ve got a blog that I don’t write nearly often enough. It’s called the BS Book Blog. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter (brianspringer13) and my website can be found here: Brian Springer.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Dan Simmons is my idol because of his effortless weaving of literary elements into his novels and his willingness to buck the establishment and write in multiple genres. I grew up on Stephen King and Clive Barker but have gravitated more towards crime novels in my later years; Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos and Michael Connelly are always solid reads. And George RR Martin is the king of fantasy. Also a nod to Joe Haldeman.

What are your favorite genres to read?

I don’t read genres as much as I read authors. I’ll read crime, horror, fantasy, science fiction, straight thrillers and even some literary novels if the writing is good enough. I’m not a big believer in genres; I understand their necessity but I think they serve as artificial inhibitors. I want a good book, period.

Why do you write?

Multiple reasons: To exorcise my demons. To make sense of the world and ultimately the universe. To keep my mind occupied. To escape from the real world.

What excites you about writing?

 The ability to work things out. I’ve got so many conflicting ideas rummaging around in my head, fighting for priority, that the only way I can organize them is to put them down on paper. And then to see what I’ve written and how it all works together, that’s exciting.

What kind of research do you do for your books?

Depends on the book. For Highway to Vengeance I spent a good deal of time watching documentaries and reading about SEAL training so I’d get the details right. The last group of people you want to piss off are SEALS. Straight thrillers have a lot more technical elements to research; guns, the technological capabilities of the government, layouts of safehouses and heavily fortified compounds, that sort of thing. Most of it comes from the internet but I have a few friends in the military and intelligence communities that allow me to bounce ideas off them. The supernatural thrillers are more off-the-cuff. But most of my supernatural stuff is based in mythology, so I’ve done a lot of research there. Mostly from books but also online. But for both I like to do a lot of geographical research. I like to get a feel for the location I’m working in, even if I scramble some of the specifics to fit my story. On location, if possible. Google if not.

Do you currently have any works in progress?

Yes, two different ones. Both supernatural thrillers, one about a girl with mental abilities that escapes from a government program and goes on the run to seek out someone that can help her figure out her purpose. A quest-type novel. The other one is about an eternal warrior that’s spent the last 2000 years training for a specific reason, only he doesn’t know what that reason is. Sort of an unholy mish-mash of Highlander and The Bourne Identity and The Dark Tower. Both books take place in the same “universe” and may even be part of the same cycle of stories, I haven’t decided yet. Hell, they might even end up as parts of the same book. It just depends on how it plays out.

What would you like readers to know about you the writer?

Wow, a tough one. I guess I’d like my readers to know that I’m very down-to-earth and approachable and truly want to hear from them, both the good and the not-so-good comments. I’m just a normal guy with a screwed-up head, not some psycho artist with a superiority complex and a holier-than-thou attitude. I do this because I’m compelled to, but also because I want to allow people the opportunity to catch a glimpse at a world-view that they might not ordinarily take the time to consider. Also that Brian Springer, the writer, is far different than Brian Springer, the person. All the thoughts and attitudes and philosophies in my books come from the characters themselves and not me. Please don’t confuse the characters with the writer. They are not one and the same.

A big thanks to Brian for taking the time to share more of this thoughts and writing process with readers!

Other titles by Brian Springer, Blood Money, also available through Amazon and other distributors.

Description: “In a world of slippery justice and bankrupt morals, Greg Kelton is an anachronism; a vigilante-for-hire who would be far more at home in the Old West than modern day Southern California. Despite his proclivity for operating outside and even above the law, Kelton is a brutally honest man who only takes on jobs that are in line with his strict moral code, often to the detriment of his own pocketbook.

When Kelton is approached by an old friend with an offer to rescue a beautiful female biologist named Jessica Robbins from federal custody, he accepts without hesitation. They quickly finds themselves on the run from the government, in a race to keep Jessica’s latest discovery, a vaccine for the AIDS virus, from getting squashed.

As the chase continues through Disneyland, Death Valley and finally culminating in the tunnels under Las Vegas, Kelton finds himself growing more attached to Jessica with every passing moment, forcing him to face a past that has left him a fractured, wounded man in order to expose a conspiracy that could change the world as we know it.

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Interviews, Reviews, Suspense/Mystery

Dangerous Times by Phillip Frey

Review: The descriptions of the character’s driving, streets, turns and buildings, or the settings in which he finds himself helps set the tone and mood of the story. Frank Moore is direct and brutal, yet I found him believable and even sympathetic to a degree because he does some of the acts that might cross our minds to do: kill the unrepentant druggie and rid the world of one more useless drain on society. Sometimes the detachment left me drifting, or the seeming randomness of thought, but it was all of a piece. It was as if the story itself was a character with clear personality, a certain style of movement and purpose. Frank Moore, his wife, the other players were puppets on a stage.

I found “Dangerous Times” to be both intriguing, for it’s straightforward and direct style of narration that fit the story to a tee; and terrific in it’s intangible build of suspense. I confess I was dismayed a bit by the length, which was 350 pages in .pdf format, but this was accounted for by the 1.5 spacing and Courier font. Not an easy one for eyes, but again, it did seem to fit the “Dangerous Times,” making for outstanding perspective.

For lovers of crime thrillers and suspense novels written in a solid, purposeful voice, “Dangerous Times” is a winner. It’s dark and gritty, yet still touched by flashes of brillance told in a unique voice. Once it grabs you, it doesn’t let you go. As it’s short description states: “this book is not for the squeamish. It begins as a creepy slow burner that leads to sex, violence, murder, and betrayal.”

Description: Frank Moore is a misanthrope with a hellish plan, a malevolent antagonist so compelling that the reader will want Frank to succeed, until the unexpected occurs. After a frustrating search he has found his look-alike, a close-enough double: John Kirk. Auto mechanic John Kirk leads a troublesome life in San Pedro, common troubles that escalate to the dreadful when Frank Moore comes to town.

Published: September 28, 2010

Published by: Phillip Frey

ISBN13: 294001111792

Source: Author

Buy Link: Smashwords

Author Bio:

Phillip Frey grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he performed as a child actor at The Cleveland Playhouse. The day after he graduated high school he moved to Los Angeles and attended Los Angeles City College. Enrolled in their Theatre Arts Department, Phillip performed in many of their plays while also performing in local theater. He then moved to New York, where he performed with The New York Shakespeare Festival, followed by The Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center. With a change of interest Phillip wrote, directed, and edited 3 short films, all of which had international showings, including The New York Film Festival. With yet another change of interest he returned to Los Angeles to become a produced screenwriter. “Dangerous Times” is Phillip Frey’s first novel.

Website: http://phillipkafka.blogspot.com/

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Filed under Reviews, Suspense/Mystery