Into the Dark Frontier with Author John Mangan

Into a Dark Frontier

 

 

Only 0.99 on Amazon!

 

 

Editorial Reviews

 

“John Mangan’s Into a Dark Frontier is cut from same cloth as the best of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, a story written with authority and military authenticity. It’s a harsh look at a continent-wide battlefield, waged not only for land but also for the heart of freedom. Timely and exciting.” ―James RollinsNew York Times best-selling author

“John Mangan’s Into a Dark Frontier is a powerful, realistic, and daringly unique international thriller. Its near-future plotline is as brilliantly crafted as it is dark and foreboding, and the action scenes are visceral and utterly thrilling. Tormented but able Slade Crawford is a perfect anti-hero to root for, and Into a Dark Frontier is a surefire winner of a debut.” ―Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times best-selling author

“A riveting imagined what-if so real you wonder if it might even be possible. Tense, intelligent, harsh, and surprising, this thrill ride is drum tight in its execution.” ―Steve BerryNew York Times best-selling author

Into a Dark Frontier is an international thriller of rare depth and complexity that would make the likes of John Le Carre and Robert Ludlum proud. But John Mangan goes both of them one better by injecting into the mix a loner hero with a gunfighter mentality fit for taming continents as well as frontiers, with Africa subbing for the Old West. A vision splendidly realized and tale wondrously executed.” ―Jon LandUSA Today bestselling author

“Mangan’s debut reads like he couldn’t get the words out and onto the page fast enough, which translates into a…blazingly fast and fun action thriller.” ―Publishers Weekly

“John Mangan’s Into a Dark Frontier plunges the reader into the chaos of an African continent where anarchy reigns. A near-futuristic scenario, one that could really emerge. Expect an overdose of action and danger that careens off the scales.” ―Robert K. TanenbaumNew York Times best-selling author

“Its relentless opening chase sets the tone for Into a Dark Frontier, a winner for fans of techno-action novels. After eight deployments as a combat rescue pilot, its author knows what he’s writing about and does so with speed and insider details.” ―David MorrellNew York Timesbest-selling author

Into a Dark Frontier is a hell of a debut novel with a terrifying plot and relentless action that made sure the only time I wasn’t turning pages was when I was looking over my shoulder.” ―Joshua Hood, author of Clear by Fire and Warning Order

 

 

 

LET THE GAMES BEGIN…

 

 

What made you venture into writing?

Initially, it was simply a love of story telling, but as my novel
developed it was the feeling that came from creating complex
characters and the environment that drives them. I think that the only
way to create an authentic story is to study yourself, your
relationships, and the human condition in general. People are what
drive a good story, and so you have to become an observer of
people. The pleasure of writing doesn’t just occur while sitting behind
a keyboard, it also comes from watching the world around you,
grabbing little tidbits of dialogue, vignettes, or interesting human
interactions.

 

 

 

 

storytelling word in wood type

 

 

 

Do you have any favorite books or authors that influenced you
early on?

As a boy I loved the Jack London stories where life has been
distilled down to its most base, uncivilized components, where a
man’s fate is decided by fire, food and fang. In Jack’s world, that’s
where you find out who you are.
My novel starts off with our protagonist living squarely in the
modern world, surrounded by gadgets, technology and civilized
mores. But by the ending he has descended into a world that has
more in common with the bronze age than any other, a place where
the day is won by the strength of a man’s will and his willingness to
harness medieval savagery. Perhaps Mr. London would approve…

 

 

How long did it take you to finish Into the Dark Frontier?

The creation of the story wasn’t linear, with a precise beginning
and ending. Imagine dozens of seeds scattered across a garden, and
over several years the sprouting seedlings are gradually bound
together, trimmed away, uprooted and replanted until 6 years later
they have been woven into some semblance of a story. Then spend 4
more years pitching that mess to agents, re-writing, editing and
eventually hacking out 60K words. So to answer your question, it was
about 10 years.

 

 

time-430625_960_720

 

 

Describe some challenges writing your first book.

One of the biggest problems was settling on a point-of- view.
Initially, I chose Third Person Omniscient and the narrator rotated
between the intertwined, converging stories of the Hero, the Sidekick,
and the Villain. This seems to be the most popular format in modern
thrillers but I couldn’t get it to work. The story always kept collapsing
back down to Slade and the peripheral stories always became
lackluster and fell apart. Eventually I realized that this was because
the story belonged to Slade and Slade alone, it was about his
journey. I started over and confined the narrator to Slade’s head and
his immediate surroundings, so the reader lives the story entirely
through his eyes. The advantage of this technique is that it makes it
very easy to generate a sense of mystery and spring surprises on the reader.

The downside of this technique is that it leaves a lot of unfilled
space in the story line, and readers will begin to fill that blank space
with their own preconceived ideas. Overcoming those preconceived
ideas can be extremely difficult, and if not overcome, can lead a
reader to misinterpret what the author is trying to communicate.
For example, IADF devotes only a few paragraphs of backstory
to illustrate Slade’s time in prison and subsequent decision to jump
parole. Recently, a professional review of IADF came out and they
mentioned how Slade had busted out of a “black-site” prison.
It sounds interesting, but unfortunately there was no black-site
and no thrilling jailbreak. The reviewer had filled in details that didn’t
actually exist. It’s only after you have feedback from a broad
audience that you can begin to see where you left holes for readers
to fall through. Actually, feedback like that is priceless, it shows how
much I have to learning about crafting a story.

 

 

 

The 3d guy got over the challenge

 

 

 

 

 

What did you enjoy most?

When the characters began to say and do things that surprised
me, or they took the story in an unexpected direction. Once that
happened I began to feel like it was their world and I was just a visitor
to it. After that I wasn’t creating the characters or their story, I was
just a novice painter struggling to draw them properly and my
greatest responsibility was to make sure they weren’t
misrepresented.

 

 

What motivates Slade Crawford?

Slade is a tragic character torn by competing and irreconcilable
instincts. First and foremost he is a wolf, with a wolf’s passion for the
kill. But he also has a sense of duty to his country, family and those
that depend upon him. Unfortunately, his killer instincts compel him to
return to the fight again and again, leading him to forsake the very
people that he claims he is protecting. Fighting is what he does best,
but a wife and child don’t need a fighter, they need a husband and
dad. So, he fails them, bigly.
Slade is also entering the autumn of his life and has begun to
look back on, and examine his failures. His doubts concerning his
own morality, and his need for atonement become central to the
story. In order to explore this side of his character I surrounded Slade
with a supporting cast chosen for their varying moral codes, ranging
from devoutly moral, to ambivalent, to amoral and then downright evil.
Watching Slade interact with these different people was one of the
most rewarding aspects of writing the book. I painted this facet of the
story with a very light brush as I did not want to come off as preachy.
If I was successful then I think that an attentive reader will experience
something a bit deeper than a straight action novel.

 

 

What was it like crafting a character like Slade?

It became extremely personal, as Slade is an amalgamation of
myself and several people that I know. Slade’s internal struggles are
not fiction, they come from the life stories of people that I care about.
The central tragedy that haunts Slade was taken from the real

experience of a soldier that I befriended a few years ago. I asked him
if I could use his story and he eventually gave me permission. I was
hesitant to use it, but in the end I was hoping that if my buddy could
externalize the tragedy, see it happen to somebody else, then
perhaps he could gain a healthier perspective on it.
So to answer your question, it was not easy, I felt like Slade’s
actions and responses had to be true to the real people that he
represents.

 

 

Lead us into your decision to choose Africa as a setting. 

I wanted to create a modern story in the tradition of the classic
Westerns, and a Western requires two things: #1, a lawless land that
nobody controls, and #2, a place that settlers (pioneers) would
actually want to emigrate to.
There’s lots of places in the Middle East that fit the bill for
characteristic #1, but I can’t picture anybody packing up and
emigrating to Yemen. Conversely, Africa has the right combination of
political volatility, simmering violence, fertile lands and untapped
resources in which I could create a believable story.

 

 

 

Africa map with African typography made of patchwork fabric text

 

 

 

Have you ever been there?

No, it’s one of the few places I haven’t been yet. For research I
read extensively about the Victorian explorers of the 1800’s and their
exploits in Africa. Much of the story’s sense of wilderness is based

upon what they experienced. I also spent a good bit of time doing the
ol’ Google Earth research expedition.

Describe your experience writing about action scenes versus
being out in the field.

I found that actual combat is far different from how it is depicted in
most thriller novels. Modern combat scenes are typically very detailed
and they portray combat as a series of discreet, separate events that
the subject is aware of and in control of; “He turned 45 degrees to his
left, raised the glock 9mm, aligned the sights on his targets center of
mass then squeezed trigger until…”
This technique builds a picture of what is happening, but it’s like
trying to understand sex by reading a medical textbook. Yes, you’ll
end up understanding what goes where, but you will be completely
clueless as to the human side of the experience.
The authors that I tried to emulate, and who best describe the
fear, confusion and altered-state reality of combat are James Salter,
Cormac McCarthy, James Frazier and Anthony Loyd.

 

 

Will this be a standalone or part of a series?

It’s set up to be a series. I’ve got the second book plotted out
but I am waiting on reader reactions to the first book before I make
some big decisions. I can reveal that Book 2 will focus on the
character Elizabeth and her response to what happened in Book 1,
but how I will tell her story is still in doubt. I don’t know if I’ll keep my

narrator confined to Slade’s head, share time inside Elizabeth’s head,
or shift over to her entirely. To be honest I’m terrified of trying to
represent what’s going on in her head, I’m pretty sure I’ll make a hash
of it and end up getting loads of female hate mail. We’ll see…

 

 

 

 

 

Into a Dark Frontier

 

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Mystery Thriller Week begins Feb. 12-22, 2018. Sign up HERE.

 

Don’t miss the 3rd MTW 2018 Brainstorming session this Saturday 9/9/17 11am-12pm EST. Click HERE  to attend.

 

 

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About the author:

Lt. Col. John Mangan is a decorated combat rescue pilot, novelist and coffeehouse poet. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, was an instructor at the Survival Escape Resistance & Evasion (SERE) school, and is currently an HH-60G, Pave Hawk instructor pilot. He has deployed to the Middle East eight times and has commanded the 33rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His actions in combat have been documented in the books Not a Good Day to DieNone Braver, and Zero Six Bravo. He has flown combat missions with PJs, SEALs, Delta, Rangers, and the SAS. John has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor twice, The Air Medal twelve times, and the 2009 Cheney Award.

 

 

 

 

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Introducing Ted Galdi and An American Cage

 

An American Cage

 

 

 

 

Expected Publication date: October 16th 2017

 

An American Cage

 

Goodreads

First Chapter Preview

 

 

interview-1714370_960_720

 

 

TED GALDI

 

 

Ted Galdi

 

 

 

Ted Galdi broke out with his debut novel, Elixir a bestseller and winner of Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award and Silver Medal in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. His second novel An American Cageis due this Fall.

 

 

 

 

 

How long have you been writing?

 

Ever since I was a little kid, doing stories in crayon. “Professionally” since 2014, with the publication of Elixir, my debut.

 

 

 

Elixir

 

 

 

Are you a plotter, panster, or a little of both?

 

A little of both. I won’t start chapter one until I have an outline. I make sure not to go into too much detail on this initial outline though. In my opinion, your idea of plot can’t be fully baked until you really know your characters, and the only way to really know your characters is to start writing. Needless to say, my outline evolves as I get through the first draft.

 

 

This is your second book. Compare your experience between the two.

 

I learned a lot along the way with my first, Elixir. That isn’t to say I didn’t learn a lot with An American Cage, but with your first everything is so new that you don’t even have a sense of your “rhythm.” You know, your way of approaching it all…conceptualizing, outlining, writing, self-editing, etc. AfterElixir, I knew what worked for me and what didn’t, and approached An American Cage through that lens. There was a lot less rewriting and deleted scenes the second time around, which saved me a headache or two.

 

 

Name at least three things that influenced you to become a writer.

 

Like I mentioned above, I’ve been doing this in some form since I was a little kid. I really enjoy it. Nothing was needed to “push me” toward me. You asked for at least three things here and I technically gave you zero. #QuestionFail

 

 

Do you write up character arc for your characters?

 

I think the character arc is one of the most interesting elements in fiction. Danny, the protagonist in An American Cage, definitely changes through the book. The entire story takes place over a twenty-four-hour period, which was a lot of fun to write, but presented a bit of a challenge in terms of arcs. Getting across a major change that happens in just a day was tricky.

 

 

Who is Danny Marsh and what does he want?

 

Danny Marsh is a twenty-four-year-old graphic designer who never committed a crime in his life. Then an incident of bad luck throws him into one of Texas’s toughest prisons. He wants to get out, get to Mexico, and start afresh with a new name and new identity.

 

 

What motivates him?

 

He’s an upper-middle-class kid with no crime experience. Obviously, he doesn’t fit in very well at a maximum-security penitentiary. Being inside psychologically tears at him. Not to mention, he’s had a few horrific run-ins with other inmates. He feels he won’t be able to survive there much longer, either mentally, physically, or both. Escape is the only answer for him.

 

 

What is your creative process for characters?

 

Like I’m sure most other authors do, I start the character-creation process with my protagonist. I start the book-creation process, however, with my theme. I’ll have a solid idea of the book’s theme before I begin with the characters. It’s critical for the protagonist’s arc to mesh with this theme. The supporting characters I consider “forces” that push the protagonist in directions relevant to the theme. Once I have a general idea of the main arc and the supporting forces at play, I then try to think about these characters as people. I do a lot of this off of feel. It’s not really a formal process. However, like I said before, it isn’t until I actually start writing, giving characters a voice and having them interact with each other, that I believe I really “know” them.

 

 

Tell us a few things about the setting for American Cage.

 

The whole book takes place in Texas. It opens in East Texas, then works its way west across the state. The cities in it are a mix of the real and fictional. It was important for me to make sure the setting felt authentic, so in cases where a town is fictional, I tried to give it the spirit of its region. I grew up in a New York City suburb and have been living in Southern California the last seven years. I’ve been to Texas a few times, but am no resident. I put a nice amount of time into setting research so I wouldn’t screw anything up.

 

 

What are some things you learned during your research?

 

Austin has kickass bars. That’s one of the Texas cities I have personally been to. Barhopping is a very high-end form of literary research in case you didn’t know.

 

 

What’s next?

 

I’m on a first draft of another thriller. I’d be happy to come back and talk about it when it’s ready.

 

Sincerely,

Ted Galdi

ted@tedgaldi.com

Author Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Hannah Vogel Box Set by Rebecca Cantrell

 

Hannah vogel

 

 

Tell us about this new creation of yours—Cigarette Boy. That’s such a unique name!

When I wrote my first novel, A Trace of Smoke, I researched the gay cabaret culture of Weimar Berlin. The main character was a crime reporter named Hannah Vogel, and her brother Ernst had been immersed in that culture before his murder. Originally, I had scenes in his voice from beyond the grave, but the scenes confused some initial readers, so I cut them out. But I always wanted to give Ernst Vogel a chance to tell his own stories. It took me a long time to get back to him (sorry, Ernst!), but with Cigarette Boy, I finally did.

Ernst is the club headliner—a talented singer who draws a crowd.  One night before the show he watches the new cigarette boy. In some clubs, from the 1920s through the 1960s, cigarette girls wore special costumes and carried around trays of cigarettes, matches, gum, and other small items. Since Ernst works at a gay cabaret club, the cigarette girl is actually a cigarette boy, so that became the title Unfortunately for the cigarette boy, he’s murdered. When the police aren’t interested in solving the crime, Ernst investigates the murder himself.

Tell us about the setting for this story.

In 1931 Berlin, the club scene was extraordinary. Ernst’s club is based on a real club, El Dorado, where some of the most talented performers of the day came to put on shows, including Marlene Dietrich. It’s full of men dressed like men. Men dressed like women. Women dressed like women. Women dressed like men. Fancy clothes, smoky jazz, backstage intrigues, and passionate Communists fighting and dancing with angry Nazis. The world would soon be on the brink of war, but nobody knew that yet. They just wanted good music, cigarettes, expensive liquor, dancing, and for the roaring twenties to never end!

What was your experience like writing this?

It was great fun! I recently reacquired the rights to the four books in the series, and was anxious to get back into the world of Berlin in the 1930s. I’d always wanted to tell one of Ernst’s stories, and I was so grateful to finally have the opportunity. Of course, as my luck would have it, I left Berlin before I started working on the story, so research was challenging. Yes, I wrote four Berlin books in Hawaii, moved to Berlin and did not write a single book set there while I lived there, then moved back to Hawaii and almost immediately wrote a story set in Berlin. I realize how crazy that is. I appear to be writing my books out of order with my life, as if I’m deliberately trying to make things as complicated as possible. So far, so good.

Say a little abut the Hannah Vogel Box Set Collector’s Edition?

The collector’s edition includes the first three Hannah Vogel novels:

  • A Trace of Smoke, set in Berlin in 1931 where Hannah discovers her brother’s photo in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead and vows to find his killer. Along the way she meets up with a boy who claims she is his mother and a handsome banker whom she struggles to trust.
  • A Night of Long Knives, set in Munich and Berlin in 1934 where Hannah is thrust back into Nazi Germany on the eve of the large purge where more than a thousand political opponents of Hitler were killer overnight. Hannah walks through this blood-stained landscape to try and find her missing son.
  • A Game of Lies, set during the Berlin Olympics of 1936, finds Hannah back in Berlin as a reporter covering the games, but also working as a spy for the British. Although Berlin seems bright and peaceful, she knows it’s a facade covering darkness as she investigates the death of her one time mentor and worries that even her most trusted allies will betray her.

The Collector’s Edition also includes the Ernst Vogel short story prequel, Cigarette Boy, and extra book covers sprinkled throughout like Easter eggs.

If you’re not interested in the extra content, there is a standard edition coming out soon with just the novels for sale as well for a lower price.

Where can we purchase the collector’s edition?

The collector’s edition is available as an ebook at the usual suspects:

Amazon | Barnes&Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

Thanks Rebecca!

 

 

Rebecca Cantrell Headshot

 

 

Learn more about Rebecca Cantrell

 

 

Audio Forensics Book Review: The Camel Club by David Baldacci

 

Hear the sound wave

 

 

 

 

Hear ye, hear ye!

 

Welcome to another edition of Audio forensics! This is where I attempt to usher you into the marvelous experience of recently assimilated stories. You do… Have them right? Audiobooks? I do! The Camel Club, by David Baldacci is kind of a blast from the ‘recent’ past, published in 2005 by Hachette Audio.

 

 

 

The Camel Club Audio

 

 

 

Written by: David Baldacci

Narrated by: Jonathan Davis

Length: 16 hrs and 10 minutes

Series: The Camel Club, book 1

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 10-21-05

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Audio sample

 

 

 

Goodreads

Existing at the fringes of Washington D.C., the Club consists of four eccentric members. Led by a mysterious man know as “Oliver Stone,” they study conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government to discover the “truth” behind the country’s actions. Their efforts bear little fruit — until the group witnesses a shocking murder … and become embroiled in an astounding, far reaching conspiracy. Now the Club must join forces with a Secret Service agent to confront one of the most chilling spectacles ever to take place on American soil — an event that may trigger the ultimate war between two different worlds. And all that stands in the way of this apocalypse is five unexpected heroes.

 

 

 

My Rating:

 

 

Awesome Word Rubber Stamp 3D Rating Review Feedback

 

 

 

 

There are books, good books, stories, then there are STORIES. The kind that suck you relentlessly into it’s core and wont’ let you go until the last page! The books of this category are completed at a much faster pace. For an audiobook of 16 hours it’s bit long, but it still felt timeless.

David Baldacci crafts some of the deepest plots I’ve seen of any author, and still maintains characters that are just as deep.

If you’ve never read the Camel Club, they’re kind of a rag tag, quirky group, not to mention the least likely to be heroic. But that’s what makes it so interesting.

 

 

Narrator Performance: 10/10

The narrator Jonathan Davis was excellent. The best narrators catapult you into the core of the story without being noticed at all. And he did just that.  Superb.

 

Story Connection: 10/10

This is where I determine how well the narrator is connected to the story itself. This would definitely include protagonists, antagonists, sidekicks, love interests, male and female characterizations etc. Again, Davis did a phenomenal job throughout the book, bringing the story alive.

 

Voice Switch Over: 10/10

This is where determine how well the narrator switches back and forth between characters, genders, dialects and narrative voice. I’m sure there’s a more technical term for this, but it’s just what I call it. This is also where the better narrators are further separated from the rest of the pack. How well they switch from character to character without flaws, mistakes, or drawing attention to themselves and thus away from the story. Believe me, this is no easy feat.

Davis again does a marvelous job. In the Camel Club, there’s male, female, Arabic, polish, and a variation of American voices. Now switching between them, accurately, consistently, and making them believable, is difficult. Those who can not only manage this, but excel at it, are rated higher in my opinion.

 

Sound Quality: 10/10

I’m not sure if this is an old school thing, but this audiobook was sprinkled with touches of dramatic effects. It wasn’t overpowering or distracting and I thought it added to the overall performance. Thumbs up!

 

Overall Performance: 10/10

Highly recommended. Can’t wait to listen to the next book in the series called, the Collectors. 

 

 

What do you think? Are you fan of Baldacci? Have you read the Camel Club? What do you think of my format? Are you a fan of audiobooks? Let me know in the comments!!

 

Benjamin Thomas

Books & Blurbs: A Short Horror Story by Jordon Greene

Pages and glowing letters flying out of a book

 

 

Welcome to another Book Blurb!

 

 

What’s up book lovers!! Any horror readers in the house?

Author Jordon Greene is releasing his new short story come May 23, 2017. But pre-order it now on Amazon for 0.99 cents. 

 

 

 

 

Anywhere but Here

 

 

Goodreads

 

 

“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand” -Neil Gaiman

 

 

 

books landscape

 

 

 

Contact: Jordon Greene FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tel: 704-659-3915 Email: info@franklinkerr.com http://www.FranklinKerr.com

ANYWHERE BUT HERE: A SHORT HORROR STORY TO RELEASE MAY 23, 2017 Have you ever woken in the middle of a dream only to find it isn’t over? A place where reality and fantasy become blurred. When sleep becomes torment, could you close your eyes?

CONCORD, N.C. (April 6, 2017) – Franklin/Kerr Press is pleased to announce the release of Award-Winning and Amazon Bestselling Horror Author Jordon Greene’s first foray into the world of short stories with Anywhere But Here: A Short Horror Story, to be released on May 23, 2017. Anywhere But Here is a literal nightmarish story that follows Taren Evan’s confrontation with sleep paralysis, a disorder which wakes Taren from his dreams but renders him incapable of moving while they continue to play out in the real world around him.

Just as he did in his most recent horror release To Watch You Bleed, Jordon weaves a daunting story that’s all-too-possible. He takes us into the mind of Taren Evans as he’s thrust into a dream world that’s grafted atop the real world, captured by a horrifying inability to do anything about his situation. As the story’s tag line asks, when sleep becomes torment, could you close your eyes?

The short story releases May 23, 2017 on eBook and in paperback. The eBook version will be exclusive to Amazon Kindle for $0.99, including the Kindle Unlimited Program where members can read for free. The paperback version will be available at $4.99 from most major online retailers. The short story is currently available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle.

Anywhere But Here follows the release of Jordon’s first psychological horror thriller To Watch You Bleed, an Amazon Bestselling Horror which released in January.  Watch the trailer: Here

 

 

Pre-order it Now 0.99 cents!

Add it to Goodreads! 

 

 

*If you’re interested in a review copy please let me know in the comments*

 

ABOUT JORDON GREENE

Jordon Greene is the Award-Winning & Amazon Bestselling Horror Author of To Watch You Bleed and They’ll Call It Treason. He is a full stack web developer for the nation’s largest privately owned shoe retailer and a graduate of UNC Charlotte. Jordon spends his time building web applications, attempting to sing along to his favorite rock songs, reading and, of course, writing. He lives in Concord, NC just close enough and just far enough away from Charlotte.

For more information about “Anywhere But Here,” or to schedule an interview please call Jordon at 704-659-3915 or e-mail Jordon at info@franklinkerr.com

 

 

*If you’re interested in promos, book releases, interviews, chapter critiques, Q&A’s, Social Media, Media blasts, Please check with me for prices*

Put me to work!!

-Benjamin Thomas 

thebigcaboose@gmail.com

 

 

 

Catch you on the next blurb!!

 

 

 

Waving bye

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

Interview with John D. Bethel Author of Blood Moon

 

Blood Moon

 

 

 

J. David Bethel is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. He has been published in popular consumer magazines and respected political journals. He is the author of Evil Town, a novel of political intrigue that is receiving praise from a number of Washington opinion leaders

 

 

 

“Truth is stranger than fiction”…Mark Twain

 

 

“This was a story well worth telling.”- Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

Questions and Answers for Mystery Thriller Week

 

How did you come across this story and what compelled you to tell it?

The details of the crime came to me from Ed DuBois.  Ed runs a security firm, Investigators, Inc., and had been brought into the case by a mutual friend of Marc Schiller, the victim.  Ed read my novel Evil Town and enjoyed it, and when he wanted to explore the possibilities of having a book written about the crime, he contacted me.

Initially, Ed wanted a true crime book written to counter the treatment the real story was getting in a movie that was being made of the crime, “Pain and Gain.”  Ed was serving as a consultant on the movie and grew disenchanted with the “black comedy” slant being applied to the script.  I wrote a treatment of the book but when it became apparent a true crime book could not be written and published in time to provide a balance to the movie, that project was abandoned.

I had become intrigued by the crime, especially by the courage of the victim, Marc Schiller, and Ed’s determination to get the “bad guys.”  Schiller’s survival of 30 days in captivity during which he was brutally tortured, and had every single penny of his substantial estate extorted, was a story that was too compelling to ignore.  My wheelhouse is fiction so I went to Ed and Marc and asked if they’d mind if I treated the story as fiction, hewing close enough to the real events to convey the true horror of what Marc endured and how Ed worked skillfully to solve the crime.

With resources like Marc and Ed, and a story of human will and courage, how could I go wrong?  Marc agreed to add another layer to the book by writing the Foreword and Ed wrote an Afterword.

 

 

 

Courage

 

 

 

What was your first reaction after hearing what happened to Mr. Schiller?

Astounded. Dumbstruck. Horrified. All of which grew into admiration and respect for the courage that Mr. Schiller displayed is surviving the ordeal, and for Mr. DuBois who was like a dog with a bone until the case was solved and the perpetrators brought to justice.

 

 

“Sometimes the wheels of justice grind slowly.” -Terry Waite

 

 

 

What was it like working with him?

Marc Schiller and Ed DuBois were very giving of their time and very open about their experiences. Without their cooperation Blood Moon would never have been written. I am in their debt.

Marc Schiller has written a first person account of his experience that readers can find at: Pain and Gain- The Untold True Story

 

 

 

 

What was different writing this book compared to your other novel?

The books are different genres, Evil Town being a political thriller.  Other than that, there really wasn’t much of a difference in the writing or the creative process.

For Blood Moon, I worked with a story line that had some markers for me to follow since I was inspired by a true-to- life crime.  I also had some traits I could instill in the main characters by studying the ways Marc and Ed dealt with their challenges.  Developing the characters of the antagonists was a little different since I don’t think like a psychopath.  Putting myself in the shoes of Dario Pedrajo and his cohorts was disturbing.  But by playing them off against the courage and actions of Suarez and Stevens, and having the antagonists react in the extreme opposite of civilized, empathetic human beings, I think these characters are believable as multi-dimensional human beings, if very evil human beings.

For Evil Town, I mined my 30-plus years in politics to add dimension, reality and, hopefully, to create a compelling story that takes a look behind the curtain at how Washington and the political system work.  My experience provided me with markers along the way much in the same way as did those I followed in writing Blood Moon, thereby allowing me to create believable scenarios and characters.  A former member of Congress, Jim Lightfoot put it this way in his review of Evil Town:  “For those of us who have been there and lived the political life it is easy to attach the names of people we know and/or have known to David’s characters. I think you will find that part of the fun when you read his book.  Perhaps you will also pick up a little understanding of the high stakes poker is played with your life and income by thousands of faceless bureaucrats and unscrupulous politicians whose only goal in life is re-election.” 

 

 

 

Writer

 

 

 

Is there a certain theme employed in Blood Moon?

If you’re referring to a “message” or “takeaway” that I intentionally incorporated into the novel, then “no.” I had a compelling story to tell and I told it.

That said, Blood Moon – simply in its telling — is an account of good versus evil. There is evil in this world; evil that most of us will never have to deal with and cannot possibly imagine. There are also people like Marc and Ed (as represented by Recidio Suarez and Nolan Stevens, respectively, in the novel) who are courageous enough and good enough to stand against it and defeat it.

At any time Schiller/Suarez could have succumbed and said “to hell with all this pain and indignity” and laid down and died. That, believe it or not, would have been the easy way out for him. DuBois/Stevens could have given up when the authorities wouldn’t cooperate with him to find the psychopaths, and he could have gone on to another case, but he refused. He put himself at risk and stayed on it until his efforts forced the police to do their job.

 

 

 

Justice on Wooden Piece Arranged by Businessman

 

 

 

Are all your books based upon true stories or current events?

To date my novels have been based on true stories or current events. The novel I am currently working is not; however, it is told around events occurring during the final days of World War Two. For more on this see my answer to the final question.

 

 

Why did you decide to write fiction?

The novels of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald entranced me and demonstrated how brilliantly-written fiction could gobble readers up and transport them to another place and time. And the storytelling ability of Stephen King showed me that a good tale could pull the reader into the story, increase their heartbeat, cause them to perspire with fear and anticipation, and come out the other end invigorated.

Plus, I have an imagination that plants stories with me that I feel compelled to write about. I’m cursed with a very active imagination.

 

 

 

Conceptual Light Bulb (Set) - Imagine

 

 

 

What are you working on next? 

I am working on a novel set in a small Midwestern town during the final days of World War Two.  The gruesome murder of a local family starts an investigation that opens a door onto the national stage of politics and treason.

 

 

I wanted to thank Marc Schiller for his courage, Ed DuBois for his service, and John D. Bethel for taking the time to tell this story. It is truly a story of survival, hope, and justice.

-Benjamin Thomas

 

 

If you haven’t done so already, purchase Blood Moon on Amazon or add it to your Goodreads account. 

 

 

 

Interview with Professional Narrator Madeline Mrozek

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Please welcome Madeline Mrozek professional audiobook narrator and voice over artist!

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How to write a mystery thriller in the style of Alfred Hitchcock by Tony Lee Moral

 

As the author of three books on Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, including a ‘how to’ write a thriller, called Alfred Hitchcock’s Movie Making Masterclass, I was naturally inspired by his stories when writing my mystery thriller, Ghost Maven, about a teenage girl who falls in love with a ghost in Monterey Bay, California.

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Exclusive Interview with Executive Director of the APA

GOT AUDIOBOOKS?

 

 

 

Got Audiobooks.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Please Welcome Michele Cobb Executive Director of the The Audio Publishers Association (APA).

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Historical Division: Mark Julian mysteries

 

history

 

 

 

Before I begin let me give a tremendous thank you for asking me to do a guest comment. Venues like this let a writer connect to his readers and potential new ones. I hope, after reading this one, no one regrets this offer to me.

I also think introductions are in order before I tackle this subject. My name is L.G. Fabbo-Gonnella. I write the Mark Julian Vampire PI and the Max, Brad & Maisie mystery series. Yes, that is a plug just in case anyone reading that line was unsure about it.

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