Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I was tagged for 'The Next Big Thing' Blog Hop by Beaten Track Publishing's Debbie McGowan, author of Hiding Behind the Couch, No Time Like the Present, and the soon to be released The Harder They Fall. (Read more about the series at Debbie's Next Big Thing Blog Hop here: Debbie McGowan's Next Big Thing Blog Hop). Thanks for tagging me, Debbie! 

1. What is the working title of your book?

The Killer Trees. This was the working and final title. I published the book at the end of November 2013. 

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is the third book in my Richard Paladin series, which had been trundling around in my brain for quite a few years before I just decided to stop screwing off and write it in 2008. After about six months I had a draft of Killer Protocols, and Richard Paladin's voice had become firmly imprinted in my head. That just led naturally into Clean Coal Killers. This one took about six months to produce a completed draft as well, and then I had to go back into Killer Protocols to fix a few consistency issues, edit, and polish. Say eighteen months and I had both books where I wanted them. And then came the idea for Killer Trees. Again, six months for a draft, another six to edit and polish. 

Of course, the real question is where the idea to have the EPA employ a killer in a war against environmentalists came from. All I can say is, it seemed like a good idea at the time. And I think it works. Sure, maybe it seems wacko at first. But read the news. There's a lot of wackiness in the world these days.

3. What is the genre of the book?
I list these books as thriller/suspense. "Spy novels" might be more appropriate, except Paladin's a killer, not a spy. There's an element of spoof to them as well. Mostly, I just hope readers find them entertaining enough to keep turning the pages. 

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ed Norton would make a great Paladin. Ed?

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When killers face off in a haunted wood, it's not the trees that suffer.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?
I self-published this book. Honestly, I tried to find a literary agent to sell the Paladin series. None were interested. It doesn't have any zombies or vampires.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
As I mentioned above, the first draft took about six months. This has been the case with all three novels and a couple others I've written but not published. I could probably write faster, but I have a day job.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
As a kid (untold decades ago) I was a big fan of Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm series. I also read just about every John LeCarre and Len Deighton novel I could get my hands on. Add to that Frederick Forsyth, Alistair MacLean, Trevanian, and a host of pulp writers, and you can see that a whole lot of stuff sloshed around inside my head and produced Richard Paladin.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Inspiration was simple. I had all these ideas and then, one day, I realized the only way I was going to stop myself playing solitaire on my computer was to start doing something more productive.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Everyone who's read The Killer Trees (at least five people I know of) says it is the best book in the Paladin series, so if you've enjoyed either of the previous books, you should really enjoy this one. I take Paladin out of his comfort zone on the East Coast and drop him into a truly strange environment. Things get weird, too. But Paladin remains the hard-bitten, cynical government killer doing his job amid corruption and incompetence. Hey, what's not to like?

I'm tagging Martin Roy Hill, independent author of the thriller Killing Depths about the search for a serial killer on a nuclear sub. I'll leave him to tell you more about it! Martin's  blog can be found here:  Martin Roy Hill's blog. I'm also tagging Christoph Fischer, author of  "The Luck of the Weissensteiners." You can read his entry at Christoph Fischer's blog.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Paladin's back!

A logging company's employees have been turning up mysteriously dead. Terrorist tree-huggers seem the likeliest culprits, and when what's at stake is a contract to fell a national forest in Oregon--and the President of the United States just happens to be good friends with that company's CEA--it's time to send in Richard Paladin, America's top Environmental Protection Agent. But Paladin may just face his toughest challenge yet, because his adversary displays all the talents of a professional killer. Add a haunted wood into the mix, and it's an assignment Paladin may need all his luck to survive.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Could this be a killer tree?

The answer is days away.
Richard Paladin returns in
The Killer Trees.
Check back for details.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Killer Protocols for Free?

What do you think? Should Killer Protocols be free for a couple of days on Amazon to celebrate the impending release of Paladin Series #3? Would you be interested?
Leave a comment with your opinion and why you are of that opinion!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Read and Review?

Follow the link below if you're interested in reading a free e-book copy of Killer Protocols or Clean Coal Killers and reviewing it. You will have to sign up for Goodreads (free) and join the Making Connections group (also free).  As Falco says, "You don't want to get lost in the woods on this one." (Whatever that means.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012


They haven't read Killer Protocols?

They haven't read Clean Coal Killers?

How will they be ready for the next
   Richard Paladin adventure, due out
      this month?

When do I get another treat?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


There are people out
there who haven't read
Killer Protocols,
who haven't read
Clean Coal Killers.

How do I reach them?

And where did I put my rope toy?

Monday, October 8, 2012

The English Shepherd Gathering

Maple Grove Farm, North Carolina
October 5-6, 2012


What goes on at the gathering?

A little off-leash prowling.

Aquatic sports!


And napping, of course!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Puck Must Stay!

Yes, after fostering Puck for a couple of months, we finally decided there was no way we could give him up.  So we are adopting him.  He seems really pleased by this news.  As you can see, though, Falco is still taking in the news.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Richard Paladin Series #2!

When terrorists threaten the U.S. power grid, it's time to send in Richard Paladin, America's top Environmental Protection Agent.  At least, that's how Paladin's new boss, Frank, describes the assignment.  But when Paladin starts digging through the personnel files at a Pennsylvania coal-fired power plant, he finds a lot more than the EPA bargained for—like a partner who's not playing straight with him, a security guard who appears more spook than goon, a stripper who's a little too interested in him, and an old flame he knows is a professional agent.  And even though someone really is leaking security information about the plant, his fellow government thugs are more concerned with something else, something that smells a whole lot like corruption on a congressional scale.  But Paladin's in Pennsylvania to do a job, and despite the distractions of temptresses and thugs, he damned sure plans to find the leak—and plug it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bad Dog!

Thanks to our friend Lisa for this picture of Falco's best buddy, Ace.  Paladin would approve.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

 Say hello to Puck, the newest addition to our family.  We're fostering him for National English Shepherd Rescue.  He's quite the charmer.  Best of all, he and Falco seem to be getting along just fine!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One thing we can all appreciate is a good roll in the . . . sand!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

This is, of course, exactly the snooty kind of brew that Paladin detests.  As for me, I love hoppy craft brews.  Dark ones go well with dark books.

Falco doesn't drink beer, of course.  He tells me constantly that beer is the devil.  At least, I think that's what "yearf!" means.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hi.  My name's Falco.  I live with this David Manuel guy and his wife, Susan.  He claims to have written this novel, Killer Protocols, but I'm really the author.  I communicate through him.

And, no, I'm not a secret government agent.  I'm an English Shepherd.  It's not the same thing.