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