Through Thom Tinted Lenses

July 4, 2012

AN INTERVIEW WITH MARC & DANA HUNTINGTON

Filed under: Adventure,books,entertainment,Thriller — Thom Reese @ 5:26 am
Tags: , , ,

To celebrate the release of my new thriller, CHASING KELVIN, I’m featuring an interview with Marc and Dana Huntington, the stars of my novels, CHASING KELVIN and DEAD MAN’S FIRE.

THOM: Welcome Marc and Dana. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules for this interview. I know you’re in the midst of the events chronicled in CHASING KELVIN.

DANA: Yes, we are. Things have not gone too terribly well to this point.

THOM: Well, I hope things all work out in the end.

HUNT: You wrote the book, you should know.

THOM: Very true. And I’m not telling.  So, Hunt, why don’t you begin by telling our readers a little about yourselves?

HUNT: Yeah. I guess the first thing they need to know is that Dana and I are recovery specialists.

THOM: And what exactly is a recovery specialist?

DANA: We make our living by recovering people and things that have gone missing.

HUNT: We get paid with reward money. Say, someone’s kidnapped a senator’s daughter…

DANA: Or a sheik’s wife.

HUNT: We locate and recover that person and collect the reward.

DANA: Or perhaps an ancient artifact or a famous painting is stolen. We recover those valuable items. Our adventures take us all about the globe. Quite fascinating, really. There’s always plenty of danger, twists and turns, intrigue.

THOM: So, what are your backgrounds? How did you come to be recovery specialists?

DANA: I’m former MI-6.

HUNT: That’s like the British CIA. Think of Dana as computer genius meets James Bond. Talented woman – and beautiful.

THOM: And, Dana, why did you leave MI-6?

DANA: That bit’s rather dodgy. I made the mistake of falling in love with and marrying an international criminal I’d been assigned to monitor. Things didn’t go well for me at MI-6 after that.

THOM: I’m sure we’ll learn more about that at a later date. Hunt, what’s your background?

HUNT: Delta Force. Special Ops. Things went sideways during what was to be my last mission in Iraq. Some of my men died. So did a child. An explosion damaged the left side of my face and caused memory loss. It all came down on me. My poor choices, my irresponsibility. I wound up with a dishonorable discharge. Thanks for asking, by the way.

THOM: Your exploits have been recorded in two books so far, DEAD MAN’S FIRE and CHASING KELVIN. Tell us about those adventures.

HUNT: Well, we were awesome.

DANA: I believe he’d like more specifics, dear.

HUNT: Right, right. DEAD MAN’S FIRE is set in the Amazon Rainforest. Very cool place. But it rains a lot.

DANA: A young paleontologist went missing after a major discovery.

HUNT: It seems there were multiple factions, all interested in this discovery. Some were willing to do just about anything to get their hands on it.

DANA: It was quite a romp. Mysterious ancient writings, dozens of comatose bodies hidden in a cave, gun fights, chases, deceptions, it was all quite thrilling really.

HUNT: And, who was it in the middle of it all? Oh, yeah, your ex-husband.

DANA: Well, I think that’s enough about DEAD MAN’S FIRE.

THOM: Fair enough. Would one of you like to tell us about CHASING KELVIN?

DANA: Certainly. We were on a cross country train, tracking a jewel thief named Kelvin Donnelley. He’d stolen a valuable diamond. We were about to recover it when Hunt discovered a terrorist plot onboard. Things went very poorly after that.

HUNT: The terrorist made their play. Dana was…

DANA: Don’t give too much away, dear.

HUNT: Okay. Well, something serious happened concerning Dana. It sent me chasing across the country as coordinated terrorist attacks took place around the globe. The death toll is still mounting and every discovery leads me to another mystery. Government officials are compromised; the situation continues to get worse. And Dana’s caught in the middle of this… situation.

THOM: I think you’ve told us plenty. Thank you both for sharing with us. I appreciate your candor.

Check out CHASING KELVIN at http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Kelvin-ebook/dp/B008FRA2YY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341060846&sr=1-1&keywords=chasing+kelvin

And DEAD MAN’S FIRE AT  http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335623524&sr=1-1

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, CHASING KELVIN, THE DEMON BAQASH, 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATRE. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

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March 8, 2012

DEAD MAN’S FIRE Chapter 1

Filed under: Book Reviews,books,entertainment,publishing — Thom Reese @ 5:44 am
Tags: , ,

In today’s blog I’ve posted Chapter 1 of my first Marc Huntington thriller, Dead Man’s Fire, which is now available. I hope you enjoy.

 

DEAD MAN’S FIRE

 

Chapter 1

 

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Boarding the yacht wasn’t the problem. Boarding without detection, sneaking below deck, stealing the priceless Cobra of Cyrus, then fleeing undetected, that was the problem. Recovery specialist, Marc Huntington – Hunt, to those who knew him well – rose quietly out of the cool, dark water and ascended three steps up the dive ladder located at the aft of the seventy-six foot motor yacht named The Lady of the Cape. Dana, his wife and partner, would remain in their rented, much smaller, craft unless needed. I.e., unless Hunt was discovered. Hunt was hoping Dana could stay off of the yacht for this particular operation.

“Do be careful,” she’d said in that irresistible British lilt of hers. “I don’t fancy a ruckus. We do have dinner reservations at ten.”

Hunt had chuckled. “No ruckus. I promise. Heaven help me if I ruin our dinner plans.”

“It’s at De Kelder!” laughed Dana with mock indignation. “The waiting list is a week at best.”

“I’m a Midwest boy. You sure we can’t just catch a burger?”

“Oh, you are horrible,” she’d laughed, smacking him lightly on the rump as he’d prepared to enter the water.

“I do what I can,” smiled Hunt.

“Love you,” she’d said with a peck to his cheek.

“Love you too,” he’d said before finding her lips with his own.

Baruti and Abri Lekota, the owners of this floating Shangri-La, were attending a dinner engagement on another yacht docked roughly a quarter of a mile distant in another birth at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club. They were not due back for at least two hours. Unfortunately, this did not mean that the craft was unattended. Based on his research, Hunt knew that two guards were to be stationed, one fore and one aft. He also knew that they were rarely at their appointed stations. Often the two simply lounged on the forward deck, playing poker, and scoping out bikinis on neighboring vessels. Fortunately, this was the case as Hunt peered onto the bare deck, illuminated now only by the sliver of a moon. Even so, Hunt needed to act with care. The guards, seemingly lackluster or not, were former military and heavily armed. Being spotted could have deadly consequences.

Though the Lekota’s were quite wealthy, and the yacht well stocked with fineries, until now, it had not housed a rare artifact worth millions. Hunt had been surprised that they’d not increased security all the more since taking hold of the piece. Surprised, but not disappointed. From what Hunt had read Baruti Lekota was a man whose ego was so large as to dismiss any thought that someone could possibly have the gall to come aboard and take his property.

Hunt was fine with taking the man down a notch or two.

Besides, the cobra wasn’t even his property. It had been stolen some six weeks prior from Sir Edmond Graham Foliar of Cheshire England. The authorities had been unsuccessful in locating the relic, and so Sir Foliar had offered a generous reward. Hunt wanted the reward money, and had subsequently tracked the cobra to this yacht. Nice and neat, the way he liked it. Now all he needed to do was secure the prize and slip off the boat without being detected.

The plan was for Dana to motor over to the yacht and chat up the guards with nonsense about being a tourist on holiday in Port Elizabeth. Her rather colorful east London accent and bubbly personality would likely entertain them while Hunt slipped aboard and made off with the treasure undetected.

That was the theory at least.

Dana considered the plan simplistic and droll. This, thought Hunt, was how Dana saw most of his plans. But, simplicity, he had learned, was a considerable weapon. An overly complicated plan made improvisation difficult when everything went deep south. And, in truth, that was where most plans went. Anyone with field experience knew that a plan was merely a starting point; ingenuity, decisiveness, and quick action brought you home alive.

It was mid-evening, eight pm local time, and Hunt’s body clock had still not clicked over from Pacific Time U.S. But the water was cool, the breeze refreshing, and he was counting on an adrenaline kick to see him through. Truly, it wasn’t so much the jetlag that got him as it was the idiot medication he took to stave the ferocious migraine headaches that had plagued him since the explosion on that final day in Iraq.

Hunt’s gut tightened as he heard the single outboard engine approaching from the east, and then the subtle swish of water against fiberglass as Dana cut the engine and coasted lazily toward The Lady of the Cape. It was show time and that meant nearly anything could happen. “Hallo! Do either of you gentle-men speak English?” he heard Dana say. They both did. Hunt and Dana had done their research. Though, IsiXhosa was the most common language, English was used in international trade, and most of the wealthy – and their hired help – knew the language fairly well.

“I speak English,” shouted one of the guards. It was the guard on the star-board side, the heavier and, most likely, less agile of the two.

“I’m a bit befuddled,” said Dana. “Just in from out of town and all that.” Hunt smiled. She was playing up her cockney accent, drawing on her east London roots in an attempt to entertain the two. Her colorful vernacular was a treat, and it was one of the things Hunt loved about her, but, having attended Cambridge University on scholarship and then going through intense language and speech training with MI6, Dana could turn it on and off at will, often times distancing herself from her working class upbringing with precise and delicate verbiage. Queen’s English, she called it.

This was not one of those times.

“Blimey!” she said with ludicrous verve. “Do you blokes ‘ave a zoo in Port Elizabeth? I just love a good zoo. An‟ fish „n chips! All this water, you’d think there’d be bleedin’ fish „n chips on every corner.”

Liza Doolittle, eat your heart out.

Suppressing a chuckle, Hunt crept up the ladder and onto the deck.

“Bugger this! The wind’s kicking up,” chimed Dana. “Does the wind al-ways knock you about so?”

Five quick steps across the gently rolling deck and Hunt made the descending stairwell. Having memorized the floor plan and casually interviewed several close friends of the couple, Hunt knew exactly where to go. Once below, there was a small foyer-like area, followed by a hatch leading to the engine room. Hunt marched through this and to yet another hatch leading into the lush cabin, which could also be accessed from the forward side via a winding staircase. The room was spacious enough as far as cabins went: wood paneled walls, lush red carpeting, a Monet hanging above the headboard of the bed. But, like all offshore accommodations, it felt tight and ill-fitted to the unaccustomed. There was a queen sized bed directly before him now, a sink and a three sided closet to his right. Hunt made his way to the closet, opened it, and then knelt before the gunmetal gray safe on the floor.

Quickly, he removed a small leather case from his watertight backpack and, laying it on the carpeted floor, withdrew an E500XT electric lock pick, two picking needles, three tension tools, and a hex wrench. He could hear the two guards laughing at Dana from above – probably ogling her as well; the daughter of a British father and Vietnamese mother, her stunning Euro-Asian features, clear blue-violet eyes, silky black hair, and athletic physique, made her quite appealing to behold.

As a former Delta Force operative, Hunt had been a master lock pick, able to breach nearly any lock in under a minute, but his frequent headaches brought about by the bomb blast now made it difficult for him to concentrate on some-thing so detailed. In truth, with his considerable combat experience, Hunt would likely have been the better choice for taking out the guards should there be the need, leaving the lock picking in Dana’s expert hands, but he’d been bullheaded about it and so here he was.

Taking a long cleansing breath, Hunt narrowed his gaze, attempting to maintain focus. He nearly had it. Just a little twist and…

No.

Even with electronic equipment, he had trouble with the task. This wouldn’t have happened before Iraq.

Virtually nothing was the same as before Iraq.

Hunt angled his head so that his right ear – his only functioning ear – was toward the hatch. He could still hear the voices from above and forward, but had he just heard something aft, a subtle thump perhaps? He paused, listened, waited another moment longer. No. Nothing. Not at the moment at least.

Returning his attention to the safe, he adjusted the E500XT, and then paused. There it was again. Someone was approaching from the engine room. It was then that the figure appeared in the hatchway.

“Oh, bloody hell,” whispered the man, who, like Hunt, was wearing a drip-ping wetsuit. “This is just brilliant.”

No obvious weapon, casual stance, an easy grin, Hunt’s gut told him this man was not an immediate threat. Still, he rose to meet the man face-to-face, legs spread wide, slightly crouched at the waist, ready to spring. Gut instinct or no, he had to be prepared for the unexpected.

“Who are you?” asked Hunt, whispering as well. “You’re not on Lekota’s staff.” Still he scanned the man for sign of a weapon, while keeping a close watch on the intruder’s hands and eyes, the two most obvious tells of an impending attack.

The intruder chuckled. “Great. A yank. Well, genius, it appears that I – like you – am here for the Cobra of Cyrus. Dated 500 BCE, or so I’m told. Worth more than a shilling or two as well.”

Though tensed, and prepared for action, Hunt had to smile. “Perfect,” he said. “A thief.”

The man shrugged. “I prefer to think of myself as a liberator of fine property.” His sharp devilish eyebrows furrowed just then. It seemed he’d just had his first good look at Hunt. “My God, man. What happened to your face?”

Hunt shrugged. “Suicide bomber. Iraq. Things could have gone better that day.”

“Bloody well right they could have,” said the man, who, unlike Hunt, had not the slightest hint of disfigurement. He was perhaps thirty-five, lean, not as muscular as Hunt, but firm none-the-less. He had deep-set chocolate brown eyes positioned below two expressive black brows. His still-wet hair was jet black. Not a silver streak to be found. His mouth was broad, and seemed to seek occasion to offer a perpetual grin. “So, how are we going to handle this?” he asked, inclining his head toward the safe. “Mind if I have a crack. Seems the lock’s giving you a bit of a hitch.”

Hunt smiled. “Not a chance, buddy. I’m here first.”

“Well, yes, of course you were. But, you see, this isn’t grammar school. You can’t call dibs.”

It was then that both men heard running footsteps from above. “Great! You alerted the guards,” hissed Hunt.

“Me? I could hear you clattering about in here all the way from Wilshire.”

“Sounds like they split up. One coming from the fore, the other aft.”

“I’ll deal with the fore,” smiled the intruder. “As it seems you’re the bigger aft!”

Hunt groaned. The man’s humor was worse than his own. He might find he liked this guy. Without another word, Hunt moved to beside the engine room hatch. Yes, there was definitely someone coming. The guard had slowed some, apparently now deciding that stealth would serve him well. Hiding just within a small alcove adjacent the spiral stairs, the Brit had flattened himself against the wood paneled bulkhead, tensed and ready to spring. Hunt made eye contact. Both men nodded, grinned, and then it began.

Hunt had drawn the heavier of the guards – the one he’d assumed to be rather out of shape and less the threat for it. A quick roundhouse kick to the gut, an uppercut to the jaw, and the man dropped his weapon, a 9 mm Heckler & Koch MP5, a rather nasty weapon for routine security, thought Hunt. But, before Hunt could land another blow, two massive fists hammered down on the back of his neck. The man was much faster – much stronger – than anticipated.

Hunt fell to his knees, and continued directly into a roll, not allowing his opponent to land another blow. The weapon was only perhaps four feet distant, lying on the carpeting at the foot of the bed. But before Hunt could wrap his fingers about it, the guard’s booted right foot connected squarely just below his left ribcage.

Hunt tumbled to his right, arms instinctively cradling his belly as his face struck a bedpost.

Just then, the other guard careened into Hunt’s opponent, apparently tossed by the British thief. Impressive. It seemed the man had skills.

Still cradling his side with his right arm, Hunt rose unsteadily to his feet, ducked a rather vicious blow from the smaller guard, and was grabbed from behind by the larger man.

Hunt slammed an elbow into the man’s gut, twisted, pulled, and flipped the burly man over his right shoulder, sending him somersaulting onto the corner of the bed, where he bounced once and then tumbled sideways onto the floor with a prolonged grunt. Before he could lift his head or gain his bearings, the man was zapped with a Taser. Hunt glanced quickly around for the second guard only to find that he was already down, apparently tased as well.

Grinning, Hunt nodded at his wife – who still held the Taser – just as the thief said, “Dana?”

Dana’s eyes went wide. “Jonathan?”

“Wait,” said Hunt. “You know her?”

“Of course, I know her,” said the other. “Do you?”

“Yes!”

“Who are you?” asked both men simultaneously.

“I’m her husband,” answered both.

Hunt’s gaze slid from Dana to the thief and back again. “I think I’m missing something here.”

“I’m her husband,” repeated the man. “Who the bleeding hell are you?”

One of the guards quivered, jerked, and shuddered at Hunt’s feet. He ignored the man. “Dana?”

“Well, Jonathan’s an ex-husband, really,” she said with a bit of a huff.

“No, not exactly,” said the man called Jonathan as he gently ran his finger-tips across a rather large lump developing on his left temple.

“Fine points,” shrugged Dana.

“Okay, wait a minute,” said Hunt as he stepped squarely between the two. “This guy…”

“Jonathan,” said the man. “Jonathan Thorpe. Pleased to meet you.” Thorpe extended his hand, a gesture Hunt ignored.

“Okay, Thorpe here. You’re married to him?”

“Not any longer.”

“Again,” said Thorpe. “That’s not entirely…”

“We’re done, Jonathan. Bloody well deal with it,” snapped Dana. Thorpe held up his hands in a sign of surrender and backed up a step as Hunt faced Dana directly.

“So are you divorced or aren’t you?” asked Hunt.

“I’m legally married to you,” was her rather evasive response.

Hunt glared at her, a piercing pain developing in his gut. “And, yet you felt no compulsion to tell me that you’d been married before, that you may or may not be divorced?”

“It’s complicated.”

“That’s the best you can do – complicated?”

“Blimey, Hunt, what do you expect me to say?”

“Well, the truth comes to mind.”

The larger of the two guards groaned, shifted a bit, and made a feeble move toward his Heckler & Koch. Annoyed, Hunt gave him a swift kick to the gut and tossed the gun onto the bed.

“It happened while I was with MI6,” said Dana. “There are security issues, classified events and whatnot.”

“Security issues about your marriage? Dana, I’ve rolled with your cloak and dagger MI6 baggage until now, but do you really expect me to believe that you were forbidden to tell me about a previous marriage?”

“Hunt, can we please…” But, Dana never finished the sentence, for it was then that her eyes went wide. The argument had lasted less than a minute, but that was all the distraction Thorpe had needed to open the safe and retrieve the prize. Now he stood, the guard’s Heckler & Koch in his right hand, and the magnificent Cobra of Cyrus cradled under his left arm, its stunning ruby eyes glinting in the subtle artificial light and its silver coils seemingly wrapped around Thorpe’s forearm.

“Really, Jonathan? A gun? We both know you won’t shoot,” said Dana with a rather dramatic roll of the eyes.

“Oh, no. You, my dearest, I would never harm. But my replacement… Well, sorry chap. You seem like a good enough sort, but all’s fair and all that rot. Nothing personal.”

“Oh, it’s personal,” groused Hunt. “It doesn’t get much more personal.”

“Hmph,” shrugged Thorpe with a cheeky grin. “Well, yes, I suppose you’re right. But, as for now, I bid you adieu. And as for Frankenstein here, really, she is out of your league, man. You’ve got to know that.”

With that, he slowly crossed to the spiral staircase, being careful to keep the gun trained on Hunt even as he backed up the rounded stairs and out of sight.

When Hunt finally made the deck, he was just in time to see Thorpe pulling away in a dual engine speedboat. With a broad grin and an affable wave, the thief shouted, “Call me, dearest. We’ve loads of catching up.”

Hunt kicked a nearby torpedo buoy as he stared grimly at the retreating boat. Jonathan Thorpe had stolen the Cobra of Cyrus right from before his eyes. If only that had been the worst event of the day.

TO ORDER DEAD MAN’S FIRE CLICK http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1331211836&sr=8-4

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS, and THE EMPTY. The second Marc Huntington novel, CHASING KELVIN, is due for release this spring. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

January 8, 2012

Thom Interviews Author T.W. Fendley


IN THIS POST:

 

Thom’s Happenings

Thom Interviews Author T.W. Fendley

Thom’s Happenings

Today’s blog features an interview with fantasy/science fiction writer T.W. Fendley, but before we move into our feature article I’d like to bring you up to speed on my current projects and releases. I’ve just completed work on my second Marc Huntington novel, CHASING KELVIN, which should be released late spring. The publisher of this series, Speaking Volumes, has asked me to continue with the series so there will be a third Huntington novel in 2013, and likely each year to come for the foreseeable future.

BIG NEWS! My first novel with publisher L & L Dreamspell, THE EMPTY, is due for release this month. The eBook version is now accessible at http://www.amazon.com/The-Empty-ebook/dp/B006UN0LJ6/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1325947161&sr=8-9  while print versions should be on sale within 1-2 weeks. I’m very excited about this book and am already plotting a sequel. THE EMPTY focuses on a people who have a faulty and incomplete genetic matrix and must infuse DNA from others – mostly from human sources, but sometimes animal as well. Some live among us, others on the outskirts of humanity in animal-like packs. This one is very special to me, and I hope you check it out.

And now…

 

An Interview with T.W. Fendley

T.W. Fendley writes historical fantasy and science fiction. While researching story ideas at the 1997 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, she fell in love with ancient American cultures. Her debut historical fantasy novel, ZERO TIME, was released in October 2011. She won the 9th NASFiC 2007 short story contest, and has a story in the Dreamspell Sci Fi Vol. 1 anthology. Fendley belongs to the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Broad Universe and the Historical Novel Society.

Why don’t you start by telling me about your most recent release?

To put things in perspective, the title–Zero Time–refers to Dec. 21, 2012, when the Earth comes into alignment with the galaxy’s dark rift for the first time in 26,000 years. It’s also considered the end of the Mayan calendar cycle that began in August 3114 BCE. Here’s the book blurb: As Zero Time nears, only Keihla Benton can save two worlds from the powers of Darkness. But first she must unlock the secrets of Machu Picchu and her own past. 

You write historical fantasy. What genre(s) do you like to read?

Fantasy is currently my favorite, and I love books with a strong historical or scientific element. I’ve also enjoyed a lot of young adult books lately, and I’m a sucker for quirky. I used to read (and write) horror and traditional mysteries, but not so much anymore.

What draws you to historical fantasy?

I write historical fantasy and sci fi for the same reason I studied journalism and art in college–I wanted to be able to continue to learn and to express my creativity on a daily basis. Speculative fiction lets me do the research that I love, as well as follow where my imagination leads me.

What is your writing routine?

Truthfully, right now I’m out of my routine since I’m trying to get a handle on marketing. Generally, the first thing I do when I wake up is grab a cup of decaf coffee and write. I’m definitely a morning person.

Do you begin with plot or characters?

A concept or setting usually gets me started, then I figure out how to tell a story around it. That’s what happened when I read about the sex-chromosome drive in Matt Ridley’s book, GENOME. I thought, What if people had this disorder that causes 97 percent of the offspring to be female? That became the motivation for the characters in my book, ZERO TIME, to travel to Earth to try and save their race from extinction.  

Tell us about the characters in your most recent work.

Their names tell a lot about each of my characters, who are inspired by their mythic namesakes. For instance, Xmucane, the leader of the expedition to Earth in ZERO TIME, is the divine grandmother and daykeeper in Maya mythology. Keihla Benton is named after Quilla, the Inca moon goddess. As a modern woman, Keihla finds she must get in touch with her innate powers as a Daughter of Light.   

What are you currently writing?

My next project will be the sequel to ZERO TIME, which I actually started in 2010 during NanoWrimo. Additionally, Beta readers are reviewing my young adult fantasy, also set in Peru, called THE LABYRINTH OF TIME. It’s about two teenagers who telepathically receive messages left by an ancient race on engraved stones. Oh, and a hairless Peruvian dog named Boss Lady helps them on their quest.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

Sit down and write. I tell myself that, too, when I get distracted. Join a writing group to help you stay focused and keep you striving for excellence.

What type of story do you most like to write? Why?

I like the juxtaposition of the imaginative with scientific, metaphysical or historical elements. If I’m going to spend from a month to a year working on a story, I want it to be something that fascinates me.

How did you get your start in writing? How did you land your first book contract?

I won my first writing awards in grade school from the Audubon Society for an essay on owls and from the TB Association for a story that featured a character I created named Timothy B. Mouse. For 25 years, I earned my living as a journalist and in corporate communications. I owe my first book contract to the 2010 Missouri Writers’ Guild conference. After pitching to agents and publishers there, I signed with L&L Dreamspell.

With the rise in eBook popularity, the publishing industry is in a state of change. What do you see as positives and negatives in this reformation?

Here are three of the reasons I like ebooks: First, they weigh less. Before ebooks, I lined the bottom of my suitcase with books when I traveled. Now I take my iPad. Second, since my iPad’s backlit, I’m less of a bother to my husband when I read in bed (every night). Third, authors earn about the same on ebooks as they do on print books, and readers pay a lot less–what’s not to like about that?! The negatives–I simply love my books! Most of the print books I buy are nonfiction because I don’t find ebooks as research-friendly, and I don’t want to rely solely on Google.

For more info, check out T.W.’s  website, www.twfendley.com or her blog at www.thewriterslens.com

www.twfendley.com
Zero Time, $4.99 in Kindle store!
Solar Lullaby, Dreamspell SciFi e-anthology – $2.99 in Kindle store!

 

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

Purchase THE EMPTY at http://www.amazon.com/The-Empty-ebook/dp/B006UN0LJ6/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1326026205&sr=8-9

Purchase DEAD MAN’S FIRE: A MARC HUNTINGTON ADVENTURE at http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-ebook/dp/B005L4I8TK/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1326030583&sr=8-12

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

December 10, 2011

Thom Interviews Author Claire Applewhite

IN THIS POST:

Thom’s Happening – Announcements, Specials, etc.

Thom Interviews Author Claire Applewhite

 

Thom’s Happening – Announcements, Specials, etc.

Before we jump into our feature interview with author Claire Applewhite, I’ll take a moment to bring you up to speed on some happenings. DEAD MAN’S FIRE, the first in my Marc Huntington adventure series was released this fall. It follows recovery specialists Marc and Dana Huntington as the track a missing scientist through the Amazon. Lots of action and twists.

I’m nearly done writing the second in the series, CHASING KELVIN, and this should be out spring of 2012.

My next novel, THE EMPTY, is due out within the month. I’m very excited about this one. Here’s the back cover synopsis:

The reyaqc, a people who have no inherent characteristics of their own, but survive by infusing genetic information from humans and animals alike, often leaving the donors hollow, vacant shells. They’ve been with us for centuries. Many live in isolated communities on the fringes of society. Others walk the cities of the world, unable to reveal their true natures for risk of discovery. Donald Baker is a reyaqc and he fears for his people. For with the rising human population and technological advances, the reyaqc can no longer live undetected. His life-long desire is to bring his race into the mainstream of society. But now a lone rogue terrorizing the city of Las Vegas threatens to expose the reyaqc prematurely. As the death toll rises, Donald must battle not only the rogue, but his own savage nature.

And, for the holiday season, the eBook versions of my books, THE DEMON BAQASH, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS are on sale for only $4.99. http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-ebook/dp/B005L4I8TK/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1323524905&sr=8-13

For autographed copies of the print version, contact me a thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for ordering and pricing information.

 

And now, an  Interview with author Claire Applewhite

Claire Applewhite, the author of The Wrong Side of Memphis, Moonlight Becomes You So (2009), Crazy For You (2010), St. Louis Hustle, Candy Cadillac (2011) is a graduate of St. Louis University, (AB, Communications, MBA), Mercantile Leadership Program for Women. A participant in the Writers Institute at Washington University, and freelance writer—Healthy Cells magazine, House of Style magazine : Www.HouseOfStyleSTL.coM, reporter for Patch.com. For more on Claire, visit her website: www.Claireapplewhite.com

Other distinctions include:

Immediate Past President,MissouriWriters Guild

Board member of Midwest Chapter, Mystery Writers of America. Member andSt. LouisMetropolitan Press Club

Active member of St. Louis Writers Guild, Sisters in Crime, Ozark Writers League and Active Status member, Mystery Writers of America.

Claire, thank you for taking the time for this interview. Why don’t you start by telling us about your most recent release? Candy Cadillac is the third in the ‘nam Noir series, featuringVietnam vets Elvin Suggs and Di Redding. Set insouth St. Louis, it presents an intriguing time in the late 1980’s when car bombings and organized crime were active concerns.

What is your writing routine? I generally write in the early morning, the earlier the better, and go for around four or five hours. Sometimes, it’s 4:30 am, and sometimes it’s as late as six o’clock a.m., but the point is, I get it done first, before anything else has a chance to insinuate itself into the time designated for writing.  Then, I stop, preferably in the middle of a chapter or scene, so that when I return, I will readily recognize the conflict and carry on from the stopping point. I don’t look at it again that day, because I believe a writer has to allow some time to pass to better judge the quality of the writing and to recharge psychologically after spending emotional energy on characters.

Do you begin with plot or characters? I begin with plot because I believe the plot will tell you what kind of characters live in the story. For example, the story of Cinderella dictates the cast of characters, and even the setting.                                                                                                           

Tell us about the characters in Candy Cadillac. The characters in Candy Cadillac are the series characters from the ‘nam Noir series. Elvin Suggs and Di Redding, along with Cobra, the sniper, areVietnam vets turned St. Louis PI. Their creepy next door neighbors, the omnipresent black limo, the physician without a license to practice atCityHospital, Barbara Lacey, a mysterious blonde, and three women who assume her identity after her death, complete the cast.

What are you currently writing? The fourth in the series, Tennessee Plates, and a stand alone novel about a real life case that occurred at St. LouisCityHospital.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers? Consider that writing is a lifetime vocation. It’s not about money, or fame, or even bestseller lists. If you’re not growing and changing on some level with each book/screenplay/piece you write, or if you’re expecting a lot of money in a very short time period, writing may disappointment you.   As soon as you have polished a piece of your writing, start to send it out for consideration. Even if it is rejected, read the critiques. And then, rewrite and resend. Don’t let anything that isn’t your absolute best leave your desk. Ever.

What type of story do you most like to write? Why? I like to write a story in which a major transformation has occurred in the life or lives of the main characters. This could be a major disillusionment, a discovery of the truth, or a love that saves.  I write fiction because anything is possible. For me it is about creating a world where things may happen in a haphazard way, BUT in the end, order and justice prevail.

What do you read? I like to read a story in which I learn something I didn’t know (it could be anything), and where the writer does something extraordinary with ordinary characters or circumstances.

How did you get your start in writing? I’ve always written, from the time I was seven. But, it wasn’t until 1999 that I decided to get serious about getting published. My first book was published in 2009.

How did you land your first book contract? Actually, I submitted a short story to an anthology at the request of a friend, and after it was accepted, I decided to send a novel that I had been writing and revising for almost seven years. I had not sent it to anyone for fear of rejection. That initial success gave me the courage to submit the novel that became The Wrong Side of Memphis.                                                                                                                  

With the rise in eBook popularity, the publishing industry is in a state of change. What do you see as positives and negatives in this reformation? I have heard that the advantage of ebooks is that they do not have a shelf life, compared to print books. In other words, an ebook might enter the market later in the book’s sales cycle, but it never leaves the shelf, virtually speaking. After six months, physical books are removed from shelves and returned. An ebook can be downloaded in thirty seconds. That said, there is something about holding an actual book in your hands, or buying a book that is personally signed by the author and/or given as a gift on a special occasion. Also, books can be handed down from generation to generation. As with most things, there are tradeoffs.

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

October 18, 2011

Award Winning Author Joe R. Lansdale Discusses the Future of Publishing

In This Post:

Thom’s happenings – Announcements etc.

Award Winning Author Joe R. Lansdale Discusses the Future of Publishing

 

Thom’s Happenings: Before we move on to the Joe Lansdale interview, I have just a couple of quick announcements. We’ll be having a BOOK LAUNCH PARTY for my new thriller, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, October 22 3-6 pm at Avatar Comics 881 S. Rainbow, Las Vegas NV 89145 (702)795-8700. If you’re in the Las Vegas area, please stop by and say hi. Also, in the spirit of Halloween, my publisher has put my supernatural thriller, THE DEMON BAQASH (Kindle & Nook versions), on sale for only 99 cents! This offer is for October only so time is running short. http://www.amazon.com/The-Demon-Baqash-ebook/dp/B004J4X3NO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1318952553&sr=1-1

I’ll be doing additional book signings for DEAD MAN’S FIRE throughout the next few months and my sci-fi/horror thriller, THE EMPTY, is due for release before Christmas. Check back here for updates and specials.

And now, an interview with Joe R. Lansdale.

 

Award Winning Author Joe R. Lansdale Discusses the Future of Publishing

With more than thirty books to his credit, Lansdale has been called “an immense talent” by Booklist; “a born storyteller” by Robert Bloch; and The New York Times Book Review declares he has “a folklorist’s eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur’s sense of pace.” He’s won umpty-ump awards, including sixteen Bram Stoker Awards, the Grand Master Award from the World Horror Convention, a British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Horror Critics Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, the “Shot in the Dark” International Crime Writer’s Award, the Golden Lion Award, the Booklist Editor’s Award, the Critic’s Choice Award, and a New York Times Notable Book Award. He’s got the most decorated mantle in all of Nacogdoches!

Lansdale lives in Nacogdoches, Texas, with his wife, Karen, writer and editor.

Joe, thank you very much for taking time for this interview. Let’s start with the proliferation of eBooks. With the eBook revolution, what do you see as the future of publishing? What will it look like five years from now?

I think e books are the new paperback, and it will impact the industry, but I think print books will survive, if as a more luxury item, which is too bad. But the e books are the revolution that paperbacks were in early days.

How will your approach to the business end of writing change based on the shifting publishing paradigm?

Some of that is still in motion. I’ll have a better idea of my business model, once I know more about how it shakes out. Right now I have some of my backlist on ebooks both from established publishers and pure ebook publishers. If I make more from established publishers, even though they pay a smaller return, then I have to say they still have the machine. If I do not, I have to feel differently about that.

How has your writing process evolved since you were first published?

I am more confident. I work less pages, and have for many years now, and just try and show up every day, or at least five days a week, though I have also learned to take vacations and holidays and occasionally just take a day off. I learned that a while back as well, and it works well for me. I usually write mornings, three to five  pages a day, but now and again I write afternoons or evenings if I’ve fallen behind, or something new and interesting pops up.

In the current publishing climate, there’s a sharp rise in self-published material. What do you see as the pros and cons of this?

More bad stuff gets published is the con. The pro is some good stuff that didn’t fit the marketing strategy of the established publishers gets a chance.

In regard to self published material, do you believe there is a need for some sort of gatekeeper to help minimize the proliferation of poorly written material or do you see this heightened freedom as an opportunity for talented writers to showcase their material?

It helps if there are editors who choose for quality. They can be wrong, and often are, but it makes a writer work harder to write well. The con to that is the gate keepers are running an established show and are only looking for certain types of material. I know, however, that I’m a better writer for having to fight the system to do what I want, but to do it better.

What, if any, parallels do you see between the changes occurring today’s publishing industry and those of the music industry a decade ago?

A number of similarities. It’s still, like music, shaking out, trying to find its sea legs. I think it will, and more of it will be on line. I do think one of the great things is that short story collections will have a better chance than before, and of course the good thing is you’re cutting out a lot of the middle man. But a number of writers I know who thought they were going to rush out and make a fortune with ebooks, eliminating agents, editors, publishers, etc., haven’t found that to be true. Some have, but they are so far the exception that  proves the rule. However, as ebook publishing changes, so will the rules. Another good thing about ebooks is you can arrange for monthly responses to your sales if you like, which can provide a more steady income.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Put your ass in a chair and write, and when you’re not writing, read, and when you’re not doing those two things live life.

What project(s) are you working on now?

A young adult novel for Delacorte titled FENDER LIZARDS. I have a new Young Adult out now titled ALL THE EARTH THROWN TO THE SKY.

What do you like to read?

All manner of things. I don’t put a limit on it. I just let my enthusiasm and excitement guide me.

Are there any new authors that excite you?

Plenty. But I’m going to pass on naming them right now, because there are so many and I fear I might leave someone out. On another day I might be braver, but just got back from Italy and I’m brain numb, or more numb than usual.

 

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CHECK OUT DEAD MAN’S FIRE AT: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318952956&sr=1-1

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

October 7, 2011

AN INTERVIEW WITH BRAM STOKER NOMINATED AUTHOR JEREMY C. SHIPP

 

IN THIS POST:

October Special

Thom Interviews Jeremy C. Shipp

A Review of Jeremy’s Bram Stoker Award nominated novel, CURSED

Thom’s Happening – Announcements etc.

 

OCTOBER SPECIAL: THE DEMON BAQASH, by Thom Reese, eBook edition on sale for only 99 Cents!! Limited time only!! Check it out! http://www.amazon.com/The-Demon-Baqash-ebook/dp/B004J4X3NO/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1317901493&sr=1-2

 

An Interview with Jeremy C. Shipp

Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared or are forthcoming in over 60 publications, the likes of Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Withersin, and Shroud Magazine. Jeremy enjoys living in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse called Rose Cottage. He lives there with his wife, Lisa, a couple of pygmy tigers, and a legion of yard gnomes. The gnomes like him. The clowns living in his attic–not so much.

I’ve never met Jeremy face-to-face, but have had an online friendship with him for the past two or three years. He’s a talented writer with a quick wit, quirky sense of reality, and a good heart. If you haven’t read his work you’re missing a treat. A big thanks to Jeremy for taking the time to do this interview!

 

Jeremy, thank you for taking the time for this interview. Why don’t you start by telling me about your current projects?

My newest books ALWAYS REMEMBER TO TIP YOUR NINJA and ABERRATIONS were recently published. I’m currently editing a horror/fantasy anthology called ATTIC TOYS. Some other projects in the works include CLOWNS VS. GNOMES and ATTIC CLOWNS.

What is your writing routine?

I try to write at least a little bit every day. I usually write at my desk, surrounded by weird figures and toys. I don’t do outlines, although I do keep a notebook filled with notes.

At one point you were working on a screenplay for CURSED. Is that something you’re still pursuing and if so, where are you in the process?

Cursed the Movie is a project near and dear to my heart, and it’s definitely something I’m pursuing. I’m currently talking with some directors. We’ll see what happens.

I loved the flavor of CURSED. Very unique and quirky. How did that particular feel come about? What was your thought process?

Thank you! When writing a story or a novel, I like to make the narrative style reflect the psyche of the point of view character. And so, Cursed is quirky, because the main character is a strange human being. He thinks and dreams and experiences the world in lists.

You’re prolific in terms of short stories. When can we expect your next novel?

I’m currently working on a couple novels and a novella. All of these should be released in 2012.

Ok, what’s with the yard gnomes and attic clowns?

I wish I knew! The Attic Clowns appeared in my attic a few years ago (I think they oozed out of an old mirror that I purchased at a yard sale), and they won’t leave. The yard gnomes live in my yard, which I seems appropriate somehow. The gnomic shamans help me out whenever the Attic Clowns transform me into a rubber chicken.

You seem very adept at marketing yourself. What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

Write a blog, host giveaways, stay active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, etc. But my best advice would be not to send a lot of time on these sites promoting your work. Spend most of your time entertaining people.

As well as writing your own work, you teach creative writing courses. Tell me about that.

I love helping writers, especially new writers, and so the Fiction Writing Bootcamp (http://jeremycshipp.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/jeremy-c-shipps-fiction-writing-bootcamp/) is very satisfying for me. In the course, I help authors to hone their craft and polish their work for publication.

What type of story do you most like to write? Why?

I love writing stories with some speculative element. I think this is because I enjoy creating new myths, new creatures, new realities. And of course, I like writing stories about characters that I feel a deep connection with. I always need to care about my characters, because otherwise, the story wouldn’t be worth writing.

What do you read?

A little of everything. Literary fiction, historical fiction, horror, fantasy, graphic novels. Some of my favorite writers include: Arundhati Roy, Kurt Vonnegut, Haruki Murakami, Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Amy Tan, Lois Lowry.

How did you get your start in writing? How did you land your first book contract?

I wrote my first novel when I was 13, but I always enjoyed storytelling. As a kid, I would often tell stories to my brothers and cousins. Their favorites were my Barbie horror stories. In high school, my creative writing teacher encouraged me to start sending out my stories to publishers, and so I sold my first short story when I was 18. Then, in my 20s, I shopped around my novel Vacation, and it ended up with Raw Dog Screaming Press.

For more on Jeremy, check out these links:

http://www.jeremycshipp.com

http://www.twitter.com/jeremycshipp

http://www.amazon.com/Always-Remember-Your-Ninja-ebook/dp/B005MTB7VU/

http://www.amazon.com/Aberrations-ebook/dp/B005ITNKC8/

 

Thom’s review of CURSED:

Book Review – Cursed by Jeremy Shipp: This book is bold. A finalist for the 2009 Bram Stoker award, Cursed defies convention. It’s at once sparse, thought provoking, creepy, ridiculous, and compelling. The protagonist, Nick, is a compulsive list writer, and thus Shipp populates the prose with lists. It seems an odd choice at first, but works as an effective device in drawing the reader into Nick’s bizarre and, yes, cursed world. Each of the primary characters has a unique depth and quirkiness specific to that individual. I particularly liked the character of Cicely and her seemingly endless substitutions for the word water. Snowman blood or Yeti tears anyone? Very clever. The supernatural aspects of the book build gradually, drawing the reader in page-by-page. Soon I was wondering just what was happening to these people. Were they truly cursed? Were they simply insane? And what was the deal with this strange antagonist, Pete? Is he just some random guy, the devil, God? Very well crafted. This is one of those rare and precious books that ended far too soon. I will read it again.

 

Thom’s Happening – Announcements and specials

The last few weeks have been very busy. My latest novel, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, was RELEASED Sept 2nd. http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315921547&sr=8-1

I unveiled DEAD MAN’S FIRE at KillerCon Las Vegas, signing books and meeting readers. Had a great time with fellow authors, Jonathan Maberry, Jack Ketchum, John Skipp, Gabrielle Faust, Ray Garton and many others.

BOOK LAUNCH PARTY for DEAD MAN’S FIRE October 22 3-6 pm at Avatar Comics 881 S. Rainbow, Las Vegas NV 89145 (702)795-8700

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

 

September 22, 2011

EXCERPTS FROM THOM’S UNDER-A-BRIDGE DICTIONARY

Alcohol abuse: Self induced flu symptoms. Because for some people there’s just never enough vomit.

Alternate reality:  a phenomenon experienced by any male forced by the female of the species to visit a shopping mall. Also see purgatory.

Ambiguous: something which is more or less, kind of , in a way, sort of, rather not quite entirely clear in any comprehensible fashion… sort of. See also politician

Autobiography: It’s all about MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Cardiac arrest: a common condition often experienced upon learning the nature of an offspring’s  unsupervised activities. See also Gun Laws

Civilized: A culture which settles disputes by slaying opponents with sophisticated weaponry such as missiles and bombs as opposed to more barbaric tools like spears and swords.

College: A costly institution where hundreds of adolescents who have previously lived under the direct guidance of their parents are brought together with minimal supervision and expected to conduct themselves as mature individuals. See also Alcohol poisoning.

Depression: a mental state which often follows unrealistic expectations and/or the realization that, “Wow, this really sucks.”

Domesticated:  a creature which, contrary to its natural instincts, has been tamed and/or trained in order to exist in a civilized environment. See also husband

Fiction: That special place where truth may be expressed freely, in most cases without fear of reprisal.

Fiscal responsibility: a mythological state in which those charged with the distribution of funds have a workable plan and maybe even a clue.

Foreign Aid: Stealing money from hardworking Americans and depositing it in the coffers of unscrupulous foreign leaders.

Funeral: An event in which one’s enemies proclaim a person’s attributes as one’s family squabbles over his/her possessions.

Good old days: A time period idealized despite its many flaws, injustices, and insufficiencies. See also selective memory and/or delusion

Justice: Just as much as the cost of a good lawyer.

Man: A person inherently incapable of fathoming the desires, motivations, or actions of women.

Opponent: Someone put in one’s life as a growth opportunity. See also, spouse

Tampon: an embarrassing purchase made by a male in an effort to prove undying love for a spouse. Often accompanied by a cashier’s sentiment, “Oh, man, I’m sorry.”

Tobacco: A substance unique in that it is a legal product which, according to the CDC, is responsible for over 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. each year. See also Soulless Washington lobbyists.

NEW RELEASE!!!

DEAD MAN’S FIRE, the first novel in my Marc Huntington series HAS BEEN RELEASED in both print and eBook formats. Check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315921547&sr=8-1

Here’s the back cover blurb:

The Amazon Rainforest.

A paleontological expedition, every scientist murdered or missing.

A vast cavern peopled with comatose bodies from all over the world.

A human skull, fossilized, with ancient writing carved on its interior.

A young scientist, missing, and at the heart of it all.

Recovery specialists Marc and Dana Huntington make their living recovering missing persons, stolen items, and rare treasures.  Now they are thrust into chaos and intrigue as they search for a missing paleontologist, the son of Marc’s former Delta Force commander. Arriving at the expedition site deep within the Amazon Rainforest they find the jungle ablaze and dozens of bodies littering the area. Soon they learn that a fossilized skull is at the heart of the deadly mystery. Multiple factions seek the skull. Local superstition surrounds the relic, Deadly attacks, explosions, cave ins, a chamber filled with peculiar, unnaturally preserved bodies: every discovery leads to another mystery and the Huntingtons must locate the missing scientist and uncover the secret of the Amazon skull or dozens more will die.

CONTACT ME AT thomreeseauthor@yahoo.com for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

September 20, 2011

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS REVIEW by Thom Reese

 George R. R. Martin’s A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE saga continues with the much-anticipated fifth in the series, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. For those not familiar with the series, these are the books on which HBO’s Emmy award winning television series, GAME OF THRONES, is based. (The first book in the series is titled, A GAME OF THRONES.)

The first thing about this book: If you have not read the previous four books, please do not try to start reading with this one. Not only will you be entirely lost, but you will miss the fantastic story lines and characters that fill the earlier volumes. Martin’s series is peopled with what I consider to be some of the best characters in modern literature. These are multidimensional personalities with genuine emotions. The villains are not evil through and through, and no hero is without blemish. This, along with the fact that Martin is utterly vicious to his characters, leaving the reader with the feeling that no one is safe within these pages, makes these volumes a must read for anyone even remotely interested in the fantasy genre.

That said, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS is not flawless. Even for the initiated the first two hundred pages can be quite confusing. Martin doesn’t give us any reminders as to where any of these characters left off in previous volumes. Many of the most loved characters were not in book four, A FEAST FOR CROWS, and so their plot threads date all the way back to A STORM OF SWORDS, released in 2000. My memory just isn’t that good. I would have enjoyed the story much more if there had either been a recap prior to the beginning of the story, or at least some explanatory dialogue to help refresh the reader’s mind. Even after completing the book, I’m still not sure what Tyrion’s goal was at the onset of the story.

All this to say that once I got into the flow of the story I couldn’t pull myself away from it. Martin is masterful when it comes to interweaving plot lines, deceptions, betrayals, lost loves, and fantastic action and suspense. Much of the focus for nearly all of the characters falls on Daenerys Targaryen, the would-be queen of the seven kingdoms who is now the “Mother of Dragons.” Everyone either wants to manipulate, use, or defeat the young woman with a will of fire. And though she is the focal point for so many, she is unaware of the scheming and infighting across the sea to the lands which she may one day rule.

Reader beware, there are some significant shocks in the second half of this tomb, and they are very well worth the wait. If you’ve read the previous four volumes, your wait will be well rewarded. If you’ve never read this series, I encourage you to get started with  A GAME OF THRONES and. You won’t regret it.

NEW RELEASE!!!

DEAD MAN’S FIRE, the first novel in my Marc Huntington series HAS BEEN RELEASED in both print and eBook formats. Check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mans-Fire-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320244/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315921547&sr=8-1

Here’s the back cover blurb:

The Amazon Rainforest.

A paleontological expedition, every scientist murdered or missing.

A vast cavern peopled with comatose bodies from all over the world.

A human skull, fossilized, with ancient writing carved on its interior.

A young scientist, missing, and at the heart of it all.

Recovery specialists Marc and Dana Huntington make their living recovering missing persons, stolen items, and rare treasures.  Now they are thrust into chaos and intrigue as they search for a missing paleontologist, the son of Marc’s former Delta Force commander. Arriving at the expedition site deep within the Amazon Rainforest they find the jungle ablaze and dozens of bodies littering the area. Soon they learn that a fossilized skull is at the heart of the deadly mystery. Multiple factions seek the skull. Local superstition surrounds the relic, Deadly attacks, explosions, cave ins, a chamber filled with peculiar, unnaturally preserved bodies: every discovery leads to another mystery and the Huntingtons must locate the missing scientist and uncover the secret of the Amazon skull or dozens more will die.

CHECK OUT MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH, AT: http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Baqash-Thom-Reese/dp/1612320090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309526541&sr=8-1

Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

July 21, 2011

BORDERS IS GONE: WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BOOK INDUSTRY? by Thom Reese

It’s official. After a long struggle, bankruptcy protection, and restructuring, Borders has announced that they are closing all 399 of their remaining stores. The problem: the industry changed and Borders failed to change along with it. We are living in a time of fast-paced transformation. Never in our history have so many advances come so rapidly. Where the 20th century brought dramatic change over the course of decades, the 21st reconstitutes almost yearly. Think about it. Five years ago how many of us had ever sent a text message? The first smart phone (the iPhone) was introduced only four years ago. Now, nearly every phone on the market has “smart” capabilities. Even three years ago, Blockbuster was the king of the video rentals hill. Now, between Redbox and Netflicks they’re about as dated as a T Rex in a speakeasy. And eBooks. Three years ago electronic books were barely a blip on the radar with sales of about $30 million. Now they outsell print copies in most segments (sometimes by a ratio as high as 5 to 1) with estimated 2011 sales topping $300 million. Add to this the fact that even most print books are purchased online and one must wonder do any traditional brick and mortar booksellers stand a chance.

The answer: yes. I believe they do.

The complication: dramatic changes must be made – and soon.

In such a rapidly-changing environment every business must be willing to reinvent itself over and over in order to remain viable. With more and more commerce flooding to the internet, brick and mortar outlets must find ways to keep customers coming back. Let’s face it, it’s much easier to sit at ones computer in gym shorts and a T-shirt while ordering merchandise than it is to get dressed, hop in the car, fight traffic, go into a retail outlet, and then stand in line to make a purchase.

That said, shopping malls still exist. When almost anything can be bought online, why are malls still flooded with shoppers?

Because many people still enjoy the act of shopping.

Now, take the mall concept and apply it to the bookseller. I, for one, love perusing the bookshelves at a book store. It’s a great way to find new authors that I otherwise might have missed. I’ve not yet found a way to match this experience online. There’s also a sense of community in a bookstore. It’s fun to be amongst other book enthusiasts, to discuss books read and favorite authors. But, these things alone will not keep customers coming back. So, what can booksellers, both national chains and independent locations, do to keep customers coming back during this digital age? There are no easy answers, no guarantees, but here are my personal thoughts on the subject:

LOOK AT WHAT’S COME BEFORE: Both the music and home video industries have already gone through the same changes. Nearly all music and video content is now available online. Tower Records is a fossil, Hollywood video extinct, with Blockbuster teetering. And yet people still buy CDs, DVDs, and Blue Ray. There are still plenty of people who like to hold a product, to own it, to look at the cover. Booklovers love the smell of books and the feel of them. They like a full bookshelf in their homes. I know many people who will buy an e-copy of a book and then, if they really love it, buy a print copy just to have or to share with fellow book enthusiasts. Today’s booksellers should gain hope from these other markets and look to the survivors of the music and video revolutions for clues. What did the survivors do that kept them afloat? Do booksellers need the equivalent of Redbox or Netflix? What could booksellers learn from these industries that would help to keep them in the game?

LOOK FORWARD NOT BACK: Any industry wanting to be competitive in the 21st century needs to keep an eye on developing technology not with fear but with the mindset of utilizing the advancements to bolster their sales. The book industry has done this by making eBook readers available on iPads and smart phones, by bringing the prices down on eBook readers. But technology continues to move forward. A large segment of video content is streamed right now from sites like Netflicks and Hulu. Could books be streamed? Is there a market for that? What new technologies are on the horizon? How can these be embraced and utilized at the bookseller level? Could booksellers, large or small, develop apps that would allow loyal customers to purchase books directly from their phones? I’m not talking Amazon here. I’m talking Joe’s Book and Lube. One of the great things about new technology is that it often levels the playing field. The small independent bookseller has access to the same technology as Barnes & Noble. Recognizing emerging trends and technology and utilizing these first could give both small retailers and publishers an advantage. Think of an app that targets a loyal customers interests. Local bookstores could alert customers of upcoming releases or specials that fit their past purchase patterns and allow them to buy electronic or print copies FROM THE LOCAL STORE directly from this app. I’m sure there are dozens of such ideas floating around out there.

Now, the question could be posed, “Isn’t this putting more business online rather than bolstering brick and mortar booksellers?” Quite possibly, yes. But, one needs to think big, not small. In today’s environment even a ma and pop bookshop needs to have a national or even international mindset. Allow me to site an example from another industry: Pawnshops. Yes, pawnshops, about as far removed from the book industry as any retail establishment might be. But I think there’s something to learn from them. One normally thinks of a pawnshop as a relatively isolated storefront. Customers come in to pawn, sell, or purchase items. Let’s look at the purchasing customers as they’re our parallel. Time was when all goods sold through a pawnshop were purchased on site. Customers came in, perused the shop, and either bought something or left. Now, most successful pawnbrokers not only offer their merchandise in house but online as well. They sell on their own websites, on eBay, Craig’s list, etc. They’ve embraced current trends and enhanced their profitability. Booksellers have these same opportunities.

HOW ELSE CAN TRADITIONAL BOOKSELLERS INCORPORATE NEW TRENDS? Selling eBook readers and offering download stations are a great start, but don’t go quite far enough. Electronic readers and eBooks can be purchased online. The customer needs a reason to make the effort to come to the store. Price is an obvious factor. If book stores offered eBooks and readers at discounted rates below those offered online, this could draw customers. But prices can always be undercut and Amazon’s discounts make them difficult to beat. Major chains might be able to purchase the rights to eBooks not available anywhere else and even independent stores might offer a catalog of niche offerings (both print and electronic) that are rare or difficult to find. Chain booksellers or coalitions of independent booksellers might be able to enter into exclusivity agreements with smaller publishing houses, gaining exclusive rights to certain titles and/or authors.

MIX THE OLD WITH THE NEW: Many people still love the feel and smell of a print book. They like having something tangible to hold and to own. Retail outlets can offer this while still catering to the eBook trend. How about a package deal? Buy the print copy and get the eBook for free (or at a drastically reduced rate).

EMPHASIZE THE EXPERIENCE: Online buying is quick and easy, but there is no ambiance, no atmosphere. Traditional bookstores have the opportunity to offer the customer much more than can a website. Helpful booksellers can guide shoppers to new authors they might enjoy. Reading areas and coffee shops within stores are still popular and can be emphasized all the more. Author signings and readings offer an additional dynamic and even if authors aren’t often available onsite, carrying autographed copies in stock is a great selling point. People like holding a book that the author held in his/her own hands.

DON’T ROLL OVER AND PLAY DEAD: Change can be scary. The future is vague. Things look much different out there. But, with such times come new opportunities. And those who look forward, who embrace new ideas and technologies will be the ones to prosper. Future bookstores may not look the same as they did in the past, but I really don’t believe they don’t need to go the way of the dinosaur either.

 

Thom Reese is the author of THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

July 11, 2011

REVIEW OF THE NEW JAMES BOND NOVEL BY JEFFERY DEAVER

REVIEW OF THE NEW JAMES BOND NOVEL BY JEFFERY DEAVER

CARTE BLANCHE, the new James Bond 007 novel by Jeffery Deaver launches the book series anew. James Bond is a young agent, only three years into his career. Through a flashback the reader is allowed to witness Bond’s recruitment into a new espionage agency independent of both MI5 and MI6, an agency where his assignment is to protect the realm at all costs. And of course the realm needs plenty of protecting. There is a new threat. Thousands of lives are at stake. Bond must learn the exact nature of the threat, where the attack will occur, and stop it before it’s too late.

WHAT I LIKED: This is quintessential James Bond. Deaver went to great lengths to give the story the feel of classic 007 while still plopping it firmly in the 21st century. There are the fast cars, the martinis, the beautiful women with ridiculous names (in this case, Felicity Willing and Philly Maidenstone), Bond’s suave and sophisticated personality, the clever gadgets, and the megalomaniac villain (Severan Hydt). Deaver even gives us some insights into Bond’s emotions and his past, helping to round out what otherwise could become a cartoon character. In particular, Bond’s musings on his parents’ deaths and his childhood interested me.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: Some of the same things. This is quintessential Bond, and while Deaver did place him in a post 911 world some of it felt like it was from another era – because it is. Felicity Willing and Philly Maidenstone – really? I get it. Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, used more preposterous names than these, but does that element need to persist? It seems dated and degrading. Bond himself, though a young man in the novel, also seems dated, a man out of his time. By holding so close to the Bond of legend I feel in some ways the character has not been allowed to grow as he should. That said, Deaver is in a difficult position. Bond fans will expect – even demand – certain conventions. If these elements are not present the loyal fan base could reject the new series. And, again, this is the first novel. It’s a starting place. My guess is that Deaver will continue to let the character grow as readers come to accept him as the new Bond author. In fact, he has already done so to a small degree in that Bond has thoughts of a longer-than-one-night relationship with a woman and actually decides against having sex with one of the beautiful women available to him. How 21st century of him!

My real disappointment came not from the character or the forced devices, but in the plot itself. Take away the Bond paraphernalia, the women, the cars, the gadgets, and what’s left is a very run-of-the-mill thriller novel. Try as I might, I just couldn’t engage with this book. Nothing grabbed me. I knew Bond would live through the experience and every other character was two dimensional. I just couldn’t care what happened to any of them. Honestly, if I didn’t want to see how Deaver handled all of the Bond clichés I most likely would have abandoned the book after the first 100 pages. The story simply didn’t have anything new to offer, no true tension, no real surprises, even the twists seemed well-tried.

MY FINAL TAKE: If you’re a true Bond fan, you’ll probably enjoy the ride. Aside from that, there’s really not much reason to read CARTE BLANCHE. Deaver is a strong writer as evidenced by his other works, but I fear Bond may simply belong to the past.

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THOM?

I’ve just gone over the proofs for my soon-to-be-released action thriller, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, which is due out in August 2011 from Speaking Volumes. This is the first novel in my Marc Huntington series. Those familiar with my audio drama series of the same name will remember that Marc and Dana Huntington are recovery experts who make their living locating and retrieving rare stolen artifacts and treasures, kidnapped persons, and anything else that brings with it a substantial finder’s fee. In DEAD MAN’S FIRE, Marc learns that the adult son of his former Delta Force commander has gone missing in the Amazon so Marc and Dana head south of the equator in search of the young man only to find nearly every member of the expedition murdered and an ancient fossil that seems to be at the heart of it all missing.

After completing the proofs for DEAD MAN’S FIRE, I’ve returned to writing the sequel, CHASING KELVIN, which should be released in early 2012. As well, my horror/sci-fi novel, THE EMPTY, is set for a 4th quarter 2011 release from L & L Dreamspell.

CHECK OUT THIS RECENT INTERVIEW I gave with Susan Whitfield: http://www.susanwhitfield.blog​spot.com/

READ THE 1ST CHAPTER OF MY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER, THE DEMON BAQASH: http://demonbaqash.wordpress.com/

SEE ALL OF MY BOOKS AND AUDIO DRAMAS: http://speakingvolumes.us/authors_ebooks.asp?pid=40

Thom Reese is the author of THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, DEAD MAN’S FIRE, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

Copyright 2011 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

 

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