Ethan Jones Books

10 Questions with Andrew Grant

run-225My guest today is Mr. Andrew Grant, author of RUN, a thriller that came out on October 7. Please scroll down to enjoy his interview.

1. Mr. Grant, thank you for stopping by on my blog. Your newest thriller, RUN, came out on October 7. Tell us a bit more about this book.

Ethan, it’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for inviting me!
Everyone knows what it feels like to have a bad day. A REALLY bad day where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. I hoped that in setting up the hero of the story, Marc Bowman, so that the bottom is torn out of his world, piece by agonizing piece, I could create a character that readers would sympathize with, and a world they would relate to. Even if I did take things to a bit of an extreme…

2. Who is Marc Bowman and how did you come up with his character?

Unlike the hero of my previous series, Marc is a civilian. He’s uber-competent in his own high-tech field, and maybe a little more comfortable dealing with computers than people. Back in August of 2012 I was walking around with a semi-developed picture in my head of how I wanted him to look when I visited the Lichtenstein exhibition which the Art Institute of Chicago was hosting that summer. I remember gazing at the trademark shading in one of Lichtenstein’s giant paintings and being hit by the realization that in a way, Marc worked with the same tools. Only instead of dots and lines he dealt in zeros and ones, and this parallel became a key theme throughout the personal and professional aspects the book.

3. What is one of the most interesting things you learned during the research for this thriller?

I was aware of the connection between covert surveillance and telecommunications from my years in the industry, but it was fascinating to discover how far things have come in the time since I left. For example, it was amazing to find out about the data storage center the government has recently built in Utah. The place is so large – five times the size of the Capitol building – that they had to extend the boundary of the town where it’s located to contain it. It can store an incredible amount of data – so much that they’re already working in yottabytes, which are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000s of bytes. There isn’t even a word for a higher magnitude. Yet.

4. What was one of the best things about working in the telecom industry? One of the worse things?

Looking back, there are many good things that stand out to me but the best would have to be the people I worked with, many of whom are still close friends even after many years and thousands of miles. The worst would be the trend which emerged over the time I spent in the industry of ceasing to value the individual and the unique blend of skills each person brought to the team and replacing this with “management by spreadsheet,” which encouraged the creation of a one-dimensional army of clones.

5. Why do you write?

I write because I’m obsessed with telling stories—and also because it’s my job! I’m very fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love.

6. What are your writing habits? Outlines or not? How do you go from the idea for a book to the finished manuscript?

I always liken the process of going from idea to finished manuscript to taking a picture with one of those old-fashioned instant cameras. When the photograph first emerges from the machine it’s blurry and indistinct, and yet you know there’s an image there. As you wait, the outline becomes clearer, until something recognisable appears before you. With writing, your initial idea isn’t clear enough to hang a whole novel on, but with time (and thought) it will solidify until you have enough to work with. The trick is knowing when you’ve reached that point…

7. Which part of RUN did you find the greatest challenge to write?

All the parts where Marc was faced with physical danger, or needed some kind of specialist knowledge to get out of trouble. As I mentioned, the hero of my previous series was a professional agent so overcoming assailants or recognizing when someone was attempting to lure him into a trap was second nature to him. This time, however, I had to work much harder to come up with cunning and innovative ways for Marc to outwit his enemies.

8. What are your favorite pastimes?

My favourite pastimes are reading (anything and everything), the theatre, and watching football (I’m a life-long fan of Aston Villa FC, from my home town of Birmingham, England).

9. What is your greatest satisfaction as a writer? What is your greatest disappointment?

This may sound hokey, but my greatest satisfaction is hearing from a reader that they’ve enjoyed one of my books. And the converse, my greatest disappointment is hearing that someone hasn’t liked what I’ve written.

10. What is your next book going to be about?

My next book features another new character—a homicide detective in Birmingham, AL. He sets out to investigate the disappearance of a young orphan, and in the process uncovers a series of shocking discoveries about his own past.

Priority Target Cover Reveal

Today, I revealed the cover of PRIORITY TARGET, the first novella in my new CARRIE CHRONICLES series, to all loyal readers in my Fans Mailing List. If you haven’t joined the list, you’re missing out on my news about new book releases, free advance review copies, cover reveals, discounts and promotions. Click on the following link to be added to my Fans Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/HIG7r

Weekly Intelligence Briefing

We’re continuing to enjoy some warm and sunny days, unusual for our fall up here in Canada. I hope your fall is treating you well.

EthanJones_ShadowAgents_800Work on SHADOW AGENTS is on schedule. I’ve started Chapter 21 and things are literally and figuratively heating up. Deserts. Firefights. A crazy plan that did work as expected. Well, kind off. If I gave more details, that would ruin the surprise of reading and enjoying the book.

Now, I’m spending some time reviewing the previous chapters and going over comments and suggestions from my beta readers. They’ve made some excellent points about a few parts in the book that need some revision.

If you haven’t pre-order SHADOW AGENTS yet, please do so today from this link. Take advantage of the discounted price and enjoy the peace of mind that you’ll receive the book the day it is released, December 16. Your pre-order is very important to increase visibility of the book before comes out, and I truly appreciate your support.

As a loyal reader (you know who you are), you’ll be able to enjoy a special preview of the first five chapters (65 pages) of SHADOW AGENTS starting in November. If you’re interested in this sneak peek at the newest Justin Hall spy thriller, please drop me a note at author.ethan.jones@gmail.com to indicate your interest in receiving a copy of these chapters, if you are able to read them and post a review about them on Amazon between November 15 and December 15, 2014. As a token of my appreciation, after you post a review, you’ll receive a final retail copy of SHADOW AGENTS free of charge.

I’m working with my designer on the cover for Book 1 in CARRIE CHRONICLES, which is titled PRIORITY TARGET. Hopefully, I can share the cover with all of you later on this week or early next week. PRIORITY TARGET will be a novella, expected to come out on December 23, if everything goes well, and if the Lord blesses me with time and abilities to write. This book will be my Christmas present to all my readers.

As with SHADOW AGENTS, my loyal readers will have the opportunity to read this novella before it is released to the general public. Simply drop me a note to indicate your interest, and I will add you to the list of readers to receive the first three chapters of this special preview in early December. Then, if you can post a review on Amazon before the novella is released, I will send you the final retail copy of PRIORITY TARGET free of charge. My e-mail is: author.ethan.jones@gmail.com.

I will start a new series, but that does not mean I will stop my current series. I’m planning to write at least one more book in 2015 in the Justin Hall series. And this series will continued in 2016 and beyond.

EJones_ArcticWargame_800ARCTIC WARGAME is the first spy thriller that kicked off the Justin Hall series. Pick it up today for yourself or a friend. Then, you can continue the adventure with TRIEthanJones_TripolisTarget_1400POLI’S TARGET, the second thriller in the series.

If you have already enjoyed them, why not let the world know about your opinion? Please share what you think about them on your social media or post a review on Amazon or other book retailers. The more reviews a book has, the greater the likelihood of new readers willing to give it a try. And your help and your support are priceless.

If you’re not on my Fans Mailing List, you’re missing out of a lot of exclusive news about my books and my writing, advance readers copies and more. Go to this link to join my Fans Mailing List now.

At the end, THANK YOU for buying my books, writing reviews about them and telling your friends. And if you’d like to chat, you can always drop me a note at my personal e-mail account, author.ethan.jones@gmail.com. I promise to answer every one of you.

10 Questions with Tony Park

My guest today is Mr. Tony Park, author of The Delta, an adventure thriller that came out on Tuesday, October 7. Please scroll down to enjoy his interview.

IMG_38261. Mr. Park, thank you for stopping on my blog. Your newest thriller, THE DELTA, came out on Tuesday and marked your North America debut. Tell us a bit more about this book.
It’s my pleasure to drop by. The Delta is a contemporary African thriller set in Botswana and Namibia. While purely a work of fiction the premise for the book, the construction of a dam on the Okavango River, which would seriously harm the renowned Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana is, amazingly, based on fact. There was a plan to dam the river, though fortunately in real life it was shouted down. The book, The Delta, sees the proposed dam constructed and a group of environmentalists and safari operators pays a mercenary firm to blow up the dam.
2. Who is Sonja Kurtz and how did you come up with her character?The Delta
Sonja Kurtz is female private military contractor – aka a mercenary. She was born in South-West Africa, now known as Namibia, and left Africa as a young woman for the UK (her mother was English) to join the British Army. A woman of action, she ends up serving during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and later leaves the arm to work as a mercenary. I was reading non fiction book, Against All Odds, by Eben Barlow, about Barlow’s private military company, Executive Outcomes, when the idea for Sonja came to me. Barlow mentions in the book that when he was recruiting, mostly from the ranks of ex soldiers in South Africa, a number of women who had served in the military came forward and asked to join his company. I’d wanted to write a novel with a mercenary lead character and after reading that book, I thought hey, why not make my mercenary a woman?
3. Most writers stick with a series, but you work on standalone thrillers. How do you find creating and developing new characters every time? And where do you suggest a new reader start with your books?
I generally like starting with a clean slate, as I enjoy the process of creating a whole new ‘family’ of characters. It’s like meeting new people. Two of my novels, African Sky and African Dawn, do feature the same three families, but they could also easily be read as standalone stories. Readers can start in order they wish; I find that if people have visited the continent of Africa, or perhaps lived there, they tend to gravitate towards stories set in places that they know. I’ve set books in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Kenya.
4. Africa, its politics and its wild life are recurring themes in your works. What is it about her that you love?
It’s hard to put a finger on it. I’d classify my fascination with Africa as more of an addiction than a love Affair – the more I see and learn about this amazing continent, the more I want to explore. As a first time visitor it was the incredible wildlife that drew my wife, Nicola, and I in, on our first visit in 1995, but since then we’ve met some wonderful and fascinating people and visited some truly beautiful places. Africa is dynamic, always changing. Countries that were in conflict or recovering from civil war when we first visited are now forging ahead while, conversely, places that were relatively stable and prosperous back in 1995 – Zimbabwe in particular – have deteriorated in that period. As a writer, I find the mix of cultures and the ever changing political landscape make for an endless supply of material.
5. Why do you write?
The only thing I ever wanted to do as a child, through to adulthood, was to write a novel. It sounds corny, but I’m living my dream and there is nothing else on earth I’d rather be doing.
6. What are your writing habits? Outlines or not? How do you go from the idea for a book to the finished manuscript?
When I first started writing I tried writing an outline and failed. I worked out pretty quickly that the only way for me to write is simply to sit down, start writing and make it up as I go along. I enjoy not knowing what will happen next and I figure that if I don’t, then hopefully the reader (or, more importantly, my wife, Nicola, who is my first reader) won’t either. I’ll pick up an idea or premise for a book from something I’ve read, or heard on the radio news here in South Africa and think, that sounds like a good start and just take it from there. The characters, the plot and the theme are all strangers to me at that point.
7. What was your experience like in Afghanistan when you served with the Australian troops in 2002?
I was very lucky to serve with an extremely dedicated and professional bunch of people in our military’s Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan. I was a mere Army Public Relations officer, but I got to see our best people in action, and to meet many people from many different countries who were serving in the coalition. My war was mostly conducted from behind a desk, but I did get out occasionally to see some of Afghanistan. What interested me was how deep the wounds of September 11 2001 had cut into the psyches of the Americans I served with. Australia, like most of the rest of the world, was appalled by what happened at that time, and our military was ready to serve when asked, but for the US military men and women I met it was as though they had each been personally attacked. It’s an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life; it was probably harder on Nicola than it was on me and I think we should all remember that for every serviceman or woman serving overseas there are family and loved ones who go through a lonely, sometimes harrowing time.
8. I’ve always wanted to go parachuting but I’m scarred the parachute will not open. As a qualified military parachutist, what do you do in such a scenario?
The army has an incredible knack of turning any fun activity into something repetitive, boring and even painful. The Australian Army parachute course is nearly three weeks long and much of that time is devoted to learning drills about what to do if something goes wrong. Given our strong emphasis on checking equipment and knowing what to do if there is a problem our safety record is excellent. Twenty-five years after attending that course, and ten years on since my last jump, I could still recite to you, verbatim, the drills for deploying my reserve (back up) parachute!
9. What is your greatest satisfaction as a writer? What is your greatest disappointment?
I think they’re one in the same – finishing a new book. It’s a great feeling to type ‘The End’, and at the same time as soon as I submit a manuscript to my publisher I go through quite a ‘down’ period. I get restless and moody in between books (as Nicola will attest, I’m a pain in the you-know-what to live with at that time). It’s a mix of wondering if the book will be accepted and separation anxiety from the characters I’ve just finished with.
10. What is your next book going to be about?
My next book for the UK, Australian and South African markets is called ‘The Hunter’ – it’s about people faking their own deaths for insurance claims, a common crime in Zimbabwe and South Africa. The next book scheduled for release in the US market is ‘Ivory’, one of my earlier novels, about a gang of modern day pirates operating off the coast of Mozambique. I’m currently writing a new novel which, in contrast to my previous stand alone works, will be a sequel to ‘The Delta’, featuring my favourite female lead, Sonja Kurtz.

Weekly Intelligence Briefing

I hope the month of October has come with blessings and warm weather. We have enjoyed some sunny days and it looks like those will continue throughout the week.

I added another 4,000 words to SHADOW AGENTS last week. Now I’m on Chapter 20 as Justin and Carrie are crafting a crazy strategy to get to the truth. I’d love to give more details, but that would spoil the surprise of reading and enjoying the book.

EthanJones_ShadowAgents_800If you haven’t pre-order SHADOW AGENTS yet, please do so today from this link. Take advantage of the discounted price and enjoy the peace of mind that you’ll receive the book the day it is released, December 16. Your pre-order is very important to increase visibility of the book before comes out, and I truly appreciate your support.

As a loyal reader (you know who you are), you’ll be able to enjoy a special preview of the first five chapters (65 pages) of SHADOW AGENTS starting in November. If you’re interested in this sneak peek at the newest Justin Hall spy thriller, please drop me a note at author.ethan.jones@gmail.com to indicate your interest in receiving a copy of these chapters, if you are able to read them and post a review about them on Amazon between November 1 and December 15, 2014. As a token of my appreciation, after you post a review, you’ll receive a final retail copy of SHADOW AGENTS free of charge.

I announced last week some exciting news of starting to work on a new series with Carrie O’Connor as the main character. The series will open up with a short novella, the first in the Carrie’s Chronicles series. I already have the outline, and the title of this novella with be PRIORITY TARGET. I might refer to Justin Hall in Carrie’s novella or have him make a cameo appearance, but the story will be told from Carrie’s point of view. I might even write it in first person. We’ll see. But she’ll be on a solo mission in Somalia. Or maybe Yemen. I haven’t really decided yet. Some place the US has drone-bombed recently.

If everything goes well, Lord willing, I’ll release this novella right before Christmas, on December 23. A Christmas present to all my readers.

As with SHADOW AGENTS, my loyal readers will have the opportunity to read this novella before it is released to the general public. Simply drop me a note to indicate your interest, and I will add you to the list of readers to receive the first three chapters of this special preview in early December. Then, if you can post a review on Amazon before the novella is released, I will send you the final retail copy of PRIORITY TARGET free of charge. My e-mail is: author.ethan.jones@gmail.com.

I will start a new series, but that does not mean I will stop my current series. I’m planning to write at least one more book in 2015 in the Justin Hall series. And this series will continue in 2016 and beyond.

EJones_ArcticWargame_800ARCTIC WARGAME is the first spy thriller that kicked off the Justin Hall series. Pick it up today for yourself or a friend. Then, you can continue the adventure with TRIPOLI’S TARGET, the second thriller in the series.EthanJones_TripolisTarget_Amazon_1400

If you have already enjoyed them, why not let the world know about your opinion? Please share what you think about them on your social media or post a review on Amazon or other book retailers. The more reviews a book has, the greater the likelihood of new readers willing to give it a try. And your help and your support are priceless.

If you’re not on my Fans Mailing List, you’re missing out of a lot of exclusive news about my books and my writing, advance readers copies and more. Go to this link to join my Fans Mailing List now.

At the end, THANK YOU for buying my books, writing reviews about them and telling your friends. And if you’d like to chat, you can always drop me a note at my personal e-mail account, author.ethan.jones@gmail.com. I promise to answer every one of you.

Exciting News: PRIORITY TARGET Novella

I’ve got some exciting news to share with all of you: I’m starting a new series with Carrie O’Connor as the main character. The series will open up with a short novella, the first in the Carrie’s Chronicles series. I already have the outline, and the title of this novella with be PRIORITY TARGET. I might refer to Justin Hall in Carrie’s novella or have him make a cameo appearance, but the story will be told from Carrie’s point of view. I might even write it in first person. We’ll see. But she’ll be on a solo mission in Somalia. Or maybe Yemen. I haven’t really decided yet. Some place the US has drone-bombed recently.

If everything goes well, Lord willing, I’ll release this novella right before Christmas, on December 23. My Christmas present to all my readers.

As with SHADOW AGENTS, my loyal readers will have the opportunity to read this novella before it is released to the general public. Simply drop me a note to indicate your interest, and I will add you to the list of readers to receive the first three chapters of this special preview in early December. Then, if you can post a review on Amazon before the novella is released, I will send you the final retail copy of PRIORITY TARGET free of charge. My e-mail is: author.ethan.jones@gmail.com

My Interview with Catherine Coulter

THE LOST KEYPlease enjoy my interview with Catherine Coulter, author of the excellent thriller THE LOST KEY that come out today.

1.   What did you enjoy the most when writing THE LOST KEY?

Actually, the greatest surprise and pleasure was before beginning the writing. Let me preface this by saying that neither J.T. nor I outline, that is, we’re “pantsers”, not “plotsters”. But we sat across from each other and plotted from Chapter 1 to Chapter 50 (Day One in the book). When she came back so we could continue work on THE LOST KEY, we plotted Day Two, from Chapter 50 through Chapter 96 — to THE END. It was amazing. We actually pulled it off. We used fully 80% of what we plotted together, and in the final drafts we came up with extraordinary ideas to polish it off. What could be better than that?

2.   How does your cooperation with J.T. Ellison work?

Very well, thank you. Okay, okay. We’re both professionals; we’re both smart and creative, we’re both disciplined, that is we work every day, we’re both Type A — this is good since if it weren’t true, one of us would have shot the other. I’ve got to tell you, together we’re unbeatable. I think I’m the luckiest writer alive to have found her. Plus now I have a lifelong friend.

3.   What is your greatest satisfaction or your greatest disappointment as a writer?

Forget this disappointment stuff. My greatest satisfaction? That Dillon Savich whispered in my ear after THE COVE, “Hey, Catherine, what about me?” And the FBI series was born. And readers love the series, now in its 18th thriller, what’s not to satisfy?

4.   What is your next book going to be about?

My next FBI thriller, out next summer — 2015 — and is titled NEMESIS — an unusual title for me, but it fits this book. The Nemesis of both arch-enemies in both mysteries isn’t Savich, it’s Sherlock. I won’t tell you what she does, but she kicks this book off with a bang, and the stakes keep getting higher and higher. I loved writing this book. Now we’ll wait to see what readers think when it comes out next year.

Weekly Intelligence Briefing

We’re still enjoying a warm fall with lovely gold, purple, and orange leaves, but the winter is just behind the door.

EthanJones_ShadowAgents_800I was blessed with another busy writing week, with a little over 4,000 words penned down in SHADOW AGENTS. I passed the 3/4 point and I’m working on Chapter 19 today, on a scene taking place in a Mossad safe house in Amman, Jordan. Things are about to heat up very soon.

Did you know you can pre-order SHADOW AGENTS from this link? If you haven’t done so, please take a moment to pre-order it today. You’ll enjoy the discounted price and the peace of mind that it will be delivered to your Kindle as soon as it is released on December 16. Your pre-order is greatly appreciated and a tremendous help in terms of ranking and visibility on the Amazon store. I’m very grateful for your support.

If you’re one of my loyal readers, though, you’ll be able to enjoy a special preview of the first five chapters (65 pages) starting in November. If you’re interested in this sneak peek at the newest Justin Hall spy thriller, please drop me a note at author.ethan.jones@gmail.com to indicate your interest in receiving a copy of these chapters, if you are able to read them and post a review about them on Amazon between November 1 and December 15, 2014. As a token of my appreciation, every loyal reader who posts a review will receive a final retail copy of SHADOW AGENTS free of charge.

EJones_ArcticWargame_800ARCTIC WARGAME is the first spy thriller that kicked off the Justin Hall series. Pick it up today for yourself or a friend. Then, you can continue the adventure with TRIPOLI’S TARGET, the second thriller in the series.EthanJones_TripolisTarget_1400

If you have already enjoyed them, why not let the world know about your opinion? Please share what you think about them on your social media or post a review on Amazon or other book retailers. The more reviews a book has, the greater the likelihood of new readers willing to give it a try. And your help and your support is priceless.

If you’re not on my Fans Mailing List, you’re missing out of a lot of exclusive news about my books and my writing, advance readers copies and more. Go to this link to join my Fans Mailing List now.

At the end, THANK YOU for buying my books, writing reviews about them and telling your friends. And if you’d like to chat, you can always drop me a note at my personal e-mail account, author.ethan.jones@gmail.com. I promise to answer every one of you.

Last day TRIPOLI’S TARGET is 99 cents

EthanJones_TripolisTarget_1400Today’s the last day to enjoy TRIPOLI’S TARGET, the second book in the Justin Hall spy series, for 99 cents. Please share this link with your friends and on all your social media.

Hard Return by J. Carson Black

Hard Return (J. Carson Black)Hard Return is an intriguing thriller.

The story starts right and we meet the main character in the first chapter. He’s known as Joe Till to Barbara Carey, but Joe is Cyril Landry, a former Navy SEAL living off the grid. He keeps an eye on his teenage daughter Kristal, but from far away, to protect her and the rest of his family. Then things go sideways in Chapter 3, when a gunman wielding his M-16 assault rifle goes on a rampage at Kristal’s school. But the gunman was calm and methodical. Not the average school shooter, Cyril thinks and he decides to take the matters into this own hands. He drops the shooter with a sniper shot. The police lockdown the area, but Cyril is a professional and knows how to handle himself.

Ms. Black’s style is smooth and precise. She gives the reader clear pictures of how to story is moving forward, without boring them or delving into unnecessary details. The dialogue is great, the twists and turns numerous and unexpected, the action is excellent and plenty.

As Barbara suspects Joe is not who she thought he was, Cyril starts his own investigation on the shooting, especially since the media seemed to have been ordered to stay away from this case. But what will Cyril find? Who was the shooter? And what will it take for Cyril to find the truth?

I can’t wait for this fantastic thriller to come out as a movie.

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