Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Henry Brown--Hell and Gone
Henry Brown: I had a rather rustic upbringing--reading was my only diversion. When unread books were scarce, I had to invent entertainment for myself. That's how the writing seed was planted.
I enlisted in the military right out of high school and volunteered for an elite unit, hoping to experience some real-life adventure. I guess I did, but nothing like my naive imagination concocted.
Throughout my life I never lost my compulsion to write. No matter what kind of situations I've found myself in, my brain never tires of milking story ideas out of them. I couldn't stop it if I tried.
Hell and Gone is a military thriller about a team of SpecOps veterans-turned-mercenaries on a desperate mission to wrestle an atomic weapon away from terrorists.
Saddam Hussein once fired Scud missiles into Israel, hoping to provoke retaliation, thereby driving a wedge between America and her Desert Storm allies. Now fanatics have acquired a WMD for use in a similar strategy on a grander scale. Picture Tel Aviv as a radioactive parking lot. If America sides with Israel, the Coalition against Terror fractures and the oil-lubed US economy crumbles. If America turns against Israel...well, that's just as effective.
The "plausibly deniable" plan to preempt this catastrophe involves unorthodox resources: Dwight Cavarra and twelve other "has-beens," armed to the teeth and with no rules-of-engagement limitations. The novel follows these characters--some repugnant, some conflicted, some even heroic, all at least a little bit crazy.
Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
So far, readers enjoy the action most. However, it's not just about blood and thunder, but strong characters who grow on you as the plot develops--most of whom try to do the right thing despite the odds and their own imperfections.
Q: Why did you go indie?
In the post-9/11 world it seems no publisher wants to touch counter-terrorism thrillers unless it's written by an established big name. I think they consider it in poor taste. Anyway, I had to overcome my own snobbery regarding nontraditional publishing. One helpful catalyst was an article I read about the future of publishing and e-readers. It made me rethink my prejudices. For me it circumvents the industry gatekeepers who decide what kind of books people should read--and will hopefully put my writing in front of readers who can decide for themselves.
Q: Who are your favorite authors in the suspense, mystery, horror, and thriller fields?
Philip Margolin wows me occasionally. Harlan Coben is consistently enjoyable. I don't read horror. Wilbur Smith tops my thriller pantheon.
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Gone-Henry-Brown/dp/160264523X
Smashwords (ebook): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/14326