Sunday, November 16, 2014

Titles Done Be Importante

With all due respect to Tom Clancy and all that he accomplished, I can't help but feel underwhelmed by the titles he chose for his last novels, and the title of the new one, continued by another author, which you can now pre-order and use as a doorstop when you're done because the goddamn thing is almost 700 pages, is so....odd....you have to wonder who came up with it.

What happened to the poetry and the thematic elements of his old titles? THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and THE CARDINAL OF THE KREMLIN, and even pithy titles like WITHOUT REMORSE and the never-equaled RED STORM RISING that were intriguing and eye-catching, have been replaced with LOCKED ON and DEAD OR ALIVE and THREAT VECTOR that leave you thinking,
WTF does that mean???

None of those titles inspire any interest. They frankly sound like they were selected by monkeys taking a break from writing Shakespeare. They are titles that would fit an Executioner novel, and, frankly, be more of a fit there, albeit just as bad. There's no Clancy magic in them.

Maybe it doesn't matter anymore because Clancy is dead, apparently assassinated by Obama's Secret Police because he knew too much (I read that on the Internet!), and the publisher knows Clancy's name will sell more copies than the title will. The downside is they just slap a few apparently unrelated words on the cover and head off to the pub.

The newest is the worst. FULL FORCE AND EFFECT. What they did here, you see, was take four words out of the middle of a sentence. The manuscript sat without a title for months and then the editor read a line that said, "Ryan and his team planned to hit the enemy with full force and effect, from which none would escape." The editor spit out his coffee, not even realizing the line made no sense....would the enemy not escape or would Ryan and his team not escape or would both the enemy and Ryan's team be killed? Who cares! He shouted, "That's it! My degree from American University has paid for itself again!" and had the cover made up.

Big 5 publishing at it's finest, folks.

I hope the content between the covers is better. Of course, it's written by Mark Greaney, and he can't be any worse than Clancy was. But at almost 700 pages....I have my doubts. I'll read every word, though.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BITE HARDER + An Interview with Anonymous-9

If you're looking for a crackin' good read, look for further than BITE HARDER by Anonymous-9. It's the sequel to her widely-acclaimed HARD BITE, which you also should have read, and in this case the sequel is quite good. It picks up right where the original left off, and we reunite with old friends and old enemies in a very exciting fashion, and we even get a tease for what HARD BITE 3 will be about, should A-9 ever get around to writing it.

The stories follow a paraplegic vigilante, who does the hunting, and his helper monkey, Sid, who does the killing. Imagine a psychotic Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin combo. Of course, Sid doesn't talk, but, like Archie, has a way with the ladies.

I asked A-9 a few questions about the new book and here they are:

1) HARD BITE ended with a certain sense of finality. Did you have a sequel in mind from the beginning?

A-9: Not at all. I only decided to do a sequel when Allan Guthrie from Blasted Heath sent me an email and said, "We're really interested in doing a series." So I sat down and figured out how to spool out the yarn.

2) You have at least two dream sequences in BITE HARDER. Do you attach significance to dreams? If so, what do you think dreams can tell us? Or was that just a convenient plot device?

A-9: I see that as two separate issues. Personally, I think dreams are our subconscious talking to us and trying to send a signal. When I write a dream sequence for a book it's always a plot device to telegraph information in a different and surreal way.

3) You've been busy with other projects, too. Can you tell us a little about CRASHING THROUGH MIRRORS and JUST SO YOU KNOW I'M NOT DEAD?

A-9: CRASHING THROUGH MIRRORS is my latest and it's a noir novelette set in music-industry L.A. True to my nature, it's action-packed, can be read in about an hour, and delves into a sensitive and verboten subject. I'm gratified that readers really like the characters and are calling for a novel. No matter what I write people say they want it to be longer. Which is a lot better than closing it up because it's boring, I guess.

JUST SO YOU KNOW I'M NOT DEAD is a collection of three short stories that I issued as an e-book to tell readers that I was still alive and kicking. It's a writing "sampler" and I frequently give it away for free. But even at full price (which Amazon makes me charge) it's only 99 cents.

4) What's next from Anonymous-9?

A-9: DREAMING DEEP is one of the stories in the JUST SO YOU KNOW I'M NOT DEAD collection. It was originally published in a HORRORFACTORY anthology and is a tribute to H.P. Lovecraft who is widely accepted as one of the grandfathers of modern American horror. I pitched DREAMING DEEP as a novelette to Andrew Byers of Uncanny Books, who was looking for just the right project. Uncanny runs along the fantasy, sci-fi, horror lines. The fact that the story already had a track record and great reviews was a factor in the sale. The project was contracted and I had an advance check nine days after my pitch.

5) If there was one question you'd like to be asked in an interview, what would it be, and what's your answer?

A-9: Here's a first class ticket to Las Vegas. Can we finish this interview over cigarettes and a Polynesian Piledriver at Frankie's Tiki Room?

BD: Hahaha, thanks, but I'm a cigar guy. Cigarettes will kill you. I'll bring some Montecristos for you to try.

You can buy CRASHING THROUGH MIRRORS here.

You can buy BITE HARDER here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Back in the USSR

I'm developing the plot for The Rogue Gentleman #3 and focusing on the return of the USSR, which, as I compile sources, seems to be what Putin is pushing for, and he's made no secret of saying so. He's made pacts already with three former Soviet satellites as well as the Chinese, all of which consolidates territory and resources under one umbrella.

My story deals with Putin stealing high-tech weapons to move forward even further, but what started as speculation has turned into a definite possibility. It's a little scary. We've thought for so long that the Cold War was over; the commies were gone; let's everybody party and try a little socialism here in the U.S., and now we may end up back in the bad old days all over again.

October 2017 is the anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution. I'm wondering if that's when Pooty-Poot will make some kind of grand gesture restoring the old system, and, based on where the U.S. is right now, I'm wondering how impotent we will be to stand in the way.

Either way, it's going to be a crackin' book.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scott Steletto is Now Available!

Here's the blurb for my new spy story, The Termination Protocol:

All CIA agent Scott Steletto had to do was bring captured terrorist Brendan Miller to the U.S. He even had extra security to make sure nothing went wrong.

But something does go wrong. Another terrorist group, seeing Miller's value to the CIA, snatches him in a blinding fast raid that leaves four agents dead and Steletto wounded.

The New World Revolutionary Front demands a ransom, and if the CIA doesn't pay, they're going to shoot Miller and ruin any chance the Americans have of extracting information valuable to the War on Terror.

The NWRF doesn't count on Miller having a few tricks up his sleeve, or Steletto's relentless determination to complete his mission. And when Miller gets away and the two team-up to fight their common enemy, the NWRF faces the wrath of two men who are deadlier together than they are separately.

Check it out!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Introducing Scott Steletto

Here is the cover for the first installment of my new spy series, a series totally different from The Rogue Gentleman. This one is straight-up secret agent pulp, featuring CIA operative Scott Steletto. The manuscript is in the final editing stages and I only need to write the description, which is always tough, but somehow, with a little help from my friends, it always comes out OK. In this first adventure, Steletto must rescue a terrorist from other terrorists and then the two team-up to fight the common enemy. I think it provides a nice twist to the usual hokum and I also think you'll like it.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Hangman#1 by Jack Badelaire -- Great Beach Read

If you're looking for a quick, entertaining read for anytime, and like high-octane thrills and shoot-em-up action, look no further than Jack Badelaire's latest, Hangman#1: San Francisco Slaughter.

Here he serves up another adventure in the Lynch Saga (if I may call it that) featuring, this time, Jamie Lynch, whom you might remember from a bit part in Jack's other book, Killer Instincts. This time he gets his own adventure, fresh from Vietnam and bored with beach life, so he makes a call and gets a job as a trouble shooter for a high-tech firm in San Francisco.

Set in the 1970s, Jack captures the time and place fairly well for somebody who didn't live there. I should know--I do live there, and did so in the years following he setting of the book but not much had changed. I recognized many landmarks and descriptions that really brought the place to life as much as my fuzzy recollection allowed. That was a nice touch.

Jaime works with another merc/soldier/lone gunman named Richard (there's a mystery about him) as the pair race to discover the location of a missing engineer who knows way too much; along the way they tangle with gangsters and the usual assortment of no goodniks. A few twists and turns and you have an excellent action story that doesn't demand much brain work on your part. That's a good thing. It's perfect for the beach or your back patio after work, a cold one or cigar in one hand and this ebook in the other. (That's how I enjoyed it, by the way.) It's also available in paperback.

Jack writes in a crisp style that reminds me of Jack Higgins' early work, and that's a good thing, too. I'm not a guy who likes to read a lot of words, especially the useless words writers often throw in for color. That crispness really let the story shine and it moves along at a quick pace. Nothing boring here, but how will Jamie and Friends come back for more? They part ways at the end of this story, so I guess we'll have to be surprised when book two comes out and we pick up where this left off. I think I know what Jack has in mind and I'm eager to see if I'm right.

Give Hangman #1: San Francisco Slaughter a look. I think you'll like it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Free Book for Reviews

Hi, everybody--

I'd like to give you a free book in exchange for a review, good or bad. So, if you'd like to read either The Rogue Gentleman or its sequel, Mine to Avenge, please email me at briandrake88 at yahoo dot com and I will send you a copy for your Kindle. I don't have it available in other formats right now, since I did the KDP exclusive thing, which I'm still not totally sold on, but I can get you a PDF. Thanks!