Husband and wife thieves are on a mission. Just not the same one. He’s out to pay for her cancer therapy–at any costs. She’s out to humanize him, and make him less of a self-absorbed jerk.
The fast-talking, fast-acting, adrenaline seeking duo pick up a few on-again off-again sidekicks along their way, despite staunch protests from Zinio. But with all they’re up against–not the least of which being one smart, hound-dog of a lady detective–the question is: Can love conquer all?
“The story is smart and funny.” R. D. Hale, Sky City: The Rise of an Orphan
“For the booklover that doesn’t like having his or her time wasted.” Jack Heath, Remote Control
“This would make a brilliant movie or TV series.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift
“Reminded me of The Thomas Crown Affair, down to the whip-cracking humor, the snazzy plot turns, and the character dynamics between the leads and the hotshot female detective on their tales.” Rhys Jones, The Whispering Void
“Only if you want an action packed read with fully developed and interesting characters.” Victor Longshanks, One Big Problem
Hi! Glad to have you here. Now, to start, what inspired you to write the Love on the Run?
Love on the Run had several sources of inspiration. But one of them is the fact that I love a good heist film. Things like Bandits (with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton), Ocean’s Eleven, Fun with Dick and Jane, After the Sunset, and my favorite of all, The Thomas Crown Affair with Pierce Brosnan. You’ll notice I’m citing all film references. Well, at the time of the initial writing, Love on the Run was a screenplay. But I started pulling at the seams and the limits of what you can do in 110 mostly white pages (the limit for a screenplay) with the character development. I felt my ensemble cast members particularly needed more room to show off their quirky characters.
If you’ll notice, one other thing sets these heist films apart from others; the profligate use of biting humor. Their tone is what I was aiming for with Love on the Run, which of all of them is most like The Thomas Crown Affair. The plotting and character dynamics share more than a few things in common, not the least of which is one ultra-savvy female FBI profiler hunting our hero and heroine.
As with Fun with Dick and Jane, Love on the Run outlines multiple forms of social injustice that have become commonplace in our society, but gets us to take a step back without getting overly heavy-handed. Ironically, the screenplay was written prior to the global economic meltdown. If anything, post the greatest downturn anyone’s seen since the Great Depression, the themes and bleeding heart causes of the novel that grew out of the screenplay are probably more contemporary than ever. But God forbid I should let any of this profound save-the-world-from-itself stuff get in the way of having a rollicking good time.
How would you describe the story to someone who hasn't read it yet?
Other than what I said above: These are the most likable, heartwarming thieves you’ll ever meet. You’d be happy to have them over for dinner and to allow them to plop their duffel bags of money right by the coatrack.
There are high speed car chases, costume changes as they go undercover to avoid the Big Brother cameras that seem to be everywhere, and a cat and mouse game to end all cat and mouse games between a brainy female FBI profiler and the equally sharp Zinio and Delaney.
Anyone who reads Love on the Run, or any of my novels really, can pretty much give up coffee. Maybe I should be selling it in the self-help aisle.
Describe your hero, Zinio, and your heroine, Delaney, in 3 words each.
Zinio: Great under pressure
Delaney: Zinio’s beating heart
What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?
There’s a scene where one of the on-again, off-again septuagenarian sidekicks who has been cast aside for his own protection, Charles, bemoans the loss of his value-add, considering he can no longer climb out of a wheelchair unassisted. That’s the set up.
Writing the payoff was the fun part: his wife, Rita (another of Zinio and Delaney’s former sidekicks), not about to let age get the better of either of them, purchases a exoskeleton for him that he can control with a joy stick. He can lift cars with this thing and probably build skyscrapers singlehandedly. Problem solved. And back into the action they go…
Why do you write?
They call people like myself who hear voices psychic or schizophrenic. I sometimes wonder if I’m an equal mix of both. One solution I suppose would be to call in a priest and do an exorcism. The one advantage I can see in going that route is that it definitely plays to my sense of drama. Another fix might be to take medications. I’m too much of a health nut for that. So I write to get the voices out of my head. If I were in a hospital, they’d call this “journaling,” a pretty classic form of therapy. But done from home, with access to Createspace and other self-publishing tools, with any luck, it might just be a living. Who says crazy people can’t give back to society?
Do you listen to music while you write?
When I write my concentration is so fierce it feels like a protective bubble of energy just arises on its own around me. As shields go, it’s right up there with the one around the Starship Enterprise when Kirk is going all out against the Klingons. When I’m in the zone like this I can write with bombs going off around me, the TV blasting, people talking, even arguing nearby. Admittedly, I didn’t get here because I woke up one day and thought, hey, that would be very Zen. Instead of practicing levitating coffee tables with your mind today, let’s try “shielding.” As they say, necessity is the true mother of invention. These days, I often get more access to quiet, so I can drop the shields, and yes, even play music. I don’t do that too often though. I find that getting inside the heads of my various characters requires shifting brainwave patterns to accommodate the way they think, feel, sense, and come at the world. So the last thing I need is my mind entraining to the music in the background which is conducive to a certain state of mind, which might be very relaxing, just not what my character needs to be all that he can be. On the rare occasions when I do use music, it’s usually classical, most often Mozart, and if I’m listening it’s because I’m creatively blocked and just desperate to get things flowing again. If it works, once I’m back in the zone, I can’t say that I’m really paying attention any more.
Did you always want to be an author?
No. Who in their right mind wants to be an author? An artist’s life is very tough. For the exception of the one percent at the top, the other ninety-nine percent are lucky if they can quit their day jobs. With the new renaissance in publishing going on, the seesaw will ultimately swing back the other way, I would think. Or I should say, I would hope. No, the sane thing is to deny you have any such compulsions as long as possible, try your hand making money any of a hundred easier ways. I was guilty for many years of trying to escape myself at all costs. When I realized that there was really just one thing that I did far better than anything else, and it just so happened to be what I loved to do, I finally surrendered and admitted I was a writer. But I had some help from the shifting sands of time. The global marketplace is so severely competitive, who can endure it who isn’t putting their best foot forward? Isn’t applying themselves twenty-four seven to the thing they love most. And to do that, you really do have to love what you’re doing and pick the one thing that you do better than anyone else. And if you can’t be better, then you can at least have a unique narrative voice that someone really can’t emulate. It’s sort of like what lawyers do to get around the fact that there are too many lawyers. They specialize in some niche branch of the law that’s less competitive. In the same way I have certain genres I write in and ways of coming at them that are uniquely me. If you love sci-fi and paranormal fantasy, you’ll likely enjoy my stuff, and you’ll likely also pick up on what sets me apart from the crowd. And when I pen a novel that’s outside of the stuff I usually write like Love on the Run, you’ll see that much of what you loved about my particular writing style and voice follows along with me.
Does your family read your books?
Absolutely. You can never have enough beta-readers and constructive feedback. My family is no stranger to the tough love concept, moreover, and is usually more than happy to tell me when something isn’t working. After all, in the case of my parents, the more money I make the better I can take care of them in their old age. In the case of my nephews and nieces, the more money I can leave them in the will come time to move on to better things after the purgatory of life on this world. Though far be it from me to suggest there is anything beyond total self-sacrifice at play here. It’s just that nasty habit I have of a writer of reading between the lines.
Can you tell me some of your favorite authors? How about books?
These days I read a healthy mix of indies and more traditionally published authors. I started changing my reading habits when I realized that for the renaissance going on in publishing to succeed we all have to step off the sidelines and devote a small part of our day to new, unknown, and undiscovered writers (at least from the perspective of our limited awareness.) It’s risky, because there are trust issues; you don’t know if you can count on a “guaranteed fix” like you can with a favorite author you’ve read plenty of times before. And we have such a drug-addicted culture, as a whole, that I think it stymies exploration and the willingness to risk feeling a little uncomfortable trying someone new. You’d be surprised how on an unconscious level at least, most of us want the guaranteed fix. We may not think of ourselves as addicts but our compulsive behaviors make the label valid. Realizing I was guilty as charged myself, I’ve reconditioned myself to spend more time in the “danger zone.” I’m surprisingly less often disappointed by indie authors than when I pick up a bestseller by a well-known writer these days.
As you can tell from the lists below, even though I write in specific genres, I read across a wide variety of them.
Favorite Indie Authors:
Ken Magee (Dark Tidings)
Alex McGilvery (Playing on Yddgrasil)
Rob May (Dragon Killer)
R. D. Hale (Sky City: The Rise of an Orphan)
Angela Stevens (Lemon Drops and Love)
Favorite Traditionally Published Authors:
Michael Crichton and Dean Koontz. (My own writing feels like a cross between them.)
What are you currently working on?
A hi-tech conspiracy thriller with paranormal fantasy elements (think telekinetic and telepathic genetic hybrids), called Mind of a Child. The subtitle of this particular installment is called, “Sentient Serpents.”
Basically, a child prodigy, now in his early twenties, who has been designing the military’s latest toys for them and masterminding much of the robo-wars revolution, decides to grow a conscience, and pull out. In an effort to win him back, the CEO who runs the engineering firm that builds his projects for him sends him on a “team builder” into the middle of the amazon jungle, where he will pit Natty (our hero) against his own inventions in a fight for survival. Either he will get religion again, and realize that boys with toys is really the only way to live, or he won’t. In the latter case, the special ops team sent along to protect him will take him out instead.
The B-story or love story is a big part of the fun of this one (as is true with all of my novels). Natty’s girlfriend is getting tired babysitting the overgrown kid that is Natty. When she encounters the swarthy and contrastingly mature Special Ops team lead, who’s every bit the man of the world, and as capable of dealing with anything the real world can dish up, even from the depths of the amazon jungle, as Natty is of avoiding the real world altogether, her affections are torn. Natty now has a coming of age drama to live out if he expects to win Laney back.
Think Iron Man (with a similarly immature Tony Stark) meets Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and you’ll have a sense of the flavor of this franchise. Stir in the sentient serpents – one of Natty’s bioengineering projects, a telekinetic and telepathic super-species of warriors, and you have a truly fun mix. Laney’s role is pivotal to the drama, meaning she’s more than just the love interest. She’s a medical researcher with an unrivaled ability to connect with the sentient serpents, and thus able to affect the outcome of the story for better or worse.
A few short answer questions:
Tea or coffee?
I alternate pretty freely between the two. Then there are the chocolate covered espresso beans, the frozen mocha frappes… honestly, if it pretty much eliminates the need to blink, I’m there. I mean, there’s just too much to my paranormal fantasy worlds I couldn’t stand to miss out on, on account of that accursed biological reflex.
Do you prefer the sea side or the mountains?
I’m definitely a mountains guy. Spent much of my twenties and thirties hiking the Rocky Mountains out West every chance I could get. Seasides are dreamy and relaxing, and I enjoy them, but I have a little too much of the water element in my own nature already. The coast tranquilizes me while the mountains invigorate me.
Sweet or salty?
Um, major sweet tooth for most of my life. Now I eat something sweet, I immediately want something salty as a chaser or vice versa. Let’s hope the neurochemical imbalance the habit alludes to doesn’t have dire implications.
Print or ebook?
For the romantic in me, print. For the pragmatist in me, e-book. After a while, the house would collapse under the weight of my reading list if they were all printed books.
Movies or TV shows?
Most of my downtime is devoted to favorite TV shows, as I can get my fix in an hour, 45 minutes if I fast forward the DVR during commercials. When I’m less time pressured, on the weekends, I enjoy relaxing into a good Netflix movie or two or three, or running an entire season of House of Cards.
“Any big ideas, bright guy?” Delaney said, holding the broken rearview mirror in her hand to check out what was going on overhead, to avoid giving those inside the chase helicopter the satisfaction of her looking up.
“Just drive straight into the ocean.”
“Please tell me you’re joking.”
“Why would I be joking at a time like this?”
“Okay, fine, I’m sorry for picking on you so much. I know you’re doing the best you know how. There, I said it. You happy?”
“I’m not depressed, Delaney. I just need you to drive into the ocean.”
“A psychotic break? Is that it? You picked now for a psychotic break? Why not all those times I chewed off your male appendage, metaphorically speaking—not to make myself out as a man-eating black widow?”
“You dragged along the equipment I asked you to, right?”
“So, you get it now?”
“Yeah, duh. God, that just makes so much more sense in context.”
Kerry looked up from the photos of the couple to the big screen again. Her jaw dropped as she watched Delaney drive the convertible Thunderbird straight into the ocean. They made no attempt to get out of the vehicle; they let the sea swallow them up along with the car.
“Are we finally rid of them?” Carter said.
Kerry started chuckling slowly. The guffawing grew into a geyser of loud laughter, which finally subsided. “No, Carter, not yet.” She glanced back up at the screen. “God, that’s clever.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor. Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises.
I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining. After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope. I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area. But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice. For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination. I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels. Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments. But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point. That too may change over time; we’ll see. Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.
My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years' worth of work. I'm currently averaging a couple books annually. Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.)
I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature's balance. When I'm not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.
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