Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thrillers and Superheroes

It's been a while since I posted last. I've been working on the newest book in the PROJECT series, The Russian Deception... and now it's done. Well, the hardest part is done, i.e. writing it. Now comes the next hardest part, getting the word out there that the book is available.

Right now it's on preorder, here:

The release date is October 10 but it can be ordered now by going to the link on Amazon. It's also available on all other platforms. I gave up on exclusivity with Amazon some time ago and it was the right move for me.

The Russian Deception continues the saga of the Project team, a covert group of men and women who work under the radar to keep America safe. They always get in a lot of trouble and somehow, one way or another, most of them come out alive. Sometimes people tell me that the characters are superheroes. They're not. The kinds of things Nick and Selena and the others do aren't easy but they are not impossible. Just take a look at modern special forces and the things real heroes are asked to do. For most of us mortals it's true that they're not possible because we don't have the discipline and training necessary to take on the challenges faced by these men every day. I never ask my characters to do something that is impossible. I do ask them to never give up. I think that's not a bad philosophy.

For example, in White Jade the team is climbing in the Himalayas at 17,000 feet with about a 35 pound pack and another 15 pounds or so of weapons and ammo. I can tell you from personal experience that this is possible. I've done it (without the weapons) and I wasn't as young or in the kind of shape my characters are. I got dinged for that by a couple of readers who didn't think it could be done.

You want a superhero, go to the movies. You won't find them in my books.

Another criticism I sometimes hear is that the secret weapons described in my books couldn't possibly exist or are something from the realm of science fiction. The problem is that they do exist or are in development, things like powerful laser cannons or satellites in space capable of doing serious damage on earth. I research everything extensively when it comes to weapons and technology. If I'm not familiar with it or I can't find something to back up the concept it doesn't go in the book.

Sometimes my characters get wounded, sometimes seriously. Getting shot doesn't mean you have to die. Wounds leave scars, physical and mental and my characters have plenty of them.

The plots are based on real-world possibilities and/or events. For example, part of the plot in The Russian Deception involves the current problems in the Ukraine. It's not hard to create a storyline when the world provides plenty of free material to work with. The trick is to make it entertaining. Nobody needs another news brief.

Here's a picture of the cover for The Russian Deception.

This is Book 11 in the series. I'm not sure how many more there will be but it's not done yet. I may start a new series with different characters and put off Book 12 for a bit. I'm not sure about that yet, but it might be the next creative step.

What do you think?