Monday, July 18, 2011
Interview with sci-fi/thriller author Gordon Kessler
Today we have Gordon Kessler as a tour stop for his book Brainstorm.
As part of the virtual book tour, Gordon will be giving away the winner's choice of a basic Kindle, Kobo, Sony Reader, or Nook to one randomly drawn commenter. Details are below.
Gordon A Kessler is a former US Marine parachutist, recon scout, and Super Squad team leader, with a bachelor's degree in creative writing. He is a Master Instructor for Johnson County Community College, National Academy of Railroad Sciences, and the BNSF Railway.
He has taught novel writing for Butler County Community College, English Composition for Hutchinson Junior College and has previously indie-published the thriller novels Jezebel and Dead Reckoning, and a book about the novel-writing craft, Novel Writing Made Simple.
He is a founder and former president of the Kansas Writers Association and tries to stay connected to writers and the writing industry by doing speaking engagements at writers conferences and for writers organizations, and has does his own "The Storyteller" seminar in Wichita, Lincoln (Nebraska), Kansas City, and other Midwestern cities based on his Novel Writing Made Simple book. His websites, www.WritersMatrix.com and www.IndieWritersAlliance are landing pages for writers to help them in their writing endeavors.
Welcome to Reviews and Interviews, Gordon. Please tell us about your current release.
Brainstorm goes beyond the bounds of ordinary reason. It's a story about a man lost, who doesn't know it, and the diabolical plan to control the world that hinges upon him. It's a warning about a rising power that may soon consume us. It's a story about connections you can't see or scientifically explain, but you can feel. It's about a love that cannot be contained and a bond that will never end.
Research led me to the CIA's Project Stargate, a twenty-year exploration into remote viewing and psychic powers which they actually relied upon even during and after the Persian Gulf War. Delving into the background information needed for the project, I did extensive research into the incredible new developments in nonlethal weapons such as acoustic cannons, sticky foam, anti-traction substances, electromagnetic pulse devices, and infrared lasers. I was also reminded of some very sobering statistics; there are still thousands of American MIAs from the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
What inspired you to write this book?
I've been fascinated with remote viewing, and the fact that the CIA, Department of Defense and Defense Intelligence Agency (as well as various other foreign government agencies including the USSR) invested so much time and money into various black projects including Star Gate, Grill Flame and Center Lane to develop psychic talents. I've also been fascinated with recent developments in high tech nonlethal weaponry of all types. Throw in the dream many of us have of finding a mate who will follow us to the ends of the world, and you have Brainstorm.
I have to tell you of my inspiration for my first thriller, Jezebel, as well. It was a little ferret, by the same name. Of course, in the novel, Jezebel is far from a tiny ferret.
What exciting story are you working on next?
A sequel to Brainstorm called The Master Plan. This would bring back a number of the main characters (those who live through it), some really great bad guys. This time, it will involve not just saving the Free world, but the entire planet. The Master Plan will go at an even faster pace than Brainstorm—lots of thrills, chills and, of course, undying love.
I'm considering writing a sequel to my first thriller, Jezebel, as well. This one would bring back Tony Parker in a more elevated role and different local, along with one of Jezebel's pups, to uncover a murder mystery involving hundreds of people over a period of 150 years. It will be set in the middle of a large Midwest metro area along a well-traveled jogging/biking trail. I can't wait. This one will be so spooky, it'll keep you up all night with the lights on, even after you've finished the novel!
Also, I've been toying with bringing back female NCIS agent "Spurs" Sperling in a sequel to Dead Reckoning. I think she'll be a great investigator in the next novel, more seasoned and aware. This time, she'll have some pretty cool help.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got that first publishing contract in 1992. And when did I have to rethink it? When that publisher went bankrupt in 1995, the week it was to finally do a 10,000-book run.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write part-time. My J-O-B is as a Manager of Freight Car Training and Master Instructor for the BNSF Railway and the National Academy of Railroad Sciences on the Johnson County Community College campus in Overland Park, KS (KC suburb).
My writing time has been minimal, lately—conducting writing seminars and working to help other writers get their work published through the Indie Writers Alliance has taken up most of my free time. I'll soon be back on track, however. I write after work and on weekends, when my seven-month old golden retriever "Jaz" (Jazmine) will let me.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don't write in the morning—too many distractions. I write best late at night. Typically, I'm tired, but my brain seems to work better. If I get into a groove, I can write from sundown to sunup. That can literally be a big headache if I have to go to work that morning! Other than that, I like to listen to building percussion music when I'm writing action scenes.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an Air Force jet fighter pilot—then a US Marine. I did become a Marine, but only for three years. I'm glad, now, that life took me down a different path—especially that fork in the road that led me to writing.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Besides my cool Brainstorm book-trailer that you can view on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eDjWJFbRdI (BTW, the eBook version of Brainstorm and my other thrillers are all on sale now for $.99)? Well, I've slowed down some over the years, but I've always drawn on life's experiences to write my fiction. I've been lucky enough to go many places and do many things—and I think that's helped me imagine and write my stories, and helped me bring to them a feeling of realism. I've found that most of my readers agree. I hope your bloggers invest the time to read Brainstorm—I think they'll be glad they did.
Thanks for being here today, Gordon and introducing us to your writing.
Readers, as part of the virtual book tour, Gordon will be giving away the winner's choice of a basic Kindle, Kobo, Sony Reader, or Nook to one randomly drawn commenter. So, comment here and at other stops on Gordon's virtual tour for chances to win.