Friday, June 16, 2017

Interview with author Max E. Stone

Author Max E. Stone joins me today to chat about the new romantic suspense novel, Hollow Fissure.

Max doesn’t remember ever not creating a story.

A writer and lover of books since the age of nine, Max first set pen to page as a hobby, constructing stories that were anything but fit for children. Entertaining classmates while simultaneously concerning surrounding adults with blood-ridden tales of gory mysteries and heavy suspense that “just came to mind,” Max, with the help of family and the encouraging words of an inspiring teacher, continued to develop this gift.

Little was it known at the time that said gift would become a lifeline. From horrific trauma in Max’s teen years, the Warrens, Bennetts, and Johnsons, three interconnected families all with issues, mysteries, and secrets that threaten their livelihood and lives, were born.

Max reads everything and everyone; relishing the journey of authorhood and learning something new each day.

Welcome, Max. Please tell us about your current release.
Hollow Fissure is a story surrounding three families based between the USA and Italy that are dealing with the affects and aftermath of an abduction and near-murder concerning their loved ones.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to explore a couple of older characters anew, Hannah and Melissa, one of which I previously gave a passing glance in previous work. I wanted to see how she, Hannah, was doing and what had come of her between ages 6, when I first mentioned her, to 19. Also, these two are an almagamation of some strong women that I know so that was a big inspiration as well.

Excerpt from Hollow Fissure:
“She should be at home with her family."
The critical bite in Mom’s strong Somali inflection cut through the flat's bedroom door. Beneath heavy blankets, Hannah hugged a bed pillow tight to her ears, blocking out the confrontation Faduma Aden’s words would bring. For weeks, she said little, but her care for her daughter remained evident. That was when she assumed Hannah would transfer to a university near the family home in Abruzzo.
An hour ago, her sole child shattered that reality and pleaded to stay in Trieste. She and Dad said they would discuss it.
Not long after that, Hannah left the room to take a nap and woke to their tension-laden debate on the matter.
“Maybe our Hannah is right. Our girl is strong.”
Unruffled reassurance in Dad’s UK-born cadence warmed her heart.
Alfred Aden had taken on the role of ‘father’ when her own was killed by the brutes who’d stolen her in Somalia years ago. He witnessed her ruptured rage, soothed her back to sleep when past horrors took hold of her dreams, and, still, he called her ‘strong.’
So did the Polizia, Detectives Bennett and Councill, and her friend Gabriel. She didn’t see what they saw.
Not after hers and Melissa’s confrontation with Derek Warren.
A single bullet to the chest—courtesy of Melissa—sent their assailant to his end. And hell…
A month passed since the hospital released them.
Hannah’s physical bruises healed well but she hadn’t seen her savior since and phone calls between the two were kind but curt.
Dark pictures of the old hotel’s underbelly and all that happened there sent bile ripping its way up her insides.
Hannah’s vision swam. Her temples pounded.
The bathroom was just outside of her room. She could run there, empty her stomach’s contents, and return to the protective bubble of shelter under soft cushions and plush covers.
No. Better to wait out the fight than chance being dragged into it.
“Strong? You think she’s strong?” Mom’s voice sliced deep again.
Breathe in…Breathe out…Breathe in…one…two…three…
“She is a na├»ve girl. She insists on doing everything herself. Like she has no parents who care for her. If she had just stayed with us, just listened to us, this…this man would have never come back to hurt her again.”
A quiet sob escaped Hannah. Fat tears slid down deep brown cheeks as the “man” invaded her memories.
Hands of the past pulled and hauled amid terrified, muddled screams and cries that hadn’t stopped; only altered to and from several voices, none of which she recognized.
Then, Derek’s clean-cut face, his strange smile; him telling her that everything would be all right.
Not even a day into her arrival in America, he’d been the first one to hurt her.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on a couple of short stories—one of which is titled ‘BloodShot’—as well as two novels, Black Cradle and Black Roses. Black Cradle will discuss more on how these mentioned characters came to be and Black Roses deals with another case involving another family, which I haven’t formally formulated yet. I’m excited about what’s to come.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was a long while before I did consider myself a writer. I would say it was maybe around my mid 20s when I published my first book, August to Life.

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 don’t write full time but, thankfully, I shape my day overall so I can write pretty much at any point. When I’m not able to write during the day, I write at the end of the day when there’s nothing else on my self-made enormous task list. That way, my mind is only occupied with my favorite tunes and the ideas that I’m drafting at the moment.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know how interesting it is, but I have to act out the lines and story scenes, especially with the voices. So, for instance, if the character has a high-pitched nasal sounding type voice, I have to act it out to hear how it would sound with the lines I’m writing up.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Fairy, fireman, police officer, business person, you name it, I wanted to be it. I actually wrote since 9 years old and my stories weren’t for kids at all. They were all the hardcore thrilling type reads that I write now. Writing was just a hobby until I became a teenager and I started doing it more. Then, I knew I wanted to be a writer.


Buy links:

Thanks for being here today, Max.

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