Friday, October 05, 2012

Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening by John Wayne Falbey Blog Tour Interview/Guest Post

In this dark thriller of political intrigue, a foreign interest, successor to the deeply embedded assets of the former Soviet Union, has spent decades and limitless capital subverting the social, political, and economic infrastructure of the United States. It has gained control of the White House. Congress and the Supreme Court are almost in hand. But its handpicked President has gone off the reservation and his handlers want him killed. The assassination has to look like right wing zealots committed the act.

The “Team”, a small but powerful group from the intelligence and military communities and well-funded by certain private sector interests, is attempting to combat this foreign threat.
Principal antagonists include a Russian operative who reports directly to the president of the Russian Federation, a billionaire arbitrager who launders and distributes the funds used to infiltrate and subvert the critical elements of American society, an amoral, ambitious, and greedy US senator with his roving eye on the presidency, and a mysterious, terrifying killer named Maksym.

Opposing them, the Team is led by a retired no-bullshit intelligence operative, an Old School Marine Corps general, and the most dangerous group of human beings on the planet – a former black ops unit known as the Sleeping Dogs. These men are Mother Nature’s beta models for the next leap forward in human evolution – stronger, faster, smarter. Their original blacker-than-black ops purpose was deemed too politically incorrect by a former president. The operation was shut down by Executive Order, which also called for the termination of the members of the unit with extreme prejudice. They learned of it in time to fake their deaths and went underground for almost two decades. Now the Team has called them back into service. Someone has let the Dogs out! Over 8oo years ago Chaucer warned of the dangers of waking sleeping dogs. Now someone will pay a horrific price for such foolishness.

A morality tale of good and evil, Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening is a political thriller that showcases some of the latest developments in technology, weaponry and genetic research. Its geopolitical intrigue and the protagonists’ brutal defense of liberty will remind readers of the work of authors Lee Child and David Baldacci. Relentlessly entertaining and thought provoking, the book blends heart-stopping action with a dangerous and plausible political scenario of the country’s subversion from within. It is the first of a planned trilogy.

Guest Post:

The Challenges of Writing Techno-Political Thrillers
by John Wayne Falbey

There are two areas that I consider to be especially challenging in writing a current techno-political thriller. The first involves the technology part. It’s critical that the author gets the science right; otherwise, it’s science fiction, and that’s another genre. To get the science right, research is key. That raises questions, such as: When to conduct the research – before starting the book or during the writing of it?, Where to conduct it? and How much is sufficient?

When? Obviously it needs to be done before you begin writing about the subject to which it pertains. Jim Rollins, the noted NYT best selling author, does most of his research up front. He gives himself 90 days to complete it, and then begins writing the story. With my novel, Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening, I did the bulk of my research on genetics – an underlying theme – up front, then researched other topics, such as the toys of the ├╝ber wealthy, sophisticated weaponry, etc., as situations developed during the writing of the book.

Where? For my first novel, The Quixotics, written before the technological revolution, I did most of my research in the library. Now I do most of it online. Caveat: don’t rely largely on a single source. For example, Wikipedia is very easy to use and covers just about every topic you can imagine. But it’s open-source, meaning that anyone can contribute to it and those contributions may not be accurate or current.

How much research? You should be able to discuss the topic intelligently and in some depth with experts on the subject. Your readership may include some of those experts. Readers don’t praise or patronize authors who have no real grasp of the subject.

The second challenge in writing thrillers is to blend reality with fiction. Most authors with whom I’ve discussed this topic admit that they have a tendency to base characters on people they know. It’s a better policy to build your individual characters from a composite of people – ones you may know well and others whom you may only have observed somewhere or read about. I did this with the personalities of the six members of the black ops unit in my novel Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening. Interestingly, many people I know think they recognize themselves as one or the other of these characters.

When basing characters on other people, the writer has to use caution not to openly commit libel or callously invade the privacy of a fellow human being. That’s not always as easy as it may seem. There’s something of an exception in this area, however, and that’s the public figure. Part of the price of fame and glory is the surrender of a portion of your right to privacy. I would not suggest you go so far as to use the same name for your character as the person on whom he or she is based. That may be crossing the line.

As for blending reality into the story line of the thriller, that’s relatively easy. Read newspapers and magazines, tune in to the news media on radio and television, and follow blogs and online forums. Despite the bias inherent in much of what you see and hear, there’s enough political intrigue in the world today for any serious writer to craft a good techno-political thriller.

1. If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose? 

Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood, Xenophon, Lance Armstrong, Lillian Gilbreth.

2. If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? 

My wind trainer (biking enthusiasts know what this is), the latest Lee Child book, and dark chocolate.

3. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? 

Chocolate Peanut Butter.

4. One food you would never eat? 

Sushi. If God wanted us to eat raw fish, He wouldn’t have given us fire.

5. Skittles or M&Ms? 

No contest, M&Ms.

6. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. 

It is relentlessly entertaining and thought provoking, and blends heart-stopping action with a dangerous and plausible political scenario of the USA’s destruction from within.

7. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 

Currently editing/rewriting The Quixotics, a tale of three young Vietnam vets running guns to Anti-Castro guerillas in 1970.

8. What is your dream cast for your book? 

Only two are cast in stone at the moment: Clint Eastwood as Cliff Levell (and director) and Kate Beckinsale as Caitlin Whalen.

9. What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? 

Probably any of the books in the Hardy Boys series.

10. What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? 

Don’t quit your day job. You may think you’re a master of prose, but your friends and family have to humor you.

11. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 

Naples, Florida in the winter and Beaver Creek, Colorado in the summer – with side trips to Bora Bora.

12. What is your favorite Quote? 

What else could it be – “Let sleeping dogs lie.”

13. How did you know you should become an author? 

I always enjoyed creative writing opportunities in school and excelled (grade-wise) at it.

14. Who are your favorite authors of all time? 

Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker, Lee Child, Brad Thor. But the list is fluid.

15. Can you see yourself in any of your characters? 

Some part of me is in all of the six characters that comprise the Sleeping Dogs unit (scary isn’t it?). A large part of me is in the character of Rick Stevens in The Quixotics.

16. What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you? 

Never settle for second best.

17. Favorite Food? 

Bison burgers, pepperoni pizza, salmon in lemon butter and wine sauce, carrot cake, and Rogue Dead Guy ale.

18. How do you react to a bad review? 

Like Mr. T: “I pity the fool.”

19. You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?

Pay off the mortgage.

20. Which authors have influence you most how? 

Elmore Leonard’s tight writing, Robert B. Parker’s crisp dialogue, Lee Child’s attention to detail, and Brad Thor’s, Alex Berenson’s and Ben Coes’ clear prose and unstrained syntax.

21. What do you do in your free time? 

Besides writing (I have a day job – real estate development) I train hard at competitive cycling and enjoy romantic adventures with my wife.

22. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be? 

Don’t underestimate this guy!

23. Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up until you lie down again. 

Unlike many authors, I don’t start the day by writing. That’s because I haven’t quit my day job, which is real estate development. I take care of pressing issues in the first half of the day, then do my writing in the afternoon and early evening.

24. What’s your favorite season/weather? 

Fall because it’s cooler in Florida and…it’s football season!

25. Who or what inspired you to become an author? 

I think I gravitated to it naturally. I have always been a voracious reader. Plus I have a large vocabulary and like to wordsmith. Being a lawyer in my early career helped me learn to structure sentences and paragraphs better than the average joe.

26. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

 Great steaks and wine with my wife at the Capital Grille.

27. Favorite places to travel? 

Europe, the American West, and the South Pacific.

28. Favorite music? 

Classic rock: the Stones, Eagles, CCR, Allman Brothers, Doobies, Lynyrd, Moody Blues, Police, Santana, ZZ Top…for starters.

29. In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with? 

Brad Thor.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Techno-Political Thriller

Rating – PG

Connect with John Wayne Falbey on Twitter

This tour hosted by Orangeberry Book Tours :)

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