Just a quick update–“The Wish” is still available for free on Amazon through August 25th. Currently it’s ranking #4 for Kindle short reads in science fiction and fantasy.
Now today I’m very excited to feature Ethan Jones, writer of thrillers and spy novels. There are a bunch of links at the bottom of this post where you can learn more about him. Welcome, Ethan!
1. It looks like you’ve been writing for a while. What first led you into this career?
I’ve always liked to write, ever since I can remember. As a child, I would watch a movie or a TV show and then write down how the rest of the story or a new adventure would continue. Then, about nine years ago, I read a book from a world famous author that completely disappointed me. And I thought, “I can do better than this.” So, I rekindled my love for writing.
2. What about the thriller genre appeals to you?
The sense of adventure and escapism. In a thriller, pretty much everything is possible. Betrayal, justice, fear, love, hate, terror, all feelings have so much room and so many ways to be described. And in terms of research, the writer can take a lot of liberties and use his creative license to the fullest extent.
3. How did you develop your key characters in your series, Justin and Carrie?
I wanted a Canadian secret agent, something you don’t see very often in the suspense and thriller genres. And I wanted Justin to be a great operative, but also a kind and gentle man. He’s someone that relies on his partner, Carrie, and a host of other associates and contacts. Justin is logical, but also hot-blooded, so there’s a clash of these two traits that result in internal and external conflicts. Carrie is a tough woman that brings balance to Justin’s character. She used to date Justin many years ago and they are now good friends. They both try to lead their personal lives along their extremely busy operational work schedule.
4. It looks like the most recent book out was “Rogue Agents.” Tell me more about that.
Rogue Agents takes place largely in North Korea. A couple of Canadian Intelligence Service operatives have disappeared and they turn up in this rogue state. Justin and Carrie are assigned the task of neutralizing these two operatives, who are seemingly breaking under pressure and revealing secret intelligence to the enemy. But there is more at play and Justin and Carrie will have a difficult time preparing and executing this almost impossible mission.
5. I’m always fascinated by history such as the Cold War period. How do you think the current political situations with Russia and the Middle East are going to impact things, both real life and fiction?
I steer clear of making predictions for the future, because we simply don’t know what going to happen in an hour or tomorrow, let alone in a few months of years. In terms of the fiction world, I’ve gotten a lot of ideas and I’m gathering material about these developments, mainly in the Middle East. My next spy thriller in the Justin Hall series, called Shadow Agents, will focus on the Middle East, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the new crisis swallowing up Iraq and threatening to spread out beyond its borders.
6. What is the hardest part of writing a book?
The middle. The beginning has all the excitement of a new adventure, the thrill of sending the characters in a new operation. Then, after the first fifty pages or so, I find it a bit harder to continue to storyline and the plots and subplots. I find that I need to go back and fix a few things and then do more thinking and research.
7. Who is your favorite writer, and why?
I don’t have a single writer, but I like the works of Vince Flynn, David Baldacci, Brad Thor, Alex Berenson, Daniel Silva, Marc Cameron, Larry Bond, and other suspense and thriller writers. I’ve learned a lot from these masters, from how to begin the story with a bang to how to use foreshadowing, how to develop characters and how to weave together the main plot and a host of subplots.
8. What are you working on next?
My next thriller is Shadow Agents. After a Mossad operation in Ramallah, West Bank goes sideways, Justin and Carrie are hunting a Palestinian terrorist cell planning a bombing at Berlin’s central train station. The course of events will take Justin and Carrie to Tel Aviv to follow their leads and find out the truth about the deadly Mossad mission and the new threat to the Middle East.
9. What advice do you have for other writers?
Read and write. Read famous and non-famous writers in the genre you are writing or planning to write in. See what you like or dislike about how they craft their art, how they put together sentences and paragraphs, how their dialogue flows or doesn’t flow, how their plots are developed and how their characters cover to life. The keep those things in your mind as you write. Know the ending of the story from the beginning, then see it that the character gets there, but give him a lot of seemingly impossible obstacles on the way. Have a loose outline from the start, in writing or in your mind, and use that as a guide throughout your writing. And join KBoards to learn tricks and tips of the writing trade.
You can learn more about my writing, my books, read exclusive author interviews and book reviews on my blog: http://ethanjonesbooks.wordpress.com/ Or you can join my Fans Mailing List to be the first one to learn about new book releases, advance review copies, special deals and promotions. Here’s the link: http://eepurl.com/HIG7r And you can find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ethan-Jones/329693267050697 or follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EthanJonesBooks I love to hear your thoughts, so drop me a note at my personal e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for the opportunity. Ethan Jones