Tag Archives: Thriller

Interview with LA Starks, author of The Second Law: Lynn Dayton

Hello,

Today we have an interview with LA Starks, author of The Second Law: Lynn Dayton.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)? L. A. Starks/Texas

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre? The Second Law: Lynn Dayton Thriller #3/thriller

3) What is the book about? Cyber-sabotage of the country’s energy “spine” via its internet-connected industrial control systems. The characters and the action:

 

TriCoast Energy executive Lynn Dayton is visiting the company’s San Francisco refinery when it comes under attack. Saddened by the fiery deaths of several workers, she traces the explosion to software malfunctions and contacts cybersecurity chief Kanak Singh to track it back to the source. The second law refers to the second law of thermodynamics: it means that in an isolated system everything tends towards chaos.

Lynn is still reeling when a TriCoast lease bidding manager is killed in New Orleans. The seeming motive is the theft of his computer containing billion-dollar secret offshore bid plans. Then her long-time mentor and good friend is gunned down in front of her in a Louisiana swamp. What terrible plan lies behind all these crimes? Lynn races against time to uncover a complex plot that stretches from murder in Vienna to a natural gas terminal attack in the Baltic to a major Caribbean oil installation off U.S. shores. Lynn is baffled as she learns of a high-stakes takeover bid by a mysterious group called the Second Law. Who are these people? Worse, who is the mole inside TriCoast that is feeding them so much deadly information? Unless she can find out, thousands more are scheduled to die.

4) Where did you come up with the idea? Despite a love of writing and reading that was in full force by the time I graduated from high school, I needed to be very certain I could support myself financially. I became an engineer; this path was not unusual for men or women in my science-focused hometown. So, creating the technical parts of the plot was straightforward. More generally, most of us have experienced hacking, identity theft, machines gone wrong, cyber-sabotage, or theft of intellectual property. I drew on that and developed it further. And finally, to be honest, the high-dollar worldwide stakes of rogue players in the energy biz, including threats of massive, fiery explosions, intrigues me way more than it probably should.

5) How long did it take you to write it? The time from publication of the second book in the series until publication of THE SECOND LAW was four years. During that time, I also juggled family responsibilities and publisher changes for the first two books with writing THE SECOND LAW. If measured on a compressed, full-time basis: two years.

6) Did you learn anything from the project? I write books to be prescient and reality-based entertainment for readers, but I can still be surprised when I accomplish just that. A simple example: since the time I began writing THE SECOND LAW five years ago, our understanding of the huge importance of China has grown to be the size China is in the book’s plot.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video? For your U.S. readers, the Kindle edition of the first book in the series, 13 DAYS THE PYTHAGORAS CONSPIRACY, LYNN DAYTON THRILLER #1, normally priced at $7.99, will be on sale in the U.S. for $0.99 between January 30, 2020 and February 5, 2020.

 

My author website is lastarksbooks.com. Book videos for the first two books in the series, 13 DAYS: THE PYTHAGORAS CONSPIRACY and STRIKE PRICE, are available there and on YouTube.

 

I write an occasional blog at Goodreads and use social media (Facebook & Hootsuite for Twitter and LinkedIn) for special announcements, like the upcoming Kindle discount.

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? Beta readers and professional editors help you tell your story to your audience. For first-time authors, using a professional editor is a particularly important kindness to both your readers and your own career.

 

I have been fortunate to work with New Zealander Jeroen ten Berge for my most recent book covers. For those interested, he can be reached via e-mail at jeroenslimited AT gmail.com

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work? Thrillers, mysteries, suspense, some science fiction, and current-events non-fiction.

 

I read and review (mainly on Goodreads) only 50-70 books/year, including the latest from my favorite authors. For books by new authors, I consider published reviews, take recommendations from two of my family members who read widely, and occasionally check what other Goodreads readers like. 

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? We read, and need, books that speak to our own experiences. In my case that book was SISTER: A NOVEL, by Rosamund Lupton. While it would be painful to call it my favorite, reading it was breathtaking because at the time I had just lost my own sister to cancer.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? Yes, a Sheltie (dog)

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it? Yes, I like reading from a Kindle when I travel—though I previously published in Nook & Kobo editions also. With all the screen time required now, I do find reading print editions relaxing.

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Interview with Judy Nedry, Author of Blackthorn

Hello, here is an interview with Judy Nedry, author of Blackthorn!

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Judy Nedry, Lake Oswego, OR
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
BLACKTHORN   Mystery genre, traditional gothic in the style of Rebecca or Jane Eyre
3) What is the book about?
Unlike my previous mystery novels, the Emma Golden Mystery Series, BLACKTHORN is a stand alone. It is the story of Sage Blackthorn, 30, a travel editor living in New York City who after high school left her family’s crumbling resort hotel on the Washington side of the Columbia River hoping never to return. Her life is upended when her older brother Ross, an unemployed alcoholic who lives at the Blackthorn Hotel and takes care of their senile grandmother, is found dead. Almost concurrently, Sage gets herself into terrible trouble in New York and takes a needed leave of absence from her job. Sage needs to find out what happened to Ross and reset her life. But when she returns to her former home she finds the situation there is much worse than she expected. And, in the gothic style, mysterious and creepy things begin to happen around her. She is haunted by her own demons and nightmares. A boat appears at the family moorage in the middle of the night…or did she imagine it? And that’s only the beginning.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I’ve loved gothics (the Bronte sisters, Victoria Holt, Daphne DuMaurier) since I was very young and always wanted to write one. The setting–the mysterious, moody Columbia River Gorge–seemed the ideal place, especially after I visited an old resort/spa there many years ago for a soak, wrap, and massage. The old building possessed the requisite creepiness. Then it was only a matter of finding the characters and the story to insert into this milieu. Not an easy thing to do. But for me, the setting has to be absolutely right, and then I can build the story around it.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
There were many changes in my life during the writing of BLACKTHORN. It took nearly four years to complete.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
This was a big project for me, and I learned to keep working on it even through some very difficult times in my life. I trusted that this would be my best book to date, and that has proven true. I learned a lot more about character development and expanding scenes–lots of writerly things that the reader doesn’t necessarily plug into. And I learned even more about the importance of place in a novel.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?.
Yes, https://www.judynedry.com   The website is where readers can learn more about my novels, read first chapters, order books…the usual things on a writer’s website. You can sign up for my monthly newsletter there and read past newsletters. I also review live theatre in the greater Portland area, and am just starting a regular feature where I review other mystery novels.
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
It’s up to the author to promote her work. In a market flooded with books it’s difficult to be seen and heard. I am always on the lookout for opportunities to interact with serious readers–people who actually will buy a print book or ebook. I love talking to readers and going to events. So I would say, promote, promote, promote. Learn how to discern between events that will benefit and those that will suck the life out of you. 
It’s important to network. I am a member of Northwest Independent Writers Association, Sisters in Crime (national plus local chapter), and several online networking sites. Get your name out. Blog. Find a good designer for books (if your indie) and for your website. A local writers group such as Willamette Writers has plenty of names on file for designers, editors, etc.
 Write every day. I journal each morning, whether or not I will find time to work on my books. Many of my ideas and observations and pithy comments are born on those pages to be used later.
Read the kind of books you want to write.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I devour mystery/suspense/thriller, and gravitate toward those by female authors. I like literary fiction when it’s not gimmicky or overwritten, and biography, and history. Yes, I will read and review new authors if they catch me with a good story.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell because it is an epic of American history that still resonates today. I’ve read it four times, and will probably read it again. Margaret Mitchell was an Atlanta native who grew up on the laps of people who lived through the Civil War and experienced the siege of Atlanta. Her journalistic skill and firsthand knowledge enabled her to depict the hubris and foolish eagerness with which the South embraced the Civil War, and its utter and complete fall. The breadth and depth of the book’s historical perspective still amaze me. And the lead character, Scarlett O’Hara, is a piece of work. She has many unlikable traits, but she is unforgettable for her strength, toughness, resourcefulness. Need a dress? Pull down some curtains. Man in the house? Shoot the bastard. Need a husband? Wiggle your finger. Scarlett is the original steel magnolia. And yet, because she is flawed, she brings about her own ruin: a tragic heroine, an indelible portrait of someone entirely wrapped up in herself. 
*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

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