I welcome Author Robert Stanek today with this thrilling NSA novel, The Pieces of the Puzzle.
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Scott Madison Evers is the son-in-law of the Chairman of the National Security Council. His wife is pregnant with their first child. While in Munich conducting a rendition of a known terrorist, Scott’s cover is blown. Before Scott can get away, his entire operations team is wiped out, and he alone escapes into the night. When he returns to the US, he finds himself a wanted man, and must go on the run from the agency that is trying to convict him of high treason. Now Scott conducts secret surveillance of those he thinks can give him a way out while slowly getting drawn into a web of deceit. Ruthlessly, the other side draws his wife and unborn child into the struggle. Scott’s only hope to save them and himself is to do the unthinkable, and that is what he sets out to do.
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Jennifer Chase: If Scott Madison Evers was trapped in an elevator with three other people, how would your hero or heroine devise a plan to escape? Would he take any of the people with them?
Robert Stanek: Scott was a field operative for many years and is fully in touch with his inner MacGyver. He’d figure a way out and save everyone in the process whether it meant overriding the elevator controls, prying open the elevator doors, or hustling up the elevator cables to the next floor.
Jennifer Chase: How do you get inside your characters’ head when writing?
Robert Stanek: Making your characters flesh and blood is right up there in priority with plot and story. Through writing about them, I develop my characters’ lives. Knowing their hopes, desires, fears, dislikes, and dreams, I know what motivates them and why they do the things they do. I know with certainty how they’d react in certain situations and what they’d do to get themselves out of a jam.
Jennifer Chase: What genres do you write in? If you could write in another genre, what would it be and why?
Robert Stanek: I’m an old workhorse, so I’ve written in a few genres already. The Pieces of the Puzzle is a thriller. Keeper Martin’s Tale is a fantasy. Absolutes is science fiction. Into the Stone Land is young adult dystopia. Bugville Critter’s Go to School is a children’s picture book. Effective Writing is a writer’s guide. Stormjammers is a memoir. That’s already pretty widespread, like buckshot on a paper target. But if I had to pick another genre, I’d pick paranormal romance—and it’d be more like Supernatural the show than True Blood the show.
Jennifer Chase: Why should readers pick up your books?
Robert Stanek: Because my early successes as an indie drove the establishment bonkers? Kidding, sort of… Seriously though, the reasons to pick up my books are many. I’d like to think people read my books because they’re good, because my early successes helped pave the way for other indies, and because I’ve supported other writers my entire career. In the early days of the web, I supported writers through resource sites like Writer’s Gallery and Internet Daily News (archives still up at www.tvpress.com/wg and www.tvpress.com/idn respectively). Over the years, I’ve helped more than a few people get professionally published and I’ve run Go Indie since 2007.
Jennifer Chase: What types of emotions will readers experience when they read your books?
Robert Stanek: Read my books because you’ll be elated, excited, surprised, relieved, and ultimately satisfied.
Jennifer Chase: Now, it’s time to play word association with your main character. Please respond with one word that comes to mind (in your main character’s voice) to the words listed below.
Plot — Secrets
2012 — Mediterranean
Predator — Assassins
Giggles — James (His infant son)
Rural — Gettysburg
Omnipresence — Agency (as in The Agency: NSA)
Thank you Robert Stanek!
Hi, Jennifer (and readers), first of all a BIG thank you for having me on your blog. I appreciate your time and interest. I’ve been writing fiction as Robert Stanek and non-fiction as William Stanek for nearly 30 years. As a technology journalist, I’ve written for PC Magazine, Dr. Dobbs, TechNet Magazine and a variety of other leading magazines. As a writer, I’ve written for Simon & Schuster, Random House, Macmillan, Pearson, Microsoft, O’Reilly and other publishers. I started down the indie road in 2000 and my first indie book was published in 2001, as an e-book only edition that was followed by a print release in 2002. At the time, everyone told me e-books would never be anything—how time changes all things.
I host Go Indie on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/groups/goindie/) and run the Read Indies blog (http://readindies.blogspot.com). We have a big upcoming event that’s open (and free) to all indies called Summer of Indie. The book I’d like to talk about today is The Pieces of the Puzzle, an NSA thriller, featuring Scott Madison Evers.