Monthly Archives: November 2018

Author Interview: Tom Vater

Today I am interviewing Tom Vater, author of the new detective novel, The Monsoon Ghost Image, third book in the Detective Maier series.

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DJ: Hi Tom! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Tom: I am a writer based in Asia. I’ve been on the road for the past 25 years, mostly in South and Southeast Asia. I am a freelance journalist and write feture stories for a wide varietyof publications including The Asia Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, The Nikkei Asian Review, CNN etc. I am the author or co-author of numerous non-fiction books including the best-selling Sacred Skin- Thailand’s Spirit Tattoos (sacredskinthailand.com).I am the co-owner of Crime Wave Press (www.crimewavepress.com), a small crime fiction publishing imprint which has published 32 titles to date.

I am the author of four novels, the most recent of which The Monsoon Ghost Image will be out with Crime Wave Press in November 2018.

DJ: What is The Monsoon Ghost Image and the Detective Maier series about?

Tom: Maier is a former conflict journalist turned detective. Based in Hamburg, he solves crimes involving Germans who have gotten in trouble in Asia. The first two books in the series, The Cambodian Book of the Dead and The Man with the Golden Mind were published to great critical acclaim by UK/US publisher Exhibit A which unfortunately went out of business after a short run of titles. The third Detective Maier mystery, The Monsoon Ghost Image is a taut and crazy spy thriller for our disturbing times.

When award-winning German conflict photographer Martin Ritter disappears in a boating accident in Thailand, the nation mourns the loss of a cultural icon. But a few weeks later, Detective Maier’s agency in Hamburg gets a call from Ritter’s wife. Her husband has been seen alive on the streets of Bangkok. Maier decides to travel to Thailand to find Ritter. But all he finds is trouble and a photograph.

As soon as Maier puts his hands on the Monsoon Ghost Image, the detective turns from hunter to hunted – the CIA, international business interests, a doctor with a penchant for mutilation and a woman who calls herself the Wicked Witch of the East all want to get their fingers on Martin Ritter’s most important piece of work – visual proof of a post 9/11 CIA rendition and the torture of a suspected Muslim terrorist on Thai soil. From the concrete canyons of the Thai capital to the savage jungles and hedonist party islands of southern Thailand, Maier and his sidekick Mikhail race against formidable foes to discover some of our darkest truths and to save their lives into the bargain.
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Author Interview: Victor Godinez

Today I am interviewing Victor Godinez, author of the new science-fiction novel, The First Protectors.

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DJ: Hi Victor! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Victor Godinez: Well, I’m a longtime newspaper reporter who made the switch over to public relations several years ago in the telecommunications industry. I grew up all over the world: Dallas, Boston, New York, Venezuela, Indiana, France, Belgium, Brazil, then back to Dallas, which is home for me now, with my wife and three kids. Believe it or not, Belgium has better French fries than France!

DJ: What is The First Protectors about?

Victor: The First Protectors is my vision of what an alien invasion could realistically look like and how we might realistically fight back against it. It opens with the last survivor of a conquered alien race called the brin trying to warn mankind against the coming invasion of another species called the mrill. The last brin alien crashes on Earth, with a mrill attacker in hot pursuit. The brin survivor is killed, but not before he meets our hero, Ben Shepherd, and injects him with alien nanotechnology that just might give humanity a fighting chance against the imminent mrill invasion.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The First Protectors?

Victor: As a kid, I was a big fan of a mix of novelists, from Stephen King to Louis L’Amour to Tolkien to T.H. White. Plus, whatever pulpy sci-fi novel I happened to stumble across. As I got into high school, Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series made a tremendous impression on me, with its mix of absurdist humor, adventure, and an exasperated love of humanity in all our ridiculousness, stupidity, and sheer bloody-mindedness. In fact, I reread the entire series every couple of years. And lately, I’ve been a big fan of Ted Chiang. Stories of Your Life and Others is haunting in ways that are so subtle that you seem to feel them under your skin. Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly is also a good reminder that, ultimately, people just do dumb things, no matter how smart they seem to be. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Aliya Whiteley

Today I am interviewing Aliya Whiteley, author of the new science-fiction and fantasy novel, The Arrival of Missives.

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DJ: Hi Aliya! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Aliya Whiteley: Hi, and thanks for inviting me! I like to create stories that take inspiration from lots of different genres. I live in West Sussex in the UK, on the coast, and go for long walks to find new ideas. I also write non-fiction about films, books and television for online sites and magazines such as Den of Geek and Interzone, but making up stories is my passion.

DJ: What is The Arrival of Missives about?

Aliya: It’s the story of a sixteen year old girl called Shirley Fearn who has a huge crush on her teacher, and then discovers some very confusing things about him. That sounds almost straightforward, which is unlike one of my novels! It’s set in a rural village in the UK in 1920, just after World War I, so it’s historical fiction. But it’s also science fiction, in ways that I won’t give away. But love, both familial and romantic, and notions of duty and future are all examined and turned inside out.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Arrival of Missives?

Aliya: A big influence was DH Lawrence. I’ve loved his books since I was a teenager, and there were moments in Missives where I really wanted to pay homage to his voice and themes. Also the films of David Lean were in my head when I wrote. Ryan’s Daughter – the use of landscape and also the relationship between the young woman and her teacher in that film – has fascinated me for years, so that’s definitely in the mix.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers will sympathize with them? 

Aliya: Shirley is absolutely committed to making the world a better place, and she has ideas about how to do that which might well seem misguided or naive to us, but she believes in them totally at the start of the book. She was a wonderful character to write, with such a clear and passionate voice that smacks of youth. Everything is black and white to her, but then areas of grey begin to seep in as she spends more time with her teacher, Mr Tiller, and realises that he is a wounded man. The world becomes a much more complicated place for her, and I think we can all identify with that process of realising that we can’t solve every problem or even understand it. That’s growing up. I loved writing her, but she also broke my heart a little bit. Continue reading

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