Time to meet a new author, thriller fans! Eric J. Gates is here! Now this is not a CROOKED TALES interview, although collaborating on that short story collection IS how I first met this particular author, but I figured it wouldn’t be nice to introduce him to you for the first time on my blog with the ‘Crooked Interview’.
So it’s time to meet – Eric J. Gates!
1. Who are you in a nutshell?
I’m an ex-many things, most of which I can’t talk about, now writing suspense thrillers about what I find by peeking behind the public curtain.
2. Why do you write?
I believe asking why didn’t I write many years ago is more the question… it’s something that’s in my DNA, I think. Over 200 short stories and a novel before I was 18! Should have kept going then and rivaled Patterson & King. Now wouldn’t that be a turn up for the book!
3. What’s your latest project?
Currently writing the fifth book (and last) in ‘the CULL’ series, a completely new and original take on Vampire lore. Dedicated fans have inundated me with requests to get this one out asap and I don’t want to do a George R R Martin on them 😉 And book one, ‘the CULL – Bloodline’, is free on all e-reader platforms.
4. What is your favourite character among the ones you created?
A difficult choice. Either the kickass granny, ex-NSA spook, Katie Lindon in ‘the CULL’ series or the tough Major Bridget Mason of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the ‘Outsourced’ series. Both amazing, strong female protagonists.
5. What was the most difficult thing for you to write so far?
This would be a toss-up between the Presidential Speech in ‘Full Disclosure’ (not easy for a Brit who doesn’t get to hear that many of these) or the extract from the explorer’s journal in ‘the CULL – Bloodline’ which uses early twentieth century idioms. Lots of research and tens of hours of study went into both.
6. What are your writing plans for the future?
After finishing ‘the CULL – Blood Kill’ I’m going to write the sequel to ‘Leaving Shadows’, another thriller about the Kidnap recovery team CACS that works with British Intelligence, then either book 3 in the ‘Outsourced’ series, the sequel to ‘Full Disclosure’ or a new standalone novel I have in mind. I have the prep work for all three ready so it’s either down to my readers or whatever muse presents itself the day I sit before the keyboard.
7. Which books/authors do you admire and why?
I’ve always stated my own work is inspired by three authors: Charles Dickens (for writing serialized thrillers – they were for his day – with loads of social comment), the Late British author John Gardner (for mixing dark humour with exciting page-turners) and Ian Fleming (for his skill at plotting and tension). To list more contemporary writers whose work I admire, well, we could be here all day, but of note are John Dolan, Judith Lucci, Fiona Quinn, Keith Dixon and the inimitable Seumas Gallacher.
8. What do people usually say about your writing?
A quick glance through the reviews for my thrillers reveals that ‘fast-paced’, ‘page-turner’, and ‘believable characters’ are common descriptions. Phrases such as “You’re going to have a problem putting it down. Remember to breathe” are also to be found. I’m a little worried that people keep asking me what I know that they don’t about the confidential worlds that surround us – It’s fiction, guys, right? – I’d get into a lot (more) trouble if you thought it wasn’t made up. 😉
9. If you could sit down for a chat with any famous author or character, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Without a doubt, it would be a three-way conversation between Dickens, John Gardner and myself and we would be talking about thrillers, and how to make them addictive.
10. Pick one of your books and explain it to us as if it were a movie, listing the cast and crew if you wish.
One of my writing secrets is that I often use images I find on-line to inspire me for the characters I write. In ‘Outsourced’ I went one further and used a trio of protagonists based upon well-known actors (James Frain, a Denzel Washington/Cuba Gooding mix and Zoe McLellan), a trio I supplemented with another character (NYPD Detective Kristofer ‘the Great Dane’ Hansen who is Christoper Heyerdahl, one of my favourite actors) in ‘Primed’, the second book in the series.
In ‘Outsourced’ New York thriller writer Nic Stiles (Frain) receives a package in the mail containing a device which allows him to alter the Destiny of individuals. He thinks the package has been sent by professional assassin Polanski, but learns later this is not quite the case. His attempts to try out the device lead to the death of someone close to him. At the same time a high-tech Intelligence agency is searching for the device, and their operative, a Defense Intelligence Agency Major (McLellan), is well out of her comfort zone operating in a civilian world. She is soon on the trail of Stiles and his buddy Phil Beasley (Denzel/Cuba). That’s not all the problems the two authors face either as the assassin decides he wants to recover the device and will stop at nothing to get it. The writers have to use all their ingenuity to thwart the Intelligence agency and the killer in a finale that brings fire and death to New York’s rivers.
ERIC J. GATES – BIO
Eric J. Gates has had a curious life filled with the stuff of thriller novels. Writing Operating Systems for Supercomputers, cracking cryptographic codes under extreme pressure using only paper and pen and teaching cyber warfare to spies are just a few of the moments he’s willing to recall. He is an ex-International Consultant who has travelled extensively worldwide, speaks several languages, and has had articles and papers published in technical magazines in six different countries, as well as radio and TV spots. His specialty, Information Technology Security, has brought him into contact with the Military and Intelligence communities on numerous occasions.
He is also an expert martial artist, holding 14 black belt degrees in distinct disciplines. He has taught his skills to Police and Military personnel, as well as to the public.
He now writes thriller novels, drawing on his experiences with the confidential and secret worlds that surround us.
Links for books mentioned and Internet:
Amazon Author page links:
Full Disclosure http://authl.it/B007XIR5Z0?d
Leaving Shadows http://authl.it/B00DJANLQS?d
And to end, how about the complete opening chapter from ‘the CULL – Blood Kill’? Don’t worry; it’s very short. (Quoting Eric J. Gates here;)
“You need to kill me.”
She spoke them aloud; the first time they had slipped past her lips into the real world.
A half step.
Just enough time to listen to the resonance from the vocal chords, to analyze the conviction. The phrase was much harder to say than rehearse in her mind.
A brief shake of the head as she reached for the door handle.
He was here.
The man she hoped would kill her.
Thank you very much for giving thriller fans a taste of your writing, Eric! Looking forward to chatting with you about Crooked Tales soon!