A conversation with Frank Scozzari, the author of The Wind Guardian

THE WIND GUARDIAN CoverWe are pleased to welcome author Frank Scozzari to CrimeFiction.FM’s digital interview booth today.

Frank’s latest novel is THE WIND GUARDIAN, an edge-of-your-seat stand-alone thriller published on December 4, 2015.

This fast-paced thriller brings to life a very real threat  facing the United States. With the help of an inside man, a group of determined terrorists siege a nuclear power plant, intending to spread radiation and wreak destruction into the world.

We recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Frank to chat more about the storyline of THE WIND GUARDIAN and the real life experience he brought to the book.

Interview with Frank Scozzari

CFFM:  Let’s get started with your new book, what can you tell us about THE WIND GUARDIAN?

Frank Scozzari y4Frank: ‘The Wind Guardian’ is a story about a terrorist attack on a California nuclear power plant. Though purely fictional, the novel is based on true-to-life Nuclear Regulatory Commission security requirements and “in-use” nuclear reactor cooling systems. It explores weaknesses in security.

As in 9-11, the fictional terrorists in the novel intend to use the technology of great nation against itself by converting a nuclear power plant into the ultimate “dirty bomb” and spreading radiation through the wind.

CFFM:  THE WIND GUARDIAN sounds like a thriller, is that how you’d categorize the book?

Frank: 

The Wind Guardian is definitely a Thriller, with elements of romance and crime fiction.

CFFM:  What’s the elevator pitch for the book?

Frank: A group of determined terrorists, with the help of an inside man, siege a nuclear power plant with the intent to spread radiation into the wind, only to be foiled by two misfit security guards who left their posts to make love.

CFFM:  Your story features terrorism, nuclear power plants and more.  How much of your own personal and professional experience have you included in the book?

Frank: I was once employed in the field of nuclear security and also have 20+ years experience in the Justice system. So I have included a great deal of personal experience in this particular novel, especially as it relates to nuclear security, firearms, and police procedures.

CFFM: Thanks for joining us, Frank!

Links:

Author Website: www.frankscozzari.com/index.html

A conversation with Alan Osi, the author of A Hunter’s Moon

A Hunter's Moon CoverWe are pleased to welcome author Alan Osi to CrimeFiction.FM’s digital interview booth today.

Alan’s latest novel is the edge-of-your-seat thriller, Movement #1: A HUNTER’S MOON, (Cleveland Writers Press, December 31, 2015).

The first volume of The Moondust Sonatas takes readers on a wild ride through the underside of the city, the birth of a remarkable new drug, and an impending drug war— while raising provocative questions about spirituality and what we’re really craving.

We recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Alan to chat more about HUNTER’S MOON and The Moondust Sonatas series. Then we got into a discussion of the life experiences Alan brings to his work as an author.

Interview with Alan Osi

CFFM: Hi Alan, thanks for being here today.  Can you please us a little about A HUNTER’S MOON?

Alan: New on the streets of New York is a drug that lets you see god; but only the first time it’s taken. After that, it makes the user a passenger in the mind of another person, but only for a moment.

Some want to sell it, some want to study it. Some want to control it, some want to suppress it. And then there are those who want to tell the world about it…

When all these factions come face to face, battling over a substance that could rock society to it’s core, they set off a chain of events destined to shape the world to come.

CFFM:  Can you give us a one to two sentence summary of your book?

Alan Osi PhotoAlan: A drug that lets you see god; who will control it’s fate, or can it even be controlled? Percival, a Brooklyn DJ, caught in the middle of an escalating fight over control of the Moondust phenomenon, makes a desperate move to settle the matter once and for all.

CFFM: 
How much of your own personal or professional experience did you include in the book?

Alan: As a writer, I find I’m both field and farmer, hoping to grow a story. It may sound silly, but it’s really true! Everything I’ve ever experienced is the soil, and it all comes into the novel directly or indirectly. I lived in Brooklyn for a moment, and used a lot of that experience in writing the book.

CFFM: What Hobbies do you have that might surprise your readers?

Alan: You wouldn’t think it to look at me perhaps, but I love to compose songs of the singer/songwriter genre.

CFFM: What’s the first crime story you remember reading and what was your reaction to that story?

Alan: Well it would have been one of Robert B. Parker’s Spencer series, although I couldn’t tell you which one. My mom was a big fan, and I loved the TV series as a kid, especially Hawk. I loved the books even more. I lived in a small-ish town in the greater Boston area, where the series is set, so they felt so real to me, like I could meet the characters on the street. Not that you’d want to.

CFFM:  
As someone who loved the Spenser series as well, but who didn’t live anywhere near Boston, those stories helped to make the city real for me, but I completely agree, I wouldn’t have wanted to meet most of the characters on the street.  Now that Movement 1 in your Moondust Sonatas series has been published, what’s next?  

Alan: I’m working on Movement 2 of the Moondust Sonatas, and I love how it’s looking. We’re going to take a journey…

About the Author, Alan Osi

Alan Osi came to Cleveland from Arlington MA. The son of civil rights activists, Osi developed an eye for spotting social tension and crafting compelling essays through storytelling from an early age.

Osi brings vivid images and characters to life through the lens of the new Black American experience. His insights into what makes people tick, our yearnings to know the unknowable, keeps readers turning the pages, while missing their train stations, and bus stops.

A product of Morehouse College and American University in Washington DC, Osi has written for several papers and e-zines prior to signing a multi-book deal with Cleveland Writers Press for The Moondust Sonatas.

Links:

Author Website: http://www.alanosi.com

Dig Two Graves, by Kim Powers

51x-ObAVZKLAward-winning author Kim Powers joins us in this episode of CrimeFiction.FM to discuss his new book, his first work of crime fiction, DIG TWO GRAVES.

Show Notes

Kim describes his protagonist, Ethan Holt, an Olympic champion, college professor and father who is raising a 12-year-old daughter named Skip.

We discuss the storyline for DIG TWO GRAVES, in which Skip is kidnapped, not for money, but for something else entirely. It’s that something else that drives the rest of the book.

We discuss the fun and the challenges of translating the Twelve Labors of Hercules to modern times.

Kim started his writing career as a screenwriter. We discuss how that work helped him with his non-screenplay writing projects.  DIG TWO GRAVES was originally crafted as a screenplay that Kim developed into a novel.

From the Publisher:

kim-225In his twenties, Ethan Holt won the decathlon at the Olympics and was jokingly nicknamed “Hercules”; now, in his late thirties, he’s returned to his ivy-covered alma mater to teach, and to raise his young daughter Skip as a single father.

After a hushed-up scandal over his Olympics win and the death of his wife in a car accident five years ago, Ethan wants nothing more than to forget his past. Skip is not only the light of Ethan’s life–she is his life. Then, Skip is kidnapped.

A series of bizarre ransom demands start coming in that stretch Ethan’s athletic prowess to its limits, and he realizes with growing horror that they are modern versions of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, demanded in tricky, rhyming clues by someone who seems to have followed every step of Ethan’s career.

Links

Purchase DIG TWO GRAVES at Amazon

Author’s Website www.KimPowersBooks.com

Please note that Amazon links are affiliate links. You’ll pay the same price for anything you order, but CrimeFiction.FM will earn a small commission.

Thread of Revenge, by Jeff Shelby

Thread of Revenge CoverBestselling author Jeff Shelby joins us in this episode of CrimeFiction.FM to discuss his new book, the sixth in Joe Tyler mystery series, THREAD OF REVENGE.

Show Notes

Jeff shares the setup for the Joe Tyler series. Joe’s daughter was abducted and he spent several books searching for her while helping other parents in the same situation.

We discuss the opening scene which takes place at a high school track meet and drama that a race like that can bring to a story.

Jeff shares the story line for THREAD OF REVENGE, where he’s forced to repay a debt he’d incurred while searching for his daughter.

We discuss Jeff’s Noah Braddock series and why Noah and his buddy Carter made a guest appearance in THREAD OF HOPE.

We discuss Jeff’s unique lifestyle and how his writing career allows him the flexibility to meet his responsibilities in both Minnesota and Texas.

Jeff describes his two cozy mystery series and shares the news that one of the two has been optioned to be a made-for-tv movie.

From the Publisher:

JeffShelby_Joe Tyler’s life is almost normal.

His daughter is back home. His relationship with her mother is stronger than ever. The three of them are living under one roof, eager to start the next chapter of their lives together.

But one mistake is about to shatter all of that.

One mistake. A lie told to John Anchor, the dangerous man responsible for helping Joe reunite with Elizabeth. A lie that comes back to haunt Joe.

When John Anchor asked for repayment, he didn’t take no for an answer. And when he discovers now that he has been lied to, he makes sure the consequences are personal for Joe.

And deadly.

Links

Purchase THREAD OF REVENGE at Amazon

Author’s Website www.jeffshelby.com

Please note that Amazon links are affiliate links. You’ll pay the same price for anything you order, but CrimeFiction.FM will earn a small commission.

A Better Goodbye, by John Schulian

A Better Goodbye Cover by John SchulianAuthor, award-winning journalist and screenwriter John Schulian joins us in this episode of CrimeFiction.FM to discuss his debut crime novel, A BETTER GOODBYE.

Show Notes for John Schulian Interview

John shares some of the primary characters in his book, which include an ex-boxer, a massage girl, a washed up B-movie actor and thug. Then we discuss the book itself and why he chose this story as his first novel.

We discuss some of John’s favorites in the crime fiction genre and how those books kept him company during the days when he traveled around the country as a sports writer.

We discuss the long strange trip John’s manuscript took before being published by Tyrus Books. John shares some specific feedback he received from an editor who did not acquire the book, and how that feedback allowed him to create a much richer character in Nick Pafko.

John Schulian will do a reading at Vroman’s Book Store in Pasadena tonight (December 10th) and at the Kings English Book Store in Salt Lake City on January 15th.

The Interview transcript: A Better Goodbye, by John Schulian

Stephen: Welcome back to CrimeFiction.fm, where we bring the authors of today’s best books directly to you. I’m your host, Stephen Campbell, and I’m here with John Schulian, the author of the gritty noir novel “A Better Goodbye,” which was released last month. John, welcome.

John Schulian author photoJohn: It’s good to be here, Steve. Thanks for having me.

Stephen: It’s a pleasure to chat with you. I absolutely love this book and it’s that rare combination of literary and gritty crime. There aren’t enough of these novels written anymore, and I tend to think that books like these are the really good ones. And “A Better Goodbye” really falls solidly in that category.

So first, kudos to you for a fantastic book. Now, let’s talk a bit about the storyline to give the listeners a little sense of what the book is about.

John: It’s about two lost souls, I think two people who would qualify as lost souls. One is Nick Pafko, who was a boxer. Ten years earlier, he killed a man in the ring and it derailed his career. And when we meet him, he’s been laid off as a baggage handler at Los Angeles Airport, and he’s just drifting, taking odd jobs. One of the jobs he winds up taking is providing security in a high-rise apartment building, where he watches over the flock at a sensual massage operation.

One of the girls who works there is Jenny Yee, who’s an Asian girl who’s working her way through college in the sex trade and is kind of savvy and kind of naive, very, very bright, and isn’t, I think, really aware of the risks she puts herself at by working in the business. Until there’s an incident, we shall say, early in the book, and she runs into the aftermath of it, and that convinces her that she will only work in places where there’s security.

The person both Jenny and Nick work for is Scott Crandall, who was once the star of a TV show called “Stormy Weathers,” which was syndicated, non-primetime junk, as he likes to think of it. And now, his acting career is in the dumper, and he’s a pimp basically, to put it mildly. He, in his own way, I guess, is a loss, so he’s certainly pretty much friends with the one ally he has or thinks he has is Onus DuPree Jr., who is the son of a former big-league baseball player and a seriously bad guy, a sociopath, whose every move is violent, threatening, criminal. He was a lot of fun to write.

Stephen: It has to be a challenge because you’ve got these four distinct characters, as you’ve described them. All of them could be completely unsympathetic in lesser hands, but they were all just completely engaging characters. And when we would go from one perspective to another, there’s always that sense as a reader. It’s like, “Oh, I was trapped in this story and now I’m over here.”

But for me, in “A Better Goodbye,” it was like, “Okay, all right. Now, we get to find out what’s going with this person. How challenging was that to create these characters and do it in a way that the reader, I don’t know, not only has a sense of who they are but appreciates them for who they are. (more…)

Give Us This Day, by Tom Avitabile

514E1oHq5CLBestselling author Tom Avitabile joins us in this episode of CrimeFiction.FM to discuss his new book, the first in his Brooke Burrell thriller series, GIVE US THIS DAY.

Show Notes

Today, December 9th is a special day for Tom and GIVE US THIS DAY. The book is a Nook Daily Find at Barnes & Noble and is being offered at a steep discount throughout the day. The rest of Tom’s books are discounted at B&N today as well.

Tom shares the history of Brooke Burrell, the protagonist in his latest book. She’s made supporting appearances in previous books of his, but this is her first time in a primary role.  GIVE US THIS DAY is the first in the Brooke Burrell Thriller series.

We discuss the storyline for the book, which includes terrorists, Wall Street hedge funds, and a highly plausible plot.

Tom discusses the scary process of writing from the perspective of a female in GIVE US THIS DAY.

Tom has relationships with experts in a number of different fields that help him to tell the most accurate story possible.

The Interview transcript: Give us This Day, by Tom Avitabile

Stephen: Welcome back to CrimeFiction.fm where we bring the authors of today’s best books directly to you. I’m your host Stephen Campbell and I’m here with Tom Avitabile, the author of the seriously high-octane new thriller Give Us This Day, which was released in late October. Tom, welcome.

avitabile-headshot-2Tom: It’s great to be here.

Stephen: It is the perfect day for you and I to be having this conversation because you’ve got something special going on today so let’s lead things off by talking about that and then we’ll get into the character and the book and everything about this.

Tom: Well, it is a special day. Today, by coincidence we are the NOOK Daily Find on Barnesandnoble.com. And what that means is today, only for today (December 9th), a limited time only as they say, the book Give Us This Day, my fifth novel, will be available for the unheard of low, low price of $1.99. That’s today only during the NOOK Daily Find. It’s actually been selected by Barnes and Noble as a book to feature today and I’d like to just reach out to everyone and say, the last time this happened I became a number one best-seller. So, if anybody’s listening out there and at any point during they’re listening or after they listen to the show, they can go click on it and download my book. And who knows, I could come back on your show in a couple of months and say, “We hit number one!”

Stephen: Yeah, absolutely. And I will link to the Barnes and Noble page in the show notes so if people are listening in their car they could just go to the show notes and find the link there as well.

Tom: Thanks a lot, it’s the greatest thing you could do for a kid from the Bronx. By the way my other books, The Eight Day, The Hammer of God, The God Particle, and The Devil’s Quota will also be there at $2.99. They’re doing a kind of across the board special on my entire library.

Stephen: It’s a great day to get the Tom Avitabile library. Yes it is. Let’s get started. We’re going to talk about the book, which I absolutely love by the way. I love a good thriller and this one just blew me away. But let’s get started by talking about your protagonist Brooke Burrell. She’s a fascinating character and I’m curious about how you developed her. (more…)

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