Friday, December 30, 2011

The Undertaker by William Brown - Review and Interview

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday Season.  I am ending this year on a review and my first author inteview.  The review will be first and the interview will follow.

First I want to thank Mr. William Brown for giving me the opportunity to read his newest suspense novel The Undertaker. I will be looking at more works written by William Brown.

The Undertaker is a suspenseful on the edge of your seat novel. I found myself reading whenever I had a free moment. When I was at a red light I had my phone out and was reading The Undertaker while I waited for the green light. I think you can say I was hooked from the beginning.

Peter Talbott is a man who was married to Terri. Peter became a widower when his wife Terri became ill and died. Terri's death hit Peter hard and he hit rock bottom. His friends thought he died in a car crash in Mexico.

Peter is brought into trouble when a guy named Gino shows Peter his obituary and his wife's from an Ohio newspaper. Peter is very much alive and wants to know why someone is impersonating him and his dead wife.

Mr. Brown does a fantastic job of keeping you guessing as to who is really the good guy until the very end. He keeps your eyes glued to the pages and your heart racing till the climatic end.


 Did you want to be a writer when you were a child?
No, not really, although I did try my hand at some short stories when I was 8 or 10.   I was mostly a reader all the way up into my 20s . . .  mostly history, international suspense, and adventure fiction.

How did you get into writing?
I read one too many bad books.  (It was a surprisingly bad Clive Cussler novel, but don’t tell anyone!)  I turned to my wife and said, “I can do something this bad!”  So, I went to the library, read a bunch of books on how to write novels (I was a history major, not an English major) and gave it a try.  Forty rejections later, “The Allah Conspiracy” was bought by Beaufort Books.

What other jobs did you do before you became a writer?
My ‘day jobs’ were as a city and county planner, then a vice president of the real estate development subsidiary of a Fortune 500 firm, where I built business parks across the country. 

Do you write long-had or straight onto a computer?
All of the above . . . longhand, then a small typewriter with a gallon of White Out, a correcting typewriter, and finally a succession of bigger and faster PCs.   Next, I suppose I’ll try Dragon and dictate text into the computer, but not yet.  That brings up visions of Barbara Cartland, the late British romance author, who would lay back on a ‘psychiatrist’s’ couch in a pink feathered gown and dictate her novels whole-cloth  to her secretary. 

What’s the best part about being an author? And the worst?
I think it keeps your brain sharp and busy.  The downside is the long waits while agents, publishers, and others take forever to do things, and the frustrations of a bad market and the occasional bad review, not that I’ve had many.  The Undertaker now has 34 Amazon reviews, 16 of which are 5-Star, 16 Four-Star, and 2 Three-Star, so I can’t complain.

How did The Undertaker come to be published?
This was an experiment with e-books.  Until now, I had only pursued traditional publishers, but that market is now horrible.  They have slowly concentrated on blockbusters, while all the former ‘mid-market’ books (most of us) got passed over and have now gone electronic.  With no more Harry Potters, they are in a real squeeze and get no sympathy from me.

What tips would you give to aspiring writers out there?
Write what you know and like.  Don’t write to what you think the market is, because you’ll be wrong by the time you finish.

Does the character or plot come first?
I begin my thinking with a 1-line concept that gets successively expanded; but in the end, it is interesting characters that drives the story and gets the reader to care.  My best writing is in my characters, especially the evil ones, my action scenes, and cliff-hanger pacing.

You have authored a total of six suspense novels and 3 have been published.  Is anything in the works for the other three suspense novels?
I am in the process of bringing the next 5 out as e-books in 2012.  While The Undertaker is a contemporary story, snarky, even humorous at times, with a strong love-angle; most of the others are sweeping, international suspense, action, adventure stories set in the mid 1940s thru the 1960s.  Amongst My Enemies came out on Amazon last week and will be out on the other sites in a couple of weeks.    It deals with a sunken German U-boat full of gold and a secret that can tear NATO apart.   Next will come Thursday at Noon, a middle-east thriller originally published as a Joan Kahn Book by St. Martins and reviewed by The New Yorker.   I then have One Good Shot, an updated version of The Allah Conspiracy to finish, and finally, Winner Lose All, which is currently out with my agent.  That is a lot of work, but after that, I’ll get back to Through the Glass Darkly, a more contemporary suspense novel like The Undertaker.    

I understand that you are a dog person, so what is your favorite breed of dog and why?
Hands down, a cocker spaniel, although I’m also partial to Goldens, which are really up-sized cockers and very loving.  Probably the nicest of all, however, was Buffy, my son’s dog, which was a mix of a strong Golden Retriever head and body, and Bassett Hound legs.   You have to think about that for a minute to picture it.   

I would like to thank Mr. William Brown for taking the time to answer my questions.  I hope everyone enjoys the interview and decides to buy a copy of THE UNDERTAKER!