Before we revisit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Ronie Kendig's novel, Trinity, is:
faithfulgirl4@ . . .
Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways!
Now let's visit with novelist Donn Taylor, author of Deadly Additive (Harbourlight, September 2012).
Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature (especially Renaissance) at two liberal arts colleges.
His novels The Lazarus File and Rhapsody in Red have received excellent reviews, and he has also authored Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences such as Glorieta and Blue Ridge.
Donn and his wife live near Houston, Texas, where he continues to write fiction, poetry, and articles on current topics.
Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.
--I was born two days before the planet Pluto was discovered. (They would never have found it without me?)
--Some years ago, Mildred and I rented a Piper Pacer at Toule Rosiere AFB in France and flew it to Copenhagen for a vacation. She proved to be an excellent navigator. We watched a Danish-language movie and didn’t understand anything but the shooting and kissing.
--The last in-theatre movie Mildred and I saw was the newly-released Driving Miss Daisy. (I’ve been cussed by experts for free, so why pay $10.00 to be cussed by amateurs?) We record classic movies and watch them at home.
--Mildred and I have just celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary. (We’re not that old: we were married before we were born.)
--At age sixteen I composed half of my high school senior piano recital, and for two years in college track I ran the two mile without losing one. (The draft flushed me out of college at age eighteen and that was that.)
Wow, Donn. My answers to the above questions are more like "I'm addicted to Reese's peanut butter cups" and "I'm not a fan of cats." I feel so . . . shallow. Quite an interesting list you have there!
Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Deadly Additive.
To soldier-of-fortune Jeb Sledge it seems like a simple job: Rescue an heiress and her journalist friend Kristin Halvorsen from their kidnapping by Colombian guerrillas and collect a sizable paycheck. But Kristin has other plans.
After stumbling onto a mass of dead bodies, she won’t leave Colombia without the proof she needs for the story of a lifetime. While she and Jeb wrangle over her obstinacy, they discover a hidden factory where the guerrillas build a new and deadly type chemical weapon for the international black market.
Their discovery triggers a raid on the factory, followed by a desperate search through the Caribbean and the U.S. to prevent a catastrophic attack by weapons the factory has produced. But who is behind that attack, and what are the planned targets? Finding out brings Jeb and Kristin again into peril for their lives.
What is it about your lead characters that will make your readers care about them?
Jeb Sledge has risked his life repeatedly while supporting noble causes in Afghanistan and Colombia, and he has been severely wounded. But each time when the action is over, he finds that the world seems empty of value. Isn’t sacrificing oneself for a noble cause enough to satisfy the value question?
Kristin is an overachiever determined to do whatever it takes to gain national fame as a journalist. But one facet of her character stands in the way: she is equally determined to get at the truth, regardless of the cost to her own plans and personal well-being.
If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?
You have to remember that Mildred and I don’t watch current movies, so I have to answer with performers from the classics.
For the part of Jeb Sledge, I would choose the Dick Powell of hard-boiled murder/adventure films like Murder, My Sweet and Station West.
A close second choice would be Dana Andrews (Laura, Canyon Passage).
For the part of Kristin Halvorsen, I would choose Ginger Rogers. Dancing aside, she was a superb dramatic actress (Heartbeat, Storm Warning). And the blonde hair is essential to the character and plot.
A close second would be Eleanor Parker (Scaramouche, The Naked Jungle), also an actress of varied talents, though she would have to change her red hair to blonde.
I've just added eight films to my "must see" list. I love the classics! Speaking of films, which novel would you like to see brought to film?
No contest on this: It’s Gavin Lyall’s 1961 thriller The Wrong Side of the Sky. Set in the turbulent aftermath of WW II and the partition of India (to form Pakistan), the novel is filled with thrilling flight scenes and dangerous intrigues. It’s the story of a disgraced pilot out-intriguing the intriguers to return to the right side of the sky.
What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?
Murder a Cappella, by Jim Callan and Diane Bailey (Wayside Press). The novel has individualized and interesting characters, and it is well plotted. Its setting in San Antonio during a convention/contest of the Sweet Adelines (ladies’ barber shop harmony groups) gives it a double whammy: the historical tourist sites of San Antonio plus the inner workings of the choral groups themselves.
It also is extremely well edited, containing none of the irritating errors of grammar and usage that (along with typos) plague many of today’s novels. Kudos to Wayside Press for this, as well as to the authors.
What are you working on now?
I’ve completed a sequel to Rhapsody in Red and am started on a sequel to the sequel. The first sequel involves a second murder on a denominational campus trending toward going secular. The second involves the same protagonists (Professors Preston Barclay and Mara Thorn) as unwelcome summer-term visiting professors at the state university. I’m also scouting around for a sequel to Deadly Additive.
Where else can readers find you online?
My Web site (www.donntaylor.com) contains excerpts from my books. My Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DonnTaylor) contains book info plus personal stuff. My Facebook author page (www.facebook.com/authordonntaylor) contains (as you might expect) more information about my books. I’m just getting started on Twitter (twitter.com/@donntaylor3).
The book is available at fine book stores and for online purchase via the following buttons:
Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?
What qualities attract you to a hero or heroine? What qualities turn you off?
Thank you, Donn, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Donn has offered to give a signed copy of his book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 17. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Donn's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.
Be sure to check out my interview with Cynthia Ruchti, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a copy of the book.
And see my post about an exciting new cell phone plan. I signed up recently and am truly jazzed. Send me an email through the "Email Trish" button, above, if you'd like me to send you a link to learn more about the phone plan and the income opportunity it presents.
Finally, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.
Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.