Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: The Undertaker by William F. Brown (author interview and giveaway!!)

The Undertaker ~ William F. Brown

*I received this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
(there is a giveaway form at the end of this post or you can buy a copy HERE).

Product Description:
Pete Talbott is a California native and harried Boston computer wonk still grieving over the death of his wife Terri, when he found himself at the wrong end of Gino Parini's .45 reading his own obituary torn from that morning's newspaper. Talbott figured it was all a big mistake until Parini showed him his wife's obituary too, and this was a mystery Talbott couldn't leave alone.  From a funeral home in Indiana, to car chases on the Dan Ryan, a bloody Back Bay townhouse, snipers in New York City's Washington Square, sleazy lawyers, corrupt County sheriffs, mafia hit men, the FBI, an army of Chicago cops, and that unforgettable scene in the upper berth of an Amtrak Train, "The Undertaker" is a thrill ride with a touch of humor and romance.  Someone with a penchant for sharp scalpels and embalming tables is planting bodies under other people's names; and if Talbott doesn't stop them, he and his quirky new girlfriend, Sandy Kasmarek, will be next on the Undertaker's list.

My thoughts:
This is an action packed thriller from the go!  The characters are well thought out and realistic.  The plot is twisty, intriguing and entertaining.  The book flows smoothly as Pete finds himself in situations that get more and more harrowing.  The story is well written.  The world is easy to believe and invest in.  
I'm always one to dive right into a thriller, but truly love the ones with political intrigue!   I was on the edge of my seat while Pete attempts to outmaneuver the bad guys.  This is a fantastic read, you don't want to miss out on this one!!!

Now that I have your attention...please welcome William Brown!

? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

         Writers don’t drop out of a banana tree wholly formed, or at least I didn’t.  I was a reader, a history major, who read every suspense novel that came out.  One day I read a very bad one (it happened to be an unusually preposterous Clive Cussler), and I said, “Even I can do that!”   So, I did a lot of research and set about writing.

? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?

         There are only a dozen or so writers in the whole country who make enough money from writing to afford to give up their day jobs, and I’m not one of them.  Further, writing 3-4 hours a day every day is mentally taxing enough.  I’m not sure most writers can do that full-time for as long as it takes to write a novel.   

? How long does it take you to write a book?

         There is no answer to that one.  I’ve written six, and each was different.  Normally, it takes a year or more, but writing is all about re-writing.  On one, the plan was working, so I worked straight through on only it.   On some, I ran out of gas and bean working on another while keeping it in the back of my mind.  On one, I had preliminary rejections, set it aside for five years, and started re-working again.  I am currently working on three simultaneously, each of which is in a different state of completion.  The point is, I don’t like wasting time; so when I think I am, I shift to something that is working. 

? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

         I like a clean area around my computer, my grammar is horrible, and I hate first drafts – then again, except for the clean desk, I suppose that’s the same for most writers.

? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?

         I used to read all the writing magazines and cut out quotes about how other writers write.  The best advice I saw, was to always stop in mid-sentence, mid-paragraph, and mid-page.   That gives you a natural starting point the next day.

? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?

         Characters and their motivations must drive the story, but they also must naturally arise from that story line.  Each character occupies a key position and role, like a chess piece, and their development is a back and forth process as the novel develops.

? How do you decide what you want to write about?

The genesis of my novels is usually an intriguing one-liner.  The one I am currently working on began with, “A guy looks out the window as his plane comes in to land at O’Hare, and sees a woman being murdered on a roof top.”   Then, I start asking the whos, the whys and the whats, expanding those threads and putting flesh on the characters.  My most successful novel, Thursday at Noon, began with, “A burned out CIA agent in Cairo stumbles home one night and finds a severed head sitting on his rear stoop.”  The rest is details.  My new E-Pub novel, The Undertaker began with, “A guy opens the newspaper one morning and sees his own obituary.”  They are like ‘log lines’ for a screenplay and you can immediately see the dramatic situation and tension. 

About you as a person:

? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
         Landscape oil painting, sometimes acrylics, and golf or running

? What is your favorite comfort food?
         Coffee, fresh bread, chocolate ice cream, and Cabernet – four of the seven basic food groups.

? What do you think makes a good story?
         Engrossing characters.

? Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
         Michael Connelly, Robert B. Parker, Stuart Woods, Daniel Silva, Robert Crais, David Baldacci, Dennis Lehane – in each case, you can name and picture the lead character.

? What book, if any, do you read over and over again?
         The only books I have read three times in The Killer Angels by Shaara about the Battle of Gettysburg and A Movable Feast by Hemmingway,   One of the few I have read twice is Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Another favorite is Lord of the Rings because of the vivid imagery.

Fun random questions: 
·dogs or cats?    Like Old Yeller, the dog will defend you to the death.  The cat would say everyone for themselves and beat feet out the door.

·        Coffee or tea?    Coffee

·        Dark or milk chocolate?    Usually dark, but any old chocolate will do.

·        Rocks or flowers?      To do what with? 
·        Night or day?      Night
·        Favorite color?     Blue

·        Crayons or markers?      Markers

·        Pens or pencils?            Pens

And...while I still have your attention....the giveaway!
The author has graciously offered to giveaway one ecopy of this fabulous story!
To  enter please fill out this form:

Thanks for stopping by The Wormhole!
Good luck and happy reading!

Winner!!! Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth

Congrats to....Meredith Miller!
Your information has been passed to the author!  
Thanks to all who entered!

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