Guest Author Austin S. Camacho
Welcome to the blog today -- Award-winning thriller, mystery, suspense author Austin Camacho, the author of five novels about Washington DC-based private eye Hannibal Jones, four in the Stark and O'Brien international adventure-thriller series, and the new detective novel, Beyond Blue.
His short stories have been featured in several anthologies including Dying in a Winter Wonderland - an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Top Ten Bestseller for 2008 - and he is featured in the Edgar nominated African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey.
Camacho is also editorial director for Intrigue Publishing, a Maryland small press, and is deeply involved with the writing community. He is a past president of the Maryland Writers Association, past Vice President of the Virginia Writers Club, and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.
1. HOW DID YOU BEGIN WRITING?
I was a life-long fan of mysteries and thrillers, and I guess if you read enough you come to know what makes a good one. One day I was reading a mystery and half way through I knew everything that would happen in the rest of the book. I said, “I could do better than this!” Then I set out to prove it.
2. DESCRIBE WHAT YOUR BOOK IS ABOUT.
A Russian assassin forces Hannibal Jones to investigate Gana, the wealthy Algerian who stolen Viktoriya, the woman the Russian loves. Evidence connects Gana to Russian mob money and the apparent suicide of Viktoriya’s father. Then more deaths follow, closing in on Viktoriya. To save the Russian beauty, Hannibal must unravel a complex tangle of clues and survive a dramatic shootout side-by-side with his murderous client.
3. WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WRITING THIS BOOK?
I always enjoy building the puzzle, but this time I also loved the research that helped me understand the Russian temperament and fill the book with that sensibility. There was also some great conversation with folks at The Russia House in DC who were surprisingly open in talking about the Red Mafia.
4. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO SIT DOWN AND ACTUALLY START WRITING THIS BOOK? WHY NOW?
The book started with a “what if.” Hannibal’s girl Cindy is also his crime-solving partner. How would he handle it if a bad guy threatened her and kept Hannibal from telling her about his case? At the same time I was struck with the idea of showing a character who was the “dark side” of Hannibal Jones. The Russian killer is a lot like our hero and was a fun character to play with.
5. GIVE US SOME INSIGHT INTO YOUR MAIN CHARACTERS OR SPEAKERS. WHAT MAKES EACH ONE SO SPECIAL?
Hannibal Jones is a traditional hardboiled detective in many ways – a smartass, stubborn, a man of honor with his own personal morality code. But he is also a man of mixed heritage. He is unique in that he has learned to walk on both sides of the color line, despite the prejudice he must face from both races.
Aleksandr, the Russian assassin, is a mirror image of Hannibal. It was great fun creating a character who could be a killer-for-hire yet driven by love and in his own way, driven by honor.
7. WHAT ARE YOUR BOOK'S CENTRAL TOPICS AND THEMES?
My books ae always about human motivation – the reasons we do what we do. This book focuses on the price of honor – the cost of doing what we perceive as right. I also explored the traditional Russian theme of fate and the inevitability outcomes that we must simply accept. It is quite the opposite of our American belief that we can change our fate.
8. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE YOUR BOOK?
The novel was a year in the making, from outline through three rewrites, editing and proofreading.
9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK ON THE CRAFT OF WRITING?
It’s a tie. Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft” is a classic, but I also love David Morrell’s “Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing.” Two great books by writers at the top of their games.
10. WHAT'S ON YOUR TO-BE-READ LIST?
John Gilstrap’s newest, “Against All Enemies” is at the top of my list. After that, Jon Land’s “Strong Darkness.” I love thrillers with strong and heroic lead characters.
11. WHEN YOU’RE NOT WRITING, WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS?
I love shooting on the range and hosting wine tastings but mostly, when I’m not writing I’m reading.
12. WHAT'S NEXT ON YOUR WRITING JOURNEY?
My next Hannibal Jones mystery, Pyramid Deception, is scheduled for November release. I also have a Stark & O’Brien thriller waiting in the wings and I’m working on a mystery featuring Hannibal Jones’ girl Cindy Santiago.
Thanks for stopping by, Austin. If you're interested in finding out more, visit:
Social media links:
web site - http://www.ascamacho.com
If you're an author interested in participating as a guest author, please drop me a line with Guest Author in the subject line at sdawnsksye (at) gmail (dot) com.
Friend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorsdskye
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SDSkye1
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/S.D.Skye/e/B00AMAUFK8
And don't forget to subscribe to http://authorsdskye.com for automatic updates.