I know I said I would finish my movie review today, but I lucked into getting a post from the fabulous Russell Brooks, thriller/mystery writer, essayist, blogger, actor and damn good-looking guy.
His bio says:
Russell Brooks is a former Indiana Hoosier Track Champion and Canadian Track Team member in the 100 meters, the 200 meters, and the 4×100 meter relay. He has written several essays on his blog, The Big Picture, one of which was published in the online Op-Ed section of the National Post in early 2009. His debut novel, Pandora’s Succession, has received rave reviews from book reviewers, espionage and thriller fans. Unsavory Delicacies and the recently released thriller, Chill Run, have also been well received by thriller and mystery fans. Russell currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.
You can learn more about Russell Brooks at www.russellparkway.com.
The book description for Chill Run has one of the Best. First lines. Ever:
You know a publicity stunt has backfired when someone dies.
Starving author Eddie Barrow, Jr, will do anything to get a book deal with a NYC publisher. Even if it means getting caught by the media while engaging in S&M with a female celebrity as a publicity stunt. What Eddie gets instead are details of a billion dollar fraud scheme from a suicidal client who’s fatally shot minutes later. Now on the run from the law and the killers, Eddie seeks help from two unlikely friends—an alcoholic and a dominatrix. With few resources, Eddie races to clear his name, unveil the fraud scheme, and expose the killers before he becomes their next victim.
So here he is, ladies and gentlemen: RUSSELL BROOKS!
Is there a rule that says that authors must stick to one kind of story? No. Well, at least none that I was able to find. Those who are familiar with my previous works, know that they fall in the espionage/thriller genre. So many might be wondering why I didn’t write another story dealing with spies, chemical weapons, government conspiracies, betrayal, and revenge? The answer is simple. I wanted to risk change.
“But aren’t you worried about losing your fan base?” No, my true fans will read whatever I write. Besides, this will be a great opportunity to show that I can write a different kind of thriller and attract new fans.
“But you’ve never written a mystery before. What experience do you have with that?” Let’s see, when I wrote Pandora’s Succession and Unsavory Delicacies, I never owned a gun (still don’t), shattered someone’s trachea with my bare hands, poisoned someone, or unleashed biological weapons on a country. Hell, I’ve never even worked for the CIA. So I didn’t have any experience with that genre either before I wrote those books. I had to research the relevant material and then let my imagination help me tell the tale.
Ironically, Chill Run was less difficult to write because I’ve gone through some of the dilemmas that protagonist, Eddie Barrow, Jr., went through. I’m sure many readers will be able to relate to a character who has problems paying the rent, who has a roommate that won’t pay their share of the bills, with a cheating girlfriend, and the list goes on. Everyone loves a Peter Parker-type character (aka Spiderman). Now take Eddie, an ordinary young man in his twenties with big dreams that are littered with roadblocks. He’s so desperate for success that he hopes to cash in on a BDSM scandal with a celebrity. It seemed like a good idea at the time, only he ends up being framed for murder after having learned the details of a billion-dollar investment fraud scheme.
Was I nervous about not releasing another espionage thriller? A bit. Do I regret it? No. Will I write espionage again? Of course. Will I venture away from espionage again? Most definitely. Some risks are worth taking. After all, variety is always good.
Thanks, Russell! I’m so pleased you stopped in to share your new book and your switch-up experience with me. In these days of “branding”, it’s nice to meet somebody else who just wants to write the story and THEN worry about where it’s going to be shelved. Short-sighted? Maybe. Commercially nonviable? I don’t even know what that means. ~sigh~ Anyway, glad to have you here, Russell, my friend.
Buy links to all three of Russell’s books can be found on the Store Page of his website.
WRITING PROMPT: How does your main character feel about variety? Write a scene between someone who likes variety and someone who does not.