It's my pleasure to welcome Russell Blake onto my blog today...
Russell is the international bestselling author of Fatal Exchange, a groundbreaking genre-blending thriller set against the counter-culture backdrop of New York’s gritty underground, The Geronimo Breach, an action/intrigue/thriller set in Panama, the bestselling Zero Sum trilogy of Wall Street thrillers – Kotov Syndrome, Focal Point and Checkmate (which hit #15 on Amazon’s top 100 free books), The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, the epic assassination thriller, King of Swords, and its prequel, Night of the Assassin.
His first satirical non-fiction work, How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated) was released to critical raves.
An Angel With Fur, his second non-fiction book chronicling the saga of Lobo the miracle dog, has been the #1 Book in Animal Essays at Amazon UK for weeks.
“Captain” Russell, 52, lives on the Pacific coast of Mexico, where he spends his time writing, fishing, collecting & drinking tequila, and playing with his dogs. He is currently hard at work on a magnum opus of indeterminate plot, topic or genre, tentatively titled The Voynich Cipher; a satire/parody about the battle of the sexes; and a panoramic, epic screenplay about…cartoon ninja beavers for whom this time it’s personal, tentatively titled Beaver Team Bravo.
Often referred to as “The Writer’s Writer’s Writer’s Writer,” Russell is also a self-declared guru on everything related to writing, self-publishing and self-promotion.
Russell is a proud member of RABMAD – Read A Book, Make A difference.
On Writing, Sort of
I'd like to thank Sibel for allowing me to come onto her blog and introduce myself. My name's Russell Blake, and I write conspiracy/intrigue thrillers in the tradition of Frederick Forsyth and Robert Ludlum and Trevanian - deep thrillers that deliver a powerful punch and don't pander.
2011 was the year of the novel for me. Specifically, of a lot of them. By year's end I will have released twelve novels. You are reading that correctly. A dozen. I actually wrote thirteen, but tossed one.
Two of them are non-fiction. One is an animal biography honoring my constant companion and partner in crime for years, Lobo, in An Angel With Fur, that's received consistent raves on both sides of the Atlantic and is an international bestseller, consistently on Amazon's top 5 in Animal Essays. The other, How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated) is a dark parody of all self-help books for writers. It's pure distilled evil, and I believe reading it might give you brain cancer.
On the thriller front, I got it into my head to write full time in 2011, and so began by releasing Fatal Exchange, which is a thriller that combines a plot involving a rogue nation counterfeiting U.S. bank notes, with a serial killer police-procedural. It features a female protagonist - a female NY bike messenger who is being hunted by a hit team as well as stalked by a serial killer. If that sounds unlike the stereotypical monosyllabic fare wherein an ex-CIA hit man makes the ladies swoon, it's because it's about as far as you can get from formulaic fiction. And it works. It races, and reads like the literary equivalent of a season of "24."
Next I moved to The Geronimo Breach, which features an alcoholic malingering misanthrope as a protagonist, and is set in the jungles of Panama and Columbia, and posits a conspiracy to silence a secret so powerful it could topple the U.S. government. I wanted to write a book based around an anti-hero - again, a protagonist who is completely unlike anything even the most jaded thriller fans have encountered; a character so despicable and repellent that there's just no way anyone could like him, but by the last pages, we do. That book has gotten tremendous praise from readers and writers alike and is one of my favorites.
Next, I moved to a trilogy, specifically the Zero Sum trilogy of Wall Street
thrillers, Kotov Syndrome, Focal Point and Checkmate, wherein an amateur
cryptologist/investor takes on a Wall Street predator who is laundering funds
for covert segments of the U.S.
intelligence apparatus while engaging in wildly profitable stock manipulations.
It's an epic tale, sweeping from
Next came King of Swords, which is arguably my best work to date. It's an assassination thriller that uses the backdrop of the cartel violence in present-day Mexico to frame a Mexican Federal Policeman's hunt to stop a super assassin from killing the U.S. and Mexican presidents at the G-20 summit in Cabo San Lucas. It's lurid and unflinching and disturbing, and is basically Day of the Jackal in Mexico on steroids paced like a street race in a Ferrari. If you only read one of my books, this would be the quintessential work to get.
Next is Night of the
Assassin, which is a prequel to King of Swords, and tracks the early days
of the super assassin known only as "El Rey" - the King of Swords. I
wanted to write something that covered the making of a monster, and afforded
insight into the mind of a sociopath. It's another graphic, disturbing and
moving book that takes no prisoners and is completely un-flinching, violating a
host of taboos to create an unforgettable set of images.
And finally comes The
Delphi Chronicle trilogy, which is an ambitious book that tackles a
conspiracy based upon allegations of U.S.
hit squads working in Central America during the 1980s, and America's role in the growth of the
cocaine industry. It's another epic tale, that moves from NY to Mexico to Havana,
and shines a bright light on enormously troubling possibilities involving the U.S. government
and the drug trade. The protagonist is a failed novelist working a security gig
in NY, who agrees to help out a literary agent friend with a manuscript that
contains a stunning set of allegations. The body count goes through the roof
and he's forced to run for his life, while working to break the story that
would destroy the U.S.
as the world's only real superpower.
If that sounds like a lot of writing, it is. Probably closing in on a million words by year end, maybe a few hundred K shy of it. I'd invite readers who love the work of Ludlum or Forsyth or Harris or Grisham or Baldacci or DeMille to check out my work. I guarantee it will surprise. I'd start with King of Swords, because it's so defining. Once you read it, you'll either love me or hate me. There's no middle ground. Which is as it should be. One word of warning, though. If you can sleep well or put it down, and not be troubled and moved after reading it, I failed to do my job. So far, no complaints.
Sibel, thanks for letting me get on the virtual soapbox and share my work. I hope your readers check out some of the samples they can read on Amazon or Smashwords, or pick up a free copy of the first Zero Sum book - Kotov Syndrome. You never know. It could get addicting...
You can find out more about Russell and his books on his website.
Wow, Russell, I can't believe you wrote 13 books in one year! And here I was thinking that releasing 5 books this year was good! Are you an android? I definitely want some of whatever you're taking! I love your premise for Lobo - I know how much pets are a part of your life. When one of my cats died I decided to immortalize him in my Amber Fox mystery series so he lives on!
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