The Red Cross of Gold XXI:. The Dead Confess No Sins (Assassin Chronicles) 

A big welcome today to Brendan Carroll, author of The Red Cross of Gold ~ The Assassin Chronicles Books I-XXI.

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.


I wrote my first book as fan-fiction for the Original Star Trek Series.  I had no idea at the time (early thirties) of how the publishing world worked.  I was completely happily ignorant. I poured my heart into it, even learning a lot of Klingon words and making some Klingon translations for one of the Rolling Stones songs that was popular at the time.  I worked on it at the kitchen table with my kids running around all over the place, the TV blaring and supper burning on the stove.  It didn't matter.  I didn't hear them or see them and when I finished, I loved it.  I thought it was the best Star Trek novel ever written.  Of course, my dreams were shattered when at first the publisher gave me all the guidelines for manuscript submissions over the phone and then, after working for weeks to get it altogether and just perfect for them, I received an automatic form letter.  My first rejection.  Fortunately, there was nowhere else to send a Star Trek Novel and since that was BC... Before Computer... no Internet fanzine websites to publish on.  So it died and now lies in a small white box in the den.  I didn't write anything for a while after that.


What is your latest novel?


The Red Cross of Gold XXI:. The Dead Confess No Sins.


What inspired you to write the book?


I have always wanted to write for a series like Star Trek or further back, Man from U.N.C.L.E., the Wild, Wild West, Mad Magazine, comic books, SNL and recently the Sopranos, Rome, Spartacus, House.  I watched them or read them or see them even now and I say "Man!  I know you could write stuff like that!"  So when I finally got started with the Red Cross of Gold series, it just kept flowing.


What’s your favourite part of writing a novel?


I love to have the characters do and say new and exciting things.  I love how it all comes together through either planning or serendipity.  It gives me a rush to read something that I wrote and think "Hey, that's pretty damned good!"

I also love designing my covers and picking my titles.


Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?


I struggle with editing and proof-reading.  I also have a few kinks in my punctuation that I learned wrong, same with misspelled words (same one's over and over), finding the dash key on the keyboard (Ug!), using 'now' and 'told' too much.


Where do you get your ideas from?


I get ideas from anywhere and everywhere.  Things I see, things I read, things on television, places I go, people I see, people I know, dreams, movies, everything.  I'm always making notes for later.


How long does it take to complete a novel?


From start to finish about four to six weeks for a full-length novel.


Did you query agents or traditional publishers before self-publishing?


I did query many publishers myself and then I hired an agent locally to query them.  After he failed, I stopped wasting time and money.


How did you handle the rejection letters?


I usually never finished reading them.  I would keep them with the mail for a while and then throw them away.


What’s your writing process?


I write like crazy when I'm in the zone.  I make notes to make sure I keep the details straight (chronologies, names, titles, traits, special details).  Then I edit and proof read and turn it over to someone else for proof reading.


What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?


I had tried the tradition method for years, hired an agent, suffered many rejections and much depression.  On top of that, I had thrown good money after all the above to no avail. When self-publishing came along, I had nothing to lose but time and a little effort.  Once the idea took hold and I began to sell my work, the perks of self-publishing far outweigh the hassles associated with traditional publishing (or so I hear. LOL)


Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?


First and foremost, know what you are writing about as much as possible.  If you know your subject matter better than most of your readers, you will do well.  Secondly, practice makes perfect.  Keep writing and correcting the weaknesses as you go.  Thirdly, have at least three beta readers for your 'finished' work before you publish preferably.  Fourthly, develop a thick skin and if you can't do that, then develop patience and keep your mouth shut.  Responding negatively to negative criticism or reviews or comments can get you into a lot of hot water in a hurry.  Fans will not appreciate excuses, whiners or viciousness, nor will they look kindly on petty grievances, egotism and/or rudeness.  BE NICE!!


What's next in the pipeline? 


Right now I'm working on The Red Cross of Gold XXII:. Holy Blood which is the next book in the series.  There are 28 altogether.  When I finish them, I have a few more ideas on the back burner.  God willing and the Creeque don't rise!


Do you think your books would translate well to the big screen? If so who would you like to see play your lead characters ? 


Of course it would.  I think Clive Owen for Mark Ramsay, Iaon Grufford for Lucio Dambretti and Megan Kelly from Fox News for Meredith Sinclair.


Tell me three random things about yourself.


I'm US Navy Veteran.  I love driving really fast in sports cars.  I own a hamster.


What do you do when you’re not writing?


Only the necessary things one must do to live, play with the Puglet, watch a little TV, travel, bird-watching, reading


Do you write in just one genre?


I have written a humorous fictional novel, some poetry, a bunch of fantasy, a little horror, a paranormal romance, a post-apocalyptic fiction, fan-fiction (Star Trek), short stories


Do you use Social Media for marketing your novels?


Twitter, Facebook, Book Forums, Goodreads, Librarything, etc.


Who are your writing influences?


JRR Tolkein, Stephen King, Ann Rice, John Grisham, James Fennimore Cooper, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Henry Fielding, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kahlil Gibran, Lao Tzu, Confucius


If you weren’t writing, what would be your favourite job?


I always wanted to be a Theoretical Physicist (but I was bad in math).


Which five people would you invite for dinner?


Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin.


Describe your latest novel in fifteen words or fewer.


Mark Ramsay seeks an end to Semiramis' curse and some way to lighten his burdens.


What are you reading at the moment?


At the moment, I am reading a book about the Muslim anti-Christ.  I know that sounds weird, but I want to know as much as possible about the people who hate me simply because I am NOT of their same opinion.  I have studied many religions, Buddhism, Catharism, Catholicism, Mormonism, Baptists, Pentecostal Snake-Handlers, Greek and Roman Pantheologies, Druidism, Taoism, Confucianism, Santeria, Viking Pantheology, some of the African tribal religions, Native American beliefs, you name it.  But I really want to know more about Islam simply because of World Politics at this time. 


What three things would you add to your bucket list of things to do.


I want to see the Grand Canyon.  I want to visit Scotland.  I would like to live at Disney World.


Do you write full time? If not, how do you balance writing with another job?


I write full time now.  When I wrote the series, I was working full time for the State of Texas.  I used every waking moment to work on the series when other things did not demand my attention.  I must say that my domestic obligations suffered a great deal at times.  I found no way to balance writing with a job.  I felt like I was a writer bothered with an annoyance I had to take care of in order to pay the bills. 


Do your characters talk to you?


They actually do, strangely enough.  I can actually hear their voices and different accents and emotions in my head whenever I am writing.  One of the advantages of a good imagination.  People used to tell me that I had an 'over-worked' imagination.  Maybe so, but it is good for writing.  Of course, there are those really weird dreams where characters appear and talk to me in dreams.  That leaves me feeling a little strange the next day and wondering about my sanity.  Even better is when someone tells me that they dreamed about my characters.  I always asked "what did he/she say?"... you know, just for good measure.


Have you ever used a friend or foe as a character?


Oh, heck yeah!  That is one of the best perks of being a writer of fiction.  We can make anything happen to anyone in our imaginations and as long as the friend/foe doesn't find out, we're home free.  Unless of course I want them to know.  I've told a few people that characters are bases on them or named after them.  Sometimes I do have someone recognize themselves, but they are usually flattered.  Foes do not generally read the books of their foes but maybe they should.  It is always good to know the mind of the enemy.  

About The Red Cross of Gold ~ The Assassin Chronicles Books I-XXI...

The Red Cross of Gold ~ Assassin Chronicles follows the adventures of an 800 year old, grumpy Scottish Knight who is one of twelve ruling members of the last remnants of the Knights Templar.  His Order, the Red Cross of Gold, operates in the background of global politics while waiting to join the Battle of Armageddon on Jesus' side.  The protagonist, Mark Ramsay, is the Knight of Death, Alchemist and Assassin for the Order.  He can release the souls of his immortal Brothers if need be, make gold to support the Order and if anyone needs to be killed, he has no problem doing it… except when he loses his memory.


Syria Says - Review: This review is from: The Red Cross of Gold I:. The Knight of Death (Kindle Edition)


This story, surprisingly enough, starts off in modern-day Texas after a preface set during the Fall of Jerusalem in 1187 CE and another short scene that takes place in modern Italy. Our hero, Sir Mark Andrew Ramsay, is a grouchy Scotsman with a problem (several of them, in fact!) He is not a very nice fellow, but due to a vicious attack and kidnapping, he has forgotten that fact. While in this state of discombobulation, he falls in love with one of his captors, which is strictly forbidden by the rules of his ancient Order. His original assassin's mission forgotten, he has to fight for his life on two fronts as his captor's try to kill him and one of his Brothers of the Order comes after him with blood vengeance in mind. I was impressed by the complexity of the plot and the ease of reading that made me carry this book everywhere I went, unwilling to put it down. I enjoyed the flashback action that told bits and pieces of Mark's past worked in as memory flashes as his head began to clear up. The ending was surprising and original and left me wanting to know what happens next. 


5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book!, August 6, 2009

This review is from: The Red Cross of Gold I:. The Knight of Death (Kindle Edition)

This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I took my kids swimming, and sat there for 3 hours engrossed and on the edge of my seat. They had to beg me to take them home, because I didn't want to stop reading. Every time I got a free minute, I wanted to get back to this book. I am so glad there are many more in the series! 

Our hero is Mark Ramsay, immortal Templar Knight, alchemist and assassin, rough and tough and oh so gorgeous. He finds himself kidnapped and without his memory, and discovers who he is and what he is about, along with the reader. Just when you think things can't get any worse for our hero, his Brothers come to his......rescue? Murder and mayhem, sword fights and brawls, flashbacks to life during the Crusades, love and loss and sex and even some unexpected humor all abound in this terrific tale. 

I highly recommend this series! 

5.0 out of 5 stars The Dead Confess No Sins, February 10, 2011

This review is from: The Red Cross of Gold XXI:. The Dead Confess No Sins (Assassin Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)

Brendan Carroll has done it again..this book as well as others in the Series captures the imagination and the fast paced action is exhilarating making it hard to put down. I have read all 21 books and can hardly wait for the next episode of the Knight of Death/Assassin Chronicles. Highly recommend you won't be disappointed!

You can catch up with Brendan here:
 Blog at Blogspot Blog at Word Press  Twitter  Author page at Amazon Smashwords page  Facebook Page

Thanks for your time, Brendan. I approve of your choice of movie roles. Clive Owen is a hit with me!

Sibel XX