New Interview with Author Robert Capko!

robert capkoIt is my pleasure to speak today with independent author Robert Capko. I’ve communicated with Robert quite a bit over the last year or so but this is the first time I decided to put him on the spot for an interview. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it…

MW: Your military experience obviously adds a lot of realism to your writing. Tell us a bit about your background in the military.

RC: Thank you for asking, Matt.  I served in the Air Force in the time period leading up to Desert Storm.   It was then that I first learned of the Air Force Pararescue Jumpers (PJs) and their mission to rescue downed pilots behind enemy lines.  I was fascinated by their ability to both fight and save lives.  I knew immediately that I wanted to write novels about them.  From there I spent a tremendous amount of time learning as much as I could about PJs and what they do.  I have been privileged to meet many of them and to tour their training  facilities.  They are truly unsung heroes

What aspects of that career stuck with you?

I met a lot of really wonderful people and many of them remain great friends to this day.  I am proud of serving my country and through my writing I want to honor others who are serving or have served, and are keeping us safe and free.

Were there any specific experiences in the military that found their way into your book, Say Goodbye?
ggg

I draw mostly upon my experience of the way members of the military interact with one another and the atmosphere in which they operate.  Keeping in mind I write fiction, not training manuals, I strive to capture the essence of military life.

I wanted my writing to contrast with other action/adventure novels wherein everything worked flawlessly and the mission and leadership are perfectly logical.  I strive for a more accurate portrayal of life in the military.  Our troops face challenges daily, and, unfortunately, many of those challenges come from places other than just the enemy.  I bring that frame of reference to Say Goodbye.

Why did you decide to take the leap and write a novel?

I’m not sure I would describe it as a leap.  It was never a question of should I or shouldn’t I write.  I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I was in middle school.  I started writing several novels and dreamed about writing many more.   Say Goodbye just happens to be the first one that made it onto the bookstore shelves.  I wish it had been a leap, but it was more like a multi-year ultra-marathon.

How are you friends and colleagues from the military responding to your work?

They love it and they are pushing me to write more.  Many of them are invaluable resources and keep me on track and true to the spirit.

Who else do you think your book would appeal to?

Say Goodbye has garnered a surprising number of female fans for what, at first glance, might appear to be purely a “guy book.”  I have received emails and positive reviews from men and women, some who are veterans, or spouses of veterans, and some who have never had any contact with military life.

Anyone who enjoys a good story about people who are devoted to each other and the challenges they face and how they must sometimes make impossible choices will enjoy Say Goodbye.  My goal was to get your heart racing as you turn the pages.  Send me a message and let me know if I have succeed.  I would love to hear from you.

Are there any of your own personal traits in your main character, John Paxton?

Of course there are! 🙂 But I think there is a little John Paxton in all of us.

When is the sequel to Say Goodbye due?

The Long Road Home will be out soon.  I’m putting the final touches on the manuscript, then I have to send it off to the Beta readers and then off to editing.  I can’t wait because I am very excited about it.

Can you give us a secret plot point from the second John Paxton book?

In The Long Road Home, Pararescueman John Paxton goes back to face an enemy that seeks him with a deadly vengeance.  What he discovers is an enemy more ruthless and clever than he has ever faced before.

What challenges have you come across in your writing journey?

Finding the time to write without interruption was always a challenge.     I spent a lot of time in the middle of the night at the computer writing,  knowing that I would have to be at work early in the morning.  It is also a particularly lonely process.  You write and write and wonder if anyone will like what you have written.  A writer must press on even though they crave feedback.  Believing in yourself is key.

Where can people find you online?

Like my Facebook Fan Page at:  http://www.facebook.com/robertjcapkofanpage
I was even excited to learn that “John Paxton” has found his way into the Urban Dictionary.
Say Goodbye is available in paperback and the eBook format of your choice.

An Interview with Author Mark Chisnell (2011)

In 2011 I had the opportunity to speak with professional racing sailor and author, Mark Chisnell. He has written some well respected works and to say he is interesting is an understatement. Here’s a bit of that interview…

You can read the full interview at http://jakphoenix.com/2011/02/26/an-interview-with-author-mark-chisnell/

——————————-

MW: Hi Mark. Can you tell us about yourself?

MC: I was brought up on the east coast of England, close to both the sea and an inland network of lakes called the Norfolk Broads, so boats were everywhere. I started racing sailing dinghies, got a degree in physics and philosophy and then worked in a factory for a summer to buy a ticket to Australia, with a vague plan to see some stuff and write a book.

By the time I got home I’d published some travel stories in the New Zealand Herald and the South China Morning Post, and I’d broken into the professional sailing circuit via the British America’s Cup team that was racing in Australia at the time. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between those two things – writing and pro sailboat racing – ever since.

Give us a rundown on your book, The Defector.

The Defector began as an idea from my philosophy classes – the Prisoner’s Dilemma is a Games Theory concept that was dreamed up by the RAND corporation, the people who brought us the MAD theory (Mutually Assured Destruction) during the Cold War. I wanted to make it more personal than that, and had in mind a game played for life and death stakes, involving a love triangle. The basic idea immediately makes it a genre book, a thriller, and I went for a classic chase story. The psychotic drug smuggler, Janac forces the hero, Martin Cormac to make a succession of escalating, nightmare choices in his struggle to get free.

It took me about three years to get from the idea to a story with characters and a plot, and to get a first draft down on paper. It took another four years to rewrite it and find a publisher. Random House brought it out (called The Delivery) in 1996 in the UK. Then it was republished as The Defector by Harper Collins in New Zealand and Australia – I was living down there for a while for a sailing competition…

Read the full article with info about the sequel to The Defector over at JakPhoenix.com

An Interview with Author Brian S. Pratt

In January of 2011, I had the honor of speaking with independent author Brian S. Pratt, who was kind enough to answer a few questions. We spoke about his stories, his success and publishing in general. For those of you who don’t know him, he is probably the most successful independent author ever, with thousands upon thousands of books sold without the help of a major publisher. If you’re an author or a fantasy reader, enjoy the interview below!

The full interview can be found at http://jakphoenix.com/2011/01/22/an-interview-with-brian-s-pratt/

———————————-

MW: Tell us a little bit about yourself:

BSP: I’m just a regular guy whose imagination tends to run amuck now and again. I am a veteran (Air Force), drove taxi, managed a Pizza Hut and even taught teens to drive for a couple years. Nothing in my history would indicate here’s a guy who is going to write a bunch of books. Of course, anyone who knew me from when I was 12 until now would know that a book is never far from my hand. I read all the time, less so now that I’m writing.  I live in the country and prefer peace and quiet.

Could you give us a quick overview of the Morcyth Saga?

It’s seven books long, never been edited, written in the present tense, and has sold well over 50,000 copies. A rather unbelievable achievement given that I hadn’t a clue what I was doing when I started. Had I known then what I know now, I never would have written it in present tense. Some people just can’t get over that.

The Morcyth Saga is about a teen who is into role playing and likes to read fantasy novels. He goes for a job, ends up in another world where magic works, and then discovers that his experiences from role playing and reading are going to come in rather handy. The way I figured it…

Read the full interview at Jakphoenix.com

Jak Phoenix: Doing Something About it.

Jak Phoenix Paperback and Ebook Cover ArtI started writing Jak Phoenix in September 2008, after beers with friends led to the inevitable conversations nerds have about movies, comics, space and how we always had ‘better ideas’ than the churned-out supply of Hollywood remakes and reboots.

‘Better ideas’ is a pretty subjective term, but after the 50th conversation about being able to do something better without having any experience doing said task, I decided to put my money where my mouth was. Write a book. Pretty easy right?

Wrong. Writing, while rewarding, is difficult. Decent original ideas are hard to come by. The line between something marketable and garbage is pretty blurred. I am convinced the key to being a successful author lies more in self-discipline and an intense work ethic. Putting words down is tiring, stressful, boring and exhilarating all at the same time. At the very least, my efforts over the 15 months dedicated to putting the book together has given me the utmost respect for writers of anything; be it books, news articles, scripts, plays, or commercials.

I am no Hemingway. I am several large steps below a guy who has read a Hemingway. My goal was never to write a life changing magnum opus of epic proportions, but to have fun with the archetypes we all grew up admiring. From a literary standpoint, I’d have to say my biggest influence came from Ian Fleming. Not from a story perspective, but in action, suspense and pacing. What you read won’t be boring. I can promise you that much. My short attention span wouldn’t allow for boredom.

I set out to write a story that made me feel like I did the first time I saw the original Star Wars. Jak Phoenix morphed into something different when my focus swayed a little into the comedic field, but the simplicity, strong characterizations and appeal to mainstream readers remained intact. I wanted something everyone could have fun reading, with relatable flawed characters and a light tone. I’d had enough of the doom and gloom so prevalent in media these days. I’m not ashamed to admit I wanted a slam bang space opera.

My novel is far from perfect and I am the first to admit it. But, I went out on a limb and ‘did something about it,’ and for that I am proud. My fiancée’s understanding to my dedication toward sitting at the computer for multi-hour stretched will also never be forgotten. Her support is part of the reason she is my fiancée.

If you have read Jak Phoenix, I sincerely hope you enjoy it, as I certainly did while I was writing it. I picked the book up off the shelf the other day and started reading it. With my best attempt to separate myself as the author, I can honestly say it still put a smile on my face. Goal accomplished.

Matt Williams

https://mattdwilliams.wordpress.com/

Author of the Jak Phoenix Space Adventures at www.jakphoenix.com
Jak Phoenix is available at:
Amazon.com Paperbacks
Barnes and Noble Paperbacks
Barnes and Noble ebooks
Smashwords ebooks

%d bloggers like this: