Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve got a little different path than the usual self published author. I am a former United States Congressman, an Emmy award winning journalist, and a relentless world traveler. A long time student of comparative religion and archaeology.
While I have written for magazines and newspapers for years, (primarily travel articles) this is my first novel.
Over the last 20 years I’ve visited a number of sites in this book and I knew somewhere in between the dark alleys of Stockholm and an obscure Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka there was a good story lurking. I’ve always contended the occult traditions of major faiths have more in common than most people think. And just maybe there is an alliance of Holy Men of different faiths willing to battle together to put a stop to evil.
To read more about my background visit the novel’s website www.thealliance-novel.com
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I published The Alliance late this summer. One newspaper described it as Indiana Jones meets the DaVinci code. That’s exactly the tone I was hoping to capture. Trust me this isn’t fine literature, but the kind of book that is designed for a lazy day in the hammock or killing time (like I do far too often) in an airplane terminal.
Since I was in college I have always been fascinated with different religious traditions and in particular the battle between good and evil. When I tell friends about the book it sounds like the beginning of a joke. A Priest, a Rabii and a Buddhist monk walk in to a bar…The primary character is loosely based a Priest who taught me at an all boy’s Jesuit high school in Milwaukee.
I’ve been lucky to travel to many of the locations in the book, and many of the religious threads woven in to the story have been kicking around the back of my mind for decades. Many of the folks who have reviewed it on Amazon like the fact that in this story the different faiths are battling the dark forces rather than with each other.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I am one of those early in the morning writers. I try to make sure I write 45 minutes each day before I go to work.
From my training in journalism I write fast–not well mind you-just fast. Also because of my background in TV it’s far too easy for me to get waded down in pretty bad dialogue. The first draft as pretty bad. I am surprised any one actually made it through it.
When writing a thriller I find it is better to march through the entire [;plot rather than driving myself nuts re-writing the first chapter over and over and over. Get the story on paper, revise and tweak later.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am new to this. I should be reading this answer from a lot of other people rather than trying to tap dance.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write it. What are you waiting for. And if you have already started it, finish it!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Nothing to do with books but two general maxims I have come to lean on in my journalism, political and business careers. If it’s important always meet face to face. And as a general rule good news travels fast; bad news travels slowly.
What are you reading now?
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit. The story of a Jewish family that flees Egypt in the 1960’s. I was in Cairo as part of a State Department project in March and it was obvious the place was about to blow up.
It’s a wonderful country that’s tearing itself apart. For two thousand years Jews, Christians, Sunni and Shia all lived together peacefully except for these unfortunate periods of sectarian unrest. One of my Egyptian friends suggested the story would give me an appreciation for its long history of tolerance and to help understand this latest round of conflict will also pass in to history.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Working on a second book with Father Farrell but this time no horror elements. More 24 than X files.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I always seem to fall back on classic Adventure books I read as a kid. Ivanhoe; The Once and Future King; The Iliad and the Odyssey; The great Hindu epic the Ramayana and The Adventures of Robin Hood.
I am a fan of Dan Brown, Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum.
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