Ana: Today we have James A. Anderson introducing their novel, "Deadline". I haven't read this book myself, but James was kind enough to agree to guest blog about their book to any readers who might be interested in the subject. James, how would you describe your novel to your prospective readers? In broad terms, what is your novel about?
James: This is a thriller set in a daily newspaper in Toronto which covers 24 hours in real time and combines murder, a serial killer, action, terrorists, and romance. It follows four central characters in Toronto and Afghanistan in an alternating format as they cope with personal and professional deadlines in their lives. I wrote it as a fast-paced, page-turning read with short paragraphs and short chapters using journalistic style.
Ana: What themes does your novel explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, do you hope your novel will mean to a reader?
James: It explores what it is like working in a daily newspaper. It gives readers a behind the headlines look at how stories are pursued. I strongly believe thrillers should be entertaining first and fast-paced page-turners. That’s what I tried to create here. I think it shows that the daily headlines are what life is about and I used real incidents fictionalized in this novel. I hope it gives readers an insight i nto the hectic and sometimes dangerous world of journalism. But most of all, I hope they are entertained in enjoying a thrilling novel and story.
Ana: What prompted you to write this novel and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write this book?
James: I’m a 63-year-old retired Canadian journalist with more than 35 years experience in daily and weekly newspapers as a reporter and editor. I’m also an avid reader with wide tastes, but I especially like thrillers and mysteries. Authors like Michael Connelly, Lee Child and Vince Flynn are my favourites. Like Michael Connelly, I’m a former journalist now turned author who writes about my experiences in a fictional way. I write because I feel compelled to write. I’ve been writing stories since I was 12 years old and published some short stories in my 20s. But most of my life has been taken up with writing for newspapers. Now that I am retired I plan to write thrillers. There are not many on the market with a journalism theme, so I believe that mine will be a new experience for readers.
Ana: If you could compare your novel to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my book!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your novel is their cup of tea?
James: I really don’t think there is anything on the market that my book could be compared to. Perhaps the Jack McEvoy novels of Michael Connelly would the closest, such as The Poet. But if you like fast-paced, page-turning thrillers with action and some violence and sex, although not too graphic, then "Deadline" will be your cup of tea.
Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other novels? If you have published other novels, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more novels planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different novel or genre?
James: This is my first published novel. I’m currently about half-way through a sequel titled The Scorpion, based on requests from readers of my first novel who enjoyed it. I’ve had many four and five-star reviews on Amazon and Smashwords and only one two-star review so far.
Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your novel for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next novel comes available?
James: "Deadline" can be purchased from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and the publisher Lulu. I can be contacted on Twitter, Facebook or email. I enjoy hearing from readers and their opinions on my book, good or bad. Constructive criticism can only help me improve my future novels. I try to respond to every reader who has taken the time to read my book and contact me. Reviews are also appreciated and helpful to other readers. I will be letting people know through Facebook and Twitter when my next novel is available.
Ana: Thank you, James. I understand you have the first chapter of your novel available as an excerpt for interested readers? And is there anything else you wish to add for our readers?
James: Here is the first chapter of my novel, or you can read the samples on Amazon or Lulu. I want to thank you Ana for this opportunity to get the word out about my book. I hope readers will give it a try and let me know what they think, what they liked and what they didn’t. Thank You.