Friday, 16 December 2011

Ebooks For Soldiers

I'm involved in a new initiative to keep soldiers entertained while on active service away from home. Now, I don't have any friends or family currently serving in the military, but I can imagine that e-readers are an absolute boon to anyone with a limited amount of luggage or personal belongings. Ebooks For Soldiers was set up so that authors with books available in electronic format could donate free copies of their books to serving military personnel, especially over the festive period when our men and women are far from home and family.

One of the authors involved is Michael Lorde, whose thriller ebook Blind Veil is available from and  Michael is also the instigator of the entire project and has put most of the hard work into getting it all up and running. You can find out more about Michael here, but in the meantime, I put some questions to this talented author:

So tell me a bit about yourself –where you are from and what you write.
I was raised in New York State. I lived in Virginia Beach for thirty years, but I missed the seasons and I’m glad to be back up north. I now live in Michigan with my ten year old daughter. It’s Christmas time and we have snow. I’m smiling.

I write fiction. Blind Veil is a psychological thriller, so it has creepy elements, so of course some of it’s pretty disturbing. The first few chapters are different than the rest of the book, and take place decades ago; but then the story switches up to the here and now. Everything else in the book occurs as a result of that unreported past crime.

I’m currently working on the second Blind Veil book as well as edits for a fantasy book. In the fantasy book, the main character is a young woman. That storyline is not as intense as the Blind Veil Series, though it has its own disturbing moments… just not as consistently. That book is a softer read.

I also dabble in scripts. I have two that I’d like to see produced and I work on new ones all the time.

When did you start writing seriously and why?
I’ve always written. Some of my teachers told me that I should pursue writing, but I didn’t pursue getting published until Blind Veil. This was the book that demanded me to pen it down and get it out; to share it with others. I’m probably happier now in this work than I’ve ever been; now that I’m writing all the time. Looking back, I don’t know what took me so long to make that decision.

How much and what type of research do you do for your writing?
I actually did no research for Blind Veil. I have a background as an investigator, so I knew the terminology. The rest came to me when I got the idea for the book. The plot came to me instantly. It was the first time that had happened, and I found it pretty amazing. I had a similar ‘epiphany’ with the second book, the fantasy book. Both are the first of a series.

What do you enjoy reading? Do you have a favorite author?
I love to read, though I stay away from reading novels when I’m heavy into a plot. That way I’m not picking up terminology, or writing styles from other author’s works. I read everything. I’m the type of person who has to learn things all day long. I’ve always been that way. As a kid, I read constantly and really loved school, so yes; I enjoy reading just about anything. As far as a favorite author… There are way too many to be able to pick just one. King is definitely on the list because I like oddities and he’s the ‘king’ of oddities. I also enjoy ‘Lord of the Rings’ type of story lines, so I’m a fan of J.R.R Tolkien. I like Baldacci, Grisham, Clancy. There are way too many to list. I’m big on espionage, conspiracy, and psychological thrillers; so I enjoy anything that includes those elements. A writer’s style means more to me than the ‘technical’ aspect that might captures some reader’s attention. I want to feel a strong pull into the characters and the storyline; not like I’m watching it, but as if I’m next to them the whole time, or close enough to walk a few steps in their shoes.

Tell me something about yourself that not many people know.
That’s easy. I have a water phobia that I’ve never been able to shake. I’m a great swimmer and was even on the dive team in high school, but I’m never totally comfortable swimming in the ocean, or in a large body of water. I went white water rafting years ago thinking that would rid me of it, but it didn’t. It was fun enough, but I wouldn’t do it again. I love boating and tubing and in the past I’ve water skied and wind surfed. I’m fine with all of that; but put me over my head in the ocean without a device nearby, and I am not a happy camper. I hated the swim training I had to go through in a dive tank that the navy seals train in. It was a grueling experience. Impressed? Don’t be… our training was nothing like Navy seals training; we just used their tanks. There was nothing intense or life threatening about it, and water boarding and survival training was the furthest thing from our instructors mind. Still, I would never want to go through it again. Like I said, I’m a good swimmer and more than capable. I just don’t like the feeling. I love being at the ocean, but not in it. So, now you know my secret. I have four kids who are all part fish. Go figure.

So Hollywood wants to make film of your book. Who is going to play your main characters?
Being very visual, I knew the answer to this when I was writing the book. Ioan Gruffudd (or Christian Bale), Denzel Washington, Ian McKellan, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Bridget Moynahan.

Oh no! The film director says that the sponsor will only put up the money if your book can be set on a desert island. How will this affect your story?
That’s funny! Okay, the way my main character’s feeling, he may as well be on a deserted island; and while part of the book does take place on the ocean, I don’t think the whole island scenario will work.

It’s a psychological thriller, so the main character is stuck with his situation. No matter where he tries to run, he can’t run away from his own thoughts. Nothing is easy for him. He faces challenges whether he’s on an island or smack dab in the middle of New York City. The problem with the deserted island is that it’s deserted. His situation requires that others are around and in fact things get pretty intense for him because they are around. I hope I bring the reader in close enough that they can feel that intensity of what he’s going through. Many of my readers have said that they couldn’t put Blind Veil down, so I’m hoping that I’ve accomplished that. One reader told me ‘I was there’ which being an author, was of course music to my ears. As long as I can bring the readers into my character’s ‘island’, I’ll be happy. But deserted island? We’ll just have to hire a different director.

And finally…

Vampires or zombies?

Definitely Zombies. I got bitten by a Great Dane once… while deciding whether or not to adopt him. He answered that question really fast, well before I arrived at the E.R. That was the closest encounter I ever want to have with a creatures teeth. (I’m a huge dog lover. The two great dogs I do have, know enough to keep their teeth in their mouths where they belong.)

Apples or bananas?

Commercial best-seller or literary prize winner?
Commercial best seller would be nice. Recognition is wonderful, but it won’t pay for the kid’s colleges.

Thanks for answering those questions, Michael - and apologies for the oddballs. I have a strange sense of humour at times.

So if you're reading this and you are currently away from home and serving in the military, hop on over to Ebooks For Soldiers and take a look at what's on offer. Or email your son or daughter and get them to take a look. Sign up and you could soon be reading Michael's book Blind Veil for FREE on your e-reader. And if you're not eligible for a free copy, then why not buy one instead? There are more authors signing up all the time on the site and you're bound to find something you like.

Michael's website, blog and video trailer are all worth a visit and you can also read reviews of Blind Veil.

How can an unreported crime that occurred forty years in the past,and across the country, affect a New York City Cop today?

Can a seemingly innocent boat ride forever change the life of a former Marine?

Find out when a Police Officer meets an eccentric scientist who claims to hold secret knowledge that has been hidden from the rest of society.

Is this all truly happening, or is he slowly losing his grip on reality? Unfortunately, neither conclusion between the two worlds is better than the other as the clarifying line between reality and impossibility slowly disintegrates, turning his world upside down.

He must dig thirty years into his past; deep beneath the veil and the mesh of murder, lies and deceit to find answers.

Follow the trail of events that will forever shape his future… and maybe yours.

Available in English only at:

1 comment:

Carrie Green, said...

Thanks, Michael for setting up this worthwhile project! I'm also excited to be involved as one of the authors offering their books and I'm impressed, each day, by the magnitude of this undertaking. There exists no network to donate eBooks to soldiers--Michael is building it from scratch! I feel both awe and gratitude.