~ Blurb ~
Criminal profiler Dr. Thelonious Zones wants to believe his father didn’t kill his mother. What stops him from believing is the twenty-five years to life his father received for her murder. Zones’ avuncular employer and father’s best friend, Sam Drake, defends his innocence. Zones sets out to find the truth to this twenty-four year old question, but his search is interrupted when he is forced to investigate the death of a young Arab college student and the series of bombings engulfing a small southern town. Zones’ theory and profile of the perpetrator are questioned by law enforcement when events change and new suspects emerge. The trail to the truth will lead Zones through a thicket of well-guarded secrets and childhood memories that cause him to question what he believes about how the world truly works.
~ Author Q&A ~
What is your favorite thing about being an author?
I love the creative process. As I've mentioned, I was an architect in a former life. The building design process is similar to the story crafting process. Many of the elements are the same: theme, character, structure, etc.
Do you see that you have it easier doing everything yourself or would it be easier with a big publisher? Someone to help out?
Definitely harder wearing all the hats. Having a publishing house behind you frees you up to concentrate on the things you're good at or are passionate about. On the other hand, you lose some control over the process.
What inspires you as an author to write?
I can still remember my first reading of Richard Wright's "Native Son" and the power it held over me as a young man. Days and nights weren't long enough when reading it. I write in a completely different genre, but one of the greatest compliments I received as an author is that the reader couldn't put the book down. That inspires me.
Do you need a quiet place to write? Or do you need noise?
I have a twenty-one month old, so quiet is a rarity. Besides, I have the ability to "disappear" mentally when I write, making noise a non-factor. But I'll take quiet when possible.
Do you listen to music while you write? What kind of music is beneficial to your writing process?
I listen to music sometimes. I am a jazz head, preferably the standards: Coltrane, Monk, Ellington, Miles, etc. There are times when R&B and even classical will get me going. Jazz takes me to a place mentally that opens up every sense. I rarely have writer's block, but if I do, jazz is what I turn to.
Who is your favorite author?
I have many, spanning multiple eras. I've already mentioned Wright. As a very young man, it was Poe and Salinger. Now, since I write in the crime-mystery-thriller genre, it's cats like Mosley and Pelecanos. I consider "The Wire" some of the best crime writing ever.
What inspired you to take a leap of faith and write your first novel?
Inspiration (if I'm to be honest) came from a deep desire to rid myself of people - or at least as many of them as I could. I'm an introvert by nature and working as an architect meant having to "interact". Writing gave me the solitude I desired and still allowed me to be creative.
Are any of your characters based on people you know?
Absolutely! Or at least an amalgamation of them. I'm not good enough of a writer to just make crap up. I have to steal stuff. If I need a trait or behavior for a character I just call one up from the many I've experience in my own life.
Do you write in chronological order of the story, or jump around when a scene hits you?
I'm a plotter, so I pretty much know where the story is going. Sometimes I make a scene outline ahead of my writing so that I don't lose the idea. My writing, however, tends to be chronological.
What is an Indie Author?
One who chose the path to side-step the potentates of the written word and breach their defenses to the public's literary ear - dedication from my first novel "Sheaves of Zion"
What does it take to be an indie author?
A strong desire to be one's self
How much pressure is on you, the author, when you’re having to do everything yourself?
Other than making the artificial deadlines you've set for yourself? Nothing really. I feel pressure to bring a quality product to the public domain, one that competes with the big boys.
Do you as an author in your down time read? Yes? No? Tell us why either way. Inquiring minds want to know!
What little time there is, yes. I read the competition and authors whose work I truly enjoy.
Do you have any writing rituals? Specific music, chair, drink, etc.?
Early morning or late night. I love seeing the sun rise, a good cup of hot tea in hand and the faint sound of my toddler snoring in the distance as I write.
Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Stop being an aspiring writer. Just do it.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere. I wrote a doctoral dissertation proposal for graduate business school on economic uncertainty. It didn't impress the admitting panel, but an aspect of the research became a concept and title for my latest novel "Swarm Theory". Take that you duffers!
What is your ‘long term’ plan? Do you see this as a true future or something that you will ‘grow out of’?
I'm all in. My body has been drained of all growth hormones. I am stunted in this writing life. I'm the poorest I've ever been, but I'm also the happiest.
What books have you been reading lately?
Greg Iles, Natchez Burning; Gar Anthony Haywood, All the Lucky Ones are Dead; Gary Phillips, Violent Spring and Frankie Bailey, The Red Queen Dies.
Who initially inspired you?
My high school English teacher inspired me to write. My parents taught me how to tell a good story.
When did you start writing stories?
I started out writing poems to impress the ladies. Stories didn't come until ten years ago - nothing publishable, just for cathartic reasons. The bug bit me and now I'm an award winning author with my second book "Swarm Theory" coming out on 7-25-16. Your support of it would be greatly appreciated.
~Also available from the Author~
~Meet E.W. Sullivan ~
I'm originally from Jacksonville, Florida. Early in life I've worked a number of odd jobs, everything from shoveling and spreading dirt in the low-lying areas of my neighbors' yards to busting tables in a pizza joint, scrubbing dishes in a private country club and selling watermelons from the bed of my father's old F-150 truck. He told me, "You keep what you earn". Since then I've worked as an architect and contractor, taught computer networking, and owned a financial services company.
My first novel, Sheaves of Zion, is a Readers' Favorite 2013 bronze medal winner for fiction-mystery-sleuth. Prior to this I wrote a series of unpublished short stories, mostly for cathartic reasons - while waiting for unemployment benefits to run out. I found writing better than drinking, deciding to take up the former full-time. My love of literature was resurrected by reading The Catcher in the Rye. I have a fascination with the lives of troubled young men, having grown up with a few of them (they creep into the persona of my characters).
I credit my high school English teacher, Mr. Smith, for planting the seed for my love of writing, my late father for how to tell a great story and my late mother for how to curse properly. I live, work and write from my Buckhead home in Atlanta, Georgia with my wife Anita and daughter Paris.
~ Connect with E.W. ~