Monday, July 13, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Simone Pond, Author

Simone Pond, Author
THE TORRENT
4th book in The Agenda series
Simone Pond introduces us to her recent release, THE TORRENT, the final book (4) of her dystopian series, New Agenda.  She previously joined us to discuss the third book of the series, THE MAINFRAME, which is when she informed us that she writes dystopian novels to let out her “dark side.” In her final book in the series, she seeks to discover how a separated mother and daughter will interact in her future world.

Although a creator of future worlds, here in the now and present Pond says she most enjoys lounging in front of TV watching a movie. She is working on a young adult romance series and considering whether to include a SciFi element. Pond lives in Los Angeles with her husband and Boston Terrier, Winnie.

Q: THE TORRENT is the final book (4) of a dystopian series New Agenda. In a previous interview you said that you “have a dark side that needed to come out.” In THE MAINFRAME, for example, you said you wanted to see how a rebellious daughter would team up with her mother to fight a common enemy, Chief Morray. What were you trying to see in THE TORRENT?

Simone Pond: In THE TORRENT, Ava is trapped inside the mainframe network with Chief Morray. Meanwhile her daughter, Grace, is in the real world fighting her own battles. I wanted to see what would happen if I separated the mother and daughter team. How would they find a way to work together even though they were in different worlds? Would their love be strong enough to break through the barriers of time and space?

Q: How difficult is it to create engaging characters set in a dystopian novel? For characters set in the future, do you need to assign character traits that are different from other genres?

Simone Pond: I loved creating this cast of characters. Though they exist in a far off future, they have the same emotions and desires that we have; only their setting is a lot more complicated. Ava and Grace have unique DNA, which gives them the ability to merge with the mainframe network.

Q: Reviewers enjoy how you cross time in the future and how you “weave within different realities seamlessly.” How do you manage to “weave” in and out of different time periods and “realities” and keep readers engrossed? Does this ploy enhance suspense and/or draw us into your characters?

Simone Pond: My editor once told me to look at each book like a reader’s first time picking it up, regardless of where it landed in the series. They might not have read the earlier books. I make sure to include pertinent information threaded throughout each book, while not going into too much exposition. I use memories or feelings surrounding a memory to weave the history and backstories together.

Q: What do typical readers of dystopian literature expect? How does the New Agenda series meet those expectations? How is it different?

Simone Pond: I think dystopian readers expect the story to have some underlying social commentary. To say something about the future, as a warning or a red flag. Stories with heroes who stand up against the oppressive authorities. I included these elements. My series spans over three hundred years, while linking together many of the same characters. The consciousness upload process is the vehicle that gives me the room to explore multiple worlds – reality and virtual.

Q: How did you build your worlds? Do you create them before you start writing? Do your characters help?

Simone Pond: The city center world came to me by thinking of every modern convenience I could possibly want at my fingertips. I visualized what the future would look like if everything, including people, connected to a mainframe network. For the villages, I used Ojai as my inspiration and incorporating how small towns developed during the late 1800s. A lot more went into the world building, but those were the starting points.

Q: I know that you’ve said that you write your stories primarily to entertain, but you’ve also said that you include some “spiritual themes” and reviewers have claimed they found your books “thought provoking.” Did you include any “spiritual themes” in THE TORRENT? Can you clarify what they are?

Simone Pond: All of my books have the underlying theme of spiritual warfare––the evil forces trying to control and manipulate us on physical and spiritual levels. Pride versus humility. Death and rebirth. Redemption. Forgiveness. To me, Morray represents the oppressive dark forces in life, while Ava and Grace represent God’s soldiers, fighting the good fight.

Q: I’m a fan of cover art, so I need to ask you about your covers for the New Agenda series. Without spoiling the plot, can you tell us the significance of the globe-like circle in the middle of each of the books in the series?

Simone Pond: My designer came up with that idea and I fell in love with it because it visually represents everything I wanted to communicate. Chief Morray wants to live indefinitely, as well as keep society in a controlled bubble. But it also represents a guiding light and the circle of life.

Q: Were you able to use humor to tell your story or develop your characters? How important is humor to develop engaging characters?

Simone Pond: Blythe is my favorite character because she’s such a smart-ass and constantly giving people nicknames that aren’t so pleasant. She was my comic relief.

Q: What’s next? You’ve finished the New Agenda series. Will you be writing more dystopian novels?

Simone Pond: I’m working on a couple of ideas for the Young Adult romance category. I’m debating about whether or not to include a sci-fi twist.

Q: Tell us about Simone Pond. Have you discovered any new fun things to do?

Simone Pond: I’m such a homebody. Seriously, my idea of a fun night is lounging in my pajamas and watching movies on Netflix. Or if I’m not entirely lazy, I’ll put on some clothes and go to the theater to see a movie. I love spending time with my Boston Terrier, Winnie. She’s enough entertainment for me.

About Simone Pond

Simone Pond is an award-winning author of dystopian fiction. Her current series includes The City Center, The New Agenda, The Mainframe, and THE TORRENT. She also has a short story series called Voices of the Apocalypse.

She grew up in Kensington, Maryland - a small town just outside of Washington D.C. As a young girl, she loved writing in her journal and making up stories, but after reading S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, everything changed. Amazed that a woman could write so convincingly from a teenage boy's perspective, Pond became determined to become a writer as well.

Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier. Follow her blog at Simone Says... 

Be sure to join the mailing list for updates on new book releases. 


Grace has survived Chief Morray’s attempt to keep her trapped inside the mainframe, but at a terrible cost: leaving her mother behind. Giving up training at the academy in order to wait for Ava’s return. Grace wants to do the right thing, but it’s never that simple. While Ava struggles against Morray in the virtual reality, Grace is left alone in the real world to fight her own battles. There’s a new corrupt authority figure. A regional council to sway. A war to stop. And a promise to keep to a precious young soul. How can Grace save everyone, including herself?

Links

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/CW_-5






Monday, July 6, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Michael Paul Fuller, Author

Michael Paul Fuller, Author
THE BAD POET
Reviewers tout Michael Paul Fuller’s THE BAD POET as “original” and “romance, a bit of mystery and definitely thrills” as well as “funny, serious, mysterious and heart warming.” Fuller himself credits its originality to his plot that revolves around characters participating in a chatroom—not an often-used ploy—but concurs that it is a “mystery, thriller, romance and adventure story.” His reviewers also applaud his characters “which are tightly framed and are filled with passion.”

Fuller has written “and thrown into a drawer” many stories but also published Chronicles of a Nappi Head subtitled Tales from the Back of Your Mind. Mostly, he just likes to write. When he’s not writing, he enjoys golfing, gardening, and coaching middle school basketball. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and family where he is working on a sequel to THE BAD POET.

Don't miss the excerpt following his interview.

Q: Reviewers describe THE BAD POET as “an exciting, original book.” What makes it “original?” How did you conceive of it? Is it a mystery, thriller, romance and/or adventure story?   

Michael Paul Fuller: I think it is original because I haven’t read a novel that revolves around the internet chat room.  I thought of the idea because my cousin would visit me and go into my office to get on my computer and chat with people in the chatrooms.  She would chat for a long length of time.  She shared many stories with me about the conversations they would have. She even told me one time they kicked her out of the chatroom because of her fowl mouth.  I thought that was very interesting so I decided to write a story about people communicating in the chatroom. 

I think my story is all of the above.  It is a mystery, thriller, romance and adventure story.

Q: Your reviewers also applaud your characters. They are “tightly framed and are filled with passion.” What makes us embrace your characters and care what happens to them?

Michael Paul Fuller: I think they care about the characters because they are ordinary people.  They enjoy talking in the chatrooms and they are involved in interesting relationships and to top it off the main character is a poet.

Q: How do you make your characters and plot “believable?” Do setting and back-story contribute?

Michael Paul Fuller: I make them believable by making my characters similar to people that I know and have known in my life.  In this particular book , the setting does contribute because the story takes place in Chicago, which is my hometown.

Q: How do you mix the elements of “thriller,” “page-turner,” “suspense”, and “mystery,” with those of “romance,” “heart warming,” and “funny?” Are you able to use the suspense side of your story to build the romance side and vice versa?

Michael Paul Fuller: Well I start off developing relationships between a woman and a woman, a woman and a man, a woman and her daughter. I then add the suspense and the mystery to the relationships.

Q: How helpful is the concept of “villains vs heroes” to tell your story? Would you characterize your protagonist as a “hero?”

Michael Paul Fuller: No there isn’t a hero in the story but I do consider the protagonist of my story to be a villain.

Q: How helpful was humor in developing your characters and telling your story?

Michael Paul Fuller: Humor was very helpful in developing my characters.  My villain had to have a sense of humor so that he could entice the lead character.  He wanted her to fall in love with him so that she could help him work out his plan.

Q: Did you write THE BAD POET strictly to entertain readers? Or did you also want to educate or deliver a message?

Michael Paul Fuller: I wrote the story to entertain and to enlighten the reader as to the dangers of the chatroom.

Q: Can you explain your title THE BAD POET without revealing too much of your plot?

Michael Paul Fuller: The Bad Poet basically describes the main character.  She enjoyed writing poetry and wrote often, however her poems weren’t very good.

Q: What’s next?

Michael Paul Fuller: I am presently writing a sequel to the book THE BAD POET.   I am also writing a play.

Q: Tell us about Michael Paul Fuller. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Michael Paul Fuller: I love playing golf. I am a gardener and have vegetables and herbs growing on my deck, I coach middle school basketball and I plan on becoming involved with the 2016 Presidential election in some capacity.  As soon I figure out who I want to win I will try and become a part of their campaign. 

About Michael Paul Fuller

He was born in Evanston, Illinois and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Sociology in 1977 from Southern Illinois University. Now, Atlanta is home with his wife (Sheila) and family.

He had written many essays and term papers throughout college, where Plato’s Republic and Machiavelli’s The Prince, along with Dr. King and ‘X’ ruled his time and efforts. But it was Richard Wright’s Native Son and Steven King’s Stand that brought him into fiction. They gave him the gumption to sit down, be patient and create characters and let those characters take him to different times and places. His writing would begin without knowing which direction the characters and plot would end up, which for him was the most exciting part of the creative process.
After some time had passed his first story was finished, and was not read a second time. Instead, he threw it in a drawer unedited and unseen by anyone. Then, another story was written and finished and again tossed into the drawer of no return.

So what was it? Why did he continue to write? For him, it was the time spent alone in his writer’s closet with not a soul to direct his path. He closed his eyes, then bent and twisted plots and characters to go as they pleased and do and accomplish whatever possibilities. Now, after Chronicles of a Nappi Head, comes his first novel THE BAD POET.


You never know about people. Human predictability is the singular thing that mathematicians and scientists cannot calculate with 100% accuracy. The human chemistry ebbs and flows from second to second where only one thing is certain, and that is unpredictability. Just as in one’s own decision making, where life’s twist and turns will eventually dictate your final decision, sometimes even when you know it is the wrong choice. The time an individual spends on earth is as small as a tiny pebble tumbling down the Grand Canyon. We should spend it as wisely as possible by measuring each day, hour, minute and second given to us. Life is a fleeting spirit and with each breath worthy of congratulations as it is given only by the grace of God. We must cherish it, and nurture every moment as our transitory time marches to an end. An end that man has been studying, writing songs, creating stories about and trying to beat, since the beginning of his existence.

The tragedy of 9-11 changed many things for Americans that will never be the same. In the cloudy days soon thereafter, Carla King’s husband disappeared without a trace and she was left with their daughter to survive. After their divorce, she was living a mundane life one day at a time when one night while out with friends, she runs into Cutino Grigsby, her mister right. From the start, time spent with Cutino was adventurous and lustful, gregarious and fanciful free. They danced the Marengo on the Bay of Biscay and flew with the doves over mountains of joy. Their impromptu travels to faraway places and gifts from Cutino blinded her from any negative judgments about him. His physical appearance was striking and his confidence brought her security and made Carla take a note of admiration. But it is his deceit that teaches her the most, as her renaissance man will bring changes into her life that she never anticipates. She must hang on for the ride towards a crossroad of life which could land her in deep water, or even her demise.

Experience her journey and enjoy the ride.

Excerpt

Carla King
‘09

I yelled at the top of my voice to the jogger, or at least he was thin like one. But at this time of night, who knew. He could have been a burglar or an addict running from some ill-conceived crime, then fleeing to his freedom. But at this point, I had to take a chance. So I pleaded to him, “Help me! Help me!

He slowed for an instant, turned and peered over at me, taking a step in my direction. But as if stuck in cement, he stopped in his tracks, recoiled back around and took off running again, only this time faster. Damn, I thought, he’s running away from me.

Despair welled up inside of me. Once again I called for his help, then twisted around to see the nightmare closing in for the kill. The jogger must have seen him and wanted no part of our mad theater. Even so, I tried to enlist him to join in, petitioning him to be my hero. Again, I yelled for him to show compassion and rescue me. “Stop! Stop! Help meeee!”

I turned to see the shadowy horror gaining on me with each second. I spun around in hopes that the jogger was coming back. But the slim exercise freak was long gone, his schoolboy physique flying down the gloomy side street, probably never to jog at that time of night or down that path again.

I angled around the corner dashing past closed retail stores and barren alleys hoping to bump into the jogger’s path again. Seconds later my stomach churned with a sour sensation and while running, I vomited. My lungs burned and my kidneys cut into me like my insides were trying to digest thumbtacks. Suddenly, a pain shot through my foot as if it was hit by a hammer. That’s when I realized one of my favorite black Juicy Couture sling-back pumps was missing. The cost of three hundred and seventy-five dollars flashed into my mind, the most expensive shoes that I had ever purchased. At first I overcame the initial shock of pain and just kept running, but soon it became a throbbing ache which slowed me down, but still I continued to drag the bashed foot along.

My breathing was short and rapid, while the throbbing pain from my shoeless foot challenged my will to the point that I was about to give up and take a stand. Truth be told, I was at the end of my physical ability to continue. However, as quickly as the thought of giving up had crossed my mind, it disappeared. I refused to let this happen to me and become a victim, so I dug deep into my soul and with every ounce of strength left, commissioned my body to continue the escape for survival.

I whirled my head back around and saw that my pursuer had stopped running, too. He was power-walking towards me, evidently tired as well, but nonetheless determined to finish what he’d planned.

The crackling sound like exploding Wildcat firecrackers rang out again. The slugs bounced off the brick walls of the closed stores and sleepy condominiums and whizzed past my head, so close that I felt the hot metal singe the hair from my ear. Nothing had changed; he was still resolute on disposing of me.

Hobbling down South State Street, struggling to keep from giving up, I squealed out again for help, still hoping that somebody would rescue me. Like one of those bobble head dolls that sat on the dashboard of some young Mexican kid’s leisure van, I kept a vigilant eye on the killer imp, constantly rotating my head back and forth, looking for some kind of escape.

There it was, a sidewalk sign that stood a little taller than my five foot seven-inches, used for advertising Tommy Gun’s Diner and Theater valet was tucked away in the restaurant’s entrance. I ducked into the corridor, folded myself into a ball and hid between the modern A-frame sign.

The sorrow of the moment consumed all of my thoughts and emotions. Why me? If I had just stayed home that innocent evening, all of these tribulations could have been avoided. As I thought back, it all began that trouble-free night not so long ago…


Links

Amazon   






Sunday, June 28, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Johanna Bordeaux, Author

Johanna Bordeaux, author, has just released WHY HATE THE BILLIONAIRE? a “red-hot romance” that is the first of a series of books about five members of the same family, all encountering a billionaire who desires them. (The Delanys is a series only suitable for those 18 and older.) She tells us that all of her characters begin with part of her, and she set the stories in Boston because she appreciates the “rich history” of Boston.

Bordeaux is a psychotherapist from a medical family and is a mental health counselor. She has a degree in English literature with a specialty in Jane Austen. She is currently working on the next book in the series. She loves dancing—any kind.



Q: I embrace the concept of writing a series of books about five members of the same family. It enables you to write a distinct story for each character (book) but with some familiar background and characters—offering a sense of familiarity many of us enjoy. How did you conceive of the idea? Have you already worked out character traits for each of the sisters? Are they based on real people?

Johanna Bordeaux: I, too, like being able to spend a lot of time with familiar people because it lets me more fully explore the characters as time goes on. Cassidy's siblings, Brianna, Kellee, and Norah, as well as her brother, Niall, were already fully developed as I began to write the book. Each play an important role in WHY HATE THE BILLIONAIRE? as they will in all the books to come.

Q: How do you create your characters—particularly the sisters—so that we readers will embrace them? In WHY HATE THE BILLIONAIRE? Cassidy appears to be a real hero – striving to provide for her siblings. What makes us cheer for her to engage in a romance? Do we want her to succeed?

Johanna Bordeaux: All my characters start with a little bit of me, but I draw from everywhere – family, friends, co-workers, hypnotherapy clients, research, reading, and, of course, my imagination. I'm a psychotherapist in training with and come from a medical family, including psychiatrists, so talking about the construct of the personality, how we think, etc., was dining room conversation as far back as I can remember. I was pre-med and worked in a Women's Clinic so some of Cassidy's stories are true.

Just in general, the oldest sibling in a large family naturally takes on some of the child care responsibility. Essentially, for all her dedication to her family and becoming a doctor, Cassidy Delany is a passionate person. She loves her each one of her siblings deeply and not just because they're family, but for who they are.

Cassidy's the kind of doctor who comes into the field because she relates to each of her patients individually and wants that person to become better. She's like a lot of people I've known where, unlike most people, the only person she's never cared about emotionally is herself and she's been hurt in relationships before. She's spent almost half her life taking care of others while no one's ever really paid attention to her needs. Her romance with Daniel isn't just about satisfying physical needs – although that is an important part of it and any good relationship. Cassidy is like your BFF who's always there when you need her. You want her to be happy and have a better life.

Q: Did your upbringing influence your writing? How important is “family” to you?

Johanna Bordeaux: I'm a lucky woman in that my family has been and is always supportive of whatever I decide to do. They thought it was great when I did every job in film/TV and all of them have really supported my writing. I came from a world where academic achievement was important and the discipline that requires has held over to my writing. The most important people in my life are my niece and nephew. I was so fortunate to get to play a large role in their upbringing and was, in fact, a soccer aunt. And a baseball aunt. And a volleyball aunt. Legos club, art class, summer school…

Q: How relevant is the concept of “heroes vs villains” in WHY HATE THE BILLIONAIRE?

Johanna Bordeaux: Any story needs a conflict and I felt that when your main story centers on a passionate love, the forces against it need to be as strong as that emotion. Because of that, I went more with a villainous feel for the forces against Cassidy and Daniel's success. But you have to remember, the people who play villainous roles in the book consider themselves to be the victims.

Q: Are you writing the series purely to entertain readers, or do you and/or your characters have something you want us to learn? Or a message you want to deliver?

Johanna Bordeaux: I was never the class clown, but I was the kid in the back making jokes to my friends. Sometimes with clients, especially, the best way that I could explain something was with humor or a story.

I like entertaining people and it's important to find a place to escape. Readers do half the work since it's their imagination that brings the writer's words to life. I do put in messages, but it's more about the way I see the world. The biggest problems always seem to stem from communication problems, from not taking the step to be sympathetic and looks at the issues from both sides. I love stories about characters who grow, especially in a romance.

Everybody needs to enjoy themselves and relax, but it'd be great if people read my books and it reaffirmed that whatever the relationships are that you cherish, they require effort, trust, and communication – and that's some of the best parts.

Q: How helpful is setting the story in Boston? Does the city of Boston help to describe your characters or motivate their actions?

Johann Bordeaux: From the moment they put the Dick and Jane primer in front of me, I was reading everything. I'm immensely curious about everything and I've always loved the rich history of Boston in terms of its history and culture.  For a while, I put together scientific and medical meetings. So many of the doctors, researchers and students I knew and were friendly with came from Brookline and Boston that I wanted to celebrate them.

Q: What made you decide to become a writer? Have you written other books, poems, short stories?

Johanna Bordeaux: I don't think you decide to write fiction. You just find yourself doing it. At least that's true for me and most of the writers I know. I've been a short story writer since I was young and have written mainly in the science fiction/fantasy/speculative genre. Writing a novel was a wonderful challenge and a romance…. I really hope it is as much fun for the readers and it was for me to write it. More fun since they don't have to worry about grammar.

Q: What’s next?

Johanna Bordeaux: I'm currently working on the second book in Cassidy and Daniel's trilogy WHY TRUST THE BILLIONAIRE? which will be released this fall. The conclusion, WHY LOVE THE BILLIONAIRE? which will come out in the winter. Brianna's story is in its early stages but I already know the basics about the central relationships for all the Delany Books. For information as to when the books become available, you can subscribe to my mailing list at http://eepurl.com/bp7WD9.  If you look at www.johannabordeaux.com, you can see more about the books and others.  I'm also in the conceptual stages of another Romance series.

Q: Tell us about Johanna Bordeaux. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Johanna Bordeaux: Read everything I can get my hands on. I love practicing hypnotherapy, working out, and most of all, spending time with my truly amazing niece and nephew, and learning new things. I've had a physical set back, but one of my goals is to take at least one flying trapeze lesson. In my spare time, I wrangle cats, hang out with friends, and I love dancing. Any kind!

About Johanna Bordeaux

Johanna Bordeaux grew up loving Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Fanny Burney, Collette, Georges Sand — all the classic female writers who knew that a good romantic relationship is all about the unique personalities of the lead characters and the special spark between them. She received her degree in English Literature, specializing in Jane Austen, the early English novels, and Shakespeare, with a minor in biology. In her profession as a mental health counselor, Johanna learned and deepened her understanding of the human heart and what makes a relationship great. Her sexy romance novels are about true love and fulfilling all of her characters needs for a very satisfactory relationship.



WHY HATE THE BILLIONAIRE? is the first of The Delanys, red-hot romances filled with sensuality, passion, and all the forms of deepest love. Five closely-bonded siblings—Cassidy, Briann, Kellee, Norah, and Niall from a lower, middle class family whose parents were killed 11 years ago each just find a way to survive and thrive from their encounters with the sexy billionaires who desire them.

Links



Friday, June 26, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Orlando E. Panfile, Author

Orlando E. Panfile, Author
TACNETECH
Orlando E. Panfile—author, aviation enthusiast, inventor, mayor, councilman, board director, teacher, and ham radio operator—just released an action/adventure story whose protagonist conceives and promotes a device to detect and report vehicular infractions—TACNETECH. The inventor, Richard Rogers, creates the device to reduce the number of deaths caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. As with so many inventions, however, detractors fear the new device, causing its inventor to proceed cautiously. Panfile tells us that such a device is not only feasible but is likely in the not-so-distant future.

The author is currently working on his next book, Red, Right, Return, a nautical book; co-operating with Southern Illinois University to develop an improved auto traffic signal called “PLAN TO STOP,” and restoring his father’s 1948 Packard (I can relate to that. My parents’ first car—that I remember—was a dark blue 1948 Packard that they inherited from my grandfather.) In his spare time, he likes to travel with his wife.

Don't miss the excerpt following his interview.

Q: The concept of a device to track vehicle infractions to prevent future ones—is intriguing. What inspired you to write about it? Was there an event in your life that caused you to think about a solution to DUIs and other types of dangerous driving? Is such a device feasible?

Orlando E. Panfile: Yes the event was the "accident" in which a man, his wife, and daughter were killed. Notice I have the word "accident" in quotes. Webster defines accident as "an unexpected happening causing loss or injury which is not due to any fault or misconduct on the part of the person injured." So if the person injured was driving drunk it wouldn't be an accident?

Is such a device feasible? Yes! In fact we are more than halfway there. For about the past five years all of the major auto manufacturers have been installing a device called an Event Data Recorder (EDR.) It collects, and stores, a lot of information. Whether the car is accelerating, how much brake pressure is being applied, whether seat belts are fastened, whether deployment systems are in the ready position, etc. It is only a short step to having the ability to sense signals from outside the vehicle, stop signs, curve signals, speed limits, etc.

Q: In what genre would you place TACNETECH? Is it science fiction? Action? Fantasy? Thriller? Adventure?

Orlando E. Panfile: I would classify this most closely as Action & Adventure, but with some technology and non-fiction mixed in. It is fiction, yet draws on many real-life events. The off-limits party in Korea was a real incident, but I added details drawn from my imagination. The nearly running out of fuel story was actual fact. The story of Nan's life and death is real, though that is not her real name. The idea of sabotaging a plane in the story is purely fictional.

Q: Why will readers care about your protagonist Richard Rogers? What characteristics will we relate to? Is he a hero? What makes us believe he can invent such a device and overcome resistance to get it to market?

Orlando E. Panfile: I think readers will care about Rogers because his motives and actions are beyond reproach. His errors, like almost running out of fuel on the trip to Nassau, are not the result of carelessness or neglect on his part, but because of things beyond his control. His actions are not for personal gain, but to help people. He brings key people to help someone whose business is on the verge of failure. He helps friends when their boat is in danger of sinking.

Q: Without divulging too much of your plot, what can you tell us about your “villains?” How realistic are they?

Orlando E. Panfile: The “villains” in TACNETECH are fictional. Unfortunately, their actions are seen frequently in real life. Falsifying records, kidnapping, corporate corruption: these are all situations that do occur. These actions are feasible, which makes the characters realistic to the reader. Especially readers who’ve seen the darker side of the business world.

Q: You have a varied background that includes experiences in corporate, political and military areas – and you are a pilot and aviation enthusiast. Reading a description of your book, I sense that you’ve pulled on all of these experiences to write TACNETECH. Were you able to draw on your own experiences to tell your story to enhance credibility?

Orlando E. Panfile: Absolutely! About 75% of my waking hours were spent acquiring, organizing, monitoring, and directing my aviation service locations. These were facilities that provided services to airplanes, primarily corporate jets. But we also served the airlines and personal airplanes, having very detailed knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of various types of aircraft, the distances and topography of airports used by private aviation.

Serving on the board of directors of several organizations, as a councilman, and mayor of our town also provided some insight as to how people think. I also taught Quality Control and Industrial Statistics at Rutgers University for seven years. My students were all mature men and women. The control charts, sampling tables that involved probability theory and some of that stuff can be a bit boring and tedious. I designed several calculators to help. There were control limit dividers, graphical solution to the Poisson distribution, and a truncation point computer. The last one was the most interesting. You could determine where to trim a distribution to shift the mean a predetermined amount and reduce the standard deviation…Are you asleep yet?

Q: Did you write TACNETECH just to entertain readers, or were you trying to teach readers and/or deliver a message?

Orlando E. Panfile: The answer is yes to both. TACNETECH is fiction, so it is meant to entertain. However, the need to continue making advances in accident prevention is very real. I would like readers to see the possibilities for increasing vehicle safety.

Q: How helpful was the use of humor in creating your characters or telling your story?

Orlando E. Panfile: The subject matter of TACNETECH is serious. Vehicular safety is no laughing matter. Many people have lost a loved one to an accident, or know of someone who has. So there’s not a lot of humor in the book.  But mixing in scenes where characters joke with each other or make wisecrack adds lighter moments to the heavier aspects of the plot.

Q: How do you create page-turning action scenes?

Orlando E. Panfile: I like creating scenes where something terrible could either happen or be avoided. This builds suspense. An airplane might crash, a boat might sink; a person might get shot. The uncertain outcome of these situations is what keeps readers turning the page.

Q: What’s next?

Orlando E. Panfile: A new book, nautical in nature. Red, Right, Return. Nautical rules of navigation require a vessel to keep to the right when entering a channel. These buoys are red or green and normally line the shores of channels going into a harbor. The story is still in development, but will be more of an admonition than an instruction….. I think! 

Q: Tell us about Orlando E.  Panfile. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Orlando E. Panfile:  I'm active in my amateur radio station (Call sign K2BZZ) and have been restoring my father's 1948 Packard. I've also designed an improved auto traffic signal called "PLAN TO STOP," which I'm discussing with Southern Illinois University.  Above all, I enjoy traveling and spending time with the love of my life, my wife, Barbara. This novel, TACNETECH, is dedicated to her.

About Orlando E. Panfile

Orlando E. Panfile draws on decades of experience in corporate, political, and military areas, and as a college professor and inventor.  An aviation enthusiast, he holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating and has 11,300 hours of flight time. His lifelong passions include entrepreneurship, teaching, acting, and maritime activities. A native of New Jersey, he lives in Illinois with his wife, Barbara. This is his first novel.

About TACNETECH
          
Richard Rogers is devastated to learn that a friend has been killed by a drunk driver, along with the friend’s wife and daughter. When Rogers realizes the driver had a longtime history of driving under the influence, he is certain the crash could have been avoided. He assembles and finances the Tacnetech, a device to detect and report vehicular infractions, with the goal of preventing similar future incidents. Knowing his project will be met with skepticism, he formulates a plan to introduce it in a structured, strategic, and incremental manner.
                   
A sample testing validates the project, but not everyone agrees with the device’s concept. As contemptuous terms such as “big brother” and “snitch” are thrown around, suspicious events threaten to kill the program, and possibly Rogers himself. Torn between corporate pressure and his personal life, Rogers must navigate treacherous waters and perilous skies in order to see the project through to an uncertain end.

Excerpt

Hurtling down Runway Six at Teterboro Airport at over one hundred miles per hour, the speed of the Sabreliner was increasing every second. So were Rogers’ adrenaline and anxiety levels. “What the hell is going on?  Call V1 and V2 speeds and retract gear after V2,” he shouted into his microphone, even though he was only two feet away from his co-pilot, Rob Riley.
            A decision had to be made quickly. To continue accelerating with the airplane on the ground would result in crashing through the airport fence, crossing an extremely busy highway and, if they were lucky enough to make it across all four lanes, slamming into a building on the other side. They had to fly. If they didn’t, the one thousand gallons of jet fuel on board would incinerate everyone on board, plus anyone they came into contact with on the highway or in the buildings alongside the highway.
            When Rogers called for gear up, he knew Rob experienced a moment of sheer panic before he could react to the gear up command, as if he wanted to scream, “Let’s stay on the ground!” but couldn’t. Where they were going or how they were going to get back on the ground, he couldn’t guess. He couldn’t think; things were happening too fast. What he did know was that there were strict limitations on the maximum speed the airplane could fly before the wings tore off. There was no way the airplane could land with wide open throttles.
The tires on the Sabreliner lost their grip on the pavement as the airplane suddenly pointed up at an extreme angle, as though an invisible hand were pushing down hard on the runway. Previous liftoffs on the Sabreliner were the result of smooth, gradual power applications, but throttles stuck in the wide open position caused the airplane to generate asymmetrical forces. Although Rogers fought to overcome these with some success, the airplane still wandered back and forth across the runway.
            Above the engines screaming, the pressurization systems howling, the wing slats chattering, and the tires squealing, Rogers shouted, “Call the tower! Let them know we have a problem! Tell them we are turning west. We will orbit west of Wayne and attempt to find a solution.”
            In some ten thousand hours of flying, Rogers had encountered a wide variety of problems: landing gear that wouldn’t go down, engines that quit, doors that opened in flight, but never throttles that wouldn’t retard. It wasn’t easy to think with the airspeed indicator increasing its reading and Teterboro tower peppering them with questions.
Rogers shouted at Rob, “Get permission to leave the frequency. Tell them we’re pretty busy.” Although they were in controlled airspace, the tower couldn’t help their situation. “Tell them we will get back to them with our intentions.”
           With landing gear and flaps retracted, the airplane continued to build speed, threatening to exceed limitations and come apart in mid-air.  Rogers felt his blood pressure and pulse rate jump to new levels. He had to slow the airplane down. He didn’t follow procedure and ask for permission to go to a higher altitude, but pointed the nose up anyway. The tower, approach control, and the center had the ability to determine their altitude, and they weren’t the ones who had to fly the plane.
          He did.

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