Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Author Interview-Mike Maden-DRONE

This was a headline in the New York Times this morning-http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/22/world/asia/the-drone-strike-capital-of-the-world.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131022&_r=0

They're everywhere in the news, DRONES are, and everyone has an opinion about their use in everything from police surveillance, to military strikes, to even journalism. But what if.......
That's what debut author Mike Madden's novel is about. It's timely, it's evocative, it's the beginning of an explosive new series. So I'm pleased to bring you Mike's interview and when I asked if this novel was a morality tale, he responded––"Drone is absolutely a morality tale. Drones themselves are neutral things—it’s the people that operate them that are truly fascinating. "
See the rest of his answer and all the others below. Then rush out to get your own copy of DRONE!

  • ISBN-13: 9780399167386
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/22/2013
  • Pages: 432

Interview with Mike Maden 10-22

With a fascinating international cast of characters and nonstop action, Mike Maden’s Drone kicks off an explosive new thriller series exploring the inescapable consequences of drone warfare.
Troy Pearce is the CEO of Pearce Systems, a private security firm that is the best in the world at drone technologies. A former CIA SOG operative, Pearce used his intelligence and combat skills to hunt down America’s sworn enemies in the War on Terror. But after a decade of clandestine special ops, Pearce opted out.

Praise for Maden:
"A brilliant read with astounding plot twists...Maden's trail of intrigue will captivate you from page one." —CLIVE CUSSLER
"Mike Maden understands that sometimes the most lethal warriors are those just out of sight. DRONE is action-packed with cutting-edge technology and an unforgettable cast of characters."
            —W.E.B Griffin, #1 Wall Street Journal and New York Times-bestselling author
“An engrossing techno thriller…Plenty of great drone details. Readers will eagerly await Troy’s further adventures.”
            —Publishers Weekly

Mike welcome to The Reading Frenzy

Tell us about your novel debut Drone.
Drone is the first in a techno-thriller series about a character named Troy Pearce, the owner of a private security company that specializes in drone operations.
This is the start of a series, where did the idea stem from?
The idea for Drone came straight out of the daily headlines. There are so many challenges facing our nation today but it seems as if the crisis in political leadership is the most dangerous of them all. Drone explores the political as well as the military implications of the “new” surveillance and war fighting technologies.

Mike this is a very timely release with all the news that drones are receiving in the media lately. Are these morality tales?
Drone is absolutely a morality tale. Drones themselves are neutral things—it’s the people that operate them that are truly fascinating. Drones are redefining our most basic definitions of words like “citizen” and are challenging our essential understanding of our basic civil rights. In the midst of all of that, Troy Pearce is a metaphor for the average American. Like most of us, he absolutely loves his country but his fed up with the self-serving political class that also seems to promote itself at the expense of the country at large.

Mike I read that this novel is the result of a challenge by your friends.
Can you tell us about the challenge?
I have two great friends I graduated from college years ago with and they both have labored faithfully in the vineyards of novel writing for a long time. Despite enormous story-telling talent, they were never able to land a traditional publisher. They had suggested I try novel writing way back in the day, but given their lack of publishing success, I didn’t see the point in attempting it. But two years ago they both discovered e-publishing and have had tremendous success in that venue, putting up their previously unpublished novels and writing many new ones since. With that success they once again came to me and said I should give it a throw. I’m glad I accepted the challenge! My original plan was to publish Drone as an ebook but then my friend David Hale Smith asked to read it and offered to rep it. The rest is history. I’m happy to report that both of my friends have paper publishing contracts now, too.

So now that you’ve accepted and finished the challenge what surprised you most about the novel writing process?
I was stunned to discover that the word count—which frankly seemed unattainable coming from screenwriting--really isn’t the problem. At first, a hundred thousand word document seemed out of reach, partly because it was fiction. (I had previously written a doctoral dissertation which was manuscript length.) The challenge for me in this format is that I have too many ideas, too many characters, and too many issues I want to explore and the wide open page count only tempts me to invite too many people to the party. A spec screenplay is seldom longer than one hundred and ten pages and often only ninety so one is forced to be much more disciplined, er, ruthless in one’s word choices as a screenwriter.

Was it more different or more like the screen writing you’re used to being the co-creator of Pink on WebTv writing this novel?
Story structure is essentially the same for screenplays as it is for novels. Of course, screenplays are strange beasties—they are only meant to be read by people who intend to make them into something else (movies) which means that, technically, screenplays aren’t literary documents. The job of the screenwriter is to create a movie in the mind of the script reader so that they can “see” the movie that should be made. That’s why, “Show, don’t tell,” is a cardinal rule in screenwriting. One of the greatest compliments I’ve received about Drone is that it plays like a movie in the mind of the reader and I attribute that to my screenwriting experience.

Mike this novel is getting a lot of advanced publicity. Does that make you more nervous than if it came out more unknown?
Unfortunately, too many authors blame their failures on their publishers because they think the book didn’t receive enough marketing support. I certainly won’t have that excuse! Putnam has been so incredibly supportive at every level, from editing (thank you Nita and Meaghan!) to the fantastic cover art and all the way through my publicist Kelly Rudolph. If the book doesn’t sell well there’s only one person to blame and his name is on the cover of the book--and it isn’t Troy Pearce. Am I nervous? No, not really. The folks at Putnam are the best in the business and their incredible support of Drone tells me how much they believe in the book so that actually gives me a great deal of confidence. I’m a huge fan of Steven Pressfield (The War of Art) and I agree with him. As a writer, all I can do is throw my best punches until the bell rings. The only question for me now is, did I leave everything behind in the ring? I did. I totally believe in the characters, the security challenges explored are real and the amazing drone technology is based on actual systems deployed or in development.

Can you tell us anything about the next novel in the series or will you have to kill us? :)
I’m a soft-handed scribbler and violence isn’t part of my vocabulary. Oh, wait, I take that back. My vocabulary, lexicon and oeuvre actually are chock full o’ violence, now that I think about it. So I’ll just say this about the sequel: everything I hope the reader loves about Troy in Drone will still be at play as he faces even greater challenges and worse heart breaks in the sequel. The working title is, The Blue Warrior.

Mike what kind of reader will enjoy this novel?
At this point, more women than men have read the drafts, and the world’s toughest critic I know is Mrs. Maden who is NOT shy about throwing me the Stink Eye when I toss her a goose egg. But she’s been nothing but thumbs up on Drone, and so I will confidently say that anybody who likes to read military and techno-thrillers in the vein of Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn or Brad Thor should enjoy Drone so long as they don’t mind big action, political intrigue and, well, drones—lots of ‘em. My novel also features a number of great female protagonists who work with Troy at Pearce Systems, and Margaret Myers is the president of the United States who, frankly, is the best president this country has ever seen because she has more sand than previous occupants, fictional or otherwise.

Mike thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions.
Good luck with this novel and the rest in this new series.
Will there be any author events/signings for this novel?
Thank you so much for your interest in Drone. I’m so very fortunate to have two book signings in October at two legendary indie bookstores, The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas. I post all of my events on my Facebook page and Twitter feed which also display on my web page at www.mikemaden.com I love connecting with readers so I hope they’ll stop by and chat it up sometime soon.

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  1. This sounds like an interesting thriller. I actually watched a episode of the Mentalist recently and a man was killed by a drone.

    1. Thanks Kim, whenever I watch that show all I can see is the star :)

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