It was just a few months ago that I was introduced to today’s guest author through a tour with Partners In Crime Tours via Mr. Lou Aronica, publisher of The Story Plant. It was Mr. Gilleo’s debut novel, Love Thy Neighbor, and I have to tell you, I was blown away. You can read my review here. It was amazing!!
Today he is back to tell us about his latest novel, that hit the shelves today, as he kicks off another tour with Partners In Crime Tours. I ask, for you to help me, give him a warm welcome back to CMash Reads!!
Mark Gilleo holds a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in business from George Mason University. He enjoys traveling, hiking and biking. He speaks Japanese. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he currently resides in the D.C. area. His first two novels were recognized as finalist and semifinalist, respectively, in the William Faulkner-Wis- dom creative writing competition.
You can connect with the author at his website.
I am often asked where I get the plot for my novels. The answer is “I don’t know.” The idea for Sweat came from a conversation I overheard while working in Asia. How that single line idea transformed into several hundred pages with multiple subplots, well, that is the mystery and magic of writing. Obviously, the idea for my previous novel, Love Thy Neighbor, is pretty straight forward, as the inspiration came directly from a real situation.
When I first starting writing Sweat, there was no Senator. The story was about an international businessman, his son and a seamstress. As I progressed through the book and the plot expanded, a host of other characters entered into the fray. A couple of chapters into the book I realized that it may be more relevant if the subject of scrutiny were a Senator. It occurred to me that people could imagine a Senator more easily than they could an international businessman. Maybe I am wrong on that point, who knows.
Some readers are probably saying “but the Senator first appears in chapter 2.” They are right! I have started five books and finished three of them, and I have yet to have Chapter 1 remain the first chapter. At some point, Chapter 1 gets bumped, as does Chapter 2 and 3. I have actually given up on numbering chapters I am currently just naming them and will assign a number later. For whatever reason my subconscious mind doesn’t want to feed me the story in the correct order.
Another question I often get is whether characters in my book are born from people I know. “No” would be my short answer, butthere are elements of people I know in almost every character I write. I don’t consciously pick and choose the character attributes, but there are occasions when I am re-reading a passage and I think to myself, “That guy sounds a like Uncle Joe.” If I were to try to mold a character to a real person, I think it would slow me down. It could easily become an exercise akin to fitting a square peg in a round hole. No two people are alike, even if one of them is fictional. So a real person, with all their skills and flaws, may not meet the requirement of a fictional character I need to fill a particular role in the story.
So not only do I avoid modeling a character after people I know, I wouldn’t want to, unless a friend came out and asked me if I would.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Jake Patrick took a summer internship at his estranged father’s corporation, he anticipated some much-needed extra cash and a couple of free meals from his guilty dad. He would never have guessed that he’d find himself in the center of an international scandal involving a U.S. senator, conspiracy, backroom politics, and murder. Or that his own life would hang in the balance. Or that he’d find help – and much more than that – from a collection of memorable characters operating on all sides of the law. Jake’s summer has turned into the most eventful one of his life. Now he just needs to survive it.
From the sweatshops of Saipan to the most powerful offices in Washington, SWEAT rockets through a story of crime and consequences with lightning pacing, a twisting plot, an unforgettable cast of characters, and wry humor. It is another nonstop thriller from one of the most exciting new voices in suspense fiction.
Read my review here.
Read an excerpt:
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