WELCOME ROBERT LANCE
I currently live near St Louis Missouri. I was born in 1948 and grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri. I drifted into adulthood rather dull and anonymous.
I started flying airplanes when I was sixteen and began flying commercially when I was eighteen. At the age of twenty-one I was hired by a major airline, a career that was frequently interrupted by lay-offs and I’d drift around finding some interesting jobs connected with flying.
I spent twelve years as a pilot on active duty and the remainder of my career in the Air Force Reserve. I retired from the Air Force and the Airlines having had a full and exciting career.
I’ve always had an adventurous streak and couldn’t resist the temptation to dabble in anything that caught my interest, mostly in the construction and engineering sectors. I can modestly say that I’ve had a well rounded education in how the global economy works. I’ve owned and operated several companies, some successful and some not so much. I’ve done everything from importing tomatoes from Turkey to brokering the construction of power plants in South America.
I’m not sure why I have had a life long interest in Russian studies. During college, I gravitated towards history and teaching. I suppose I was unduly influenced by a very hot and frisky professor who was a Bolshevik agitator. I was exposed to the extremes of global politics at a young age and formed a rather independent view of the world evolving around me.
I began writing in my teens and completed my first novel at the age of twenty-one. I was encouraged to pursue a writing career, but I was preoccupied with flying fast and upside down. I toyed with the idea off and on, but I had rubbed elbows with exploitive journalists overseas and that killed any desire to become a part of that wolf pack.
My life experience and writing didn’t converge until I retired. Since I am listless and out from under the oppression of having to earn a living, I devote all my energy to a passion that I love without any distractions.
Most of my writing, while tackling controversial and contentious subjects, is always upbeat and filled with bits of humor, romance, mystery, and adventure. Life is not a genre and my writing is always inclusive of reality that rubs against most genres, giving my characters fuller dimensions.
I have one self-published one novel, “Caesar’s Cat” and recently “The Shadow Spy” released by WeBook. “Lottery Rage” is coming soon. I have four manuscripts waiting in the publishing queue. My website will be up (hopefully) by the time of the first print edition of “The Shadow Spy.”
Q&A with Robert Lance
Do you draw from personal experience and/or current events?
Usually my stories are grounded in an event to lend authenticity to the plot. What sizzling conspiracy is any good without a cast of bad actors set in the drama of the suspicious events of our own times? My objective is to write a credible tale for my audience to ponder and perhaps think to themselves; “So that’s how that happened.”
As to injecting my personal experiences, I’ll admit that I do draw on my own personal flaws, and if not mine, then someone I know very well.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
Of the five novels I’ve completed not one has ended the way I intended, nor starts with the assertiveness of my original inspiration. For example, the first twelve chapters of Shadow Spy were edited out and I added a main character that I had no intention of using. Once you’ve finished your manuscript exactly to your satisfaction your critique partners are always on hand to tell you what the rewrite should look like. I’m flexible like that.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
Idiosyncrasies? That’s a perfect description of me. Life is not a Genre and I tend to be all over the place. I like for my main character’s to be whole, experiencing life as you or I might. 007 doesn’t wear a dirty apron while trying to salvage a dead rabbit intended to be a gourmet surprise for his wife. You’ll find a bit of humor, romance, quirky misunderstandings and touching scenes in all my books. Idiosyncrasies are a box of crayons we all own and I tend to pick the bright colors to use.
My writing routine? Perpetual.
Is writing your full time job? If not may I ask what you do by day?
If writing were a job then I’ve picked the wrong profession. Writing is an obsession. To be perfectly honest I write to entertain myself, and if it turns out I’ve entertained someone else in the process then good for me. My abundant curiosity is insatiable and perhaps annoying, which brings me to answer the second part of the question. When not writing, I’m a spy. The question begs a flippant answer and I just can’t help myself.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Nelson Demille, Joseph Finder, Kimberley Reeves, D. S. Loren, Wilbur Smith and Bernard Cornwell. It’s a mixed bag to be sure, but recently I’ve become enthralled with the aspiring authors on the WeBook site. I spend most of my time there following some very good authors with dazzling talents waiting to be discovered.
What are you reading now?
“Dasvidaniya, Rodina” by D. S. Loren. It’s a common story told with an exceptionally brilliant voice. It is probably the best period book ever written about the Stalin years and with such poetic potency that makes me feel the heartbeat of the woman recalling the saga.
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
Yes. “Lottery Rage” should be in print sometime in early 2014. It’s a Nashville kind of story about a gifted musician who missed stardom by an inch and for the last ten years has been living in an RV; waking up every morning thinking he’ll find a new destination at the end of the day. When Owen Fletcher wins the lottery his simple life becomes a complication of good intentions gone horribly wrong. He starts a journey towards redemption and resurrection, but fate is often a cruel mistress with many lovers, as Owen will discover.
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Kiefer Sutherland without a doubt is Doug Findley. He’s a polished actor with charm and poise, yet very approachable in a down to earth screen character. I would offer the part of Helen, Doug’s gorgeous wife, to Kate Middleton, a regal princess who unfortunately isn’t taking casting calls, so I’ll settle for Leona Lewis. Wait…she doesn’t act does she?
Favorite leisure activity/hobby
I like to point the nose of my Russian Yak 52 aerobatic airplane towards little houses on the ground, especially when I have a VIP sitting in the back seat who has yet to offer to buy the gas. Did I mention I have unique negotiating skills?
Anything but crow.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Doug Findley is a CIA sleeper agent activated to expedite the demise of the Soviet Union. His task is simple. All he has to do set up the bridge work to funnel money to the spreading reform movement and undermine the election cycle in Russia. What starts out as a ‘drop box’ assignment escalates before Doug can finish the job He accidentally learns he’s a ‘throw-away’ agent and the convenient fall-guy.
His end game takes him to banks all over Europe where he builds a conduit to secretly transfer black funds to finance pro-western factions in Russia. His secret weapon is an extraordinary photographic memory. It’s also what gets him into trouble. His enemies need the database of the accounts he has accumulated in his head before they can cancel his birth certificate.
Imagine his shock when he discovers he doesn’t work for the CIA and never did. He is a surrogate of a global conspiracy and beyond the reach of the CIA. The pendulum of the balance of power is Findley’s clock and he’s running out of time. He becomes the target of the KGB, the Russian mob, his own CIA, and a secret power cartel that have their own sinister plans for Russia.
Doug Findley will entertain you as he takes you through the meltdown of the Soviet Union. His exploits parallel true events that will leave you to wonder if the Soviet Super Power’s fall was a devious plan that was meant to fail. Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction…or is it?
Print Length: 297 pages
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
THANKS TO KATY AT AUTHORIGHT,
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