5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, April 14, 2017!
A Clandestine Mission. A Cryptic Message. A Chaste Promise.
Blake Meyer dreamed of a peaceful end to a dutiful career with the FBI. Married now, his life was taking him in a new direction–a desk job. He would be an analyst. Ride it out until retirement. Be safe so he could enjoy family life.
But when a notable member of the IRA is murdered in his London flat, Blake’s secretive past propels him into the middle of an international scheme so twisted and sadistic, it will take everything Blake possesses–all of it–to save the United States from a diabolical terrorist attack.
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) How did you get the idea for the novel?
I covered this question in a blog interview not too long ago. It really began with a conversation.
My wife Cindy and I are both in the field of public education. We were having a discussion one evening about some of the laws affecting education and how they are getting manipulated into something far different from the original intent.
For example, the laws concerning homeless children were originally designed to benefit a student who was suddenly homeless due to some catastrophic event, like the family’s house burning down or being irreparably damaged due to some natural disaster, like a tornado or flood. Or maybe the husband and/or wife lost his or her job and the family’s been evicted because they cannot pay the rent or mortgage. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Act was designed to help in these situations, so that children could still get their education without being penalized in any way for something out of their control (i.e., not be held accountable of lost textbooks, not be held accountable for unexcused absences due to the event, be provided special bus transportation, if needed, etc.).
However, as in many cases, students get savvier as they get older and learn how to find loopholes in laws.
High school students under the age of 18 who google “How can I become emancipated from my parents?” are finding out they too can fall under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Get into an argument with their parents and manipulate their parents to offer up the golden ultimatum: “If you live under my roof, you live by my rules. Otherwise, you can move out.”
2. Once those magic words are given, the student moves out of the parent’s house and moves in with a friend’s family.
3. Once this occurs, the student in considered “homeless,” and is afforded all the privileges McKinney-Vento has to offer.
At this point, students cannot be held accountable for attendance. They cannot be held accountable if they lose or damage school-assigned property (i.e., textbooks, iPads, etc.). They can go to school when they wish. Stay home when they wish. There is no one who can hold the students accountable legally because the law protects them.
We also noted how many of these same “privileges” are afforded to English Language Learners, formerly known as ESOL. If students are considered ELL students, because of their language barrier, they too cannot be held accountable for many things until they reach a certain level of language proficiency and are dismissed from the program. This usually takes years.
In the midst of our conversation about how these laws get abused, my writer’s mind ran with it. “So, what if some terrorist organization used these laws against us? To their advantage, like high school students use the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act? And what if they coupled this with the issue of illegal immigration? Used unwitting illegal immigrants in a diabolical plan against our country? There would be nothing legally anyone could do about it.”
And that, my friends, is how 30 Days Hath Revenge was born.
2) What kind of research did you have to do to bring this story to life on the page?
A ton of research, particularly in the area of biological terrorism. When I was formulating the plans for this novel series, I needed a terrorist plot. Nuclear weapons are used all the time, so I didn’t want to go there. Bombs are a dime a dozen. Missiles are, too. In the arena of bio-terrorism, anthrax made a lot of headlines, but it’s not as deadly as it was perceived in the media. There are a great many bugs out there that make anthrax look like the common cold. But I didn’t want to use something so rare, it could be detected in a heartbeat, either. So, after days of research, I discovered something that was actually being used (and being considered for weaponization) in a book I read. It was the autobiography of a Russian scientist who defected to the U.S. in the 1980s. He tells about his days in Russia, working for the…are you ready for this? The Ministry of Health. His book helped immensely in getting the particulars of the bioweapon down to a, well, science.
3) This would make a great film. Any talks of turning your book into a movie?
I have had readers tell me they think this would be a great TV show. My other novel, set for re-release in May, The Serpent’s Grasp, is the one that would make a great movie. Think Jurassic Park in the Ocean. As for the Blake Meyer series, people have likened it to the TV show 24. I think it’s written somewhat like 24 as far as style of writing, but I think it has its own flare about it, too. In my spare time, I am working on learning the skills needed to write teleplays and screenplays. I’ve got my Final Draft program, and several books, as well as some friends in the business, like Brian Bird (Captive, When Calls the Heart, The Case for Christ), who has helped me understand how to take my “novel” mind and transform it into a “script” mind. Too very different ways of writing, for sure.
4) Do you listen to music while you write? Is there a soundtrack/playlist for your novel? If so, please share!
I have to listen to music without words. And it has to be symphonic. So I listen to things like John Williams’ Greatest Hits. He wrote the theme songs and other music for such notable movies as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, and E.T., just to name a few. I also listen to other soundtracks to movies, like Pirates of the Caribbean and Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr. movies). I also listen to classical as well. But it cannot be the typical radio playlist kind of music. If it’s music that has words or a beat, I’m singing and/or playing the drums (I do play the drums, by the way). Do you know how hard it is to type and concentrate on dialogue when you’re playing air drums?
5) I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite.
Favorite Food: (Tie) Pepperoni Pizza and a Ribeye Steak
Favorite Drink: Coca-Cola on a good day. Beer on hot ones.
Favorite Song: “Forever” by PFR. I get lost in another world when I play that song.
Favorite Non-Fiction Book: I’m not sure I have one. Although, I do find myself going back time and time again to C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity.
Favorite Movie: Hopscotch with Walter Matthau. It was based on Brian Garfield’s book by the same title. This is one where the movie is better than the book…if you can get past Ned Beatty’s mouth.
Favorite Actor or Actress: I’d have to say Tom Selleck. I like the way he’s seemed to remain true to himself throughout all the years of acting in TV and movies.
Favorite Novel (other than your own): A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I don’t know how he did it, but to pack so much imagery and power into a novella is remarkable to me. I never grow tired of the story.
Favorite Novelist (other than you): Michael Crichton. I liked the way he researched his novels and wasn’t afraid to list a bibliography in the back for reader reference.
Favorite Sport: College Football.
Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): (University of) Florida Gators.
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: I didn’t have one. Even though I liked to write, I didn’t like school very much. Makes me wonder how I ended up a teacher, and now an administrator. Never say never, I guess.
Favorite Subject Now: Language Arts & Science. Can you tell?
Favorite Teacher in School: Mrs. Crumpton, 7th grade Language Arts teacher.
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall. Crisp cool air. Thanksgiving. Football. Christmas around the corner.
Favorite Place to Vacation: The beach. Get me a balcony on the water at least three floors up, and you won’t have to search to find me. I’ll be right there.
About the author:
C. Kevin Thompson is a former Language Arts teacher-turned-administrator who felt he needed to put his money where his mouth was and show his students dreams can come true. He’s married, has three daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. He lives ninety minutes between two coasts in Florida, and loves all things Star Trek, as well as Blue Bloods, Designated Survivor, The Blacklist, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic in his spare time. You can visit Kevin @ www.ckevinthompson.com!
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, April 14, 2017.
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