Friday, March 15, 2013

Featured Author: Michael O'Gara

I'm happy to have my blogger buddy, Michael O'Gara, back today to talk about his novel, Ambassador Death. Michael was here in September to talk about The Happenstance Marshall, and he's hosted me on his blog to promote Murder & Mayhem. Well, not to promote murder and mayhem, but to promote my book, Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. (Yes, that's what they call a shameless plug.) I'm happy to have him here to today to talk about his latest book.

Interview with Michael

Welcome back, Michael! When was Ambassador Death published?

It was published by Heartland Indie Publishing LLC on February 20, 2013.

Would you tell me about the book, including its genre and what
 it’s about?
The book is a thriller. It’s about a former spy, Cassandra Crossing. Cassandra is beginning to feel like the bishop on the President’s chess board. She is moved around to keep the country’s enemies in check. Cassandra is no longer an unknown intelligence operative. Now she's a celebrity and hero after a very public assignment protecting the southern border.

This time Cassandra is being assigned to foreign soil and to a very dangerous job. She will be a very public target for those who would sabotage her vital mission to help keep a continent at peace.  It is a job she is uniquely qualified for by heritage, experience and training.  To complete her mission, the first order of business will be survival. She will also unexpectedly have to deal with something new; a serious romantic interest.  It is an assignment that will require the balance of a tight rope walker, the wisdom of Solomon, the courage of a hero, and unusual diplomacy. It is a unique challenge for an unusual woman.

This is the second book in the Cassandra Crossing Assignments series and the follow-up to Crossing Cassandra.

How long have you been writing and how did you start?
I started writing in early 2011, so it’s been about two years.  I started writing just because it came so naturally to me, and I enjoy it so much. I joke that I daydream in Technicolor and the stories in the books I write are just feature-length daydream stories. I guess at heart I’m just a creative story teller. There is no trick to starting a writing career. I just started writing and twelve books later I’m still at it.

Wow. Twelve books in two years. That's amazing. What do you like best about writing?

I like the process of creating a good story full of interesting people, an intriguing plot or mystery, different places, and in the case of a series, character growth over time.

What’s your least favorite thing?

My least favorite thing is the patience required during the editing period. The book has to sit for a while and go through a number of edits before it is ready to publish.

How did you come up with the title of the book?

Oh that’s a surprise one needs to read the book to discover. 

What a hook! How did you create the plot for this book?

Like all of my books, it happened organically. What I mean by that is I start writing with a general idea and no outline. It’s creativity run amuck within an organized mind. In other words, I can’t explain the process, I just know it works. I do keep a spreadsheet of characters and such as the plots and character relationships can get quite complex.

Did you have any say in your cover art?

Good or bad, I have to take responsibility for the covers. I have designed the covers of all my books, though I have some help with the photography for the backgrounds of some of the books. My wife and a dear friend have donated photos for use on my covers. I use Photoshop and another photo program to create the designs.

I think they're great. When you start a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?

No way. Too many interesting things can happen in the process that require the addition of characters. 

Do you have any secrets on how to name your characters?

Usually I just pull a name out of “thin air” that seems to fit the nature of the character. Sometimes if I’m stuck for a name I’ll pull one at random out of a phone book.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

No.  I don’t know people like those I write about. They are strictly creatures of my imagination.

Are you like any of your characters?

I’m not like the heroes and heroines of my books. That’s the fun of writing. I can create these characters from scratch.

What are you working on now?

I’m presently working on three books at the same time. One is a romance, one is an action thriller, and the other is a fantasy. The romance novel is the only one close to being finished.

I can't wait to read it! Come back when it's out, and tell us about it.

About the author:

I’m a full time author. I “love” to write, and for me it is like breathing; necessary for my  well-being. It is a pleasant and constructive addiction being a story teller. I consider myself foremost just that; a story-teller.

My goal is to write books that entertain with stories that readers are “so into” that they don’t want to put the book or e-reader down. I write mostly mystery, thriller and historical fiction novels, but who knows what I’ll write about next. I don’t. I guess that’s just how it works for me. My imagination will just grab an idea and away I go.

My wife Ronda and I live in Missouri. We are both graduates of Fontbonne University in St. Louis where I earned Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Master of Business Administration degrees. Now if someone thinks I'm an "idjit" at least I can say I'm an "edumacated idjit." 

You can take excerpts of my books for a “test drive” on Amazon by using the “look inside” feature or downloading an excerpt on Smashwords. I have nine novels published to date with three more scheduled for release in the near future.

My novels are available either in print or for all the major eBook reader formats at most of the major online vendors. 

Connect with Michael:
Website / Blog / Blogspot / Book blogs / Facebook / Linkedin / Twitter   

Amazon / Smashwords / Barnes and Noble