Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SAY THAT TO MY FACE by Bernard Maestas

by Bernard Maestas

Alex is a throwaway teenager in New York, pitfighting for scraps. Ted is a bored suburban high schooler in Illinois making a profit on changing grades and pirating movies. Together they become international mercenaries, battling for their own profit, occasionally stumbling on doing the right thing, and taking sarcastic jabs at each other along the way. Using their collective talents, they rob a crooked bank president, rescue the kidnapped daughter of an oil tycoon and hunt high value insurgents in Iraq for the bounties on their head. They train government troops in one African country to crush the tribal government of a neighboring country and then train the tribal militia opponents of the adjacent country. In Russia they hunt down a wanted war criminal on the run from the UN, exposing a human trafficking operation. Realizing that they are at their best together, they go into business for themselves, picking the jobs they want, when they want, and reaping all the profits.

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-What inspired you to become a writer?

For as long as I can remember, down to my earliest memories, I’ve been dreaming up stories. Some of my earliest memories were playing with toys and action figures which I had no idea of their context. I made up my own worlds, tales and characters to go along with them. My earliest inspirations were mostly comic books and for a long time, even up until recently, I thought that’s what I would do. I started reading adult books in grade school and probably the most influential for me as a young boy was “Ender’s Game.” That’s one of the first things that turned me to the idea of writing prose stories as opposed to comics.

-What draws you to ya thrillers?

Actually, I write a variety of genres, but for the moment, I’m known for writing thrillers for young adults. I think my target audience comes from the fact that I’m still a teenager at heart and the “voice” of my writing seems to appeal to the young adult demographic. As for thrillers, what can I say? I grew up watching too many action movies and it just stuck!

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

It’s hard to pick an individual fact as I learned a lot of cool things in researching this book. I suppose some of the most interesting revolve around my research into the French Foreign Legion – which, in general, is absolutely fascinating! Perhaps the most noteworthy is that, at a time when the U.S. military no longer allows its instructors to even yell at recruits, Legionnaire recruits may still be berated, beaten, and humiliated during training to indoctrinate them and train them to deal with stress.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks and pizza with?

Alex and Ted are a package deal, but I would totally go out for drinks and pizza with them. Ted would probably order a salad, though…

-For aspiring writers, any tips?

Just two, but I think they are, bar none, the most important things for writers. One, write! The only way to be a writer is to write and the only way to become a better writer is to write more. Two, persevere! Writing is a path rejection, frustration and disappointment. Telling a story, getting it down on paper is hard enough but when you add in the critics and the failures, it can be disheartening. Don’t give up, never give up. If you never surrender, you can never lose!

-Is there a genre you could never write?

Honestly, there isn’t. I’ve written just about every fiction genre out there at one time or another. While certain things (like mysteries) aren’t exactly my strengths, I’ve proven that I can write them when put to the test.

Bernard Maestas lives in paradise. A police officer patrolling the mean streets of Hawaii, he has a background in contract security and military and civilian law enforcement. When not saving the world, one speeding ticket at a time, and not distracted by video games or the internet, he is usually hard at work on his next book.

Find him on Facebook and on Twitter @BernardMaestas.

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