What was the first idea you had for For Love and Vengeance, and how did the story grow from there?
This is a very interesting question. Several years ago before I was married, I went to Jacksonville, Florida to surf during a storm there. I was in the water when I spotted a large shark that scared me a lot. There was a girl in the water surfing with me that I had never met before. After we made it in from the surf, we laughed about it and went to a wine bar before walking the beach for a while. I had her number in my pocket, but the waves hitting my legs as we walked the beach made it bleed, and I was unable to recover her number. I never saw her again.
Being the writer, I decided she must be a spy. Not really, but I let my imagination grow the story from there.
What was the inspiration behind Victoria, the woman whose disappearance drives the story?
I think I just answered this one, but I had to make her mysterious and beautiful.
Although Victoria drives the story, the majority of the book follows the ex-spy Royce as he searches for her. How did you go about developing his character?
If you are going to have a great heroine, you have to have an equally important and impressive hero. While I developed his story to some extent, you will see it even more so in the next two novels. One will continue on with their lives and one will give the back story of Royce.
Why did you choose to combine the romance and spy thriller genres?
Writing romantic thrillers is what I like to write. If you notice in the movies you see this all of the time, but not so much in novels. I want to change that. A thriller has to have constant up and downs in emotions to have impact. I think allowing the romance to pace the novel is perfect.
Are any elements of the book inspired by your own experiences? Places you’ve visited? People you’ve met?
Again, I think I answered that, but since my wife is Russian and I have visited Russia for sure, I have gained much perspective from her. I was also big into surfing at one time.
What are you working on now?
I have another novel, THE SALSA CONNECTION coming out in a few weeks. This is about a Russian girl living in St. Petersburg, Russia who receives an invitation to go to America and enter a salsa competition. At the bottom of the invitation is a hand written message, “please come and enter, my little lady.” Only her papa had ever called her that and he disappeared 25 years ago when she was 3. He had gone to a ballet competition in America and disappeared. The Russian mafia say he defected, but the Americans say he was murdered. In any event, he never resurfaced until now.
For Love and Vengeance is available at: Amazon US (Kindle e-book), Amazon UK (Kindle e-book)