Gordon A. Kessler
Gordon A Kessler is a former US Marine parachutist, recon scout, and Super Squad team leader, with a bachelor's degree in creative writing. He is a Master Instructor for Johnson County Community College, National Academy of Railroad Sciences, and the BNSF Railway. He has taught novel writing for Butler County Community College, English Composition for Hutchinson Junior College and has previously indie-published the thriller novels Jezebel and Dead Reckoning, and a book about the novel-writing craft, Novel Writing Made Simple. He is a founder and former president of the Kansas Writers Association and tries to stay connected to writers and the writing industry by doing speaking engagements at writers conferences and for writers organizations, and has does his own "The Storyteller" seminar in Wichita, Lincoln (Nebraska), Kansas City, and other Midwestern cities based on his Novel Writing Made Simple book. His websites, www.WritersMatrix.com and www.IndieWritersAlliance are landing pages for writers to help them in their writing endeavors.
Welcome to the Round Table. May I offer you a beverage before we begin?
The Mystic Brew sounds interesting, I think I'll try it.
Thank you, does it usually boil like this?
LOL, afraid so. Made with a special mix :).
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's so nice to have you at the Round Table.
BK: Please tell us a bit about yourself....
GK: I'm a write-a-holic, have been for twenty years. I don't like reality—the bad guy gets away with way too much. In my thrillers, the bad guy does get away with tons, but he always pays for it in the end.
I enjoy teaching writing almost as much as I do writing my own stories. I do several seminars and workshops each year, on my own or at conferences. I love writers, and we need each other's support.
I'm a former Marine, I like to sail, snow ski, SCUBA and travel.
BK: What inspired you to pen this novel?
GK: I've always been fascinated by the many different "black" projects that this country and others have conducted and still are. Our government has done some pretty strange stuff over the years. The psychic power studies and remote viewing projects were really out there. Also, I find the new cutting edge weaponry and nonlethal devices interesting. Throw in what everyone wants: a lover with an undying passion, and you have Brainstorm.
BK: What draws you to write in this genre?
GK: Thrillers are BIG suspense stories. They involve very hi stakes, sometimes whole countries or the world. I like that. I like my stories to mean that if things go wrong, the entire world will suffer—be changed forever. The more at risk, the more necessary it is that the "bad guys" must be stopped.
BK: How do you keep your writing different from all the other novels in this genre?
GK: I do an incredible amount of research to give each story as much realism as possible. Still, I don't use it all—I just need to understand what I'm writing about so that
BK: Who is your favorite character and why?
GK: That's a toss-up between the male and female leads. Daniel McMaster has done it all and seen it all, but still has managed to keep the ugliness he's seen locked inside and use the beauty he's experienced to help understand the world and make it better. Sunny McMaster is a beautiful redhead that is un-budging in her love for her husband and daughter, and she would do anything she had to in order to protect them—even give her life to do so.
BK: Which character would you most invite to dinner?
GK: Sunny, beyond a doubt. If it were Daniel, we just exchange ol' Marine stories.
BK: What is your favorite part about writing?
GK: The creativity—the creation of worlds and lives before my eyes that become even more interesting, beautiful, exotic and dangerous than I'd imagined initially. I write these fantastic stories to see what happens "if..."
BK: Did you find any particular challenges during the writing of this novel?
GK: Like I'd mentioned, the research was an incredible undertaking, and I don't think someone could understand how without reading the book. Still, the key was to not make Brainstorm a "techie" novel. I wrote it in such a way that someone who doesn't care to get into the technology can understand it and I don't spend pages upon pages explaining it all. I think I ended up with a smooth, quick read.
BK: Did you learn anything about yourself as a result of writing this novel?
GK: I learned I can write a story about love and truth and put it in a setting that is dangerous and high tech. It's not easy. I have rewritten and fine-tuned Brainstorm a dozen times.
BK: Are you currently working on any projects?
GK: I'm actually working on the Brainstorm sequel, The Master Plan. Many of the Brainstorm characters are back, but this is going to be totally different, with even more at stake. I'm about a quarter of the way through and having a blast.
BK: Any advice for new aspiring authors?
GK: Keep at it. Suddenly, in this relatively new eWorld we live in, opportunities abound for good fictionists.
BK: Where can readers find you? (Facebook, twitter, website, blog, etc.)
GK: I'm everywhere—still a little tentative, however. I'm new on twitter (www.twitter.com/gordonkessler –please be my friend!), have just started to use my Facebook account (www.FaceBook.com/gordonkessler1), I'm on LinkedIn and trying to figure that out. I have several websites: www.GordonKessler.com (for my own writing), www.ReadersMatrix.com (for my "Indie Author" friends' to display their books and short stories), www.IndieWritersAlliance.com (an org I founded to help other writers put out good fiction and get it ePublished) and www.WritersMatrix.com (a landing page to support writers with helpful links, products and services).
BK: Fantasy or Horror?
GK: HORROR! Love it! My first novel, Jezebel, was so much fun to write and it still scares me at night.
BK: Day or Night?
GK: Night, it's a mysterious, wonderful time when your imagination can run wild.
Thank you so much for being at the Round Table today. It's been such a pleasure chatting with you and I wish you much success in the future.
GK: Thank you—it's been a pleasure!
In Brainstorm, Gold Rush seems to be just another sleepy little Colorado community full of friendly, caring citizens, quaint cottages, and a sort of quiet peace, held gently by the picturesque mountains that surround it. However, something isn't right in Gold Rush, and early on a Monday morning Robert Weller awakens with a cautioning and insuppressible voice inside his head. He soon finds a secret behind every door, a motive with every glance, and a lie beneath every spoken word.
After meeting a strange but beautiful woman named Sunny who insists they were once lovers, people begin dropping dead around him and his world twists upside down as paramilitary teams hunt him, and his own wife and friends turn against him. Weller is thrown into the middle of a military mission to rescue thousands of the town's citizens from a plot to destroy the Free World.
Time is running out: Weller, Sunny and thousands of innocent citizens are facing nuclear devastation. Major “Jax” Jackson and a U.S. Air Force Para Rescue team are their only hope—but how can Jax and his PJs save them all, armed only with nonlethal weapons?
“...as exciting and fast-paced as a thrill ride on a dive bomber, a maelstrom of action, violence, murder and mayhem, way too much fun to put down...based on an actual black CIA program known as ‘Project Stargate. Kessler...really knows his stuff. An outstanding novel.”— Douglas Preston, bestselling author of The Codex, Relic and Book of the Dead and many more.
"...a wild ride into the reality of human consciousness...a kickass adventure story that will have you thrumming through the pages well into the night...handled with stunning effect."— James Rollins, bestselling author of Black Order, Sandstorm and Map of Bones as well as many others.
“He left you behind to die, like he did several thousand other folks. You don’t have anything to fear from me. You probably passed my little group in the stairwell. We just want to get out of here, just like you.”
Again they eyed each other. This time one of them said, “I told you. I told you they were going to blow this place.”
“Shut up,” said one of the guards in the middle. I figured he must be in charge.
“Come on, Top,” the first guy said. “We don’t have much time.”
“All right,” the leader said. “But we’re going to kill this ass, first.” He raised his gun, and I felt like I’d run out of options. They all wore the copper-lined helmets—my psychic gift would be useless.
I yelled out to my zombies in a bottom-of-the-barrel attempt, “Get them.”
The few of my night-shirted morons that I could see standing on the other side of the stairwell doorway window stood motionless, but it bought me a second as “Top” glanced back toward my group of blanks.
His head cocked and he grinned. He turned back to me, his rifle barrel aimed at my chest.
* * *
Fast forward, Harvey says.
And I go into future mode.
The world is in slow motion. Although my thoughts shift to high gear, I cannot move faster than my adversaries. But I see their movements in advance and know when they will make them.
As the gunman squeezes the trigger, I lurch to one side. Two bullets exit the muzzle of his gun, spinning out with smoke and nitrate debris. My body edges to the side, feeling as cumbersome as a huge aircraft carrier, and the tiny missiles, like torpedoes in the water, come at me. The first will clearly miss. The second bullet becomes a tremendous concern, for I see its green tip and know that the leader’s weapon is loaded with armor-piercing rounds. Guessing what I now wore was likely the latest generation of armor, it still wouldn’t guarantee against penetration from a zippy little 5.56 X 45 mm round at close range, let alone armor piercing. Ten feet away, I twist my torso, a fast jerk in real time, a snail’s crawl in my fast-forward vision. And the projectile zips to me, my side twisting back mere centimeters to avoid it, and it strikes me. The bullet enters the body armor, and although the blood is yet to flow, the blazing pain yet to be felt, I know that it has found flesh.
Hoping it has not ruptured a vital organ, I continue the twisting into a spin, getting out of my assailant’s aim, then leaping toward the initial gunman.
The entire group begins to bring their guns to bear on me.
Gordon is so kind to offer a brand new E-reader of the winners choice between Kindle, Sony, Kobo, or a Nook, to one lucky commenter from his entire tour. Simply leave a comment for Gordon here, then hop on over to his site, or Goddess Fish Promotions to see where else he has been or will be and comment there as well for even more chances to win! Contest will end August 8th. Good luck!