Thursday, 4 October 2012

Giveaway & Guest Post on "The Challenges of Writing Techno-Political Thrillers"

Original Title: Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening
Author: John Wayne Falbey
Series: Sleeping Dogs #1
Genre: Techno-Political Thriller

In this dark thriller of political intrigue, a foreign interest, successor to the deeply embedded assets of the former Soviet Union, has spent decades and limitless capital subverting the social, political, and economic infrastructure of the United States. It has gained control of the White House. Congress and the Supreme Court are almost in hand. But its handpicked President has gone off the reservation and his handlers want him killed. The assassination has to look like right wing zealots committed the act.

The "Team", a small but powerful group from the intelligence and military communities and well-funded by certain private sector interests, is attempting to combat this foreign threat.
Principal antagonists include a Russian operative who reports directly to the president of the Russian Federation, a billionaire arbitrager who launders and distributes the funds used to infiltrate and subvert the critical elements of American society, an amoral, ambitious, and greedy US senator with his roving eye on the presidency, and a mysterious, terrifying killer named Maksym.

Opposing them, the Team is led by a retired no-bullshit intelligence operative, an Old School Marine Corps general, and the most dangerous group of human beings on the planet - a former black ops unit known as the Sleeping Dogs. These men are Mother Nature's beta models for the next leap forward in human evolution - stronger, faster, smarter. Their original blacker-than-black ops purpose was deemed too politically incorrect by a former president. The operation was shut down by Executive Order, which also called for the termination of the members of the unit with extreme prejudice. They learned of it in time to fake their deaths and went underground for almost two decades. Now the Team has called them back into service. Someone has let the Dogs out! Over 8oo years ago Chaucer warned of the dangers of waking sleeping dogs. Now someone will pay a horrific price for such foolishness.

A morality tale of good and evil, Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening is a political thriller that showcases some of the latest developments in technology, weaponry and genetic research. Its geopolitical intrigue and the protagonists' brutal defense of liberty will remind readers of the work of authors Lee Child and David Baldacci. Relentlessly entertaining and thought provoking, the book blends heart-stopping action with a dangerous and plausible political scenario of the country's subversion from within. It is the first of a planned trilogy.

The Challenges of Writing Techno-Political Thrillers

- Guest Post by John Wayne Falbey

There are two areas that I consider to be especially challenging in writing a current techno-political thriller. The first involves the technology part. It’s critical that the author gets the science right; otherwise, it’s science fiction, and that’s another genre. To get the science right, research is key. That raises questions, such as: When to conduct the research – before starting the book or during the writing of it?, Where to conduct it? and How much is sufficient?
When? Obviously it needs to be done before you begin writing about the subject to which it pertains. Jim Rollins, the noted NYT best selling author, does most of his research up front. He gives himself 90 days to complete it, and then begins writing the story. With my novel, Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening, I did the bulk of my research on genetics – an underlying theme – up front, then researched other topics, such as the toys of the über wealthy, sophisticated weaponry, etc., as situations developed during the writing of the book.
Where? For my first novel, The Quixotics, written before the technological revolution, I did most of my research in the library. Now I do most of it online. Caveat: don’t rely largely on a single source. For example, Wikipedia is very easy to use and covers just about every topic you can imagine. But it’s open-source, meaning that anyone can contribute to it and those contributions may not be accurate or current.
How much research? You should be able to discuss the topic intelligently and in some depth with experts on the subject. Your readership may include some of those experts. Readers don’t praise or patronize authors who have no real grasp of the subject.
The second challenge in writing thrillers is to blend reality with fiction. Most authors with whom I’ve discussed this topic admit that they have a tendency to base characters on people they know. It’s a better policy to build your individual characters from a composite of people – ones you may know well and others whom you may only have observed somewhere or read about. I did this with the personalities of the six members of the black ops unit in my novel Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening. Interestingly, many people I know think they recognize themselves as one or the other of these characters.
When basing characters on other people, the writer has to use caution not to openly commit libel or callously invade the privacy of a fellow human being. That’s not always as easy as it may seem. There’s something of an exception in this area, however, and that’s the public figure. Part of the price of fame and glory is the surrender of a portion of your right to privacy. I would not suggest you go so far as to use the same name for your character as the person on whom he or she is based. That may be crossing the line.
As for blending reality into the story line of the thriller, that’s relatively easy. Read newspapers and magazines, tune in to the news media on radio and television, and follow blogs and online forums. Despite the bias inherent in much of what you see and hear, there’s enough political intrigue in the world today for any serious writer to craft a good techno-political thriller.


The author is giving away e-copies of this novel to three winners of the below Rafflecopter giveaway.

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and ends November 2nd 2012!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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