I was completely honored when Karen DeLabar asked me to guest post on her blog, Writing on the Rocks, but then I thought about it more and realized that it probably had a lot more to do with her getting a day off and a lot less with me creating a fantastic blog post. Even so, I came up with all these ideas about what I could write and doing a big story on ebooks and how much Hemingway used to drink â€“ but all of that fell flat in my brain. Oh, and I'd have had to expend a lot of energy and brainpower to accomplish all that and, like Hemingway and Karen, I'd rather drink.
But â€“ a great plan did form. I said to myself, Jesse James, you are a complete badass and a rainmaker so why don't you find someone else who brings tons of rain and interview them? I thought of lots of people, but one in particular peaked my interest â€“ the elusive @threecifer, that's right, Al Boudreau the fantastic #vastmustache author of In Memory of Greed!
I ran this by Karen, and she said, I don't have to do anything, right? Once I assured her that all she had to do was hit the post-button she was all in like Poker Night at Grandma's.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring now to you one of the great independent authors of our age!
JJF: So Al, you've been all over the world because you had that job where you were a spy and worked for that Goldfinger dude. You currently kick it in Maine – wasn't that one of the Thirteen colonies?
AB: The land area we now know as The Great State of Maine was actually part of Massachusetts when the first thirteen colonies were formed. I'm told they were eventually separated due to an argument over who had better wood; I think shrinkage was an issue back then.
It's part of America still? I'm thinking about Battlestar Galactica again, huh?
No worries, pal. It's very easy to become confused, especially when the Northern Lights fire up.
Oh! No wait! Lobsters! Right? Those dudes in that boat and that fat guy always yelling at them. “Hurry up, the decks freezing over! Lobster season's only got another two hours left, including commercial breaks!”
Ayah, we loves us some lobstahs up in here.
What about crabs?
Uh didn't we agree not to bring that up?!?
JJF: You wrote this book called In Memory of Greed and it has a Navy SEAL in it who's a badass in his own way and people don't give him the credit he's rightfully deserved sometimes. He kinda reminds me of a skateboard kid that I know.
You know now that you mention it, I can't help but agree. Flawed, and a bit naÃ¯ve, both of these dudes learned the hard way how to take care of bidnit.
The guy chased down a runaway train car! It doesn't get more badass than that really – unless he was going to jump that boxcar over Snake River Canyon while it was on fire. Did you consider that when you were plotting out the scene?
I considered incorporating an Evel Knievel-type stunt within the storyline, but didn't want to drive the production costs up in the event you and I shoot this scene with hand-held cameras for the big screen.
Oh yeah – another good question since we're talking about badass scenes – what exactly is the Al-writing-process? Do you make a lot of notes and notecards and flowcharts and Mr. Professor kinda stuff happen before you strike them keys?
I started out as a blank-pager, writing with no outline, but experience quickly taught me that pre-organized structure works best for an epic novel. I plotted my second book out before the writing commenced. However, one can always choose to deviate from this if your characters decide it's time for a detour.
JJF: You're one of the first people I met on Twitter who wasn't a snarky dick. Nothing against snarky dicks mind you; I follow tons of them and love each and every apocalyptic, soul-wrenching comment they post–but you've always struck me as the guy in the white hat in the Twitter community. You're the Sheriff from High Noon, kinda. This isn't actually a question, huh?
Uh, no no, it isn't. But I def appreciate the thought.
That kinda makes me the drunken OId-West doctor, huh? “I told you to leave them Possum Brothers alone! You took another one in the shoulder and now I gotta dig lead outta'ya and I'm drunk and all I got is Ms. Kitty Aalto for a nurse!”
That Kitty Aalto–what a gal. I'd take a box o' lead just to gaze into dem doe eyes.
Oh, and tell everybody where the handle “Threecifer” comes from.
Three has always been my number. I'm Al Boudreau the 3rd, and it has always been lucky for me. The cifer component comes from Lucifer, as I've always had a penchant for mischief and badassery coursing through my tubes. Put 'em together: threecifer.
JJF: What attracts you to “the thriller” as a genre?
AB: I've always enjoyed reading thrillers because the stakes are high and I find the subject matter gripping. The action keeps me rapt: I never want to put them down once I start. My goal is to write novels that I would want to read with the hope that others will feel the same.
If you had written Fatal Attraction there's no way that Douglas would have gone for Glenn Close over Anne Archer, huh?
The rabbit done died. Uh what was the question? I think I'm coming down with a mild case of OrangeKarenitis.
JJF: Do you want to write in any other genres for upcoming AL-projects?
AB: Great question, oh maker-of-rain. My next novel, though it's still a thriller, has much more of a techno edge to it. Stakes are high.
Umstead is way hung up on that science-fiction stuff, huh? You think we could break him out of that – maybe the three of us write a musical, but it's a book, but it's a musical?
I'm not sure he'll go along with it, but if we were to write such a work, I'm certain folks would be eager to a-choir it.
JJF: Do you think Luke should have listened to Yoda and stayed on Dagobah and finished his Jedi training instead of running off to Cloud City?
AB: Anyone who fails to listen to Yoda is a damn fool. My favorite Yo-ism: Do or do not. There is no try.
JJF: Is it true your next book is about sleeper-agent-mutants grown in labs by the Big6 who post hit-piece shitty reviews on people's hard earned Amazon pages…
Sorry, my lawyer says that I have to rephrase that question…
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming top secret project new book thing you're working on now?
AB: Only for you, playah, but you've got to keep it in your sneaker. If word ever got out *shudder* Let's just say the guvmint is quickly losing control of the masses and takes desperate measures to subdue those who rise against. Covert measures, that is. And things do not go as planned.
JJF: In Memory of Greed is so intricate and you weave lots of threads together and take the reader to exotic locales and looking up the ladder into the disgusting stuff that goes down in the main office and there's SEAL ass-kickery and hot babes and love stuff and cool Kenya dudes –
What prepared you for undertaking such an ambitious project and how did you deal with keeping what must have been tons of research all straight? Cause this ain't the kinda book you just knock out because you had to burn something out in a creative writing class at junior college.
AB: I spent many months traveling, doing research, and filling composition notebooks with information before I commenced writing In Memory of Greed. I find it very advantageous to get 100% of your info compiled before writing a story, as this allows you to make uninterrupted forward progress once you begin.
JJF: In all seriousness – for the people out there who are on the fence – drop the atom-bomb of knowledge – why self-publish?
AB: An author is going to end up having to do nearly the same amount of self-promotion whether being represented by a publishing house or going it on your own. And though there are costs involved with developing a manuscript for publication, I feel the benefit of maintaining complete control of your own destiny far outweighs anything an outside source can offer. At the risk of oversimplifying: do great work and reap the rewards based solely on your own merit. And if you falter in the beginning, learn from your mistakes, soldier on, and keep your eye on the prize. Be tenacious, and success will eventually come your way.
JJF: Can you please discuss your love for Hall & Oates? What else do you listen to when you write?
AB: Great lyrics, catchy melodies, and awesome musicianship are the reasons I gravitate toward the whole #vastmustache phenomenon. H & O are definitely one of my faves, but I'm a huge fan of many artists, both old and new. Alternate rock is where my ears live most of the time, but I tend to head back to the 70s and 80s for a daily fix. It's just how I rizzle.
JJF: What is the most badass thing you ever did (besides writing a badass book – if people haven't figured that you did that yet they just ain't listening and there's no helping them)?
AB: I had wanted to learn to fly since age five, so I started flight training back in 2000 and got my private pilot's license in March of 2001.
JJF: I was recently asked the following question for a little essay project I've been working on, and I found it kinda tough so I decided I'd ask you to see what you'd say. “With all you know now, what would you tell your twenty year old self if you could go back in time and advise him?”
AB: Sit down, buckle up, and hold on it's going to be a wild ride. Bring extra duck-tape.
Well boys, that was AMAZINGLY BADASS! Thank you for stopping by the pub and sharing your wisdom. Friends, be sure to check out my friends at their various places of worship, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and buy their books using the easily provided links below! Until next time,
About Badass Jesse:
Billy Purgatory is Jesse James Freeman's first novel. He's also studied psychology and film and scripted comics. When he's not writing books, Jesse James trains falcons to kill Leprechaun Robots, and will continue to do so until the world is relatively safe. You can find Jesse on his website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+. You can find Billy Purgatory: I am the Devil Bird at [amazon-product text=”Amazon” type=”text”]193596125X[/amazon-product] and Barnes & Noble.
About Badass Al:
Al Boudreau, presently a resident of Maine, has traveled the world exploring a multitude of countries, gaining first hand knowledge of every locale the characters in his novels traverse. This provides a richness to his stories that would be unattainable by simple research alone. Al also maintains a keen eye on geopolitical events, pushing the envelope to make his works of fiction come alive. The author's stories are based on the real world and the hidden truths buried beneath the surface. You can find Al on his website, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. Find his book on [amazon-product text=”Amazon” type=”text”]B004L2LJ94[/amazon-product] and Barnes & Noble