Genre: Literary Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Legal Thriller, Psychological Thriller, British mystery
THE RECKLESS ENGINEER - http://www.amazon.com/Jac-Wright/e/B00DAGN3J6
THE RECKLESS ENGINEER is the first book in published poet and author Jac Wright's full-length literary suspense and psychological thriller series by the same title published by Soul Mate Publishing.
The central character of the series, Jeremy Aiden Stone, is a highly skilled and qualified Electrical Engineer solving crime in the high-tech environments he finds himself in. He tags along with his friends Harry Stavers and Stephen Barrett, criminal and corporate lawyers respectively, and solves crimes set around corporate and academic environments using his versatile engineering skills. Jeremy is educated at Stanford and UC Berkeley which gives him the liberal attitude that the character needs to use the devices that he designs and manufactures to monitor, eavesdrop, and break into places to find the culprits, and to get himself into and out of dangerous situations in the process, without any qualms.
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1. Give us a brief synopsis of your latest work.
Love is a battlefield. The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down.
Jack Connor's lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law Douglas McAllen's extreme engineering company in Oil & Gas. He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife Marianne Connor. Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when alluring Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair and who is pregnant with his child, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.
Jeremy Stone brings a top London defence attorney, Harry Stavers, to handle his best friend's defence.
Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim's house? Who is "KC" who Caitlin makes secret calls to from a untraceable mobile? Has powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter's first partner and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin's brother Ronnie McAllen's power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame his brother-in-law? Is the divorce from Jack's first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin's past in Aberdeen, Scotland haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack's manager from Marine Electronics?
While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister Harry Stavers' expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend's life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense tale of love, power, and ambition.
2. What got you into writing?
I was brought up with all things literary. My unusual mother used to read classics such as many Charles Dickens works, Lorna Doone, The Mill on the Floss, and The Animal Farm to me as a child, even before I could read, and soon I was reading them myself. She had this rack up in the attic stuffed full of classics among piles of Readers' Digests and I used to love to while away the hours up there, reading.
When I was 3 years old my mother enrolled me in weekend Trinity College Speech & Drama classes which I attended every Saturday for 14 years. I studied poetry, drama, fiction, and creative writing and went through the rigorous British Trinity College exams every year.
Still my parents brought me up expecting me to be a doctor although I rebelled and became an engineer when I realised that I loved and was very good at mathematics. So and all the writing I was doing was for lessons until I went to Stanford. Stanford's culture and Liberal Arts education liberated me from my limited self-image and I first started writing for myself and an audience. People can excel at things that are considered opposites of each other.
3. What genres do you like to read?
I read suspense, mysteries, literary fiction, and the classics mostly.
4. What is your process for developing characters? Do you people watch and base characters off of what you see? Or are your characters complete figments of your imagination?
It's a mash-up of a lot of things. I used to be an amateur photographer in the good old days where photographs were developed in dark rooms, and I specialized in photo-journalism–that is photography featuring human interaction and "stories" about people. I have studied body-language and I have an eye trained to capture interesting "stories" between people as an amateur photojournalist. So I love grabbing a seat in a café or a mall and watching the world go by. Sometimes I revert to old habits and take pictures. You can effectively capture people's looks and mannerisms this way and sometimes whole stories come through in a photograph.
For personalities, however, I look to psychology, being a deeply entrenched disciple of Virginia Woolf's Bloomsbury school of writing. I got interested in Freudian and Jungian psychology during (again) Stanford's liberal arts education program. I give them a psychology and some life experiences. I then put them in a particular set of circumstances within the plot, keep them true to their psychology, and let them drive the story forward. Sometimes they struggle against their psychology and circumstances due to the demands from those around them and their own conscience.
I have used people in real life as models for certain aspects, but it is all mashed up. A character might have the personalities of one person, looks of several others, and purely fictitious circumstances. Therefore even where real life aspects get into them these are used purely fictitiously.
5. How much time and effort do you put into marketing?
I haven't done much so far. I prefer to put in the effort to publish traditionally and get or hire other people–agents, publicists, and publisher–to handle that aspect, leaving me free to write and do my engineering work. I do, however, love corresponding with fans and I do that via fan-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and web forums.
6. Do you have any works in mind that you've not yet written? If so, what are they?
I have two stories half written – "The Bank Job" (Summerset Tales #2) and Buy, Sell, Murder (The Reckless Engineer)
#2). Buy, Sell, Murder is set in the London branches of an American investment bank. I hope to finish both in 2014.
I have started the fifth, In Plain Sight, with just the plot and the main characters designed and only the first chapter written. I have a hunch that In Plain Sight is going to be my favourite.
Being deeply entrenched in Virginia Woolf's Bloomsbury school of writing I have a work planned a little similar to Leonard Woolf's Village in the Jungle that I have not started on yet. This is going to be a work of purely literary fiction without the suspense aspect of it.
7. If there is one thing that stands out about your writing or your stories, what is it?
New and original. I think the premise of The Reckless Engineer being set in high-tech engineering environments is new and original. I think a lot of things about my writing is original and new even though I have drawn a little from masters like Charles Dickens to create a couple of "Dickensian" characters (Magnus laird and Otter) and my short fiction series, Summerset Tales, is influenced somewhat by Roald Dahl's (Tales of the Unexpected) and Thomas Hardy's short fiction. I hate anything cliché and formulaic. I do not let other works I read drown out my own voice. I quiet my mind and listen to that inner voice deep in my subconscious mind that creates something fresh and new for me.
8. What inspired you to write your most recent story?
The first thing I knew about The Reckless Engineer was that it was going to be a series and that I wanted the series lead to be an electrical engineer a little like me. Actually Jeremy is what I should like to be. He lives the life I want and I live it through him.
Secondly I knew the primary setting was going to be the beautiful English seaside town, Portsmouth, the birthplace of Charles Dickens. This was because my mother loves Charles Dickens' work and some of the earliest memories I have are of her reading Dickens to me before I could even read. She had this rack full of books in the attic with classics like Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, and other classics like Lorna Doone, Wuthering Heights, and The Animal Farm stuffed among piles of Readers' Digests. I used to love spending hours up in the attic where I grew to love Dickens at an early age.
As for the plot, I wanted to write about the troubles of protagonist who is a brilliant guy, but whose character fault is that he is weak in love (like JFK for instance). In the Reckless Engineer I hardly give my protagonist a voice; I quite deliberately keep him in custody for much of the book and mainly look at the effects of the affair from the perspectives of the people around him. In The Closet, written as a prelude to The Reckless Engineer, on the other hand I am right inside my protagonist's head, looking at the angst, the pain, and the ups and downs of his passionate love . . . telling the reader how it feels for him. I had written The Closet first and I had been thinking of writing its complementary or dual plot in which I give voices to those people around the affair for some time.
I took the word "reckless" for the title from the word "reckless abandon" with which my protagonists are driven to act, blinded by romantic love, almost in spite of themselves.
9. Where can potential readers find your work?
My website: http://jacwrightbooks.wix.com/jacwright
My publisher's website (when they make it available to the general public):
My Amazon Author & Book Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jac-Wright/e/B00DAGN3J6
Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, and other online retailers (when my publisher releases it to the public).
A brick & mortar bookstore near you.
10. Where can readers connect with you socially online?
My web site has a forum and IM messaging pages: http://jacwrightbooks.wix.com/jacwright
Shelfari Author Q & A group "Read with Jac Wright": http://www.shelfari.com/groups/104787/about
Libraything Author Q & A group "Read with Jac Wright": http://www.librarything.com/groups/readwithjacwright1
Jac Wright is a published poet, published author, and an electronics engineer educated at Stanford, University College London, and Cambridge who lives and works in England. Jac studied English literature from the early age of three, developing an intense love for poetry, drama, and writing in Trinity College Speech & Drama classes taken every Saturday for fourteen years, and in subsequent creative writing classes taken during the university years. A published poet, Jac's first passion was for literary fiction and poetry writing as well as for the dramatic arts. You will find these influences in the poetic imagery and prose, the dramatic scene setting, and the deep character creation.
These passions - for poetry, drama, literary fiction, and electronic engineering - have all been lovingly combined to create the first book in the literary suspense series, The Reckless Engineer. There are millions of professionals in high tech corporate environments who work in thousands of cities in the US, the UK, and the world such as engineers, technicians, technical managers, investment bankers, and corporate lawyers. High drama, power struggles, and human interest stories play out in the arena every day. Yet there are hardly any books that tell their stories; there are not many books that they can identify with. Jac feels compelled to tell their stories in The Reckless Engineer series.
Jac also writes the literary short fiction series, Summerset Tales, in which he explores characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances in the semi-fictional region of contemporary England called Summerset, partly the region that Thomas Hardy called Wessex. Some of the tales have an added element of suspense similar to Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected. The collection is published as individual tales in the tradition of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers and Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales. The first tale, The Closet, accompanies the author's first full-length literary suspense title, The Reckless Engineer.
"I discovered this author through his first short story written as a prelude to The Reckless Engineer. I was pulled in and captivated by both stories with the very first sentence from which the author builds suspense relentlessly to a nail-biting crescendo of tension. Both stories look at the troubles the respective protagonist gets into because he is weak in love. While the first book is right inside the protagonist's head telling us how it feels for him, this one reveals the impact of the love affair mainly from the viewpoints of all the people around him.
As for the mystery, let us just say John Grisham meets J K Rowling in this one. The woman our protagonist, Jack Connor, (who seems to be a bit of a weasel, by the way) had been involved with has been found dead and Jack has been arrested for the murder. The story begins with Jack making his one phone call from the police station to his old-time friend Jeremy, our amateur detective hero and series lead. Jeremy arrives in Portsmouth bringing Harry, a top defence lawyer to the rich and famous in London, to handle Jack's defence in the murder trial. While Harry runs a brilliant defense, Jeremy blends in with Jack's family and colleagues who all seem to have their own sinister motives and opportunities to have committed the murder in a tightly woven plot.
This author seems to be a master of the unexpected twist because I never saw the ending of either story coming even though the clues were right in front of my eyes, each time. The language is poetic, beautiful, and lovingly descriptive of the English seaside town, Portsmouth, the story is set in. And everything is fresh and original - the premise, the plot, the characters, the language, the imagery... everything. Nothing about this author's writing is cliché. I eagerly await his next story."