After leaving his birthplace in West Africa , he spent several years in Asia and Europe before emigrating with his parents to the southern United States in the early s. In the mids, he returned to his native Switzerland to serve in the Swiss Army, where he trained as a marksman. He later came back to the U. Read about A.
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Frieden below, or jump here to skip to Amazon to buy his latest book, The Pyongyang Option. How did your upbringing overseas influence you and your writing? That multicultural background has also shaped who I am today. I also use my background in the military and my piloting experience to enhance the action in my thrillers. Having lived and worked in various countries, I tend to bring these experiences into my thrillers.
My career as a lawyer working in Europe, India and the U. There are so many interesting venues, including many off the beaten path that can capture the interest of readers. Jonathan was born and raised in New Orleans, so his international experiences come mostly from legal cases he has worked on and that form the plots in his novels. I would probably be more conservative and cautious than Jonathan when faced with the challenges he encounters in the stories. However, the fundamentals are similar: value for human life, respect for the law, seeing the good in people.
More importantly, Jonathan is a normal person, not a spy, nor a hired gun. He makes mistakes, as I have in my life and career, but learns from them. He handles the threats, injuries, and near-death experiences in ways many of us can relate to. A tolerance that exceeds mine in most situations, I think. Can you give a sneak preview of something in your forthcoming book, The Pyongyang Option?
The Pyongyang Option begins as a mystery and turns into a thriller. What does Jonathan need the most, and what is he searching for throughout all the books in your Jonathan Brooks series? Ultimately, justice.
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These life-changing events forced him to change as a person, to reevaluate the essence of life, his dreams, his ability to handle adversity, and shape his destiny as a fighter for doing the right thing. A sense of belonging. Jonathan is the only remaining child of a small family.
That sense of belonging left him, and now he realizes that the rest of his life might simply be a never-ending search for that unattainable goal. While my series is mostly espionage, the protagonist is a lawyer and this trait anchors the story to events and circumstances that are not typical of spy thrillers. In other words, his work as a lawyer brings in a legal thriller element to the stories.
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And other characters bring a political feel to the stories as well. So, this broader stroke at the spy thriller genre is what interests me. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor was my teacher in two genre fiction writing class and later pulled me into her writers group. She became my mentor and helped fuel my passion for mysteries and thrillers and improved the quality of my writing. Also, my long-time editor, Julia Borcherts, who has tremendous expertise in crime fiction, has been a strong supporter of my writing and helps to make the Jonathan Brooks series an engaging experience for readers.
Outlining is important, for sure. I keep a centralized general outline, and then I add more detailed paragraphs tied to that outline at the top of each blank chapter to guide me. I also map characters, settings and spot elements on large eraser boards in conference rooms and then take pictures of them for later reference.
Generally tighter writing. Perhaps what has changed most is the depth of the character descriptions. And this improvement continues in The Pyongyang Option. I read mostly nonfiction. My home library consists of political, espionage and military books for the most part. I would still advise aspiring authors to try to get an agent but explore alternate paths to publication as well. Can you share any tips or guidance for novice writers just getting started, or for experienced writers working hard to build a successful platform? Whether right or wrong, I approach each book with this question first: what sensation do I want to give the reader when they finish reading the book?
Tranquility Denied (Jonathan Brooks, #1)
This is why I write the last chapter first. Though it will change by the time I write the rest of the book, the dominant theme of that final feeling becomes a beacon for the rest of the chapters. This was particularly true for The Pyongyang Option , where the ending is a dramatic life-changing turn for Jonathan.
His career in shambles and duty bound to help a figure from his past locate her missing nephew feared drowned in the Mississippi, Brooks is burdened with responsibility and devoid of options. But Mariya is no friend. The sultry Russian provocateur saved his life a decade ago but not without dragging him into a world of murder, mayhem and deceit.
Jonathan Brooks returns in another adrenaline-packed espionage thriller set mainly in Ukraine and North Korea. Book launch details coming soon. Jonathan Brooks returns in another adrenaline-packed espionage thriller set in Turkey, France, Brazil and the Caribbean.