Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Interview With Don Brown!!

Well, for our interview today we have Don Brown, author of the well-known JAG Series. It is a really good series! I encourage you to pick up his latest book, The Malacca Conspiracy. It looks like a very interesting read!!

Charity: How long have you known you wanted to be an author?
DB: I never really had much of an ambition to become an author until about 2002. I’d don’t a lot of legal writing before that, but not much fiction since high school. Then day – zap – lightning struck, and we were off to the races!

Charity: Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

DB: MALACCA CONSPIRACY is a fast-moving geopolitical thriller set in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the United States. The book opens with a conspiracy in the Malaysian seaport city of Malacca. A rogue Indonesian general conspires with Saudi operatives to attack oil tankers in the Malacca Straights, coordinated with the purchase of crude oil futures. Their goal is to transform Indonesia into the first Islamic superpower, and to control the strategic sea lanes around the Malacca Straights.
The coordinated attacks on shipping drive up the prices of crude oil futures, and the group then uses billions in revenues from futures profits to finance an overthrow of the Indonesian government and cripple the United States by financing strategic nuclear attacks against three U.S. Cities.
JAG Officers Diane Colcernian and Zack Brewer, first introduced in my breakout novel, TREASON, return by popular demand. As the novel opens, Zack and Diane are serving as naval attachés to Indonesia and Singapore. Reunited for one last hurrah, Zack and Diane find themselves in the midst of investigating the conspiracy, and rush against a perilous deadline to stop it before American cities are obliterated.

Charity: When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?
DB: Three things. First, as a novelist, I have an implicit contract with my readers to entertain. To do that, my goal is to build tension on every page in a way that will make the reader want to turn the page, and feel satisfied with the ultimate resolution.
Second, I want to educate readers about geo-contemporary issues that are relevant to our world today. For example, in MALACCA CONSPIRACY, I hope that my readers can, in a fun way, learn about a part of the globe that is both exciting and also strategically important to the United States, and the free world, but that is at the same time, largely ignored in our public schools and our universities.
Finally, I want my stories to be saturated with a biblical world view, one in which biblical truth is manifested throughout, subtly, and in which my readers leave inspired to do what is right.

Charity: Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?
DB: I have been to France several times, but regrettably I’ve never had an opportunity to spend much time in Normandy. If someone offered to buy a ticket, that’s where I’d go. I’d like to go there and spend time, at Calais, at Point-du-Hoc, at the hallowed American War cemeteries dotting the lush green landscape overlooking the sea.

Charity: If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?

DB: Let me start by saying that I am not at all into celebrity worship or anything like that, and would not bother to get up and cross the living room floor to look out my front window if someone told me that some Hollywood star or starlet was at that moment driving by my front door in their limousine. To me, there is but one true celebrity, and He is the living Yeshua Messiah. Everyone else pales in comparison to the point that it’s not even funny.
Having said that, there are men here on this planet who I admire and if there are two people I could have dinner with, I’d pick the two men whose voices loomed most powerfully over the first and second halves of the Twentieth Century, namely Sir Winston Spencer Churchill and Ronald Wilson Reagan.
Churchill. Recently I was in a restaurant near my office that I frequent with a former law partner. A lady was there, perhaps in her early forties. I’d met the lady before but didn’t know her well, and had forgotten that she was born in the UK. But on this day, she had an elderly lady with her, who looked to be late eightyish, perhaps early ninetyish. As it turned out, the elderly lady was her mother, was from Scotland, and had moved to America only in recent years.
I bent over and spoke to the elderly lady, and told her how much I appreciated the special bond between the British and the American people. She smiled and nodded that she understood, but I immediately discovered that she could not speak fully, as she had apparently been stricken by a stroke or suffered from some condition that impaired her speech.
I told her that I was a student of the war, and that the sacrifices of the British standing alone for more than two years against Nazi aggression in the defense of freedom had not been forgotten. Again she nodded. Then, I whispered softly and I told her that I had not forgotten these words. “We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing fields, we shall fight them in the streets, we shall never surrender….” And as I was quoting Churchill, the lady began to excitedly nod her head in agreement, and by the time I had quoted to great line that “if the British Empire and its commonwealth shall last a thousand years, men shall say that this was their finest hour,” the lady was in tears.
The moment was moving to me, and to think that a man’s words could still so powerfully move those who remember them, more than sixty years after the fact, and to instantly bond men and women of different generations and different nationalities, is to me mindboggling.
Reagan. I think in the last half of the Twentieth Century, when we consider the amazing fall of the Soviet Union, without a bullet having been fired between the great superpowers, the leadership and words and bravery of three great men come to mind as having created the climate for that downfall. The first is the brave Pole, Lech Walensa, the founder of the Solidarity Union in Gdańsk who risked his life for freedom at a time when Poland was still ruled by communist jack-boots. The second is Pope John Paul, another son of Poland, II, who used his office to forcefully speak out on moral issues and stare down communism around the globe. The third is Ronald Reagan, who bravely stood up to the growing military threat imposed by the Soviets, rebuilt the US military to the point that the Soviets could not keep up, and whose words were a clarion and prophetic call for freedom around the globe. Who can forget the great and powerful words of Reagan envisioning America as “a shining city on a hill,” or, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” ?
So if I could have dinner with two, I’d choose both of these gentlemen and soak up all the wisdom that I possibly could soak.

Charity: What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?
DB: I love history, so this for me would be like a kid trying to choose from a thousand pieces of candy strewn out over a huge table. But if there was only one event, I’d love to go back in time and be at the resurrection. Why? No event, has been so significant in human history. And the resurrection followed by the ascension sure turned a group of twelve, rag-tag pusillanimous wimps into an elite corps of rugged, brave and bold preachers of freedom who were willing to be tortured and die based upon what they had seen. Did it not?

Charity: Do you have a favorite hobby?

DB: Two or three ties for my favorite non-writing pastimes. I like fishing for catfish in the Roanoke River, in my hometown of Plymouth, NC with my fourteen year old son, Graham. I also like taking target practice at the pistol range. I also love coaching my son’s basketball team, even if the kids did try and run a pick-and-roll against a 2-3 zone defense!

Charity: Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?
DB: Here are a few items of worthless trivia. In 1978 I played a trumpet solo for the late Princess Grace of Monaco at the Presidential Palace there. I attended President Reagan’s first inauguration in Washington in January of 1980, and I also attended the Wimbledon men’s finals match between Goron Ivanisovich and Patrick Rafter in 2001. While at Wimbledon, I saw President Clinton there, and I waved at him, and he waved back at me. Hah! How’s that for my claim to fame? Also, I can speak a little bit of Russian. Ever heard Russian doused with a Southern accent? One final tidbit. I am a card-carrying member of the NRA! J

Charity: Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?
DB: Davis Bunn, a fellow Tar Heel and a brilliant novelist who I greatly admire, once made a speech that I heard, and these words of wisdom have stuck with me. “If you are going to be a writer,” he said, or words to this effect, “you must write every day. You must write for the love of writing, even if what you write is never published.” To paraphrase Davis, without the eloquence that he is capable of and I am not, “write every day because you love it, and let the love of writing drive you to write.”

Charity: Any last thoughts for your readers?
DB: I’ve given this advice often, but I’ll give it again. If you’re serious about writing, and you want to get published, not only is it imperative to write on a consistent basis, but find a good writers conference or two to attend. Find a conference that will have acquisitions editors and agents on staff. I’ve attended and also served on the faculty of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in Black Mountain, NC, but there are lots of good ones out there.
Also, writers must be readers. “I don’t have time,” won’t cut it. Read and study the patterns of the works of writers you enjoy. Also I commend the following “how to” books to you.(1) Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson. And no, you don’t have to be a “dummie” to read this, but you will be smarter as a novelist after you do. (2) Write Great Fiction-Plot & Structure, by James Scott Bell. Jim Bell is one of the guys that I admire the most in this industry, and not only is he a superb novelist, but he is also respected as of the greatest teachers of the craft out there today. This is one of the best “how to” books out there, and if you check out Jim on amazon, you’ll find that he has several books going into detail on various components of the craft. Get them all and read them all. (3) On Writing, by Steven King. I’m not a Steven King fan, only because I’m not into his genre. But this little primer called On Writing is a, short, excellent primer on the craft. Be forewarned, however, you’ll find that the language is a little more salty in places than in Randy and Jim’s books.

And how can they connect with you?
DB: I love hearing from readers and always try and always respond back just as soon as I can. Email me at admin@donbrownbooks.com

Thank you soo much, Don!

1 comment:

Hope said...

Wow, great interview! I've only read one of Don Brown's books, but I'm on the lookout for the rest :)

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