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Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Author J.T. Patten talks about Safe Havens: Shadow Masters
It’s my pleasure to welcome ‘new-to-me’ author J.T. Patten here today to talk about his recently release, SAFE HAVENS: SHADOW MASTERS, the first installment in his Safe Havens Black Ops series.
Here’s a brief synopsis of this new thriller:
Father, Husband, Warrior. Target. Sean Havens served the government black ops underworld for over twenty years. He lived and operated through corporate cut-outs and within the dark recesses of humanity to protect the country he loved. But when the family he loved was unprotected by his country, Havens' clandestine double life follows him home colliding two very separate worlds. As a corrupt oversight-exempt program drives him to soldier on, Havens struggles to hold on to what he has left of a now distanced life. Shock awaits as he learns who is friend or foe in the obscure domestic battlefield. To find sanctuary, he must navigate the intertwined shadows of conspiracy, underhanded proxy surrogate schemes, staged terror attacks, and a long thought to be disbanded CIA rival--The Pond. If Havens survives as both protector and punisher, will his righteous soul be among the body count? Few will find safe haven amidst those seeking revenge and refuge within the twisted wreckage of covert eliminations and espionage set-ups.
J.T. has graciously answered some questions for me about his book and his writing. Please join me in welcoming J.T.
Mason - As readers, we always wonder where book ideas come from. What inspired you to write this book?
J.T.: My professional career has entailed developing creative solutions to wicked problem sets. Within government and military experience, I applied a lot of that creativity into innovative plans for some rather unconventional outcomes. Marrying that with an interest in reading thrillers, has developed a lot of fun book ideas that constantly race through my mind. I remember reading a Stephen King interview while I was still in grade school about what scares him most that helps inspire some of his horror writings. He had some very vivid descriptions. I’d say that the Safe Havens series applies a lot of what scares me most in operational planning and what would happen if an x,y, or z situation came knocking on my personal life. I have put some of those fears to the pages. I can’t say that I was hugely compelled to write this or that, but as I keyed the story on my laptop the reality of what I have seen, what happens to soldiers, and what gets compounded with lies and deceit, pretty much unfolded itself.
Mason - What type of research did you do for this book?
J.T.: For the first Safe Havens book, SHADOW MASTERS, not much research went into it. I was traveling and often wrote in locations where I had limited internet connectivity, few resources, and sparing time. The opening chapter, which is a complex crime scene, required some technical research. Oddly, it became so technical that some of my beta readers lost interest right away. I ended up back to what I knew with the exception of some details of forensics and medical jargon. The rest of the book was what I know, albeit what I am allowed to share. Then again, in fiction, there is a lot of creative license. For the next book in the series, PRIMED CHARGE, I had to put a bit more effort into researching Thailand, explosives, and some political ties with foreign nations that were outside of my immediate knowledge base.
Mason - Are you inspired by actual people for your book?
J.T.: I can’t think of any one character who is a full embodiment of a particular person in my life. Most characters in SHADOW MASTERS take on some traits of people who could fit the shoes. My wife’s friends have been challenged when reading the book to not envision our home as the scene and my wife as one of the characters. And frankly, some wonder if there are unknown parts of me who are manifested in Sean Havens. It’s really a hodge-podge. How Sean may respond to his wife and vice versa may sound familiar to some because that’s all I know, or what comes naturally in my relationship experience. It’s subliminal or fanciful. I’d say throughout the novel, I may take ten percent of reality and then I twist it all up in a number of shapes, sizes, and other characteristics that a reader may find interesting or whom they can relate to.
Mason - Have you always wanted to write or was there an event that lead you to writing?
J.T.: I have been writing articles and work products for most of my career. They could be rather constraining based on the style and guidelines that were required. As a kid, I loved creative writing. When I decided to try and pen a novel, it really was enjoyable and I found a new passion. I’d love to write more, or even full time, but there is a certain economic hitch to it that I have yet toovercome.
Mason - If you could write a book with any author (living or dead) who would it be and what type of book would you like to write?
J.T.: This is a no brainer. I have a back-burner project called Mister Mortimer. It is about a ninety-year old Nazi hunter who had been a victim of the heinous medical experiments of the concentration camps. There are so many directions that I can take this that I would love to have the master, Stephen King, guide me through it. I could develop it in the style of Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, it could go horror, or it could be pulp. I’d like to see it pulp but in a multi-layered plot that a Tarantino could play with for big screen. But bottom line, King would be the person.
Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?
J.T.: I’m writing SAFE HAVENS: PRIMED CHARGE right now as fast as I can. It is hard to balance writing time now since I am traveling less and pay the bills with other full time work. As an indie, I also have to market SAFE HAVENS: SHADOW MASTERS so I can pay off the cost of the editor, advertising, and other related expenses.
PRIMED CHARGE should really resonate with the current readers and reach a wider audience. The book will still have that non-linear plot line that appeals to some of the more cerebral fans, it will tie family and emotions again, we of course have our underdog — Sean Havens, recurring characters both good and evil, and since I have already covered the background story, the pedal is going down to the floor, which will quicken the pace throughout. I have not decided on how much breathing I will allow the reader. I want to emotionally give the reader tears, breath holding, shouting at the book, and addiction, so they love the book but hate me for writing it in such a roller coaster way. J.T., thanks so much for joining us today and answering these questions. It’s always a delight to get the backstory of how a book comes about.
Now here’s some background on J.T.
J.T. Patten has worked with the intelligence and special operations community in support of national defense and policy. He has a degree in Foreign Language, a Masters in Strategic Intelligence, graduate studies in Counter Terrorism from the University of St. Andrews, and numerous expertise certifications in forensics, fraud, and financial crime investigations.
J.T. shares these unique experiences with readers to give them a taste of "the black."
Hi all, thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy reading about ‘back ops’ or do the stories get too technical for you? I leave you today with a book trailer for J.T.’s SAFE HAVENS: SHADOW MASTERSfor your viewing pleasure and to tempt you a bit more to read this fascinating thriller.
Hi, I'm Mason Canyon and I love reading and that is why I do reviews. I post them here, as well as several other sites such as Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you are an author who would like for me to review your book or you would like to guest blog here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org These reviews are done for the love of a good book, not for monetary rewards.