As an author in this economy, you have to come up with creative ways to market a self-published book. While book tours are a great way to connect with your readers, they aren’t the most affordable method of promotion. However, technology has made it possible for an alternative.
Take note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, Dick Nelson, who is taking his latest book, The Trojan Horse Conspiracy, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. He will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about him and his book.
Luckily for us, Dick was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of The Trojan Horse Conspiracy.
OP: Tell us a little bit about The Trojan Horse Conspiracy. What is it about?
DN: For centuries, the mythical story of the Greek Trojan Horse has become a metaphor for the covert infiltration of an enemy’s organization. In this action-packed spy thriller, FBI Agent Brad Tilsdale and his special counter-intelligence team work tirelessly to prevent foreign enemies from penetrating the U.S. government. An ex-Navy SEAL, Tilsdale heads a group of agents that confront the Soviet KGB and Chinese MSS intelligence services, Al-Qaeda terrorists, and – most deadly of all – spies working secretly within the U.S. government. Tilsdale constantly finds himself hobbled by timid bureaucrats, who avoid making difficult decisions until it is too late, while opportunities evaporate. When he decides to “go rogue” and operate outside of the system, he walks a fine line with his cautious superiors, who would rather sacrifice him than expose themselves to risk. While Tilsdale operates on the periphery of tumultuous global events, the story rushes from one national crisis to the next. On a parallel track, the Trojan Horse conspirators move their plot inexorably forward. Through sheer determination and personal courage, Tilsdale attempts to protect America – often from itself. From a deadly knife-fight in the murky back-streets of Hong Kong, through dangerous anti-terrorist raids, to the equally dangerous marble corridors of Washington power-brokers, Tilsdale weaves and dodges his way to solving the greatest mystery of his career: Who is Pegasus, and what is he plotting to do? Following a muddled trail of lies, buried evidence, murdered witnesses, and forged documents, Tilsdale and his FBI partner finally discover the truth – but too late to save Air Force One from sabotage. From communication intercepts captured by the National Security Agency, he pieces together, in Sherlock Holmes fashion, a puzzle of frightening dimensions and shocking implications.
OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
DN: Having worked for the federal government both in the military during wartime and in the civilian security apparatus, I have seen how our nation’s destiny is shaped, and sometimes terribly damaged, by the decisions of faceless bureaucrats. Regardless of which administration is in power, the politicians’ lack of courage and competence routinely results in the unnecessary death of thousands of innocent American citizens. The 9/11 attacks, for example, were completely avoidable, but successive administrations failed to take the obvious steps that would have protected us. Currently, we have the pointless death of our ambassador and three other Americans in Libya. Because of restrictive rules of engagement, we have our Afghan “allies” shooting our soldiers and Marines in the back. And the list goes on. I felt that because of my background, I could tell a story that would weave through a factual and familiar backdrop, making the reader feel as if he or she is actually living it with the book’s heroes and villains. There are many messages in this book—some direct and obvious, and others more subtle. It is like an intellectual and moral puzzle, wrapped around history and current events.
OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
DN: This story will cut across generations of readers, with something relevant and interesting to all. Even teenagers should find it interesting, particularly from an action and techno-thriller perspective. The segment that may not like it will be those who run government bureaucracies or who believe government has all the answers.
OP: What is special about your book? What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
DN: As I formulated the main storyline and the various sub-plots, I paid a lot of attention to the accuracy of the factual “backdrop.” For example, the men in charge of the KGB and the Chinese intelligence service, the MSS, are correctly identified by name and timeframe. The weapons and military hardware are correctly described, and the functions of our intelligence services are accurately portrayed. I had to be careful there not to divulge classified information, however, and sometimes that was a delicate task. I went a step beyond the typical Tom Clancy books, and made sure to thread more of the important human element of our national security organizations into the story. By necessity, the American public never learns of the courage and sacrifices of the men and women of our intelligence services. They never get medals or publicity, and cannot tell their own stories because of national security concerns. By using a combination of facts and fiction, I feel I was able to speak for them in a small way.
OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
DN: In 2010, I published The Contrail Chronicles—An American Family’s Journey Through War And Peace. It is a non-fiction account of my family’s American experience, including my dad’s exploits in World War II, and my own in Vietnam. To my surprise, I found that women often were more enthusiastic about it than men, who I thought were the most likely audience. It also includes some insider accounts of my life at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, and later as a Naval Aviator, flying carrier-based jet fighters.
I am currently writing a sequel to The Trojan Horse Conspiracy. Tentatively, the title is The Hostage Prince. Without giving the story away, it will feature some characters from The Trojan Horse Conspiracy, plus some new ones—including familiar names from today’s headlines. There will be some very shocking developments, including war between the U.S. and Iran and Syria, that will make the so-called “Arab Spring” seem like a walk in the park. You may be wondering who the “hostage prince” is. You will have to read the book to find out, including what happens to him, and why.
OP: Thanks for your time, Dick! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dick Nelson is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former Navy fighter pilot. During his combat service in Vietnam, flying the supersonic F-8E Crusader from an aircraft carrier, Nelson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, thirteen Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross, and other decorations. After his Navy service, Nelson was a commercial pilot with Continental Airlines, and then attended the UCLA School of Law. As a litigator of high-stakes cases in California, he specialized in the legal areas of employment, business, and trade secrets. Moving to Florida in 2005, Nelson worked for the Dept. of Homeland Security. Now retired, Nelson is also the author of The Contrail Chronicles: An American Family’s Journey Through War And Peace.
For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/thetrojanhorseconspiracy
This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road”. Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.
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