Author Interview: Bernard Maestas, author of Say That to My Face


Publisher: Rebel ePublishers

Publication Date: November 30, 2013

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Alex is a throwaway teenager in New York, pitfighting for scraps. Ted is a bored suburban high schooler in Illinois making a profit on changing grades and pirating movies.Together they become international mercenaries, battling for their own profit, occasionally stumbling on doing the right thing, and taking sarcastic jabs at each other along the way. 

Using their collective talents, they rob a crooked bank president, rescue the kidnapped daughter of an oil tycoon and hunt high value insurgents in Iraq for the bounties on their head. They train government troops in one African country to crush the tribal government of a neighboring country and then train the tribal militia opponents of the adjacent country. In Russia they hunt down a wanted war criminal on the run from the UN, exposing a human trafficking operation. 

Realizing that they are at their best together, they go into business for themselves, picking the jobs they want, when they want, and reaping all the profits.

Interview: Q. How did writing this book affect you?

A.  This answer is going to be a little boring but honestly, it was just such a thrill. It was the first writing project I’d ever actually completed. I’ve started hundreds of books and short stories throughout my life and never finished anything until this one. Emotionally, it didn’t hit me as hard as some other things I’ve written (like the upcoming sequel, “Godwin’s Law,” for instance), it’s a different sort of story. I guess it kept me awake sometimes thinking of all the great action sequences – because, let’s face it, they’re pretty darned awesome!

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

A.  Staying focused! My attention is constantly threatening to wander away when I’m trying to write. It doesn’t help having the endless distraction of the internet right at my fingertips, just a click over from the open document on my screen. When I’m in the zone, I can tear through a story, but when I start to lose focus…

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

A.  Absolutely! “Say That to My Face” is just the beginning of the saga. The second book, “Godwin’s Law,” is in my editor’s hands as we speak and should be out soon. I’ve already started work on the third book but can’t share too much about it just yet. I promise, Alex and Ted’s adventures are just getting started!

Q. What are you currently reading?

A.  I’ve actually got a couple books going at once. Top of the list right now is “Gone” by Michael Grant and “Battle Royale” by Koushun Takami. Similar concepts, if you think about them, but it’s all in the execution.

Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).

A.  I was recently accepted as a full member of International Thriller Writers!

Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

A.  I can’t write in a straight line. I skip from paragraph to paragraph, chapter to chapter, filling in sentences or even individual words as they come to me. I essentially write the entire book at the same time, rather than start to finish.

Q. Please tell us a fun-fact about yourself!

A.  I can dislocate my thumbs at will and slip out of handcuffs!

Q. Is there anything you haven’t written about that you would like to in the future?

A.  Throughout my life I’ve probably written something in every genre there is. Actually finishing things and pushing them through the publication process is a different story. I’d like to spread my work across a number of genres so “Say That to My Face” is just the beginning, at least that’s the plan. I’ve always got a number of other projects open in one stage or another.

Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

A.  How to harness my mind. If I could focus, if I was half as imaginative while conscious as I am in my dreams, I would be putting out a book every other week.

Q. What gives you the most joy in life?

A.  That’s a tough one, but at the moment it seems to be every new fan I get!

Q. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?

A.  That’s a hard question to answer. I feel like both of the heroes are parts of me that I broke off and let grow into their own people, so, in a sense, I’m already there. I guess if I had to pick, I’d go with Alex. It’d be cool to be a Foreign Legion veteran.

Q. How do you like to spend your spare time?

A.  Spare time? What’s that? Ha ha. I work full-time as a police officer and when I’m off, I try to stay pretty busy with writing. Wasting time on the internet is always a constant pull that I have to fight off. I try to make time to play sports and try to stay in shape, mainly with CrossFit. I’m also a gamer, a heavy reader, and a TV, Hulu and Netflix junkie. On occasion, I even sleep.

Q. How did you come up with the title?

A.  The characters knowing each other over the internet was a key point in the story and the overall tone of the humor was sarcastic.  Then, there were the chapter titles, which I had already started naming after internet memes.  "Internet Tough Guys" was actually pretty appropriate, especially with the tone of the rest of the book.  "Say That to My Face" just branched off of that.

Q. When did you know you would be a writer?

A.  I didn’t think I’d ever actually make it as a writer until the first time I saw my book available for purchase. I’ve been dreaming up stories and starting projects since my earliest memories and probably before that. That said, I had little encouragement and, as I said, I’d never even finished a short story before. It seemed like an unreachable goal. Even after I finished “Say That to My Face”, which was a huge hurdle to begin with, there was so much frustration and rejection trying to get it published.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

A.  Thank you so much for reading and for your support! There’s lots more where “Say That to My Face” came from so stay tuned. Please Like my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BernardMaestasOfficial), my Goodreads page, and follow me on Twitter @BernardMaestas for the latest news and updates, and occasion humorous anecdote!

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