If you weren’t aware, our author interviews now take place in real-time on our Facebook Fan Page and then transcribed here to our blog. The latest interview was done on November 10th and I apologize to our readers for the late transcription. The post is still up on our Fan page if you would like to see it as it happened. Without further ado, the interview:
Hello to all our Fans! It’s time for our Author Interview and today we have Author Harold R. Miller who is here to speak to us about his book “Thai Moon Saloon”, welcome Harold!
(Note: Nancy is relaying Harold’s responses to us as we talk)
Free-eBooks: Hey Nancy! It’s nice to have you and Harold join us here!
Nancy Cardinali: Thanks. It’s great to be here.
Free-eBooks: Your by line is: “From the Case Files of a Former Intelligence Agent turned PI” Can you explain how Harold uses his files, or what can he use from his files? Does he use some information that is classified?
Nancy Cardinali: Most of his novels are based on his case files as a licensed private investigator. Although some information he uses contains classified data, I use only those elements that are not classified, and are available to the general public.
Free-eBooks: Penn Gwinn… sounds like Penguin! How did Harold come up with that name?
Nancy Cardinali: One of the steel sailboats he built was multi-chined. His woman of the day (as some subsequent amorous involvements described my prior women of interest) said the boat looked like a penguin on its stomach. He liked the comparison, and added the word Flyin’ (no G) in honor of the famous 19th century square rigger sailing ship named the Flying Cloud. He enjoyed the double meaning in Erica Jong’s ‘Fear of Flying’; the use of the word in exaggerated slang is often used as an expression of frustration, it can also refer to a sexual act. When he began writing he liked the name Penguin, and created the protagonist’s name of Penn Gwinn, who lives on his sailboat The Flyin’ Penguin
Free-eBooks: Harold, your books are known for their twist endings. How do you manage to tie it all up in the end?
Nancy Cardinali: Story telling requires imagination and fairly good recall of experiences. He often writes many segments of stories, and selects several of them that might be tied
together with a common thread. Other than that, he doesn’t really know how the twist endings come about, save looking at the story while writing, and thinking of possible resolutions that are unexpected.
Free-eBooks: “Thai Moon Saloon” seems to poke fun, in a weird way, at the United States government and its alphabet soup of covert operatives. Harold how does that relate to what is happening today?
Nancy Cardinali: Activities using covert operatives began in ancient Rome and continue to this day. The only difference now is that much of the information garnered through spying is obtained electronically.
Before the 911 destruction, the US government information gathering organizations were: the CIA, chartered for overseas covert operations; the DIA chartered for electronic data gathering, and the US Army Security Agency which is the military arm of the DIA. All were under the auspices of the National Security Agency. In their independent need for budget acquisitions, each agency rarely divulged their information to a co-agency in fear of not getting the credit, which would affect their budget. This situation included civilian agencies like the FBI, DEA, Border Patrol, and the ATF. After 911, all the agencies were gathered under the new Department of Homeland Security in order to eliminate the agency rivalry and effect a
more thorough dissemination of information. Some agency personnel still question the wisdom of such an act.
Free-eBooks: Your novels are fiction. Harold how much research was done?
Nancy Cardinali: Actually, his novels are based on fact; on case files worked by him or by others in the intelligence services. There is a great amount of research done on the factual sections through associates, although, as usual, names, places, etc. are changed. The fiction parts keep the plots, the story lines, together as one cohesive tale.
Free-eBooks: It sounds like Thai Moon Saloon is a real guy’s book. Harold do you write anything for the more tender hearted?
Nancy Cardinali: While “Thai Moon Saloon” seems to be a ‘guy book’, when you read it you will see it is non-gender oriented. As in all his books, the female star is a strong character that has a great effect on the conclusions. He has as many female fans as he does male fans. For example, in “Emerald Head Caper”, the main characters are teenagers – two guys and one girl, who is the leader of the group. It’s interesting to note that most heroines have red hair.
Free-eBooks: Red heads, hunh? Well, let’s move on. Do you have any suggestions for the novice fiction writer? What do you find easy? Hard?
Nancy Cardinali: Suggestions: If you want to write, there is only one thing to do, and that is write. Ignore spelling, punctuation, and even word usage, in your first draft. Just write the story. Editors and proofreaders will correct any grammar errors. That’s their job.
The easy part: Telling the story. Just as one tells a story to friends, some embellishment to make it entertaining is always involved. Hence, the fiction part of writing.
The hard part: Tying the elements together with the common thread of a plot. That takes creativity and imagination.
Free-eBooks: Harold where can our fans go for more information about your books?
Nancy Cardinali: The first chapter is available at www.ThaiMoonSaloon.com . You can read the first chapters of the others in this series at www.HaroldRMiller.com. My experience can be found in my bio at www.HaroldRMiller.com/bio.php
Free-eBooks: Thank you Harold and Nancy for being here! Best wishes for you both and much success to you with your book Harold!
Nancy Cardinali: Great being here with you and this great community! Thank you.
Hal Miller: I want to thank Nancy for helping me withthis site. I just returned from an out of state investigation and was asked by Nancy to join the interview as it began. So, she was reprinting my answers to the questions.