Today I’m excited to participate in the Blog Tour of ‘Broken’ by Kearns and Solomon. ‘Broken’ is a fictionalized thriller of the men and women caught in the cross fire of the business of war, terror, drones, PTSD, and a for-profit surveillance state. ‘Broken’ was published on July 19th.
About the Book:
Military whistleblower Retired U.S. Air Force Captain Michael S. Kearns and co-author Ronald Solomon expose the dark side of torture, drones, surveillance, weapons of defense and PTSD in their chilling new book, ‘Broken’. Based, in part, on Kearns’ experience as a former Master Survival-Evasion-Resistance-Escape (S.E.R.E.) Instructor, with ‘Broken’, they share with readers a compelling fictional narrative based on brutal, disturbing facts.
When disgraced S.E.R.E. master instructor Captain Charles “Chauncey” Paunce is asked by the FBI to train the CEOs of the world’s most advanced drone manufacturers to resist torture (by torturing them!), he steps into a conspiracy aimed at breaking the very foundations of American privacy and freedom. With the aid of his expert intelligence skills and a group of former Navy SEALs/SWCCs, Chauncey fights through a web of cutting-edge, weaponized drones, and string of massacres and tortures in the homeland.
From a desolate village in Afghanistan to the Mojave Desert to the skies over San Diego, ‘Broken’ is a thrill ride that combines real modern-day issues with enhanced robotics, illegal surveillance, explosions and … redemption.
This book is available at Amazon.
Kearns and Solomon are donating 20% of BROKEN!’s net profits to Veterans for Peace.
Michael Lewis & Associates in Santa Monica, CA have been hired to sell the film and television rights.
Interview with Solomon:
What is your name and where can you be found?
Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you do for fun?
Reading, hiking, curling, softball, flying drones, musing, eating dinner with friends, practicing Mussar, binge watching Netflix with my wife, attending small theater productions of obscure plays, reading poetry at small coffee shops.
How long have you been writing? How many books have you written – including those unpublished?
Since I’m a little kid. My first professional submission (and rejection) was to MAD Magazine when I was 9 years old. I’ve written and created network television shows (Saved By The Bell, California Dreams, Hang Time, and more), created over 20 children’s toys and games (over 1million sold), I’ve written plays, screenplays, poetry, songs and more. I have one other ½ written novel that my wife has been urging me to finish one day (not sure I want to!)
What genres do you like to write about? Do you also read those same genres?
When it comes to reading, I like dark, sardonic comedies like “Lamb,” by Christopher Moore, serious mythology like Ovid’s “Metamorphasis” and spiritual books about zen Buddhism and mussar. When it comes to writing, I enjoy writing about characters that are presented with moral dilemmas. It doesn’t really matter if it’s funny or tragic, real or fantasy.
Why did you write your book? Is it inspired by true events?
Here is a link to an article about the genesis and background of BROKEN! http://media.wix.com/ugd/d7be04_011559111b854df6bb1afa3d6a597653.pd
How did you begin your project? Did you write outlines and character profiles, jump right in or focus on one section at a time?
Although I love the political/spy thriller genre (I’ve read every Tom Clancy ever written) the world of BROKEN! (SERE, SEALs, torture, surveillance, etc.) was foreign to me. Before I even considered the story or the characters I researched and interviewed as many people as I could.
After about 3 months I came up with my first shot at the plot but chucked it. I continued researching and developed a 2nd plot, which I rejected as well. It was probably about six months before I found the plot that worked. Of course, I would run ideas past Michael to get his input on the veracity and plausibility of what I was coming up with.
Because the story is a mystery of sorts, I had to make a very detailed outline of the major story beats. I had to juggle who knew what when (when did the reader know things before the protagonist and vice-versa?) This was fairly familiar to me given that writing television is very outline-intensive. Also, coming up with multiple ways to tell stories is also very familiar so throwing out multiple plotlines was not difficult for me.
Research was a continuous process throughout even the writing (the 1st draft took about 18 months). I took trips, interviewed people, and waited for the characters in the story to tell me what they wanted and needed (a bit esoteric, but that’s the way it works). Because I am the CEO of an IT company, I was only able to write 3 days/week. I would take Fridays off and write for ten to twelve hours each day for three days.
Where do you like to write? Do you have a “ritual” you do before writing?
I live at the top of a mountain in the Rocky Mountains (Colorado) and have an old picnic table set up on the lower deck of my geodesic home. I always began my writing sessions by considering the section of the book I was about to write. I would review the story up to the present point and ask the characters how they felt about things. I would tell them things I wanted and would watch them respond and interact (obviously, in my mind). I would review research, smoke cigars, pace with a baseball bat and take notes until the first word or sentence presented itself to me.
I would then go to my picnic table and begin writing. I usually would keep writing until the chapter was finished in one sitting. I would then type the chapter and that would become my 2nd draft. I would print that draft, then rewrite it 2 or 3 more times before moving forward. I generally got through 1 chapter a weekend.
In the winter (we typically have several feet of snow) I would light multiple propane heat lamps around myself to stay warm (seriously!). One day my wife came out and smelled burning wood. We realized that the bottom of my picnic table was burning. She left, shaking her head and muttering that I was going to set myself on fire!
What is your next project?
Many of the readers of BROKEN! are asking for a sequel (the story does set up a 2nd book), but I’m not sure. There are a lot of ideas competing for my attention right now. However, it will be another novel for sure. Just not sure of the genre.
Who do you ask first to look over your writing?
Generally, I ask my wife to read things but she wanted to wait until I had made a substantial dent in the manuscript. I would send each chapter to Michael to review and he was always very happy with what I presented him. At one point (after the 1st act) I got lost and didn’t know if what I was writing was meandering or spot on. I asked a group of about six people (including my wife) to read the 1st act. I did not want to know if they liked it, rather, I wanted to know if the story made sense. If the characters were
consistent and true.
What is your favorite beverage and food to eat while writing?
Cigars and coffee.
About the Authors:
Michael S. “Kearnsey” Kearns is a retired Air Force Intelligence Officer, and former Master SERE instructor, who has been a vocal opponent of the Bush/Cheney torture program and the dark complexities of political war profiteering at the expense of the American people. He is the sole survivor of the world’s first four-way skydive over the South Pole and the first person to have parachuted over all seven continents. As a patriot who has risked his life and lost too many of his fellow veterans, this novel is his dedication to the truth.
Ronald B. Solomon has created, written, and run successful companies and products spanning TV sitcoms, toys, and information technology. He is deeply concerned about the condition of our country and the negative effects of financial elitists and their government lapdogs on our citizenry. His extensive background as a television executive producer, head writer, and show creator has helped to give his first novel, ‘Broken’, it’s exciting, cinematic feeling. He lives at the top of a mountain near Denver, Colorado, with his wife and pet security drone.
For more information about the Authors and 'Broken' please visit the website, or the Facebook page.
Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway
This Blog Tour was organized by Smith Publicity.