Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brian Drake SHOW NO MERCY release party

Could you kill your father?

Michael Dodge owes Harry Ames, his surrogate father. But his CIA mentor is accused of murdering a comrade and joining forces with an enemy planning to unleash a lethal biological weapon on the United States. Dodge may have to kill Harry, but can he do it?

SHOW NO MERCY by Brian Drake. A heart-stopping international thrill-ride with a twist at every turn.

1: This is your third indie book. What are your thoughts on being an “indie” after three books?

When I first started I did not like the “indie author” title. I thought that was a PC feel-good term used to make such people feel like they were actually accomplishing something. My original intent with an ebook was to build and audience that I could take to a traditional publisher to show them I had the chops. Well, one year later, I am embracing the “indie” title. I’m also not even considering a run at New York any longer. Why? Never mind the turmoil in the industry, which, by all reports, is serious; I’m having more fun promoting and selling my work on my own than I ever dreamed I would. I’m going to keep doing it. Those checks that come in the mail are very nice, indeed.

2: Where did the idea for “Show No Mercy” come from?

I wanted to do a story about a conflict in a family, and thought that taking that subject matter into the established spy thriller genre would be a nice twist. It’s not the usual family conflict, though. In the story we have a son and daughter who are faced with the possibility that their father, who taught them their values and helped shaped their beliefs, has betrayed those beliefs. They have to determine if he has truly done so, or if he is being manipulated.

3: What made you want to tackle a family conflict?

I’m not sure. I think it’s one of those bits of inspiration that just jumped out at me and gave me the angle I needed to do a spy story that wasn’t the same old mash-up of action and car chases. I wanted something more at stake than whether or not a maniac was going to blow up the world. A child, no matter what age, faced with the idea that a parent has gone off the deep end is going to go through a wild array of emotions, and how the main characters go through those emotions is what made the story interesting to me.

4: How did Michael Dodge, your protagonist, develop?

I developed Dodge by making him the opposite of James Bond. Bond is, of course, the most well-known secret agent character in the world and it is no surprise that any other character of that type is compared to him. That’s fine, he’s a popular guy, and such a bold character you can’t help but be compared to him. But instead of a character that is flashy, I wanted somebody more subtle, so I worked on him from that perspective. If Bond wears a tux, Dodge is T-shirt and jeans, that sort of thing. Bond is the agent everybody sees; Dodge is the guy in the shadows that you don’t see until it’s too late.

5: Your villain isn’t the usual “rule the world” maniac or terrorist. Where did you come up with him and his gang?

Again, I wanted something different than the norm, so I created Cyrus Lassen and his gang of chaos-loving roughnecks. They aren’t out for anything other than the profits that turn up in any disaster, from insurance claims to the massive clean-up of a bomb blast or whatever. They sabotage an oil pipeline, for example, to send the cost of oil up, which then increases their coffers from the price speculation they take part in.

6: You feature many tidbits about the CIA that haven’t been covered in fiction before. Did you interview anybody who works at the Agency, or did you learn the trivia through other methods?

I don’t know anybody at the CIA but I do have a friend who is a former British agent, and I pick his brain a lot. He was active back in the ‘70s so whatever he can tell me he freely shares, and most of the information concerns the day-to-day lives of people in that line of work. He told me about the CIA’s child care center, for example, where Agency employees can drop their kids, do their work for the day, and pick up the kids on the way out. I thought that was a neat bit of info. The rest of the research came from books.

7: Will we see Michael Dodge again?

Oh, yes, we will! I have three other Dodge stories planned; two that are completely outlined and one that’s just a sketch at this point. I won’t do them back-to-back, since I have other books in the pipeline to do first, but he will be back.

8: Who are some of your favorite thriller authors who may have inspired “Show No Mercy”?

Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum, to name two. I grew up reading them. I remember my seventh grade English teacher giving me a hard time because all I read were these adult books, but at least I was reading. He had to holler at everybody else in class to read the assigned material. He was a Ludlum fan, too, and we would talk about the books. He gave me some Alistair McLean books once, but those were a little out of my league at the time. I still read Fleming and Ludlum and if you asked me to name one or two contemporary writers covering the same subject, I’m afraid I wouldn’t have an answer.

10: How did you come up with the title?

I think I stole it from somewhere. You can’t copyright a title. Muahahahaha….

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

Currently I am in the middle of The Rogue Gentleman, which features a globe-trotting adventurer named Steve Dane who always finds trouble. His lady friend, the ex-Russian spy Nina Talikova, is there to help him get out of said trouble. Interpol thinks he’s a bad guy but he’s definitely on the side of the angels. He likes making the good guys assume he’s a bad guy because it helps his street cred with real bad guys. Anyway it’s my first attempt to mix adventure with light humor, and I think it’s going well so far.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by, everyone who leaves a comment and contact info will be put in a drawling to win a copy of Brian Drake SHOW NO MERCY gifted to your Kindle. I will chose one winner February 12, 2011 at noon eastern.


  1. Hi Brian,

    The book looks awesome. I'll put my name in the drawing hat:

  2. I love thrillers and this one sounds like a good read. Count me in, Thanks!

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