Great Interview with Marc Rainer Author of the Jeff Trask Crime Series

 

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Everyone Please Welcome

Marc Rainer Author of the  Jeff Trask legal thriller series

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:


Marc Rainer is a former prosecutor in the federal and local courts of the District of Columbia, and a former circuit prosecutor for the U.S. Air Force’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he has more than thirty years experience in the prosecution of major cases. He is married to a former Air Force OSI Special Agent, and lives in a suburb of a major American city.



A Winter of Wolves will be available via Amazon and in select brick-and-mortar retailers as of October 2016.




 

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According to Goodreads

Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask and a team of investigators are on the trail of what they believe is a lone wolf terrorist who is murdering law enforcement officers in the nation’s capital. Their investigation leads them into a firefight with a cell of radical Islamic terrorists who have something much more terrible in mind. If successful, the terrorists’ plan will threaten the entire eastern seaboard of the United States. The fourth book in Marc Rainer’s Jeff Trask crime drama series is a contemporary historical novel incorporating issues associated with many current events.

A Winter of Wolves is also the 4th volume in the series.  Check out the first three volumes on Goodreads.



          Let’s begin….

          What led you to become a writer?

          After 30 years of service as a federal prosecutor, I had collected hundreds of professional “war stories” from cases. Told correctly, these are also known as “plot lines.” My wife kept saying, “You should write a book,” so I did.

          There’s no better fuel than life experience. Excellent!




          Which authors inspire your writing the most?

          If any served as inspiration, it would be the W.E.B. Griffin  father-son team and series, since it showed me how characters could be developed over the course of a series of novels. I also love the way Michael Connelly writes.

          Haven’t heard of W. E. B. Griffin, but I also love Michael Connelly. Great source of inspiration! 




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          What’s your goal in becoming a writer?

          I honestly just wanted to see what I could do. Nothing beyond that. The modest success (about 40,000 sales as a self-published author) has been a pleasant surprise.

          Wonderul. I believe it’ll only get better. The reviews are great!




          What three things have hindered your writing?

          I don’t have three. The only obstacle before I retired was the day job; in other words, having enough time. Since then, the retail bias against self-published authors may have hindered sales, but not the writing itself.

          Having enough time is always a struggle. 




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          What keeps you motivated?

          I just like to write.

          That’s good enough motivation for anyone.





          “Good writing is clear thinking made visible.” -Bill Wheeler




          What is my antagonist?

          I don’t allow those, don’t have one.

          Oh, I love that attitude. Excellent.




          Compared to my previous work, what’s it like being a writer?

          First, I like my boss a lot more. Second, since I was a career prosecutor, I miss the cops and agents – real-life heroes – with whom I had the pleasure of working for years. Third, my schedule is my own now, and being comfortably retired, there’s no pressure. I’m very fortunate in that way.

          This sounds like a very sweet experience. I wish I had it! 







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          What would I say to a writer who has given up?

          Find something you believe in enough to NOT give up on. Examine yourself. Why did you give up on writing? Lack of financial success? Self doubt? One can be overcome with perseverance. The other is a sign of some deeper issues. Identify them and start to deal with them.

          Perseverance is the name of the game. I needed to hear this myself. 





          What are the key elements to a legal thriller?

          I try very hard to avoid formulas. In real-life legal work – especially in solving criminal cases –  formulaic approaches can lead to “tunnel vision.” By that, I mean that if you approach a case the same way every time, trying to solve a case using the same method that happened to work the last time, you can miss a lot of clues, make a lot of serious mistakes. Each case involves different people with different motivations. Some criminals act without rational motivation at all; they are creatures of impulse. A crime-based legal thriller by definition has to involve a crime, or series of crimes. After that, I climb on board with my characters for the investigative “ride,” to see where that leads. The solution can occur in or out of the courtroom.

          I agree wholeheartedly. Formulas can be quite boring.  






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          Introduce us to the Jeff Trask series.

          Trask is my fictional alter-ego. A lot of my plot lines are based upon actual cases, and I use trial transcripts from actual cases in the books, with the usual name changes “to protect the innocent” (and guilty). While Trask and I share a lot of experiences, he probably learns faster on the job than I did. I strive for realism. There aren’t any Hollywood gun fights where the good guys snapshoot someone off the roof of a building a hundred yards away with a handgun, then outrun a string of machine gun bullets. I also try not to use the hackneyed lone, tortured soul, alcoholic detective approach. Complex crimes are not solved by rogue superheroes acting alone. They are solved by teams of good people – cops, medical examiners, forensic specialists, and then prosecutors and their staffs – all working together. I’ve been fortunate enough to earn praise from professionals in these fields who say,  “Finally, somebody got it right.” Some critics have said that Trask is “too perfect,” in that he is NOT the typical tortured hero. We all have some demons, but I don’t seek readers who have to look down on a character in order to feel better about themselves. I don’t write literary fiction, and don’t have to apologize for that. The series is about how real teams solve real cases, facing criminals or criminal organizations posing real threats. It also has a lot of dark humor in it, which is also real, in that the guys and gals who do this work for a living have to have that sense of humor to do their jobs without going nuts.

          I love the whole team idea to solving crimes. Not conforming to the typical hero complex is a great way to step outside the box. 





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          What are the chief characteristics of Jeff Trask?  

          Smart. Occasionally a smart-ass, in fact. He does not, however, talk down to anyone or use his brain for anything other than finding solutions. He loves classic rock, and always has a jukebox playing in his head, usually providing a theme-based tune to any situation in which he finds himself. For example, in one book, he encounters a crime scene with about a dozen victims – gang members – shot to hell by a rival criminal element. Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” starts playing in his mind. Trask works well with others as long as they are interested in being part of the solution and not the problem.

          The characteristics of the protagonist help readers fall in love with them. 





          Any planned releases for 2017?

          The next book in the series has already started to take shape in my head. It will find its way to a keyboard some time next year.

          Looking forward to it! it’ll give me some time to catch up in the series.





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          Favorite quotes:




          “Government’s never react well, but they over-react superbly.” Robert Lassiter, Trask’s fictional mentor.





          Connect with Marc Rainer

          Facebook | Goodreads | www.marcrainer.com | Amazon




          Thanks Marc!

          Begin 2017 with a challenge. Join the Book Hoarders Bucket List Reading Challenge.

           

          Join the Goodreads group: Book Hoarders Bucket List Challenge.

           

          A Challenge for Book Hoarders Like Me at SallyAllenBooks.com

           

          Don’t miss the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!! Check out Mystery Thriller Week on my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com

          Thanks for ridin’ the Train folks!  Come again!

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          Benjamin Thomas

          @thewritingtrain

          http://www.thewritingtrain.com

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          A new Political Thriller by J.C. Peters

           

          Everyone please welcome J.C. Peters!

           

           

           

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          The Dog and its Day

           

           

          There has been only one assassination on a Presidential Candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, in 1968. Has the time come for the next serious attempt? Legal Philosopher, historian and author J.C. Peters uses this scenario in his first political fiction novel, The Dog and its Day (Odyssea Publishing), available now on Amazon and major online retailers. As the United States comes to elect the next President in the coming months and with the first debate completed, Peters is compelled to depict the main characters in the book off current political and presidential candidates.

          In The Dog and Its Day, two conservative billionaires decide to hire the best assassin $10 million can buy to kill Republican presidential candidate Ronald Drump, realizing any other candidate would have a much better chance of winning against the notoriously unpopular Valery Clayton. The assassin, an American, is meticulous, methodical and he never fails. As a rule, he does not operate stateside, but the chance to retire in style, with a legendary campaign season swings into high gear, the killer chooses his time, place and method. The hour is fast approaching. One main can change the course of history. The question: who will it be?

          To learn more about the book and author J.C. Peters, visit www.JellePeters.comTwitter, or LinkedIn.

           

           

           

           

           

           

          *How did you go from writing historical nonfiction to fiction?

          After finishing my latest nonfiction history book, World 2.0: A History from Enlightenment to Terrorism and Beyond, which had taken me more than three years to write and research, I was actually planning to take a small break. But as I watched Donald Trump rise in the Republican primaries, I began thinking about how incredibly high the stakes would be if he actually became the Republican nominee, how the entire country could be swayed into one of two very different directions and how the course of history is often determined by just one person. Truth is, I had come upon many Donald Trumps while writing World 2.0. Of course, if one man can change the world, it also takes just one man to stop him. And that is how the story of The Dog and its Day was born.

          It’s amazing how one person can affect the world and turn it upon its hinges.

           

           

           

           

           

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          *Can you note the differences you experienced?

          Interestingly enough, the difference between fiction and nonfiction was far smaller than I had expected. In the last six months of working on my history book, I sometimes fantasized about finally being able to throw off the constraints of having to research and double-check every single fact. In fiction, I thought, I could do whatever I wanted, I would finally be the king of my own universe! But when I started writing The Dog and its Day—actually even before that, when I was still just thinking about the story—I realized that for me at least, the main difference would be to recalibrate reality a few degrees. When it comes to thrillers, I was never that interested in outlandish stories where the villains do unspeakable things. In The Dog and its Day, I wanted to explore how an assassination plot on Donald Trump would be conceived, planned and executed. That turned out to take quite a lot of research as well, but at least I didn’t have to name sources, write footnotes and create an index anymore.

          That’s awesome. I’m writing a my first fictional piece and hope to pen nonfiction one day. 

           

           

           

           

          FICTION REVEALS TRUTH THAT REALITY OBSCURES -RALPH WALDO EMERSON

           

           

           

           

          *Does your book explore a particular theme?

          One man can change history. Nothing is set in stone and history does repeat itself.

          This is very fascinating. I guess it all depends on who is changing history and how they’re doing it. 

           

           

           

           

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          *What can you tell us about these two billionaires and their relationship with one another?

          They are lifelong friends who together founded a coal-mining company 30 years ago and expanded it into a global empire in the decades that followed. They have had people standing in the way of their business interests eliminated before. When one of them suggests to have the Republican nominee assassinated, the other first recoils, but then he realizes the time for moral objections has long since passed.

          Sounds like a great premise! Two power hungry billionaires with their own agenda.

           

           

           

           

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          *Tell us three things about Ronald Drump. 

          He is the Republican nominee for president. A New York real estate developer without any political experience. He is brash, arrogant, notoriously unreliable and far behind in the polls when the two billionaires decide to have him eliminated.

          Well, may the odds ever be in his favor.

           

           

           

           

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          *Tell us three things about Valery Clayton.

          She is the Democratic nominee for president. Her husband, Richard Clayton, was President in the 1990s. She has vowed to close all coal mines in the United States if elected.

          I’m surprised they the billionaires wouldn’t have her assassinated instead. Especially if she’s trying to close the coal mines!

           

           

          *How meticulous is this legendary assassin? 

          He is the kind of man who, if he had an unforeseen chance to take out his mark with a 9mm handgun in a dark forest with nobody else around, would still do nothing more than mumble a greeting and walk on, if he had planned to take him out a day later with a .300 Winchester Magnum from 800 yards away.

          I’ve always thought assassins were cool for some reason. It must be the nature of the job and how they manage to get away with it, or not.

           

           

           

           

           

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          *If you were Ronald Drump and realized an attempt on your life what would you do?

          Probably the same as what the real Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has done. Hire extra private security—much to the dismay of the Secret Service.

          Yikes! Sounds like a high stress job. Whew.

           

           

           

           

           

           

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          *If you had opportunity to change the world as Drump, Clayton, the billionaires, or the assassin which person would you be?

          The billionaires and the assassin can only stop someone else from becoming President of the United States. I would prefer to be in power myself.

          Good answer! 

           

           

          *What is your favorite time period in history?

          I find that once you start digging and are transported back in time, each period has its own unique stories to tell and adventures to share. Fourteenth century France might seem less interesting than World War II at first glance, but once you start exploring the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and it all comes to life again, it quickly become another favorite period in history.

          It would be adventurous to be a time traveler and go back to observe how things unfolded personally. 

           

           

           

          If you think you have it tough, read history books. -Bill Maher

           

           

           

          *Will you write more political thrillers?

          I already have a new plot. One that strikes at the heart of the presidency and puts the President in an impossible situation. So yes.

          YES. More political thrillers! Keep us posted!

           

           

           

           

           

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          THANKS J.C. PETERS!!!

           

           

          THANKS FOR RIDIN THE TRAIN!!!

           

           

           

           

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          Benjamin Thomas

          @thewritingtrain

          http://www.thewritingtrain.com