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Monday, October 3, 2016

Interview with Brian Boland Author of Caribbean's Keeper


A Novel of Vendetta by Brian Boland


This debut thriller by a US Coast Guard aviator will take you onto a cutter fighting drug runners at sea—and into the terrifying world of modern-day pirates.

Lt. Junior Grade Cole Williams has always been at home on the sea, racing sailboats and crewing yachts during his time as a cadet at the United States Coast Guard Academy. But when he reports aboard a cutter patrolling the Caribbean, he can’t seem to please the command, and his attempts to do the right thing always seem to land him in hot water.

At the end of a cruise on which he serves admirably during open-ocean rescues and in hot pursuit of drug runners, Cole is unceremoniously kicked out of the Coast Guard for what the command deems reckless behavior and a bad attitude. Dejected and disillusioned, he decides to go rogue—and make a few unsanctioned runs for the smugglers he’s already spent so much time chasing.

Navigating devious and dangerous twists and turns, Cole shifts from modern-day pirate to criminal fugitive. Ultimately, he’ll be forced to choose between staying on the wrong side of the law or taking a deadly risk for the Joint Task Force charged with stemming the flow of illegal narcotics.

While seldom in the headlines, the southern border of the United States has been a battleground for years, and the men and women of the US Coast Guard have fought tirelessly to keep lethal substances off the nation’s streets. In his debut novel, author Brian Boland shares a story born from more than a decade of experience fighting the war on drugs.

About Author
Brian Boland is a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy and holds a master of arts in military history from Norwich University. After an initial assignment at sea, he completed naval flight training and was designated a US Coast Guard aviator. With more than a decade of operational experience, Boland has deployed extensively throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and the eastern Pacific, supporting search and rescue, migrant interdiction, and counternarcotics missions.

Interview
Welcome to my blog Brian.  Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself and your latest book.  We appreciate your work and views, particularly in these times of uncertainty.
Q:
Tell us about your latest worktitle, genre, etc. — and why you wrote it?
A:
It fits squarely into the realm of military fiction/thriller. I wrote it based very loosely on the experiences I’ve had over the past decade as a pilot in the Coast Guard. 
Q:
What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A:
I’ve spent so much time in the Caribbean that I felt like there was a story to tell. Rather than from my perspective on the right side of the law, I thought it would be more interesting to write from the perspective of the criminal side. 
Q:
What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A:
I wrote a few paragraphs years ago just for fun and to take a break from graduate school. After I re-read it a few times, I committed to making a novel from it. The writing itself took a little over three years. Whenever I was on the road, I had my laptop with me and whenever I had some down time and the right frame of mind, I’d sit down and write. Hotel rooms, beaches, the back of my plane, and a few bars scattered around the Caribbean were the most common places I’d be able to write. The plot wasn't finalized when I started, I let the story go wherever I felt over the course of 3 years. Oftentimes, it was influenced by a place I was when I wrote a particular chapter. 
Q:
What kind of research was involved?
A:
Every location is somewhere I’ve been, and not just for an afternoon or overnight. I’ve worked in all these places for extended periods of time and felt comfortable writing with some authenticity about them. The characters are all fictitious, but as with any novel, they’re all based on experiences. 
Q:
How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A:
Cole is very loosely based on my first few years in the Coast Guard. While I’ve made  a career out of the Coast Guard, I had a lot of fun creating his character. He’s a deeply flawed kind of guy, but every now and then he tries to get something right. 
Q:
How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A:
I write when I’m on the road - I can’t really get into the right frame of mind when I’m at home. Writing is a deeply personal thing and even the most minor distraction kind of kills it for me, so I take advantage of every opportunity when I’m traveling. 
Q:
Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A:
I read a ton of Michener as a kid. I like Tom Clancy, but I always found it hard to believe that a guy like Jack Ryan could be that good and honest of a guy. I guess I’ve just seen the darker side of people, myself included, and wanted to make Cole a bit more like a regular guy. I’ve had the privilege of working with some incredible people over the years, but few, if any of them, have been boy scouts. 
Q:
Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
A:
not really. 
Q:
What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A:
I’m starting to put together a rough framework for a follow-on to Caribbean’s Keeper. 
Q:
Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A:
Don’t close any doors. 
Q:
What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors? Don’t quit. If you believe in your work, don’t quit. Don’t accept defeat. I read a blog a few years back that if you wrote a book and were struggling to get it picked up by a publisher or agent, maybe the best thing to do is move on and write something different. For me, I couldn’t move on. Caribbean’s Keeper was what I wanted to publish. It’s the book I wanted to write, not for the sake of being published, but entirely for the sake of telling a story that is very personal to me. If it took me 20 years to get it published, I was ready and willing to do it. 

 Again, thanks Brian for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.


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