JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Russell Brooks, author of Pandora’s Succession
Where would you hide if you learned the CDC and a major pharmaceutical company unleashed a hyperdeadly microbe on the human race?
CIA operative, Ridley Fox, never stopped hunting his fiancée’s killers—a weapons consortium called The Arms of Ares. When an informant leads him to an old bunker outside of Groznyy, Chechnya, Fox is captured, beaten, and left for dead.
When the informant rescues him, Fox learns that his capture was no coincidence: someone had set him up—possibly another government agent. Fox barely escapes after learning that Ares has acquired a hyperdeadly microbe—called Pandora—that is believed to have wiped out ancient civilizations.
The trail leads Fox to Tokyo where he discovers that people within the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Japanese Intelligence want Pandora for themselves. The only person Fox can trust is a woman from his past who he nearly got killed.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Pandora’s Succession?
Russell Brooks: I was inspired by the sarin gas subway attacks that occurred in Tokyo, Japan, in the mid 1990s by a doomsday cult. I found it interesting that the cult members were mostly educated students and professionals. I couldn’t imagine how serious a situation it must be to have such a charismatic leader brainwash them the way he did.
There was also the Anthrax scare that occurred around the same time by Bruce Ivins, who worked at Fort Detrick, MD. If there’s anything worse than a charismatic cult leader, it would be people who work in the government who have access to dangerous micro-organisms and viruses who will use them against us.
Just from reading about those two stories I came up with a scenario for a thriller novel.
JP: What sets Pandora’s Succession apart from other books in the same genre?
RB: I used my background knowledge in biology to include that into the subject matter. This was the angle I wanted to attack this novel with and others in the series I would like to develop.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Pandora’s Succession getting out to the public?
RB: It’s all about getting to know people who can connect me to my author’s platform. I spent several months contacting book bloggers who would review my genre and post it on their blogs, but also on other social networking sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing.
There’s also posting reviews on the sites that I’m selling it at such as Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and Smashwords, in addition to spreading the word on Facebook and twitter. There are also Kindle social websites such as Kindle Nation Daily that are excellent in promoting authors through their sponsorship program.
It’s an ongoing process that also includes me getting out there on twitter and Facebook and making friends with the fans of other authors who write in the same genre as I do. I’ve taken it a step further and have my own blog. I also have my own YouTube show (The Russell Show) where I recite poetry and sometimes promote other authors by reciting excerpts from their novels.
I’ve been fortunate to get permission from Bestselling authors such as Barry Eisler, J.A. Konrath, and Cheryl K. Tardif. I’m always reading other blogs on marketing and taking part in online discussion. I always leave a link to my Amazon page or website in my signature.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Pandora’s Succession?
RB: Pandora’s Succession took me close to 22 years to write. I started when I was in high school and spent years learning from my mistakes.
I have another project that I finished several months ago, but not ready to publish yet because it has to be edited. I’ve learned so much about writing when I wrote Pandora’s Succession that my second novel only took me 2 1/2 months.
JP: What’s next for Russell Brooks?
RB: I have a short story trilogy that will be available this spring as an eBook. Soon after, I hope to release the paperback edition of Pandora’s Succession.
Goodreads (Russell Brooks)
Shelfari (Russell Brooks)
LibraryThing (Russell Brooks)
MySpace (Russell Parkway)
My website www.russellparkway.com has a mailing list sign-up form. It’s the best way for anyone to keep up-to-date on future releases, guest appearances, etc.
I also have a Facebook group called Russell Brooks Fans.