Our guest today is Richard Hacker, author of the thriller, Chain Reaction, the third installment in the Nick Sibelius crime series. Champagne Books released DIRTY WATER, the next novel in the Nick Sibelius series after TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, in June, 2013. His first novel, TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, released August, 2012 by Champagne Books was a 2011 Writer’s League of Texas (WLT) finalist, where in addition, SHAPER EMERGENCE won best novel in the Science Fiction category. He is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.
After living many years in Austin, Texas where he worked as a leadership coach, public speaker and management trainer, he moved with his high school sweetheart to Seattle. While he misses the big skies of Texas, Richard has grown fond of the Pacific Northwest. His writing partner, a springer spaniel named Jazz, helps with proofreading and ball fetching.
Thank you for this interview, Richard. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
First, thanks for the interview. Like many authors, I’ve been writing most of life. I believe my first foray into publishing consisted of reading my short stories during “Show and Tell” in the third grade. I moved from Austin, Texas to Seattle, Washington in 2009 with a goal to focus on my writing. So while I’ve been writing for years, I’d say I really stepped up my game five years ago.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
CHAIN REACTION is the third book in a series featuring a private investigator, Nick Sibelius. When Nick and his partner in love and business, Theresa, take a client caught in a grudge between competitive bass fisherman, they soon discover he has unknowingly entangled himself in a plot by healthcare magnate, Bruce Reynolds, to take over Texas and secede from the Union. Hoping to pass the case to the Texas Rangers, Nick is instead recruited to head the Governor’s special task force. He learns Governor Fran Adamson’s major campaign contributor and secret lover, Reynolds, has a plan to resurrect the Republic of Texas. Faced with Reynolds’ hit woman killing enemies of the Republic and a remotely controlled drone air force destroying strategic targets across the state, Nick and Theresa make a desperate attempt to prevent civil war, the destruction of the Governor’s political career, and Dillon’s murder, while keeping their love intact. In his scheme for glory, Bruce Reynolds didn’t plan on Nick Sibelius, who wants the wannabe secessionist to know, when he says don’t screw with Texas, he damned well means it.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I had been working on a sci fi fantasy which won the Texas Writer’s League literary contest and I decided I needed a change of pace. I love crime thrillers and especially the writing of Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty) and Carl Hiaasen (Skin Tight), who bring humor to the story.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
Finding a fresh plot for Nick’s world which evolves out of the Texas I know. These stories often take actual events which have happened in Texas and take them a step further. In the case of CHAIN REACTION, Nick is confronted with a hard core secessionist. In a state where the actual governor, Gov. Rick Perry, called for Texas to secede from the Union, a reader doesn’t have to stretch very far for my story to be believable.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
My publisher is Champagne Books, a small press out of Canada.
Was it the right choice for you?
The world for authors and for readers as gotten very challenging these days. I think for the Sibelius books, Champagne has been a good choice. I’ve learned a great deal about the industry and I’ve getting my books into all the major digital vendors.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I have a website, a blog, a GoodReads author page, a Facebook Fan Page, I guest blog on the Writer’s Vineyard, and doing a virtual book tour.
How is that going for you?
It’s very difficult to tell. The delay between a marketing action I take and the sales data make it hard to know when I’m doing something that works. I’ve found I do get a bump in interest and sales after doing a book tour.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
I’ve done in-person release parties which are great for encouraging potential readers to purchase the book.
Do you have another job besides writing?
I used to have a consulting business doing performance coaching for managers and executives. Beginning in 2009, with my wife’s encouragement, I write full time.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Persistence. Book tours and release parties are good, but long term I think persistence is the key.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing a sci fi fantasy which has been a labor of love for three years now. The work is getting close to being ready to shop around. Should be fun!
Thank you for this interview, Richard. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
Thanks again for having me here. I love talking with potential readers, so do come by the blog and drop a comment.
Web & Blog: www.richardhacker.com
CHAIN REACTION, as well as the other Nick Sibelius novels are available at your favorite digital booksellers. You can pick up your copy at Amazon.