Friday, September 6, 2013

Interview: Andrew Hess

Greetings humans, half-breeds, and everything in between. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview a wonderful author named, Andrew Hess. A good time was truly had by all and here’s how it went down.
provided by author

Hi there Andrew! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ECS Blog. Don’t worry about the darkness, your eyes will adjust.

So tell me, who is Andrew Hess?

I grew up in Lindenhurst, NY and spent most of my life there with the exception of five years in the New PaltzPoughkeepsie area.  I studied Psychology for two years at New Paltz which has helped me understand character dynamics in strangers, friends, family members, and now characters within my stories.  Since then, I have been very passionate about my writing in hopes that it inspires others to become writers.

I’ve never heard of New Paltz; sounds quaint. Thanks, I always enjoy learning something new and I’m excited to see what kind of character insight you might be sharing with us today.

So whacha got for me today?
provided by author

The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice is the start of a four part series.  It starts off with three friends that joke about getting rid of all the evil people in the world.  But like the old saying goes; be careful what you wish for.  In this case, the group gets a phone call from someone claiming to work for the US government; telling the group they have two options; be arrested for conspiracy and treason, or work covertly for a new branch of military within the government designed to eliminate high powered criminals.

What! :o That sounds crazy (in the best possible way). I’m in. Need more info.

So who’s starring is this 2 dimensional script read of The Phoenix Blade?

Andrew Lancaster is a college man in his early twenties.  He moved to Buffalo, NY to escape his father and nagging step-mother because of how easily they tried to replace his mother after her death; in which Andrew believed she was murdered.  He is determined to uncover the truth at all cost; which is difficult when each decision he makes impacts the lives of his best friend (Mike) and the woman he’s in love with (Lilly).

On top of everything else, you’ve thrown in some family drama. I love it. Sounds like you have a real page turner here. This is just the kind of book that does well in niche market and then expands.

Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?

I am usually sitting up in my bed when I’m typing away on the computer.  It’s where I feel the most comfortable and have everything I need surrounding me.  Most of the time, I write with the TV on to provide just some background noise.  On occasion, I will turn on some music and keep it on shuffle just so the music is spontaneous. 

I am working on a few other projects.  The first is writing a movie script for The Phoenix Blade.  Everyone tells me they can see it being a movie, so I wanted to try my hand at getting a producer to look at it.  I am also working on re-writing the second book in The Phoenix Blade series and putting together a detective series that takes place in the upstate New York area.

I type in bed too. It is very comfortable there. I don’t know about the background noise, but hey, if it works for you. Glad to know you’re pursuing a movie from this, I really think you have a shot.

What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?

I tend to surprise people with this answer.  The first author that influenced my writing was James Patterson because of his attention to detail and gripping stories.  He’s had tremendous success with the Alex Cross books.  The second author was Edgar Allen Poe.  Poe had a unique grasp on exciting his readers with heart pounding thrillers.  The way he worded his stories and poems were unique and made the reader feel like they were there instead of just reading along.  I figured why not try to combine the two styles of writing into one.

Not a bad idea. If your work really is a combination of Patterson and Poe, I expect to be seeing more from you in no time. I too appreciate the way Poe pulls you into his work.

Whose brain are you just itching to scratch?

I would have to say Edgar Allen Poe.  I would love to know how he came up with such gripping heart pounding stories and to know his true meaning behind each of them.

I can’t image being able to talk to Edgar Allen Poe. It would seem surreal, but there would definitely be something there to gain from a literary point of view and also as a human creature of observation.

Who is so you and why?

For just my looks, I’ve been compared to JackOsbourne and also Harry Potter.  The Harry Potter one I never understood.  I guess it’s because at the time I wore glasses every day.  The Jack Osborne one I see because of my style and the way my hair gets when I let it grow out too much.

People see what they want to see. In the comparative world in which we live, I think these comparisons are pretty good.

What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?

This is difficult for me, because I don’t get to read too often.  When I do read, I like to curl up in bed, again with the TV on as background noise, and dive right into the book.  I prefer reading paperback because it’s easier to hold and read.  I tried ebooks, but use them mostly when traveling.  The books that I get really excited about are mysteries and thrillers because I always want to figure out who did what and why before reaching the end.

I know what you mean about mysteries and thrillers. For some reason I have more trouble figuring out “who done it” in books than in movies. I like that though. If I read a mystery and figure it out too early, I want my money back…my expectations aren’t so high with movies.

What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?

I would have to say Indian inthe Cupboard.  It was something different and unique.  It was a story about a kid who put his toys in this apparently magical cupboard and brought them to life.  I think every kid that read it wished they had a magical cupboard at that time.

Ditto! I think I did everything imaginable, even praying, hoping my toys would come to life. So instead, I decided to stay a kid and have kept my toys around to play with whenever...Now this is where the questions get a little kooky; are you ready?


Great response; alright then, here we go.

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

BoondockSaints.  It’s by far my favorite movie that I started watching after I wrote the first draft of The Phoenix Blade.  It had comedy, action, a plot that anyone could follow and of course more action. 

This movie has been in my Netflix queue for ages. I guess I should just sit down and watch it already. I’ve heard great things about it.

What makes you geek out?

I would have to say pro wrestling.  It’s something I watched since I was three.  I loved the plots; especially in the late 90s and early 2000s.  I can feel the intensity between the wrestlers and know the physical strain they put their bodies through on a nightly basis just to produce this amazing physicalized drama for TV and pay-per view.

Good one and not one I hear often. I know a few people who are really into pro wrestling, like my sister, Crystal, but I guess I out grew it. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect it. Like you said, a lot of work goes into and the “actors” are, without a doubt, series athletes. I would see some live, but can’t watch it on TV, but then I feel the same way about baseball.

So what’s testing your patience right now?

I think the show I’m most excited to see is the return of the show 24.  I heard a few months ago they were bringing it back for a limited time and it was one of the most suspenseful shows I’ve seen.  I don’t know how the actual season will play out because of the limited season and it’s usually based in real time.  I think that just increases the anticipation for its return.

I forgot about this. Yeah, I know a few people are really looking forward to the return of 24. It should be good.

When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

I can get behind most music, but especially love punk, rock, and anything with a catchy beat.  (Fall OutBoy, Bon Jovi, Paramore).  Unfortunately, the only types of music I’m not a fan of is country, hardcore metal, techno music when there aren’t any words to the song.

I think I’m going to cry right now. I’m so happy you’re a music fan. I don’t even care if you like music I don’t, I just love music fans…

Now that I have my composure, I like catchy beats too and can totally agree with the lyric-free techno issue.

What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?

I know it’s going to sound weird, but it was my third date with my fiancĂ©.  We went into New York City together to see the Dead SeaScrolls at Discovery Times.  We’re both very religious and thought it would be fun to do.  Then we went to the wax museum and acted like little kids; taking funny pictures with the wax figures.

That actually seems pretty cool to me and acting like a kid anywhere, especial a wax museum, is always approved. One of my best dates was to Toys’R’Us just to goof off and buy candy.

Not that you can see into the future, but in your opinion, what does the future hold?

In five years, I expect to be married with a couple of kids; still writing books and movie scripts.  My business will grow to where I can help more writers fine tune their craft and help them on their way to becoming successful writers.

Sounds like you’re a bit of an optimist and why shouldn’t you be. You obviously are not playing around here. You have goals and you are executing them. I think it’s great and wish you all the best.

Is there a question you would like to ask me?

Q: What is your inspiration for interviewing writers?

A: I started interviewing writers for three reasons. 1. I thought it would be good writing, blogging, and people skills practice. 2. I thought it would be a good way to social network and not be bored or feel like I was just going through the motions. 3. It seemed like a good way to find out what other writers were doing, again an opportunity to learn.

Now, however, I interview writers because I want to help them. Not a lot of people went out of their way to help me in the beginning and want to do what I can so no one else feels the way I felt then.

Well, Andrew, thanks for stopping by to share today. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Ok humans, half-breeds, and everything in between, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. For more from Andrew Hess, check out these great links:

Website: Andrew Hess
Twitter: @Iamphoenix1
Purchase links for The Phoenix Blade: Amazon

*Special offer* The Phoenix Blade will be available free on Kindle from Sept. 6 - Sept. 9, '2013. Get your copy and spread the word.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Click below to share your Reactions and more. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #cursescanbebroken