Today M.T. Bass is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Article 15, the first novel in his new mystery series.
Welcome, M.T. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
MTB: Article 15 did not start out being a series. I had an uber rich, sexy femme fatale going up against an ex-Navy SEAL, Griff. Once I was on the downhill side of the plot line, though, it struck me that the whole situation with Griff working as a “fixer” for his lawyer buddy, Lance, could have some legs with another story. I actually do have an idea for his next…adventure. And I’ve got a title, too: Outside the Wire. It just kind of works out that way sometimes.
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
MTB: I’m really in debt to Kathleen Turner’s role as Matty Walker in Body Heat. She was pretty darn scary in a lust inducing way. Strong female characters like that are alluring to me as a writer and I knew at some point that I would have to go down that dark path myself. I just wanted a more worthy challenge for Helena than Ned Racine, and I think Griff matches up pretty well with her.
Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?
MTB: I’m not a big social media guy. It’s kind of a necessity. But as a writer, the whole idea of censorship of any kind really, really bugs me and Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, all out there deciding what people should and should not post and see over the past few years, just rubbed me the wrong way. Then, when you look into it, there is some nefarious history behind the scenes between government and Big Tech. After all, Al Gore invented the Internet, right? Any way it all made for a good dramatic backdrop for Helena and Griff.
How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
MTB: I don’t feel like I “create” my characters. They kind of all appear complete and I just fill in some of the details about them as I go along. A lot of times my favorites are the ones that are not really center stage, like T-Rex or Hannah or Ben. They serve their particular roles in the stories, but I look at them and think, “Hmmm, there’s really more there than meets the eye.” But the story has to move along.
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
MTB: I’m not a really big detail guy. And with TV, most scenes—like courtrooms, business offices, police stations, malls, and restaurants—are pretty familiar to readers. So, I try to find those few details critical to the characters and the action that I can spotlight, like Johnny’s (Griff’s lawyer) wall of celebrity 8x10s in his office.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
MTB: Everything. Books, magazine articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, Google Earth, and, of course, the Interweb. Back in the antiquities, I spent a lot of time in the library. Now, it’s all right there, just a screen shot away. For every minute I scribble, I’ll bet I spend five or ten minutes doing research.
Thanks for answering my questions, M.T., and good luck with Article 15, the first book in your new mystery series.
Let’s share with readers an excerpt from the novel: “The low, almost husky yet honey smooth female voice poured seductively over Griff and blanked his mind as he turned into the pilot’s lounge. Though dimly lit, as they all were to facilitate napping, her red dress glowed like a hearth, yet she still wore her sunglasses as she studied her iPhone’s screen, slouching and sitting askew in one of the La-Z-Boy recliners with her legs crossed. Griff’s eye was drawn to the slow but rhythmic bounce of her stiletto heel. Predator had become prey. She took off her Jackie Ohhs, looked Griff up and down, then took a deep breath.
“Mmmm…tall, dark and dangerous…just the way I like them.”
Griff locked onto her blue-gray eyes and surrendered. He leaned against the door jam. His inside voice taunted, No plan survives contact with the enemy.
“I couldn’t help but notice Lance’s Escalade on the ramp. He is a conniving bastard, isn’t he? Of course, he is a lawyer, but he does excel at it. Not to mention the unseemly delight he takes in it.”
“Always has,” Griff said. “As long as I’ve known him.”
“Then, you really shouldn’t be surprised.”
Griff smiled, realizing it wasn’t Mayor Daley’s fault that he was still on the ground in Chicago. “Name’s Griff.”
“Yes. I know.”
He waited, his face an implacable facade, one molded and hammered into place on the Coronado Beach while enduring BUD/S training. “You got a name? Or will you answer to minx or vixen?”
“Hmmm…you like the ‘X’ words. I prefer Helena.”
“So…how long will we be playing Three Card Monte with modern art…Helena?”
M.T. Bass will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on this link to enter the draw: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3165
You can find a list of the rest of M.T.Bass’s tour stops here:
Why not drop by some of the stops? You’ll have a chance to enter the draw again at each stop.
About M.T. Bass: M.T. is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA. Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.