Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Interview: J.B. Turner (author of HARD ROAD)

The Author, J. B. TurnerJ.B Turner has been a journalist whose articles have appeared in UK newspapers including The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, The Daily Express and The Herald.

He worked as a freelance journalist for several years before he began work on his first novel.

J.B. Turner is married and has two young children. (author bio taken from Exhibit A)

HARD ROAD (reviewed on this blog, link below) introduces Jon Reznick, a man who has survived and taken lives in the shadowy corners of Government sanctioned assassination. Now his personal and professional life collide in a breath-taking fast action thriller that's sure to entice readers from all genres.

J.B. was kind enough to answer some questions following my review of HARD ROAD.

(Josh) Biochemical warfare, the notion of 'dirty bombs' etc. is a scary prospect given the day and age we live in, what sort of research did you undertake on this topic?

During my research for Hard Road, I came across details about American medical experiment conducted on civilians who hadn’t consented to participate. One of these was an experiment carried out in New York City’s subway system. Scientists tested biological pathogens, including Bacillus globigii, thought to be harmless. A light bulb containing this pathogen was dropped on the subway. And the result was significant enough to affect people prone to illness. Accordingly, based on the circulation measurements, thousands would have been killed if a dangerous microbe was released in the same way. I was horrified by this and incorporated this into my plot, with the bad guys attempting to do the same thing.

Reznick is introduced as this skilled and highly efficient killer for hire who evolves as the story progresses into a loving father and advocate for justice. During the writing process, did Reznick grow with the story or had you mapped out his character prior to writing HARD ROAD?

No doubt about it, Reznick evolved as the story progressed, according to what he faced. I had mapped out the story to a degree, but the character of Reznick grew more complex as Hard Road developed.

I thought the assassin-for-hire aspect to HARD ROAD was beautifully written and one of the real highlights of the story. Do you see yourself exploring the topic in future books (irrespective of Reznick)?

The follow-up, Hard Kill, which is out in July 2014, will feature both Reznick and FBI Assistant Director Meyerstein combining again. So he won’t be an assassin for hire, but more like a special forces operative acting on a consultancy basis – if you like – for the FBI as they investigate the disappearance of an American diplomat. But his assassin skills will be put to the test – count on that.

Were you tempted to explore the relationship between Reznick and Meyerstein further? There were a number of scenes where the tension was palpable (albeit from whichever POV was in focus at the time); the sense that something was about to happen was undeniable yet without fruition.

I think the reason the relationship and frisson of tension between them works, is that they do not touch. The reader perhaps wants them to become more intimate. But in my opinion, that would have taken away the electricity that exists between them in the story. In Hard Kill? Who knows?

HARD ROAD is very much an edge of your seat thriller. Who are some of your favorite authors in this genre? And which (if any) have influenced you?

My favorite authors are more in the general crime genre, rather than specifically thriller. Richard Stark who wrote The Hunter, which was made into a great film with Lee Marvin, and eventually Payback with Mel Gibson, is an author who I very much admire. James Ellroy’s The Cold Six Thousand is one of the best crime blockbusters ever. A work of genius in its scope, magnitude and ambition. James Lee Burke too. Purple Cane Road is dripping with atmosphere, something I try to pay attention to in Hard Road. John Grisham too, especially The Runaway Jury and The Firm.

What's next for Jon Reznick?

He is called into action in Hard Kill which is out on 24 June 2014 in America and in eBook format. It’s released 3 July 2014 in UK. Here’s a heads-up what it involves:

An American diplomat goes missing and ex-Special Forces operative Jon Reznick joins a top secret team, led by FBI Assistant Director Martha Meyerstein, to help track him down.
 
The team believes that there may be a terrorist group – perhaps Islamists – who have kidnapped him, as the diplomat’s area of expertise is the Persian Gulf. But Reznick is training his sights on an unlikely candidate – a leading Washington DC surgeon.
 
But as the team itself comes under attack, and the 9/11 commemoration approaches, it becomes clear that the kidnapping is part of a much bigger plot, one that threatens not only New York, but the whole country too.

 Links:

- Author Website - J.B. Turner

- Publisher Website - Exhibit A

- My Review of HARD ROAD

- HARD KILL (Jon Reznick #2) book info

Follow J.B. Turner on Twitter: @JBTurnerAuthor

Follow me on Twitter: @OzNoir

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