Broken Pieces

Author Interview – Henry Mosquera

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? So many things, but I’ll give you a few highlights: It taught me about how the publishing world works and what becoming a traditionally published author really means. I really had no clue about the publishing world until I ventured into it. It also helped me discover the Indie Writer’s Movement. A very important lesson I learned is that just because something is real or even plausible, it doesn’t mean that your readers will believe it. Just because I did my homework, doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else did as well. Or maybe it’s just a case of author’s distrust because I’m an indie writer, I don’t know.

Do you intend to make writing a career? I intend making “creating” a career. It’s what I always wanted to do and what I’m good at. If that wish materializes in the form of writing, so be it. To paraphrase William Randolph Hearst, “You furnish the medium and I’ll furnish the story.”

Have you developed a specific writing style? That’s a really good question and a hard one to answer. I’d like to think so, but I honestly have no clue. I know there are elements and themes that are common in my writing, but as far as having my own voice? Time will tell, I guess. It’s definitely something for which I strive.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? Discipline. You know that true and tried advice about sitting everyday in your computer for at least an hour, whether you write something or not? Well, I’m the opposite. I need to force myself to stay away from the keyboard. That’s when my wife and dog come into play.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? No. The problems I face are usually with options. Let’s say my protagonist reaches a junction in the story and I have to decide which path is he/she going to take. I end up with a whole bunch of options that lead the story in different ways. So my problem is which path would be more interesting. I guess I’ve never experienced writer’s block because I always write, even if I don’t know what to write about. Experience has shown me that you can’t work with nothing, whereas you can do something with a bad chapter. Even if you end up trashing the whole thing, a solution will present itself if you just keep on writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s something absurd or even good. As you write, it gives you perspective and you’ll ask yourself questions. The answers you get will guide you to where you need to be. You have to dare to fail in order to succeed.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Sure. I’m working on a general fiction novel that’s basically a study in what it is to be creative and creating for a living, viewed through the eyes of a struggling artist in the modern world. I always wanted to write an offbeat book filled with odd characters, so it has been pretty fun to write.

How did you come up with the title? “Sleeper’s Run” was one of the many names I wrote down on a notebook when I was looking for a title. I wanted something that was short and conveyed action. As soon as I wrote it down, I knew I had found my title. It just fit perfectly.

Can you tell us about your main character? Eric Caine was born in Caracas, Venezuela from an American father and a Venezuelan mother. He’s incredibly smart and receives an enviable education. Eric grows up in Caracas until he goes to college in the US and goes on to have a successful career in the information technology field. Then 9/11 happens and he decides to join the Air Force, becoming a para-rescue jumper in a special tactics squadron. A decade later, he returns to the civilian world suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and struggling to put his life back together. He’s funny, sarcastic, cynical, insightful, and a big nerd at heart.

How did you develop your plot and characters? The plot developed as an amalgam between three disparate ideas I had for different projects. One was for a graphic novel dealing with American intervention policies in Latin America for which I had done a great amount of research. The other was a scriptwriting exercise I did back in college were we had to write a whole scene without dialog, just pure action. I did this thing about a man escaping an assassin on a train, using only his wits and the things around him. I really loved that concept and I wanted to use it for something else at some point. Last, but not least, I had an idea for a novel about a guy who unwittingly finds himself back in the country of his birth. After so many years living abroad, the character is a stranger in his own land and has to find out what is he doing there. When I got serious about writing a thriller, these three stories converged in my head at one point as a single plot and I got to work.

Eric Caine developed as one part me, one part my ideal tough guy protagonist and one part a child of his generation. He’s a post-Cold War, post-9/11, information technology Gen-Xer. Unlike most thriller protagonists, Eric had a fully developed life before serving in the military. It’s an important experience in his life, but not the only defining factor of his being. He’s just a regular guy who made certain decisions that shaped his life a certain way, but readers can still strongly identify with him. The rest of the characters grew as archetypes representing different aspects of the book’s main theme, the roles that corporations, governments, agencies, etc. play in the geopolitical game. They also represent extensions of Eric himself, kind of parallel universes if he had made different choices in his life.

  • Winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards for best mystery/thriller
  • Winner of the 2011 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards for Best South American Novel
  • 2012 ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award finalist
  • Honorable mention at the Paris Book Festival
  • Honorable mention at the San Francisco Book Festival
  • Honorable Mention at the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival
  • Nominee in the Reader’s Favorite International Book Award in the Thriller category

War on Terror veteran, Eric Caine, is found wandering the streets of Miami with no memory of the car accident that left him there. Alone and suffering from PTSD, Eric is on a one-way road to self-destruction. Then a chance meeting at a bar begins a series of events that helps Eric start anew. When his new job relocates him to Venezuela-the land of his childhood-things, however, take an ominous turn as a catastrophic event threatens the stability of the country. Now Eric must escape an elite team of CIA assassins as he tries to uncover an international conspiracy in which nothing is what it seems.

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Genre – Political Thriller

Rating – R

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