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Interview with Jeremy Burns

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a creative, story-oriented guy.  Though the mediums have changed throughout the years, my dream career always revolved around creating vivid characters and gripping plots – the kinds of stories I loved to experience.  But it wasn’t until six years ago, while pursuing my history degree in college, I decided that I wanted to realize my creative visions through writing.

What genre do you write and why?
The current series I’m working on (of which FROM THE ASHES is the first book) is in the historical conspiracy thriller subgenre (think Indiana Jones, Da Vinci Code, National Treasure, Steve Berry, James Rollins, etc.).  I’ve always loved history and its myriad convolutions, the sense of a particular moment in time when life was so different, yet so similar.  In particular, the lost treasures, buried secrets, and shadowy conspiracies that lurk behind the mainstream view of history have always fascinated me from a creative standpoint.  There’s so much fodder in the real world for trying to solve age-old historical mysteries and having my characters explore some of the most amazing locations on the planet.  I have the next four books already planned out, and another twenty-plus ideas ready to be plumbed thereafter.

Tell us about your latest book.
FROM THE ASHES is a historical conspiracy thriller that has been described as THE BOURNE IDENTITY meets NATIONAL TREASURE, a genre comparison that I don’t think is too far off the mark.  A far-reaching conspiracy dating back to the Great Depression threatens to rear its terrifying head in modern-day America as a brilliant history student named Jonathan Rickner investigates the sudden death of his older brother.  While digging into his brother’s dissertation research, Jon discovers the threads of this decades-old conspiracy, threads that lead back to the Hoover Adminstration, the Rockefellers, and the rise of Nazi Germany.  Featuring a covert government agency of assassins that has kept the shocking truth of this conspiracy hidden since the last days of World War II, the secret history of a McCarthy-era rogue agent found hanging off the Brooklyn Bridge at the height of the Cold War, and a labyrinthine treasure hunt hidden in the monuments and museums of Manhattan by John D. Rockefeller himself nearly a century ago, FROM THE ASHES is “a thrilling race against time to expose a diabolical conspiracy that would shatter everything we think we know about the 20thcentury” (Boyd Morrison, bestselling author of THE ARK and THE VAULT).

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
I’m actually in the middle of a promotion on Amazon where the Kindle version is on sale for $2.99 for a limited time.  I’ve had a couple of book signings, and I’ll be speaking in New York this July at International Thriller Writers’ annual ThrillerFest conference as a featured Debut Author.  FROM THE ASHES was chosen as Barnes and Noble’s Free Friday pick on Nook immediately following the book’s release in January, and it moved an estimated sixty-thousand-plus copies in the first week.  I’m doing a virtual book tour right now, making stops at various book review websites (like this one) to get the word out about my book.  I also do a lot of networking through my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/jeremyburnsbooks) and my website (www.authorjeremyburns.com), and I’m currently working on a behind-the-scenes section of my website that will use photographs that I took on my travels while researching the book to share some of the many real-world sites that my characters explore in their quest for the truth, including some hidden of Manhattan’s little known architectural treasures.

What formats is the book available in?
FROM THE ASHES is available in trade paperback and in all major eBook formats (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and eReader).

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love traveling and exploring – I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel to more than twenty countries across four continents over the past few years, as well as living overseas in the decidedly unique international environment of Dubai.  Learning about history, science, politics, or pretty much any other subject that piques my curiosity is also a passion of mine.  Reading, playing XBOX, and the occasional game of disc golf are also favorite pastimes.

Who are your favourite authors?
Umberto Eco, Stieg Larsson, J.K. Rowling, Mark Twain, Harlan Coben, David Baldacci, Jeremy Robinson, George Orwell... and many, many more.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Read widely.  Learn from the greats, but find your own voice.  Network with other authors, both aspiring and published.  Write what you love.  And above all else, never stop improving your craft.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
“The essence of story is conflict.” – Donald Maass

Jeremy Burns
What's the best thing about being a writer?
It’s always new.  New characters, new stories, new settings, new subjects to research and integrate into your next novel.  I’m the kind of guy who has to always be learning and growing.  Getting stuck in a rut doesn’t appeal to me at all, so writing is a perfect career.  Besides, in how many other professions can you learn about the subjects that fascinate you most, travel to the most exotic and mysterious places on earth, and then turn around to incorporate that into a creative, stimulating project of your own design?

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
My main websites are www.authorjeremyburns.com and www.facebook.com/jeremyburnsbooks, but I also can be found on Twitter (www.twitter.com/AuthorJBurns), on my publisher’s website (www.fictionstudiobooks.com), and on my Author Central page on Amazon (www.amazon.com/author/jeremyburns).  My authorjeremyburns.com site and my Facebook and Twitter pages are the best places for fans to find out more information exciting developments about FROM THE ASHES and news on upcoming novels, as well as behind-the-scenes info on my adventures and their incorporation into my books.

Anything else you'd like to add?
If you’ve read and enjoyed FROM THE ASHES, please join my mailing list via my website or “like” me on Facebook.  I always love hearing from my fans, and those are also the main avenues I will be using to post news on impressive milestones and upcoming projects, including the next exciting adventure in the Jonathan Rickner series, OF FAITH AND TREASON, which I hope to have in bookstores by late 2012.




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