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Interview with F. Stone

Interview with F. Stone


What genre do you write and why?

My first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, started out as a mysticism crime suspense/thriller. Then Bart, my irrepressible muse, added romance. I resisted. As the Borg say, resistance was futile. I mean really, how does a hardnosed, by the book naval captain get romantically involved with a rebellious woman who is scheduled for execution on his ship? Bart insisted. Turned out that little plot twist saved the captain’s life. When I began to write Forbidden, I should have figured Bart would again sneak in romance to my international suspense/thriller. But who would guess that a Middle Eastern Muslim cop would get soft over a woman who is more dangerous to him and his boss than the CIA looking for revenge.

The reason for the suspense/thriller genre? I’m an adrenalin junkie. During my thirty year career as a paramedic in a major city, I was confronted with things most people would rather not think about. It’s no wonder I write about people in crisis. Working along with fire and police personnel I learned about their roles, their procedures and how they handle the worst of the worst.

When I add romance, the deeper relationship that transcends flirting and sex, the emotional turmoil add more than just another dimension to the characters. It complicates the plot and the characters. I love complicated.
Tell us about your latest book.
Interview with F. Stone
http://amzn.to/2s8yGme
Forbidden began under protest. Yes, I resisted the urge to write a story with a Middle Eastern setting and characters who are Muslim – some fanatical, some moderate, some more interested in their wealth than Allah’s wrath. Not having any knowledge or experience on the subjects, I knew it would be nearly impossible to do justice to the story. And yet, I was tempted. My research continued for two years. Impossible things happened that I cannot explain. Everything I needed flowed into my life almost effortlessly. I met the right people, the perfect research material nearly fell off the book store shelves into my arms, and more. My passion for the story became an addiction. I could think of nothing else.
Forbidden’s book trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ozOmnl8wZc
Forbidden’s synopsis:  Better Wear Your Flak Jacket
Gunfire echoes within the walls of a Middle East police compound. Screams of terror are brutally silenced. Police captain Hashim Sharif captures one survivor. Soon Eliza MacKay will wish she had died with her companions.

The vile act of terrorism is covered-up. Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city's bloody secret - and the witness, MacKay. His corrupt superiors have a gun rammed against his skull. Disloyalty to the mayor will be rewarded with being buried alive.

Whatever the cost, his government’s honor must be restored. Secretly, Sharif hunts forensic evidence. Who is responsible for the murder of fifteen American volunteers? And, why did MacKay lie about her identity? He can’t trust her. Her mental illness is going to get both of them killed.

When he receives orders to dispose of MacKay, his Muslim faith is tested. Murder an innocent in cold blood? He will suffer Allah's eternal wrath.

CIA Agent Hutchinson has the lying Sharif in his cross hairs. Sharif dodges the agent’s traps almost as easily as the hitman on his tail. When Sharif discovers the shocking truth, he loses all hope of survival.
What is worth dying for? Perhaps it’s not bringing a madman to justice. Could it be saving the life of a woman who kick-started his numb heart? On the knife edge of risk, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
The best thing is that when the manuscript is ready for publication, I know I’ve created something that has never existed before and will remain in libraries for many years. A piece of me will be in the homes of readers around the globe. It’s intoxicating. Readers will become seduced, as I was, by the passion of the characters, by the horror and intrigue, by the magic of seeing themselves as the hero or heroine. Knowing I have entertained someone, made their day fun and exciting, maybe even enlightened them, that’s why I write.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Every day I check for new visitors, or returning fans to my website and social media hangouts like:
Email: Featherstone.author@gmail.com
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

 I love all my characters, even the nasty ones. I know their history. I know the prison each of them live in. I know stuff about them that readers will never know. My favorite is Captain Hashim Sharif, ruthless protector of the citizens of Samarra. He’s no sweetheart. When he becomes the keeper of the witness to a massacre, his mood hardens. He’s Muslim. Having her in close quarters is too much risk to incurring the wrath of Allah. But when he’s ordered to dispose of her, a crack shows up in his armor. Without divulging too much to potential readers, Sharif is required to battle demons within himself as well as his corrupt bosses. I love characters in books and movies that undergo a major transformation by redefining what’s worth dying for, confronting their beliefs, adapting and shifting once clearly defined values.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

What is Different About Forbidden?

Forbidden is written in the point of view of a devout Muslim Middle Eastern cop. It took four years of research and an army of consultants to ensure each hopeless battle, every malicious character, and the truth of moderate Islam shone through on each page.

The setting is the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories (RIPT) – my vision of the future of the Middle East - 2047. After the end of the current civil war, thirty years from now, I envision most of the Islamic countries joining to form one powerful nation. Sunni and Shia will no longer be adversaries. The government is inclusive, democratic and Sharia law has been relaxed. Sounds perfect? But then, even fantasies have a dark side, LOL.

Forbidden will enlighten readers on the basics of moderate Islam. I was guided by a generous imam, Mustafa Khattab; and a most wonderful pediatrician who is a Canadian moderate Muslim. During the writing of the story, Dr. Sahar Albakkal provided valuable advice on the culture of moderate Muslims, Muslim names, Arabic terms, and interpretation of the Koran.
   
Interview with F. Stone
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?

What I learned about Islam is that Muslims have similar challenges in interpreting the Koran as do many Christians in interpreting the Bible.

And, while I was reading the Koran, I often had to remind myself that I was reading the Koran, and not the Bible. There are so many similarities. What is unique about the Koran is that there is encouragement to protect their environment from pollution.

I learned that I’m not the only person who fell in love with Islam. There are many others, more famous and intelligent that understood Islam’s beauty. Mahatma Gandhi said, “I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion of his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.”

And George Bernard Shaw said, “I have studied Muhammad – the wonderful man, and in my opinion, he must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the leadership of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness.”

Where can a reader purchase your book?

Forbidden is available at:
Amazon (KDP Select)
           
And, if you like to read and post reviews, I will send you a free copy (mobi, epub, pdf). Send me a message via facebook (fsauthor) or email me at Featherstone.author@gmail.com.

How do you research your books?

Research requires the examination of information from multiple sources. I don’t read one book and adopt that information as fact. Even while watching reports of current events on television, I have an editor’s ‘ear’ in full gear. Several years ago I worked as a research assistant to a physician. I learned then how it is possible to easily, and even without malice, to portray facts so they influence readers in the direction you desire.
    
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

My husband would laugh at this question. My dear departed mate knew me to have no limitations to interests and activities – as long as it is legal, no harm is done, and it is healthy for me and everything around me, I’m game to try it all. Well, except for bungee jumping. I haven’t gotten around to that yet. Rafting down the Shotover River in New Zealand and screaming my lungs out while we plunged down a monster waterfall – better than sex. However, on a daily basis, I love being with my two shelties, Sammy Bo Jangles and Ladybug Jade.


3 comments:

  1. This was such a phenomenal read!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cheryl. My heart is filled with joy to know a reader enjoyed Forbidden.

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for posting this interview and introducing Forbidden to your followers.

    ReplyDelete

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