Final Vector: Interview with Thriller Author Allan Leverone
Allan Leverone is a three-time Derringer Award Finalist whose short fiction has been featured in Needle: A Magazine of Noir, Shroud Magazine, Twisted Dreams, Mysterical-E and many other venues, both print and online. His debut thriller, titled FINAL VECTOR, is available February 2011 from Medallion Press. For details, please visit www.allanleverone.com or his blog at www.allanleverone.blogspot.com.
Q: Thank you for this interview, Allan. Can you tell everyone what your latest book, Final Vector, is all about?
Allan: Final Vector tells the story of Nick Jensen, an air traffic controller whose world is falling apart. His wife Lisa, an auditor at the Pentagon, has been killed in a suspicious automobile accident after discovering potentially treasonous material on a fellow employee’s computer.
Desperate to escape the pain, Nick throws himself into his work and is on duty at the ATC facility serving Boston’s Logan International Airport on the night U.S. President Robert Cartwright is scheduled to fly into Logan. A band of heavily armed terrorists storms the facility and Nick escapes capture, but now must use the information discovered by his dead wife to stop an assassination while outnumbered, unarmed and on the run…
Q: Is this your first book?
Allan: Yes. It’s actually the third novel-length manuscript I’ve written, but it’s the first to see publication. Hopefully it won’t be the last!
Q: Why did you decide to write a thriller novel?
Allan: I’ve always loved reading thrillers—the fast pace, the action and excitement—so it only makes sense I would choose that genre when I started writing books. Plus, my nearly thirty year career as an air traffic controller makes the subject of aviation the obvious choice for me.
Q: Can you tell us all about your main character?
Allan: Nick Jensen is the quintessential regular guy, thrust into a situation he cannot comprehend. Up until a week ago, he was ordinary in every way, but since then, has had to deal with the sudden death of his wife in a horrible accident, learned she was involved in something mysterious and dangerous at the Pentagon, and been forced to deal with an armed takeover of his workplace with the knowledge he is likely the only person who can prevent the assassination of the President of the United States. He is going to have to find reserves of strength he never realized he possesses in order to prevent a tragedy and escape with his life.
Q: Interesting that you have chosen to have your books published electronically first. Would you like to tell us your views on the ebook publishing industry?
Allan: Initially it wasn’t really my choice. The original contract I signed with Medallion Press called for a mass-market paperback release of Final Vector, but with the publishing industry changing so quickly, Medallion elected to withdraw from the mass-market paperback format entirely and concentrate on ebook releases instead of mass-market paperback. At first I was skeptical and disappointed with their decision, but in the eleven months since they made the change I’ve come to believe the ebook market is the perfect place for a debut author to begin developing a presence.
Q: In your opinion, what is the key ingredient for writing great thrillers?
Allan: Action and suspense. My goal is to leave the reader feeling like she has just run a marathon when she puts the book down, whether she happens to stop reading at the end of the book, the end of a chapter, or the end of a paragraph. Obviously you need sympathetic characters and a believable plot, too, but at the end of the day, a thriller has to thrill, plain and simple.
Q: Finally, I like to ask authors this question. What is your passion? What is it that you’re more passionate about than anything else?
Allan: My number one passion is and always will be my family. I’ve been married for 27 years to the same fantastic woman, and we’ve watched three children grow nearly to adulthood. Now we get to watch a grandchild grow up as well. Nothing can compare to that.
A close second, though, at least for me, would be writing. I love the feeling of disappearing into a story, of building a world in which absolutely anything can and will happen. The fact that I get to share those stories with like-minded readers is the best thing I can imagine.
Q: Thanks for the interview, Allan. Do you have any final words?
Allan: I suppose I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t try to get a few parting shots in. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share Final Vector with you and your readers. This is my first novel and I would love to receive whatever constructive feedback any reader is willing to give, good, bad or otherwise. Feel free to contact me via my website, www.allanleverone.com. I’d love to hear from you!