Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Declan Finn & Allan Yoskowitz, authors of Codename: Winterborn

Author Bios:
Declan Finn lives in a part of New York City unreachable by bus or subway. Who's Who has no record of him, his family, or his education. He has been trained in hand to hand combat and weapons at the most elite schools in Long Island, and figured out nine ways to kill with a pen when he was only fifteen. He escaped a free man from Fordham University's PhD program, and has been on the run ever since. There was a brief incident where he was branded a terrorist, but only a court order can unseal those records, and really, why would you want to know?

Allan Yoskowitz is a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, studying under Grand Master Ben Hur in Little Neck, NY. He has a degree in clinical psychology from Hofstra University.

Title: Codename: Winterborn
Author: Declan Finn and Allan Yoskowitz
ISBN: 1482052326
Page count: 280
Genre: Science Fiction / Adventure
Price: 14.95
Tell us about your book:
From the back of the book, well, there's a "small" nuclear war in 2090, and only about a third of the world is in ruins, and the Western half of the United States. Our book is set in 2093, where an intelligence operative, Kevin Anderson and his team are sent to find the nuclear arsenal of the Islamic Republic of France. Yes, you read that right.  When his team is betrayed by the politicians who sent them, Kevin is the last man standing, and we're off to the races. 

Unlike your standard revenge story, this particular book has consequences. After all, say Kevin kills off every last corrupt senator -- then what? Do you put him on trial, and hope that the other crimes the senators committed don't taint the jury pool? Do you put him before a "dark" military tribunal for the Special Operations community and hope they don't give Kevin a metal?? Or do you "ignore" everything he's done and come up with a "special" assignment just for him? Not only that, your standard revenge book doesn't examine elements like "What if I'm in the wrong?"  We do that here. 

Nothing is as simple as it seems.

How long did it take to write the book?
The first run through took about three months.  The rewriting took between one year and forever, give or take a few minutes.

What inspired you to write the book?
Allan's Answer:  My part in what led to Codename: Winterborn started while I was doodling in a meeting of my high school's literary magazine.  I was bored -  most of the submissions we had that day were poetry and short-story fiction... that was what we got most of the time.   I was sitting there doodling, and all of a sudden, I write down, "I remember the last day,". 

I've been working on different versions of what's become Codename: Winterborn since then.
Declan's Answer: When I started writing Codename: Winterborn, it was a prequel novel about a character set in Allan's universe. The character had started as "Mr. Anderson."  I was a smart ass and called him Kevin.  I had given him a one-line revenge background as a reason for sending him into Allan's little back corner of Hell.  When I started writing the full version of what happened, it spun out of control in short order, and even ate what we had of a first novel.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
Declan: My process is parking myself in front of a computer and typing away until the words make sense.  I generally have an idea of where point C is, and I know where point A is, the rest is just grinding out the material.  As for research, I'm a historian and a philosopher by ... "profession" is too kind a word. I majored in those in college, and it essentially adds up to being more research than I've ever needed to do.  Funny enough, I've been told that the adversaries in the novel are too villainous ... even though I've actually taken the history of several historical political figures and spread them out.

Allan:  I really don't have a set 'method'  to how I write.  I know what my part in what I want to do with the characters Declan and I have written is, and I do my best to put my part in it together.  I wish it were as simple and as easy as it sounds for me.  I was a psychology major in college, and I have to say that has been something of an inspiration in where my 'part' in these characters has come from, as well as my own studies of the people I've met in the world around me.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
Declan: Well, I hope that they come away with a sense that they've had a fun time, and that maybe they've learned a few things here and there about certain real-world policies that have some nasty side effects.

Allan:  I agree with Declan in that I hope they've enjoyed themselves reading the book... that they've had a fun time, and that they understand that not everything is as simple (or as hunky-dory) in this life/world as we want it to be.  We all pay our price, with the consequences different for each of us.

Excerpt from book:
Kevin chuckled and shook his head, lowering his binoculars. Most people would have
problems wondering what a man, dressed in black atop of a roof, would find funny.
Not in a dozen years could he have predicted this. When he had sent photos to the man's
wife, he figured that she would be a good potential suspect while he killed Zalak Patel. That she
would go postal and kill both him and his mistress was something Kevin couldn't have imagined.
He guessed it was a good thing that he phoned in the double homicide after Zalak arrived.
His wife would literally be caught red-handed, with the bodies still warm. It wasn't the plan, but
Kevin would take it.
Kevin frowned. But, still, the mistress wasn't part of the plan. He didn't like collateral damage
on his missions. He figured that this was going to hurt. After his pain and anger had left him, he
would feel the death of the poor, drug-addled girl in the apartment as keenly as he knew he
should have. Surely, those things happened in war, but not in the course for justice. Bombing a
target to clear out a bunch of terrorists might kill a few civilians, but that was a matter of what
ethics professors call double effect – killing the enemy resulted in the death of others.
Kevin knew he could come up with endless justifications and excuses. True, she was an
addict, and she knew what sort of person she was involved with. And Kevin didn't intend for her
to get in the crossfire, so double-effect applied. But he wouldn't have accepted these excuses
from someone under his command, and he wouldn't accept them from himself, either. All of
those were good, solid reasons for exempting himself, morally, from the girl's death. But that
wouldn't make her death any easier on him in the long run.
I'm going to have to be more careful.
Kevin bent down to put the binoculars away, and heard the whiz of a bullet snapping by his
head. He dove and rolled across the roof, landing behind a ventilation system as bullet strikes
dotted the ground around him, and bounced off of his armored black combat jacket.
He blinked. If I hadn't dropped when I did, I'd be dead. He cleared his throat. “Mandy, can I
help you with something?”
Kevin heard a light, musical bit of laughter. It was light and bubbly, like Mozart's
music...though in this case, Kevin would have sworn the piece was from the Requiem. “You can
stand still a moment and let me play a little William Tell.”
“Sorry, fresh out of apples.”
“I'm sure we can figure something out,” she called back.
Kevin frowned with thought. “This is all for your bottom line?”
“And when they figure out that you're after them, my price will skyrocket.”
He blinked. “You mean they don't know already? And you didn't tell them? Mandy, no
offense, but what the hell do you think you're doing?”
There was a pause. He didn't waste too much time trying to figure out why she hesitated, but
God, was he curious. If she told the senators, she could become rich. The down payment on the
contract would double. Triple, eventually—by the time he whittled away enough of the senators,
the cheapskates might even begin calculating geometrically.
The rest of his mental faculties were focused on the HVAC unit in front of him, pushing off
pulses of heat at his face. He cocked his head at it, staring for a moment, then smiled, pulled out
his combat knife, and then slowly pushed it into the head of the screw. He twisted it slowly at
first, and once he realized it wasn't making noise, he went faster.
“As long as you keep killing off the ones that deserve it, I'm not in any hurry to warn them,”
she answered. “But I'm quite happy to take you out when the opportunity presents itself.”
Kevin had one screw out, time for the next one. He was certain that she was using the time to
circle around him, and he didn't bring a gun with him. “I didn't know you were into public
service homicides, Mandy.”
“Who do you think most of my targets are? Choir boys?”
Another screw hit the roof. “And me? My team?”
“I thought the damn French would get the job done and I wouldn't need to get my hands
dirty,” she told him. “Besides, there are some of the guys in your line of work who make serial
killers look good. How was I supposed to know you weren't one of them? From a file that says
you like killing everyone yourself?”
Henry always thought I enjoyed my job too much. Why am I surprised she saw the same
thing? The third screw hit the ground, and the panel swung down, the corner hitting the roof.
Kevin thought a curse as he heard Mandy step closer. He grabbed the panel with both hands and
tore at it, ripping it free from the last screw. He jumped to one side and hurled the metal panel at
Mandy like a giant shuriken. The Merc ducked and fired, narrowly missing his skull.
He dove over the end of the roof and came down hard, landing exactly where he wanted to—
on the fire escape.
His next leap took him straight down the stairs, jumping down almost to the next landing. He
jumped over the side of the stairs, and landed on the next set, and kept going in that fashion,
making it down several stories in several seconds.
The stairs sparked where the bullets struck, but each one narrowly missed Anderson as he
leapt from landing to landing. He was on the ground within moments, and dropped at a run,
sprinting down the alley and across the street in the blink of an eye.

Where can we go to buy your book?
The Createspace e-store (our publisher) or Amazon.com for hardcopy or a Kindle Version. There should be a Barnes and Noble site coming out sooner or later.   http://www.amazon.com/Codename-Winterborn-Declan-Finn/dp/1482052326/


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