Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Safety Expert by Doug Richardson - Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway | Thriller


Doug Richardson was born in Arcadia, California. The son of a career politician, Doug grew up outside Sacramento and inside the state Capitol. He used to talk his way into then-Governor Ronald Reagan's office, just to get a handful of jellybeans.

Doug left Northern California for Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California's School of Cinema. For as long as he could remember, Doug had wanted to be a movie director. But in pursuing his goal he discovered how movies are really made: in the writing.

After finishing college, Doug signed a two-year contract with Warner Brothers. In 1989 he garnered national attention when his spec screenplay was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug's first feature film, the sequel to Die Hard, Die Harder, was produced in 1990. He has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash Bad Boys and, most recently, Hostage. To date, Doug's features have grossed over 800 million dollars worldwide.

In 1997, Doug's debut novel, Dark Horse, was published by Avon/Morrow in hardcover, followed two years later by his follow up, True Believers.

Doug continues to write and develop for feature films and television. He lives in Southern California with his wife, two children and four mutts.

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Ben Keller lives life by one simple rule. Safety first. Ben is keenly aware of life’s hidden dangers. Ben never smokes. Ben always uses the crosswalk. Ben always drives within the speed limit. He has to be because safety is his business. From his home in Simi Valley, California, one of the safest cities in the United States, Ben works hard at living a perfectly normal, perfectly uneventful, perfectly safe life.

And life is good until the past reaches into the present. In the dark of the night, a man crosses a lonely intersection and is struck by a car, setting events in motion that will unravel the finely stitched strands of Ben’s cocoon, from a recently retired porn actress who is desperate to be a mother to the butch cop determined to shield her young son from the whisperings of the queen bee moms at his private school to the addict who is clawing to hold onto the sobriety which cages the violence within him.

A long dismissed demon has resurfaced, presenting Ben with a most unsafe dilemma: preserve the haven he has carefully built for himself or confront the evildoer who decimated his carefree young life all those years ago.

Ben is in danger. Ben’s world is unsafe. Ben’s life will be changed forever. Again.

CLICK HERE To Read the First Chapter

My Review has been posted on Night Owl Reviews

With Ben Keller

Well readers, today I'd like to introduce The Safety Expert, Ben Keller.  Ben's a busy guy so I'm going to jump right in to this interview.

What books have most influenced your life?
Probably Gavin DeBecker’s The Gift of Fear. Think that might’ve started it all for me. After everything… you know. After all that bad stuff happened, I was looking for handholds. Somethin’ to hang onto because the world was upside-down. A friend handed me the book and, well. Here I am. Recovered.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Guess that depends on the age during my childhood. Lemme see. There was the fireman thing. I mean, don’t all little boys wanna be a fireman or ball player? Only I didn’t wanna be a ball player so much. Right, okay. When I was fifteen I think I wanted to be a World Cup Downhill skier. Can you imagine that kid then and me now? Though I will add that, statistically, the ride up the mountain is about as unsafe as the ride down. Just sayin’.

What is your favorite meal?
It used to be sushi. Loved sushi. Twice, three times a week. But I read up on some studies, the fishing industry. That cured me. Lotta mercury in raw fish and, well, it’s just that. Raw. Not the safest thing to ingest. Don’t recommend it anymore. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. Okay. Sushi and whatever we’re eating on Leftover Thursday. Somethin’ about that big meal Alex cooked that night. It’s me and my four girls. A lotta laughs.

Do you play any sports?
I did. All the kid stuff. But I was never any good. Took up surfing for awhile. But in high school I got wrapped up in my job. Spent a lot of time planning my own business. A restaurant. A lotta my clients would love it if I played golf but heck no. The golf swing isn’t conducive to a healthy back. And tennis plays havoc with knees and shoulders. Not to mention the fortune I’d probably have to spend on sunscreen. So I guess the answer is no. I really don’t play any sports.

What are you passionate about these days? 
Any advance in safety. And there are so many. Technology just keeps getting better and better. Vehicle safety, patient care safety, food safety. And it’s all consumer driven, too. People want to know that what they’re buying won’t hurt or kill them or someone they love. Seriously. It’s a safety revolution. And if that sounds weird, well…

What one word best describes you?
If you asked my wife, she’s probably say “geek” or “nerd.” One of my daughters once called me “vanilla.” But I say what’s wrong with that, right? But if I were to describe myself… “vigilant.”

What would we find under your bed? 
A First Alert fire escape ladder. Flashlight kit with extra batteries. Fire extinguisher. Kevlar vests—his and hers. Small earthquake kit. You know, space blankets, sneakers, antibiotics. Normal stuff.

Who should play you in a film of your life?
Johnny Depp. Yeah. I like him.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

They’re dead. So I can’t apologize to them anymore. But… Yeah. Wish I woulda been there for ‘em. Sorry. Are we done yet?  {Ben beats a hasty exit}

Well.{stammers to self} ...guess he has to get to his next job. {hollers to his back}  Thanks Ben!!  Sorry! I didn't intend to open old wounds. Be Safe, Man!!

Thanks everyone for stopping in today! Ben's a rather peculiar guy, but when you read about him it will all make sense.  Oh!! Hang in there for a sec so you can enter the giveaway for a free copy of The Safety Expert.  The winner may have their choice of a Print or digital copy of the book (if shipped within the US).  If the winner resides outside of the US, the prize will be a digital copy of The Safety Expert. Follow Doug on Twitter for a bonus entry.  Enter below for your chance to win.  
Giveaway will end February 25th 11:59PM CDT


Debby said...

Sounds like your book will be very exciting to read with multiple layers unfolding slowly. I would love to read it.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Mary said...

This sounds like a great book. I think my husband and I would both like this one.

Anonymous said...

Doug, would you advise struggling or starting out writers to consider adapting their book to a screenplay for possibly a better chance at success?

Laurie said...

The winner of the giveaway is elaine fisher. Congrats!!