Canadian Intelligence Service Agent Justin Hall—combat-hardened in operations throughout Northern Africa—has been demoted after a botched mission in Libya.
When two foreign icebreakers appear in Canadian Arctic waters, Justin volunteers for the reconnaissance mission, eager to return to the field. His team discovers a foreign weapons cache deep in the Arctic, but they are not aware that a spy has infiltrated the Department of National Defence.
The team begins to unravel a treasonous plan against Canada, but they fall under attack from one of their own. Disarmed and stripped of their survival gear, they are stranded in a remote location. Now the team must survive the deadly Arctic not only to save themselves, but their country.
Along with Arctic Wargame, I’m releasing two short stories. Carved in Memory is a prequel to Arctic Wargame and explains an important aspect of Justin’s background. The Last Confession is about justice coming to a dying NY mobster making his last confession to his priest.
Arctic Wargame is the first book in Justin Hall series. Justin has been demoted because of a botched rescue operation in
, which was not his fault. Now, he’s a desk jockey. Eager to return to field work, he volunteers for a reconnaissance mission, when two foreign icebreakers appear in Canadian Arctic waters. His team discovers a weapons stash, along with a plan that threatens Libya ’s security. At the same time, the team falls under attack by one of their own and is stranded helpless in the Canada Arctic. It is now a race against time for Justin and his team to save themselves and their country.
Tell us about your next release.
Tripoli’s Target is the second book in Justin Hall series. Justin and his partner, Carrie O’Connor, are sent to meet with the Sheikh of the largest terrorist network in
Northern Africa, to receive some high-value intelligence. They learn about an assassination plot against the US president, which is to happen during a G-20 summit in . Justin and Carrie inform the US Secret Service about this plot. Then, new intelligence comes in, and they realize something is very, very wrong in their plan. Against all odds, they must stop the assassination before the summit forty-eight hours away. Tripoli, Libya
When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I try to write wherever and whenever I can. At times, I wake up in the morning and put in a few hours before heading to work. Other times, I write well after midnight. Depending on the day, it could be thirty minutes or eight hours. I try to get about 1000 words per day, but that is not always possible.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
I find the middle quite difficult. After the fast beginning, the introduction of the characters and of the plot, the middle seems to be quite laborious. I don’t want it to be boring or slow, as readers may lose interest. So, I need to work extra hard to make sure the quality of the middle parts is as good, if not better, than the beginning, and, of course, the rest of the story.
I also dislike rewriting and editing. Once the book is finished, I let out a sigh of relief and celebrate. Then I realize that my work is not done. I have to rewrite and edit, make changes, cut entire paragraphs and add new sentences and phrases here and there. These are required steps in order to have a great novel that readers will love.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I have three great beta readers, all published authors. They are great and their critique has improved my writing so much. I consider beta readers an extremely important tool in crafting a story. They can point out flaws in your storyline and plot, character development and dialogue at the early stages, when it is easier to make corrections and changes.
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
My spy thrillers are in a sense inspired by current events. Not a dramatized version of true stories, but an imaginary development of a ‘what-if’ scenario. What if an Arctic power decided to take some unilateral military action in that sensitive area of the world? What if an assassination plot happens while the
President visits one of the rogue states of the world? US
I wrote Arctic Wargame and Tripoli’s Target without an outline. I had the beginning and the end quite clear in my mind, but the journey from point A to point B was not very clear. I stumbled through some points and during the rewrite trimmed down almost 10,000 words, unnecessary subplots or descriptions, sections that just bogged down the main track of the novels.
Now I make charts, with the characters’ names and their traits, in order to have a clear picture of who’s who and how they relate to one another and the story. I want characters that sound human, even when they are villains. They need to be real, people that at some point you may meet in your life. They must have logical motivations and act accordingly, not just to push the plot forward or the reach the word count for a novel.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
I learned as I wrote, and I am still learning. My advice is to begin writing and learn as you go.
Read a lot of books, so you can see what works and what doesn’t. Learn from other authors, how they create their storylines, their plots, their chapters.
Be patient and keep writing. Eventually, you’ll have something good.
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Arctic Wargame is an action-packed spy thriller, featuring Canadian secret agents, an international conspiracy, and a fight for survival. Readers will love this tale of courage, fear and betrayal.
Ethan Jones is a lawyer by trade and the author of Arctic Wargame, a spy thriller available on Amazon as an e-book and paperback. He has also published two short stories: Carved in Memory, a prequel to Arctic Wargame, and The Last Confession, both available on Amazon as e-books. His second spy thriller, Tripoli’s Target, will be released in fall 2012. Ethan lives in Canada with his wife and his son.