Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The House Of The Hidden Blade by David Broughton: Interview & Excerpt

It should have been an easy assignment, but in Jacob Hamilton's world nothing is. The contact, a middle aged man, left under the wheels of a high speed train, with nothing to show but a folder marked FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. To make matters worse, the target, a Russian petty thief known as Andrei Ovinko, has a secret past, a past that Jacob knows only too well, for you see Ovinko moonlights as an assassin.

In his mind Jacob knows once contracts have been exchanged there is no going back on the deal, however there is one, small, fly in the ointment, the contract has been forged. The question is why and for what purpose?

Bound by his own set of moralistic codes, Jacob knowing he has no choice, begins the hunt in hope, that by finding Ovinko, he will find out who is behind the forgery.

Whether by design or by pure luck, he unwittingly stumbles on a hidden message contained within an old captain's desk submerged in an old shipwreck at the bottom of the Bering Sea, it is this clandestine note from the past that has him asking more questions than he has answers for.

Torn between his devotion to the brotherhood and his desire to decode the hidden message, Jacob begins to ponder his own role as an assassin, a choice (or rather a decision) that will have consequences.

Instead of doing what his asked of him, he does what is needed of him. For once, his life as an assassin in The House Of The Hidden Blade, becomes a paradox of the man history determines him to be.

Twisted and torn, Jacob lay in his bunk bed nursing his pride. Sore to a point where sleep was a welcome relief, there was very little he could do except grimace through his teeth. A wayward line had slammed into the left side of his chest, cracking one of his ribs violently. The old crusty fishermen on board, who previously had ridiculed his attempts to be one of them, welcomed him to their fraternity. Every one of them (including Ivanov)  had at one point during their time in The Bearing Strait, succumbed to a violent attack triggered by mother nature. The captain, who was by nature, a fickle person to deal with, taped Jacob’s ribs up the best he could, even offering to take him back to dry land, if the pain got too much for him to tolerate. Jacob thanked him politely but told him he would be fine,  knowing just how much it would set back the crew, physically and financially.  In retrospect it probably wasn’t wise to do what he always did when he got injured, but two ibuprofens with a large glass of whiskey was the best he could do for the moment.
A hefty vodka smelling hand woke him up from his self-induced coma.  It was Ivanov.  The ship needed some repairs to one of the engines after crashing down heavily in one 40 foot trough, and was limping back into port.  Welcoming the news with a murmur of discontent, Jacob’s first thought was to go back to sleep but the pain in his ribs kept him from doing so, and in the end he decided to go with Ivanov who took the opportunity to revisit his friend, the vodka bottle. Through a haze of vodka and pain relief medication they talked as the rest of the crew slept.

 Welcome, David! It's great to have you as a guest today. Thanks for this opportunity to find out more about you and your new book.Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

I try to write books I’d like to read myself, I don’t want the writing to become predictable, if it’s predictable it tends to gets boring.

My books are generally based on historical facts with an intricate story which divulge answers to clandestine codes hidden within major international art works and books, such as Dante 515 code and the MABUS code.

 Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

I have two favorite characters. Jacob Hamilton in The House of the Hidden Blade and John Waverling in The All Seeing Eyes and The Chariots of Justice. In Chariot of Justice, the follow up to House Of The Hidden Blade, they manage to bump into one another, so for me, that was an enticing plot twist. That’s a trait of mine too, I like to crossover characters from other books I’ve written, so when I can, I do.

 Tell us about your current release.

The House of the Hidden Blade is my current release, it’s about an assassin, Jacob Hamilton who is getting tired of the business, and decides that enough is enough. One more job and that’s it,  he promises himself, if only things were that simple.

The unique feature of this book was I had three endings I like, I couldn’t decide which one I liked the best, so I enclosed all three, so it’s a multi-ending novel.

 Tell us about your next release.

The Chariot of Justice will be my next release in September 2012 which is the sequel to The House of the Hidden Blade. Without giving too much away, it’ll be one of those books that for some unknown reason everyone will talk about. It picks up directly after the end of House Of The Hidden Blade and follows the story of a maligned assassin, Jonesy Jones, who is given the biggest job of his fledgling career.

 Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

Mr. Etty my English teacher when I was 14 years old at Monks Dyke High School in my hometown of Louth in the county of Lincolnshire, England. I’d run out of assignments and he challenged me to write a long story. I  think it was some science fiction type thing call Keeper of the Seven Keys ( before Helloween released the album of the same title ), I don’t really remember plot, I just remember getting a really good grade for it!!!

 How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I don’t, I usually let them write themselves. I don’t use an outline or plan ahead the next chapter. I follow Alfred Hitchcock’s formula. If you plan your story ahead, then you may put suggestive information that the reader will be able to predict the ending. I don’t like to know what’s going to happen next so the readers will be fully surprised.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

Jacob Hamilton in The House of the Hidden Blade because he is a self-made man who ends up with the world in his hands, literally.

 Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy as I’d like to get a closer look at the 13 chapels dedicated inside.

I originally hail from a little market town called Louth in England's rural county of Lincolnshire. It is a sleepy little place to grow up, where the only other famous writer is a certain Lord Alfred Tennyson. I emigrated into America in 2006 to be with my current wife Laura. We live in Beverly, Massachusetts with our two dogs, Joe and Cookie.

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One Print or digital copy of House of the Hidden Blade.
Print Option is open to US only winners.
Non-US winner will get a digital copy.

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