Al Boudreau

I’d like to welcome Al Boudreau to the “Author’s Dialogue” series—American Thriller/Mystery writer and author of In Memory of Greed.

TB: Hello Al, when and why did you decide to start writing?

AB: I had never considered becoming a writer until about two years ago. At that time, I began thinking about how exciting it would be to give it a try. I wrote a few flash fiction pieces that several people seemed to like. Once I began, writing became a serious passion for me. I hope to write full-time within the next five years.

TB: Now, as a professional writer, do you have a core philosophy as to why you write; and if so, can you please describe it?

AB: To put it bluntly, I’m fed-up with abuse of the middle class by big-business and government. Many people have become indifferent, concerning social, and political issues.  My goal is to bring certain abuses to light, while providing an entertaining read. In doing so, perhaps an increased number of people will become inspired to help bring about change.

TB: What life experiences have best prepared you for being a writer?

AB: I have learned to question authority, and read between the lines, pertaining to the news we are fed via TV, radio, and the internet. This practice has made me think more deeply about all that takes place in our society, and has provided me with great fodder to produce future works of fiction.

TB: I understand that you are well-traveled. Can you tell us of one place, in particular, that has most influenced your writing?

AB: My trip to Kenya influenced my writing more than any destination I’ve ever visited. The sheer beauty of Kenya’s people, wildlife, and landscape captivated me to such a degree, I will remain forever changed by the experience. If there’s a place on earth more captivating, I’ve yet to discover it. Much of the action contained within “In Memory of Greed” takes place in Kenya.

TB: Please tell us about your latest work and what genre it falls into.

AB: “In Memory of Greed” is a mystery/thriller. I consider the subject matter to be a warning about what can happen when greed and lust for power take over man’s ability to reason.

TB: What were your inspirations for writing it?

AB: “In Memory of Greed” was inspired by my observations pertaining to big business, and bigger government; specifically, how they constantly take advantage of the middle class. Members of the middle class are the people who really make our country great. My hope is that by making our voices heard, a spotlight might be focused on those who abuse their positions to gain wealth, and power, making it untenable for them to do so in the future.

TB: We have an audio clip from ‘In Memory of Greed.’ Could you please give our listeners some context?

AB: The following excerpt, read by you, Terre, takes place just after protagonist, Murhkin Mocado is taken into custody by police, and FBI agents. Mocado is confused, and shaken, just having been informed he will be questioned for the murder of his boss, John Haverhill.

TB: Can you describe your writing process?

AB: I’ve written both ways: as a “blank-pager,” as well as with an outline. The outline route works best for me, as it’s almost impossible to get off track. I found that when writing as a ”blank-pager,” the story line meandered and a tremendous amount of rewriting was required to get it back in line. In my opinion, an outline is a condensed story. If you nail the outline ahead of time, a good story will almost always follow.

TB: To what degree are your fictional characters based in reality?

AB: My characters are not really based in reality, though I have always had an issue with “bosses” in the past. Therefore, when writing “In Memory of Greed,” I chose to make one of the antagonists, who happens to be a CEO, a self-destructive maniac.

TB: Can you tell us about your any upcoming projects?

AB: My current WIP is a full-length, mystery/thriller, untitled as of yet. The story line deals     with the breakdown of society in the US and our government’s technological solution to deal with the unruly masses. Two characters from “In Memory of Greed” will resurface in the new novel.

TB: Would you like to experiment with a different genre?

AB: I’ve actually written some flash fiction and short stories on my blog that include sci-fi, horror, and even a bit of romance/erotica. However, when it comes to full length novels, I’ll likely stick to mystery/thrillers for a while.

TB: Describe your ideal surroundings or conditions for writing.

AB: I’ve found that my non-negotiable requirement for writing is the ability to get physically comfortable within quiet surroundings. I write with a composition notebook, and my net book computer. Therefore, I’m quite flexible, in terms of where I can get the words down. I prefer to write outside, weather permitting, but it’s certainly not a requirement.

TB: Have you ever co-authored a piece?

AB: I’ve never co-authored a piece, but considering how difficult it is to write on one’s own, this practice must compound the challenges inherent in our profession.

TB: Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?

AB: I prefer to write one chapter at a time then rough edit before moving on to the next chapter.

TB: Briefly share your thoughts on traditional publishing vs. indie.

AB: I am an indie, and proud of it. I’ve always been a highly motivated individual, so the concept of waiting for someone to represent me, or publish my work, was unattractive to me. First-time authors are responsible for the bulk of promoting, and building an author platform for their work, whether partnering with a big publishing house, or going it alone as an Indie author. My feeling is, if I have to do all the hard work, why not reap all of the benefits. I believe in using every tool available to accomplish whatever you set out to achieve, so the self-pub route was a natural fit for me.

TB: What advice can you share with first-time writers?

AB: One should take their time when writing a novel. Write, rewrite, and have a REAL editor do a full edit, once you’ve done so on your own. It is virtually impossible to edit your own work effectively.  In my experience, an outline is critical. If you go the blank-pager route, be prepared to do a tremendous amount of rewriting. Don’t become a writer for money or fame. Write because you must; because it’s your passion.

TB: Thank you, Al. It’s been a thrill to have you as a guest!

AB: Thank you!

About the author, Al Boudreau

Al Boudreau has traveled the world exploring a multitude of countries. Firsthand knowledge of the locales his characters traverse lends a richness unattainable by simple research alone. The author also maintains a keen eye on geopolitical events, pushing the envelope to make his novels come alive. His fiction is based on the real world and the hidden truths buried beneath its surface.

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Thomas Rowe Drinkard

Ex-military, former teacher and non-fiction writer, Thomas Rowe Drinkard, joins us to discuss his current career as a Thriller/Mystery writer.

TB: Tom, welcome to the “Author’s Dialogue” series. I am so excited to offer our readers an audio clip of your work! But before we get to that, could you please start by giving us a bit of background to your writing career? Such as, when and why did you decided to start writing?

TD: Can’t pin that down.  I wrote stories and poems in the sixth grade, for sure.

TB: What have been your best and worst experiences as a writer?

TD: Best is easy: receiving messages from people who couldn’t find a “stopping place” in my novel and read until 3 a.m.

Worst: having agents lie to me about their intentions. Phony “love” at a writers’ conference should banish the offenders to a special level of purgatory, at least.

TB: How have those experiences prepared you for being an author?

TD: Ah, the agony and ecstasy.  The good is so gratifying and the bad simply allows one to develop mental and emotional calluses.

TB: Please tell us about your latest work.

TD: My debut novel, Piety and Murder is available in digital form on a number of sites.  Amazon and B&N are two. It is a book about a man who, while trying to protect his family from the depredations of a phony faith healer, falls afoul of violent criminals who use the televangelist as cover. It is a thriller, complete with running gunfights and hostage rescue.

TB: Piety and Murder has won rave reviews on Amazon; and for the benefit of our readers, I’d like to quote one of your reviewers:

“In college, Thomas Rowe Drinkard enjoyed amateur theatrics, playing the lead in several campus productions. After graduating during the Vietnam era, he plied the craft of unconventional war and profession of soldiering as a U.S. Army Special Forces officer. During those years he wrote contemplative, insightful short stories and poems often published in periodicals and anthologies. Now, his gifts as wordsmith, his sense of drama and his skills in deadly confrontation yield a cheek-clenching novel of prostituted evangelical fervor masking murderous greed, where no tenet – and no soul – is worth more than its cash value. “Piety and Murder”, a tale of connivance, cruelty and corruption, is a thoughtful and solid read.” (Russell Tate)

What a dynamic and complimentary overview of both you and your book! Now, for the benefit of our readers, here’s an audio clip by you and your wife, Marjorie Hatfield Drinkard, on Piety and Murder.



Have you written a prequel or sequel to appease your readers?

TD: The prequel, Where There Were No Innocents is in final editing and will be published soon.

TB: What were your inspirations for writing it?

TD: For years I spent five to eight days in a suburb of New Orleans, Metairie.  It was virtually impossible to turn on the TV in my hotel room without getting faith healers and televangelists’ programs. I began to guess that those organizations would make great cover for all sorts of nefarious activities.  They probably don’t come under much official scrutiny.

TB: Are you a “blank-pager,” or do you use outlines?

TD: I work from a blank page-on the word processor.  The scenes are constructed in my mind.  I “see” them before writing.  For me, outlining destroys the immediacy of writing. When I’ve tried to write from an outline, I felt as if I was doing one of the old paint-by-numbers oils.

TB: To what degree are your fictional characters based in reality?

TD: The disclaimer will always say that the characters are products of my imagination.  Some are just that.  Others have recognized themselves, and there are composites.

TB: Briefly share your thoughts on traditional publishing vs. indie.

TD: The publishing world has changed and is changing.  The artist, the author, now has much more control and is able to keep more of the profits for his or her work.  To me, this is as it should be.

TB: Is there a different genre you would like to try writing?

TD: Yes, I actually have a science fiction novel and a paranormal novel as works-in-progress.  Two completed, but unpublished books are my more familiar thriller/mystery books.

TB: Can you tell us a bit about your next project?

TD: My next project is to complete a book that can be mentioned as, “torn from today’s headlines.”  It involves a new protagonist and several cold terrorists.  I’m approaching the final showdown.  Maybe another 40-50 pages.

TB: Describe your ideal surroundings/conditions for writing.

TD: My home, my office and silence or quiet music, often classical.

TB: Have you ever co-authored a piece?

TD: Not yet, although my wife is my first editor.  She often makes good suggestions for changes.

TB: What advice can you share with writers who are just starting out?

TD: Tell the story, as you’d want to hear it. Don’t take too many side-trips.  If a passage doesn’t contribute to moving the narrative forward, delete it. Read works of good writers in your genre.  Learn how they handle narrative, dialogue and story structure.

TB: What are your quirks and do they influence your writing?

TD: I have a tiny streak of perfectionism.  I tend to edit too much while writing.  I have to care about my characters, or they won’t come to life.  I can become involved in their fictional lives.

TB: Please share with us, a little-known fact about you which others might find interesting or entertaining.

TD: My wife, Marge, and I bred and exhibited Bull Terriers for more than twenty years. We managed to produce homebred champions and traveled as far as Calgary, Canada for special shows. Our kennel name was Merlyn.  We loved the dogs but eventually tired of the politics in the ring and clubs.

TB: Tom, thanks so much for your lively responses! I wish you all the best with your future works.

TD: Thank you.

About the author, Thomas Rowe Drinkard

Thomas Rowe Drinkard, born and reared in the Deep South—Alabama—graduated from the University of North Alabama with a degree in English. Following commencement, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, and was then accepted into the Special Forces (Green Berets).

After the Army, he found his way into teaching and writing in the securities licensing preparation business. His textbooks, articles and CE courses are in use today.

Tom is now a full-time writer/part-time freelance editor and author of Piety and Murder.

Author Web Site | Piety and Murder on Amazon


Fantasy Writer, Kevin Lee, To Kick off “Author’s Dialogue”

We are gearing up for tomorrow’s launch of Author’s Dialogue: Sunday morning, April 17, at 6:00 a.m., EST.

Our first guest will be Kevin Lee, author of the Fantasy trilogy TRIO: Book Three ‘Ascension.’

Learn how Kevin turned one long night as a radio DJ into a writing career and how living on the Canadian prairies, dreaming of England, and exploring the spiritual concept of ‘Good vs. Evil,’ have all influenced his perspective as a Fantasy writer.

Learn more tomorrow, here, on Author’s Dialogue.

Hope to see you here!