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.