Sunday, 16 September 2012


BLURB from Goodreads
Kimberly Ann “Kiki” Kinsler is a twenty-one year-old college student excited to be returning home to Portland, Oregon for summer break and eager to see her family. Instead of the happy homecoming that she anticipates, Kiki’s world is upended by an unimaginable tragedy. Her parents and younger sister are dead, victims of Little Mo Biggs, a tragically accidental monster, himself a victim of profound parental neglect and abuse. Kiki is also attacked and hospitalized but survives. In the hospital, when all appears lost, she is given an opportunity to wipe away the nightmare, to un-do it, and correct the senseless tragedy. A second chance, a wonderful, improbable, and miraculous gift, that doesn’t come easily. To reclaim her future, Kiki must first correct the injustices of Little Mo’s past, which can only be corrected at the root. In doing so, she learns that home is more than a place, it is also a time, and must confront the parallel challenges of life and love, past and present, in a love story with a foot in each world, 2012 and 1981.

Available at

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I’m Andrew Hessel, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri but living in Oregon (Portland) for so long it seems like always.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve always been an insatiable reader, majored in English Literature in college, and fantasized about writing fiction for more years than I care to count, but never thought about writing in my youth.  I dreamt of playing professional baseball, and when that died a career in the newspaper business followed.  I was always writing, but never what I wanted.  That came years later.  I’m grateful that it did.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I love my first novel, Rush to Dawn.  The story is simply amazing and a solid first crime novel, but it was after finishing my second novel, that I truly considered myself a writer.

 BLURB from Goodreads
Blood-curdling revenge is the final act in a personal war between two powerful men.
FBI Special Agent Cups Drayton wears a white hat; master cyber-criminal Wilson “Willie” Hemphill the blackest of black.
Now allied with the fearsome Mirano Family, Willie unleashes a gruesome crime of brilliantly innovative design, threatening Cups’ new life and unexpected new love, Evie McClary, with an act of vicious and heartless revenge.
He forces the world to participate, streaming video of 18 slowly dying innocents into their living rooms.
With no clue as to where they are, and no way to aid them, Willie delivers Cups and the whole world a terrifying message:

Watch them die.
You have 36 hours to find and rescue them before they all perish.

With the clock ticking, Cups and Chief of Detectives Elliot Rose, assemble an unprecedented team of experts across vastly disparate disciplines to find a way to overcome impossible obstacles.
Allan Goldman, the Bureau’s top forensic IT analyst coordinates technologies from military, scientific, education, national security and law enforcement agencies to avert the biggest mass murder in Oregon history.
Cups and Willie’s final battle takes place in country as rugged and unforgiving as Oregon’s unpredictable weather.

Available at

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
I went the traditional route and had a NYC agent.  He loved Rush, he really got what makes it unique, and I love him for that, but cut ties.  The digital revolution reinvented the book biz and changed everything; today that path moves at glacial speed when it moves at all. I think he was as frustrated with editors as authors are with agents. I couldn’t wait any longer.  As it turned out, Rush to Dawn was published over three years after it was written, and The Old Dog’s New Trick, part two of the trilogy, was published the next day, a few months after I finished.
BLURB from
When Mira Mirano, the first Lady Don, succeeded her father as head of the powerful Mirano crime family, she’d earned the right. Thanks to a brilliant mind and a staggering resume of flawless assassinations. Respected – and feared – she had been unopposed. No one even considered a challenge. Under her leadership, she led The Family to new heights, expanding their reach, power and wealth by pioneering innovative new businesses and techniques, while strengthening and legitimizing core businesses. By every measure, she was the right woman for the job and the times. Then Cups Drayton costs her a key business partner, brings The Family under the federal microscope and derails a perfect plan. Mira has never tasted defeat, and is not a woman to take it quietly. Outraged and with her pride wounded, she viciously strikes back, launching a multi-faceted character assassination campaign against Chief of Detectives Elliot Rose, Cups closest friend. As part of a plan to lure Cups to his death, Rose is abducted, secreted in a remote place few even know exists and where no one would ever imagine looking. Mira directs Raul Mendoza, the new Family assassin whose weapon of choice is as historically elegant as it is deadly and cold, to finish all of them off. The FBI’s top forensic analyst, Allan Goldman, returns in Old Dog, this time bringing new technology and tools to Oregon. From the volcanic mountains of Central Oregon’s High Cascades, to the streets and city parks of Portland, good and evil battle to the death. Weller, an orphaned old lab who adopts himself into Cups’ new family, proves that even old dogs have a trick or two left. If Cups is to prevail, he’ll need every one of them.

Available at

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Years ago, a best-selling local author offered the following advice:  Don’t expect to earn a living … I do business writing, blogs, web content, sales collateral, et al.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
THE DO-OVER:  A novel of love, hope and second chances.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
My first novel took a year to write and another year to edit/rewrite/edit/rewrite.  I was learning my way, if that makes sense.  The next two novels took slightly less than a year.  THE DO-OVER, my latest, less than eight months … the story possessed me and was the most fun I’ve ever had.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
THE DO-OVER demanded to be written and was a joy to write.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
My first three novels comprise a crime thriller trilogy (although they stand alone well) in the Cups Drayton Series.  I love the genre, and read a lot of it.  The Cups novels more than satisfy crime junkies like me, but also appeal beyond it.  I think of them as thoughtful thrillers.

Now, THE DO-OVER was a departure.  The first entry in the Kiki Kinsler Series shifts from a hardboiled middle-aged FBI agent cop to a college girl – a story in itself – and I’m serious when I say the novel is a bit genre-defiant … I think of it as a crime thriller-love story with a dash of fantasy and a sprinkle of sci-fi. That’s not exactly right, but it’s not all wrong, either.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have ideas for the next three Cups crime thrillers, but they’ll have to wait as I’ve started the next Kiki, and am really excited about it.   A great story and something I’ve always wanted to write about.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
The books are all different, I love them all, but Imperfect Resolution because it’s a satisfying end to the trilogy and for the complex character development. THE DO-OVER delights me because it was a little scary stepping off the pier without knowing if I’d find water!
BLURB from Goodreads
The Mirano Family started the war; FBI Special Agent Cups Drayton knows only he can end it, once and for all. The Mirano’s relentless vendetta has again made him the target of a savage personal assault. Twice before they’ve come after him, and both times, thanks to his courage and skill, he prevailed. But it wasn’t easy and required everything – and more – the brightest law enforcement minds and other experts could bring. More attacks, he knows, are inevitable and he can’t allow it: No one dear to him will ever be safe. For the past year, no one has even seen Mira Mirano. Her uncle, Mario Mirano, once the first Lady Don’s consigliore, now heads The Family, but Cups takes no comfort in that. He must somehow find her. He’ll never again underestimate the threat she poses. But Mira has much more than a new identity; she has become a new person. And although she has a new history, Mira has an old score to settle. Then, Bartolo Fasoli, the new Mirano assassin, a former Army demolitions expert who returned home from service in Iraq and Afghanistan with an Other Than Honorable discharge, makes Cups’ new wife an unintended victim of an assignment. With his wife clinging to life, Cups has no alternative but to go rogue to end the war and bring down the Mirano crime family. Nothing else matters now – not his storied career, the rule of law, or even his own life. From the High Sierras above Lake Tahoe and the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada, to Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Reno, until Cups ends it, there can be no peace and no resolution. To do it, Cups proves that no man is more deadly than a man with nothing to lose. Imperfect Resolution is Part III of the Mirano Trilogy.

Available at 

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I don’t know if all writers fall in love with their characters, but I do.  My favorite has four legs.  Weller, the old lab in The Old Dog’s New Trick was inspired by Mac, my soon to be thirteen year-old English Lab.  He’s the ‘old dog’ on the cover.  I’ve got three handsome sons, but Mac is the best looking male in our family.  There are some great pics on the website under the Old Dog Publishing tab – we named the publishing company with him in mind, too. 

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
My novels all start with the characters.  As I get to know them, crazy as it sounds, they reveal the story.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I have a cadre of a half-dozen people who graciously read my work, before it’s final and published … their input has been invaluable, I owe them a lot.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
I work with an amazing designer, Liz Kinglien, in Tucson, Arizona.  We collaborate well and have found a natural synergy.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I have a loose plan that is usually overruled by the characters, which is okay because writing fiction is such an organic process.  I like to work in chunks, and might have 5-10 chapters outlined, often vaguely, with only a few bullet-points.  An idea of where I’m going but no real idea precisely how I’ll get there.   Sometimes I’ll get so caught I’ll ignore most of it.  Sometimes the story just … happens.

How do you market/promote your books?
Like all writers, especially those of us sailing through self-publishing seas, I’m in the shameless self-promotion business. 

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
A page-turning story, the occasional well-put-together sentence, memorable characters you love – or love to hate – and a healthy dose of luck.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
No, not really, I guess I’m lucky that way, and hope I won’t invite the wrath of the writing gods for saying it.  Qualified by adding that I’ve learned not to force it. When it’s not coming naturally, walk away, give it a rest and come back fresh.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
My passions are reading, family, sports, food and Labradors, so a good book, time with the family, a ballgame, too much to eat and drink, and scratching Mac’s head seem to cure most ills.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
I know I’ll eventually get a Reader, but I confess to being Old School … I love real books, and turning real pages, but prefer paperbacks.  They’re less dangerous when you doze off and roll over on them! 

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
I can’t give you one, but I’ll give five wondrous reads:  Huckleberry Finn, Lonesome Dove, The Sparrow, Shantaram, and Shadow of the Wind.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
Typically, the attempt is a disaster … the book is always better.  Lonesome Dove, albeit a TV mini-series, was a triumph.  I think the best television ever.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I’m currently reading a paperback crime novel by CJ Box … a terrific crime thriller called Blue Heaven.  An older one, I’m catching up.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
This is a pet peeve and great personal concern.  My years in business, reading proposals and collateral, resumes and cover letters, left no doubt how writing-challenged we’ve become as a society.  I dedicated myself to teaching our four children to write, the instruction they received at school was inadequate.  In fairness, I can’t imagine anything more difficult to teach.  It’s a big problem with no simple fix.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
As a young boy just starting to read, my favorite author was Clair Bee, who wrote the Chip Hilton sports series, from the publishers that brought us the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.  I devoured them.  They’re long out of print, but I found a set years ago on a trip to Florida.  Bought them and read them to my boys.  They’re dated but timeless.  My grandson is reading them now.  I like that.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
Ulysses.  I’ve tried a couple of times but could never gain traction.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
Yes, because in some ways a novel can’t ever be … finished.  

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Writing is rewriting, and everything that comes out of your head doesn’t deserve to live.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Mary Doria Russell, Lee Child and Mark Twain.

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?
Your web site?    
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page? Under construction

1 comment:

  1. Nice interview :)

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    My post can me found HERE

    :) xxx