Wednesday, April 3, 2019

"Derrick" by Russell

(The Gavin Nolan Trilogy Book 2)
by Russell

Derrick (The Gavin Nolan Trilogy Book 2) by Russell

Derrick is the second book in The Gavin Nolan Trilogy by Russell. Also available: Gavin.

Gavin by Russell

Derrick is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening.
It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities - but one of the victims is most peculiar …
Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered.
Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all - but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.
Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection.
However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything.
In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a killer. But will he make it in time?
Warning: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.

“Look at that.” Derrick pointed over to the front rows.
At the fifth and fourth rows in the dead center, several more CSI members were photographing two burnt corpses. The explosion blew back the bodies into a crumpled position on the chairs.
Hopefully they had a quick death. Gavin stayed silent.
Moving on, they reached the exit door near the front of the theater. Another warning from Delanie informed them of the rubble and potential structural damage in the next section. Briefly looking back, Gavin heard the crackling of radios, like eerie ghostly crickets fluttering in the distance. In the opposite direction, three firemen were still containing some smoldering chairs.
“Shit,” Derrick muttered, tapping Gavin’s shoulder. He nodded up.
The once ornate ceiling now had entire sections missing. Squinting slightly, Gavin could see the dark night sky.
Once they passed the doorway, a series of portable lights cascaded over the area. Gavin was unable to decipher the debris, the contents of which were haphazardly pushed away from the clear epicenter near the opposite end of the room. Up above, about a third of the ceiling had disintegrated, leaving a huge hole. The cold wind invaded the space, dissipating the soot scent slightly. More CSI team members shifted diligently, gathering debris in clear evidence bags and marking each spot with photographs and red markers. Near the apparent epicenter of the blast, several firemen were discussing the area, pointing at spots.
“Have to get back to my captain,” the young fireman said. “Need anything else, just let me know.”
“Thanks,” Gavin replied.
“Where the fuck do we begin?” Derrick grumbled.
“You can begin by bringing back that hottie,” Susan said behind them.
Gavin turned to find the doctor kneeling near a shriveled, burnt corpse. Her scalpel gingerly poked and prodded the body’s seared skull.
“Isn’t he too young for you?” Derrick returned with a snarky grin.
Gavin stated, “I didn’t see your van.”
“Came through the back.” She looked up at him and then at Derrick. She added, “As long he’s eighteen-plus, no laws broken, baby.”
Shaking his head, Derrick snickered. One of the CSI team, an annoyed-looking woman whose gray hair probably came directly from her stressful job, shot him a glance.
Standing up and ripping off her plastic gloves, Susan said, “No offense, love you guys, but what the hell are you doing here?”
“Creighton’s orders,” Derrick answered first. His midnight eyes darted over the scene.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Interview with the Author
Hi Russell, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Derrick, which is part of The Gavin Nolan Trilogy.
I must share some exciting news with all of you!
My new book, Derrick, just won in 2018 New Apple Literary Awards Contest as Official Selection in Psychological Suspense. I am completely surprised, flattered and humbled by the honor!
Also to add, Gavin (part 1 of The Gavin Nolan Trilogy) won 2017 New Apple Literary Summer E-book Awards as Official Selection in Horror.
That’s fantastic, congratulations! For what age group do you recommend your books?
First and foremost, Gavin and now Derrick - parts 1 and 2 of The Gavin Nolan Trilogy - are for a mature audience and not for anyone under 18. I have graphic depicted violence, explore and develop strong sexual situations, and include rather explicit language. However, if you are not dissuaded from my disclaimer, then you will absolutely love my books!
What sparked the idea for Derrick?
After finishing Gavin, I quickly realized that Derrick’s (Gavin’s police partner) malevolent military past had to come to fruition and become as a catalyst to test Gavin and Derrick’s friendship.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Typically, a vision of a scenario, or rather an opening to a novel, forms in my mind, and then I let my fingers do the rest of the book. Frankly, my writing process is organic: The story and the characters guide me through the book. Seriously, I don’t draw up character backgrounds, don’t do any research nor outline the storyline beforehand. Even when I start, I don’t necessarily envision an ending until halfway through the first draft. For me, the ending should surprise me: Thus, it should surprise my reader. In the subsequent drafts, I do create character descriptions, outlines, timelines, etc. Just so my craziness on the page is in sync …
Interesting! What was the hardest part to write in this book?
For The Gavin Nolan Trilogy, you will see that I remain in my protagonist’s point-of-view at all times. Both in Gavin and Derrick, the reader sees, feels, hears, and smells what Gavin does. Being stated, the challenge was to write in Gavin’s perspective while resisting the urge to jump into another character’s head.
How do you hope Derrick affects its readers?
While on the surface my book may come across as the typical detective story, underneath the reader will discover the hidden layers and nuances of reality with a sociological perspective. In addition, they will discover that the relationships and interactions of the characters transcend extremely relatable, real-world moments.
What is your writing routine?
I don’t really have a routine per se. When I began writing, I did it between down-times in my life. Not until I completed my first novel (which will be unpublished), did the sense of accomplishment pushed me into writing The Tale of Old Man Fischer. Realistically, I write when I am creative. Morning, noon, or night. Not for a long time but just enough to get at least 700 words in at a time. On a side note, I always have to have music playing in the background, ranging from alternative, metal, dance, electronic, hip hop, and some old rock.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
My advice is simple - always keep yourself motivated each day. Like a painter, musician or sculptor, a writer must push himself or herself to the next limit. Being an indie author, the burden of selling my books become a necessary part of business.
Also, listen to criticism about your books. While you may not agree with what the person may say, you can always improve your next work. (I learned that hard lesson as a chef many times!)
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I was classically trained as a Chef. For over two decades, I ran various sized kitchens with up to 25 employees. Due to the long hours and stress of the corporate world, I transitioned my career from cooking for the masses to teaching Culinary Arts for a new set of hungry young chefs. In my spare time, I love cooking various kinds of meals for my family.
Also, I am what you call an amateur athlete. I am a bodybuilder, do CrossFit and train for both triathlons and marathons. I’m always active.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I walked to elementary school with my friends, I would always describe scary stories about what was going on in the houses along the way. The stories would describe who lived there, what was happening in the basement or attic, how they lured kids inside and such. Yes, I guess I always had a lively dark imagination. Yet, it wasn’t until I read my first ‘grown-up’ book (Cujo by Stephen King) that I grasped the concept of being a writer. I always wanted my name on the cover. (Even then, I realized I had to drop my last name because it would take up too much space.)
I’m intrigued! Which writers have influenced you the most?
So many writers and so little time! I could go on and on about certain writing periods such as Midcentury Modern French writers, American Playwrights, and even 19th Century British authors. Today, many new and upcoming writers whom I have recently read are certainly good contenders for modern classics.
I will give you a short list:
Anne Rice: Her attention to details in a story is brilliant.
Arthur Miller: His dialogue sequences are absolutely superb.
Peter Straub and Clive Barker: They hooked me on scary, horrifying stories.
John Connolly: His use of reality and subtle mysticism is sublime.
Alice Walker: Her talent of creating emotional scenes is powerful.
William Shakespeare: Yes, I include him. He combined both heavy dramatic and light comedic elements in scenes in order to keep the audience and reader latching on to each and every word. In other words, his use of layered storylines is what I enjoy the most.
Great list! Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Yes, I do … and I absolutely enjoy their feedback. My readers enjoy my detailed descriptions of scenes. One reader felt as if she was absorbed into the scene like a fly on the wall. Also, they appreciate the three-dimensional characters that I bring out. In fact, a few of my readers like Susan (who is the Chicago ME) because of her spunky, flirtatious attitude. Truly, I appreciate anyone who contacts me! I’m a good conversationalist … especially after a couple of cocktails!
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
Currently, I am editing the final part of The Gavin Nolan Trilogy: Quinn. It will definitely be the end of the series … and maybe answer all the questions. Or not … we’ll see. Quinn should be out next spring 2020.
Taking a breather from Gavin’s mind, I wrote another piece called The Eradication Initiative. This is about a group of strangers being hunted down, collected, and brought back to a facility to be experimented on. But for what malevolent purpose? Hmm, you’ll just have to wait until late 2020.
In my ‘downtime’ from editing Quinn, I am also writing a new untitled piece - a ghost story set in up-state New York. I’ve only been writing snippets here and there because I’m been scaring myself … even during full daylight!
After that, I’m toying around another trilogy involving immortality. No, no, no, it’s not another overdone vampire series! My geek, history buff side has been interested in Druid culture and history … and I’m formulating a beginning in my mind.
That’s about it. Thanks for spending some time with me, and I hope you get to check out Derrick. As a caveat, I would recommend for you to read Gavin before tackling Derrick.
Please follow me on Twitter (I really tweet often), Instagram (I post daily), and of course Facebook.
Read to Escape!
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Russell. Best of luck with your future projects.

About the Author
Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Slipping into alternative universes allows him to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Currently, he lives in South Texas with his wife, two kids and several cats.
Derrick is a 2018 Winner in the New Apple Literary Awards, receiving Official Selection in Psychological Suspense.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card.


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