When life gets hectic what you really need is to escape for a few hours. But who has the time to get away? Sometimes the best solution is to escape into a good book. Well we have just the thing for you. One of our regular contributing writer’s has just finished his first novel and you can get it for FREE! Kellen Burdens new novel Flash Bang is available in E-book format on Amazon.com from August 7th 2013 to August 11th 2013 absolutely FREE. Kellen has contributed to this magazine the articles The Breaks: Fully Experience The Water…and Life and On Belay: get Your Rock Climbing On.
We asked the author a few pointed questions about his new book and this is what he had to say
- Why do you feel you had to write “Flash Bang“?
I started writing Flash Bang when I moved out to Denver, Colorado in 2011. At the time I was working as an Undercover Loss Prevention Agent in grocery stores in the Metro Area. What that essentially meant, was that I was walking around, usually with a partner, sometimes alone, in grocery stores. I was dressed like a normal shopper, I walked around with a shopping cart full of groceries, and when people stole things, it was my job to bring them inside and make them wait for the police to show up. As you can imagine, most of them weren’t really obliged to do that. Out boss, who was a former cop, had a pretty straight forward approach to the whole situation which was: make them. So at least once a week I was in a fist fight with a strung out shoplifter, rolling around in the snow in front of a grocery store, eating punches for a KitKat bar, or some ridiculous thing. A job like that draws interesting types of people and over the course of my time doing it, I really bonded with the people that I worked with. They were mostly military or ex-police, some honest to god bounty hunters and just a handful of random assbeaters. Really good guys that you could trust with your life.
There was one occasion, in which one of the bad guys we had just brought in failed to appear to his court date. On a whim we Googled him on a whim and found his Facebook. The guy I was working with at the time, Seth, had said: “we know where he is, lets just go get him.” We didn’t, but it was in the subtext of that sentence that the idea for Flash Bang surfaced. In the what-if.
- From where do you get your ideas?
Most of the ideas for the book came from conversations. From talking to people who were smarter than I am. When you work with a partner for 8 hours a day in a grocery store, there isn’t much else to do but talk. And talk. And talk. The character in my book, Harkin, is based almost entirely on a close friend I worked with, Austin. He was a military police officer, and not someone that you wanted to mess with. You could also usually count on him to say one absolutely unforgivable thing per day. Spent a lot of time apologizing for him. However, at the core of him, he was a really good person who would do anything for you. Another friend of mine, Seth, was the inspiration for the character Etch. We would fist fight in a park to train at least three times a week, and there was one instance, while working together, in which we were peppersprayed by a gang member with police issue mace who outweighed the two of us combined. Seth wouldn’t give up and he wouldn’t let me give up and in the end, we got the guy into handcuffs. It’s people like Seth and Austin, and experiences like those that gave me the material for good writing; good charaters.
- Do you ever experience writer’s block, and how do you overcome it?
Absolutely. There were months at a time when I wouldn’t write a word. I’d sit down at the computer and stare at the keys and walk away 20 minutes later with nothing to show for it. I’ve found that putting the computer away and going free hand for a little while, helps me get into what I’m trying to say a little better. I also usually have a running soundtrack in my head for certain parts of the novel and if I play that particular song while I’m working on that particular part it really helps me get into the right headspace to finish it. Sometimes I fight my dog too. I dunno if it helps but it’s fun as hell.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I’m still an aspiring myself but as far as advice goes, I’d have to say: keep writing. Pound through it and get to the end. There is no better feeling then looking down at your finished work and knowing that you did it. That it’s done. And the only way to get there is to keep writing, even when it feels futile.
- How do you market your work? Are some avenues more successful than others?
I’m finding that social networking is a great means of marketing my work. That, and playing to my strengths. I personally made a lot of movies when I was in high school, so, I made a couple of really low budget trailers for my book. They reached a great deal of people and they didn’t require much from me
- If your book was made into a movie, who would play each role?
It would star the original cast of Golden Girls.