Today we welcome Andrew Hess.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Andrew Hess: I have the best little 13 month old son, so obviously I spend a lot of time with him. I love music, movies, and am a TV junkie. Over the last two years I developed a love for photography and have incorporated it into my writing world as well.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Andrew Hess: All of my books are fiction. I have written 14 books and took part in an anthology. Most of them are mystery/suspense or romantic suspense books. The Detective Ryan Series has been my most known books. It follows the life of Detective Ali Ryan, a hot shot detective from the Ulster County Police Department. I started writing detective novels because I love watching crime dramas on TV and grew up reading the Hardy Boys, Sherlock Holmes, and Alex Cross books.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Andrew Hess: Currently I am working the sequel to my 2016 novel #1 Fan, which is titled, #1 Fan: Obsession. This picks up where the first book ends as we continue to follow the lives of author Evan Taylor and his wife Sara.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Andrew Hess: I think the hardest piece I wrote had to be #1 Fan as that was the first time I wrote without an outline and had no direction when I pieced everything together. It was also the first time I had a photo shoot for one of my books and needed to piece the pictures and the story together.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Andrew Hess: Google has been my best friend. I usually Google everything, I use maps to find side streets and what the area currently looks like. I research restaurants, malls, stores, and even music from the mid-2000s to get the setting right and give readers a sense of nostalgia.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Andrew Hess: Edgar Allan Poe will always be my all time favorite. James Patterson I will read occasionally, I also read some great Indie Authors such as V. Kelly and Tanya Sands.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Andrew Hess: There wasn’t anyone who encouraged in the beginning, but I do have fans that threaten bodily harm if I do not put out the next installment in the books they love.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Andrew Hess: I would say the way I make the story easy to read, the way I invoke an emotional connection with my readers for the characters, and the way I create plot twists that no one sees coming.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Andrew Hess: I definitely think a strict routine is needed. Since becoming a father, my time for writing has dwindled down, but I still set aside an hour or two every night after my son goes to bed to get some writing done.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Andrew Hess: I think every author sees themselves hitting it big with a bestselling novel, making big money, and having their book get turned into a movie. Trust me; I would love it too. But in reality, I am content with writing my books, going to book signings/conventions with my family, and continue bringing the books to life through my photography.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Andrew Hess: Network with authors that have been in the industry for a few years. Pick their brains, ask them for advice, and actually listen to them. Find people you can truly trust and build a solid friendship with them.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Andrew Hess: It’s weird to say it, but the best compliment I receive or could receive is; “Andrew, I want to strangle you.” I’ve heard it plenty of times from readers. Every time I hear it, it’s because they were shocked by one of my plot twists or cliffhanger endings and they need the next book.
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
He closed the door and hurried to a long mirror that hung over the kitchen/bathroom sink that was filled with dirty dishes. He looked at his reflection; admiring his new hairstyle and the twenty pounds he lost over the summer.
“Time to get rid of the geek,” he whispered as he opened the first bag; pulling out a small blue box. He tossed his glasses onto the counter and popped two contacts in his eyes. They filled with tears instantly; turning his hazel eyes into a brighter shade of green.
He was beaming with confidence; something he never had in the past. He looked at the flyer taped to the fridge. The bottom of the flyer had a broken picture frame with a black and white photo of a man with glasses lying on the floor. The same man stood over it; dressed to the nine in an Armani suit with a hot blond wrapped around his arm. The bold caption read: Find the Success You Want.
He pulled it off the fridge and stared at it; remembering the rainy Thursday afternoon during his sophomore year when he exited the Lecture Hall and found the flyer posted on each of the bulletin boards. He had broken up with his girlfriend of three years; the same girl he moved to New Paltz to be with. They had fought about him not being the kind of man she wanted. She wanted someone with confidence; someone that could treat her right; someone who had ambition and passion in his life. None of that described him until the day he found that flyer.
“I guess I don’t need you anymore.” The man tore up the paper into tiny pieces and threw them into the tall beige trash can next to the sink.
A calendar rested above his head with two dates circled in red marker. The first was marked for August 23rd, the first day of school. The other was circled multiple times; creating a bullseye over September 1st. He placed his finger on the target and smiled before returning to his desk.
The drawers creaked out a loud high pitched noise; worse than nails running along a chalk board. He shivered as a chill ran down his body. His hand slipped into the drawer and pulled out a small wrinkled piece of paper with four names written in black ink. He stared at the names intensely and whispered to himself.
“Vengeance will be mine.” He pulled the bags closer to the desk; removing the new clothes and placed them on the bed. “I think it’s time for Mark Thompson to make his debut.”
Deadly Games: https://youtu.be/AxMgrhDTKuI
Finding Strength: https://youtu.be/isL8T2nyX-Y