Let me introduce you to Phil Little, author of the Matt Cooper mystery, Hell in a Briefcase.
Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The plot is taken from my experiences or what I see as a possible event in the future based on my background in counter terrorism. Then, throughout the book, real events that have happened on cases are woven into the activities of Matt’s life.
Wow, that sounds interesting. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
One time in Mexico, thinking I was alone in a hotel suite with my wife, I came down the stairs doing a strip tease and as I whipped off the towel to my surprise some of my staff was in the room. I retreated with great haste.
I'm sure you did. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have had to write as part of my work as a detective in doing reports and I always enjoyed taking some facts and being able to weave it into a story that would impress the client. Friends had told me for years I should write about my experiences but I replied that I was not a writer and couldn’t see myself, an action person, sitting down for weeks and writing a book. That all changed in October 2003 when I was at lunch with a long time friend and support, John Tayloe, who suggested I do an outline for a seminar and start with that. I did and suddenly something clicked. I envisioned 20 chapters of a book. Since then I have published three books and I am working on my fourth.
Good job! Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I like mysteries, action books like the Jason Bourne character, westerns and faith-based books.
You'd probably like to read my friend Terry Burns' books. They're faith-based westerns. What other books have you written, whether published or not?
My first book, Counter Terrorism Handbook was published in September 2004. My second book, Hostile Intent ,was published in 2005, and my third book, Hell in a Briefcase, was published in June 2006.
They all three sound interesting. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I pray a lot. I try to spend time just getting away and having quiet time with just me and God. God is very important in my life and He helps me stay focused and keep my head on straight with so much travel and excitement. Right now my life is intense with a TV Pilot we just did for a show about my life as a Hollywood P.I. and all the interviews around the Middle East conflict and the London Bombing case.
Be sure to let us know when the TV show starts so we can watch it. How do you choose your characters’ names?
Most come from people I know or those I have worked with. The characters in Hell in a Brief Case came from the staff at West Coast Detective Int’l. I used first names and changed the last. The characters were based a lot on the personalities of the real person in the job.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being able to deliver my daughter in natural childbirth. She is now 15 years old, and we have a special bond because of it. She is Matt Cooper’s daughter in the book. I have two older sons and when they were born the hospital wouldn’t let you in the delivery room. Running a close second to that is the selection of my current assistant JJ. You can see her on my blog, www.detectivemattcooper.blogspot.com .
Sounds like you've lived a very intersting life. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A Lion. The Lion is bold and sure of himself. He is unafraid and King of the forest.
What is your favorite food?
A perfect white fish, Sea Bass or Halibut, baked in a nice white wine sauce with a bottle of Montrachet.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
It is a look at a real life International Private Security Agency, and the reader gets a rare glimpse inside the life of an International P.I./Counter Terrorism agent.
Phil, thank you for sharing this time with us.
Readers, be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Hell in a Briefcase.