Ace Collins is a fairly new friend I met through my agent. Welcome, Ace. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Some of my interests can be found in lead characters, but beyond that they are perhaps the people I would want to be rather than the person I am. My leads are stronger, more driven, and probably more focused than I am. In every book I write the leads are also trying to find a calling and I think that is something we are all doing.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I am a pretty quirky person, so it is difficult to pick just one. Perhaps when I was in college and had a local makeup artist fashion ears like Spock wore in Star Trek so I could wear them on a date I had with a young woman who loved that TV show.
Yeah, that’s quirky. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wrote my first short story in third grade, so I have been playing with words for a long time. I finally gave up the real world for fulltime writing when I was twenty-eight.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Everything from mysteries and action-adventure books to biographies. I especially enjoy book written about the Golden Age of Hollywood.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I am not really a part of that world. I set my own hours, so the pace never gets to me. My sanity to a large degree is kept in check thanks to the outlet of writing. If I had to carry all these characters and plots in my head without getting them out via writing, then I would likely go crazy.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
That is the hardest part of my work. After all the books I have now written, I find myself in a rut when it comes to names. So I do a couple of things. The first is pick the first name of one friend and the last name of another and the second is looking at movies I have watched and finding character names there I like.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My strong marriage. Kathy is an incredible woman and living with her has been a blessing like none other. So much more than the awards or earning the title Best Selling Author via book sales, it is my marriage that is my best work.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I’d be a cat. They are independent, athletic, and curious.
What is your favorite food?
I believe at the top of any food pyramid should be peanut butter. From eating it on bread to fudge to cookies to candy, there is nothing better.
You and my husband would really get along. He likes peanut butter anything. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My problem was having great stories ideas but not having the experience to do them justice. That experience came through writing and being edited by the best the business.
Tell us about the featured book.
This is a very hard book to describe in a short space. But I will try…In Reich of Passage Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tell Boyer and film’s greatest icon are trapped as the past and future violently collide bringing together today’s most volatile world dilemmas and history’s most imposing forces in a gut-wrenching, mind-blowing adventure of epic proportion. To save the
United States and Israel, Boyer’s hastily formed team
must defeat a force so powerful it defies the limits of time itself. This moral
saga, set against a backdrop of government corruption and intrigue, leaves
readers breathless as Boyer’s small mismatched band of ill prepared heroes are
tossed into an adventure including exploding hospitals, wild gun battles, exciting
chase scenes, a harrowing flight in a vintage aircraft, and an unforgettable
escape in a classic car. And in the midst of this incredible ride is a love
story between two people who should have never met.
Please give us the first page of the book.
December 24, 1943
Jim Blane had been back in the
for only three months. They were the three longest months of his life. In the
blink of an eye, he’d gone from living on the edge to simply existing. No
longer did he have to constantly look over his shoulder, no longer did he have
to read the intentions of each person he met, no longer did he have to be
someone he wasn’t, no longer did he have to wonder if the next moment would be
his last. He was safe and secure, but these two precious commodities, the very
things everyone else seemed to pray for each night, robbed him of his zest for
life and passion for each moment. Now, so far from the dangers of war, he had
lost the will to live. With no family, with no place to go, he was spending
Christmas Eve alone with a bottle of scotch and a day-old newspaper.
His last Christmas had been very different—celebrated with more than two dozen of the most powerful men in the world. On that cold December evening, he’d been hailed as a hero and given a Mercedes by a grateful nation. It hardly seemed fair. Here in his own country, he was the hero no one knew, a man whom no one loved. What a difference a year could make.
Blane had experienced incredible thrills during his almost six years as the top Allied undercover agent in
Thus his current desk job in Los
Angeles hardly meshed with his exotic taste. His drink
was as bitter as his mood.
When he was ferreted out by an American double agent, Blane was just two weeks away from initiating a plan that should have resulted in the assassination of Adolf Hitler. The plan, more than two years in the making, had been perfect. Everything had been put in place. With one shot, the war would have ended. Then the mole had blown the whistle. While Blane had escaped, three others were rounded up, tortured, and shot. They had been his friends, as well as his confederates, and now he questioned why he lived and they had died. On this night, he even wondered if they were not the lucky ones.
His usefulness as a spy finished, Blane was now nothing more than another cog in the intelligence machine—a desk jockey with no chances of ever getting back to the work he so loved or finishing the job he had started. He was bored and bitter, frustrated and lonely.
Blane had been one of the youngest officers in the navy when he was asked to go undercover. Because he had no living family; was fearless, street-smart, and well educated; and spoke German fluently, he was the perfect spy. But that was before his cover was blown. Now he drank too much, drove recklessly, and slept little.
Pacing in his flat, thousands of miles from where troops were dying in battle, he found it hard to fathom that the
was fighting a war on two fronts. And maybe what bothered him most was that in
spite of that fact, the holiday spirit was everywhere. Carols were sung, gifts
exchanged, cards mailed. One of his buddies from Washington had sent him a homemade
fruitcake. Yet where was the peace on earth?
Switching on his Philco table radio, Blane cut a piece of the cake, poured another drink, and plopped onto an overstuffed chair. As Bing Crosby warbled his newest hit, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” the solitary figure absentmindedly munched on the cake. He tasted nothing. He was simply numb to the world and everything in it. By the time the crooner had finished his song, Blane had fallen asleep in his chair, dreaming of a Christmas half a world away—a Christmas that put him back in action, in a place where he could really help bring peace to the world.
Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My online home is www.acecollins.com and I am on Facebook under Ace Collins.
Thank you, Ace, for the interesting interview.
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Reich of Passage - Kindle
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