Monday, September 2, 2013

An Interview with Author Tony Acree

Hiya peeps! Please welcome Tony Acree, author of the supernatural thriller The Hand of God. I met him recently at a joint book signing at That Book Place in Madison, IN and we got along peachily. Always fun to meet someone who shares my weird sense of humor. So, let's figure out what makes him tick, shall we?

Kick off your shoes, Tony (unless you have a foot odor problem) and tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you do when not writing the next thriller?

Sniff) Seems O.K.. I'm from La Grange, Kentucky and currently live in Goshen, Kentucky, a small river town about twenty miles north east of Louisville. When I'm not typing away at my local Starbucks, I'm a married father of twin girls, Katy and Lauren, and run my own concierge business. 

Give us the scoop on what inspired The Hand of God.

Back when I was a young man, I loved the song, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, but always thought Johnny was an idiot, risking his soul for gold. Which made me wonder, what would I risk my soul for? The Hand of God allows me to put the main character, Victor McCain, in that position to see what he would do. The answer is, a lot. 

As this is your debut novel, what did you discover as the best (and hardest parts) about the process of writing, editing, and publishing?

The best part is the actual writing. I love sitting down at a keyboard to see where my mind goes next. It's like exploring deep space, not knowing what comes next. The hardest part is finding the time to write. Writing a novel takes time and when you lead a busy active life, with a wife, two kids, two dogs, a cat and two fish, and run your own business, time is not always yours. 

Tell us about your publisher, Hydra Publications. Why did you choose to work with a small press as opposed to trying to land an agent or self-publishing?

My path to publication is a strange one. I attended an event called, Pitch the Publisher. I pitched two books to three publishers and they all three offered to publish both books. I chose the one closest to me first, but then the house had to fold, leading me to contact the two other small publishers. Frank Hall of Hydra showed the most enthusiasm for my work and I decided to sign with Hydra Publications. With an offer in hand, I never tried to find an agent, but I may do so with the second book in the series, The Watchers. So if you are an agent, and you're reading this, look me up. 

Was there ever a point in the process that you felt like giving up? If so, how did you motivate yourself to keep going?

I'm a very self motivating person. Once I found out someone was willing to pay me for my efforts, all I needed to do was learn how to write a novel. I've been writing since elementary school, but poetry, short stories and news and magazine articles. Writing a novel is a completely different process. Once I learned how to budget my time and treat it like a job, it became an easy task. It's amazing how many words you can produce when you write every day for eight months.

Since your books deal with the supernatural, what are your thoughts on ghosts? Demons? Aliens? Sasquatch? Nessie?

Shhhh... Don't tell anyone, but I don't put much stock in ghosts, demons, aliens, Sasquatch or Nessie. In fact I....I'm sorry. What was that noise? Hang on a second, please. I'll be right back................Uh. I am now non committal about all of them. 

Grab the nearest book and give us the title, author, and opening line.

Start Shooting, Charlie Newton, "Black, white, brown or yellow, on Chicago's South Side, your neighborhood is your surname."

Totally random question: Would you a thief or a beggar?

Oh. Thief. No doubt. Stealing women's hearts, Running off with the fairest maiden in the land. Snatching the farmer's daughter from the clutches of boredom. Wrong type of thief? Better to steal love than beg for it.

Would you be so kind as to give us an excerpt from The Hand of God?

Running past me, she began to climb up on the dumpster as the blonde twerp came around the corner, sauntering our way. Looking at her, I said, “What? You’re worried about this blonde reject from the
Buy it HERE!
Lollipop Guild?”

Evidently I pissed Blondie off, because he picked up the motorcycle and threw it at my head. At. My. Head.

I’ve spent a lot of time hanging with and tracking down members of the Hells Angels and happen to know A Fat Boy weighs north of six-hundred pounds. Blondie couldn’t have weighed more than a buck fifty,  yet the bike flew by me like a Randy Johnson fastball.   I ducked just in time and Miranda jumped off the dumpster, as the bike hit the top of it,  leaving a huge dent in the dumpster and the bike. No doubt the bartender was having a really bad day.

“Dude, you have to lay off the steroids. It’s leading to anger issues. Let me guess,” I asked, “too late for an apology and a group hug?”

Guess so as, growling like some rabid dog, he charged me. This through me for a loop as most men run away from me, not towards me. Then again, I’ve never had anyone throw a bike at me, either. As he was crashing into me,  I hit him hard with a two handed blow to the back of of his head, trying to end things right then and there. No dice as, lifting me off my feet and slamming me into a dumpster, he knocked the wind out of my sails. Jesus Christ, the shot I gave him would have crippled most men. Yet all he did was start laughing.

He said, “Tough bastard, you are. But ‘ole Eamon is tougher, don’t you think?”

It was all I could do not to start gagging from the stench of his breath as it smelled like he had been eating roadkill for dinner. I said, “First off, talking about yourself in the third person points to some severe psychological issues. Second, man, you could use some Tic-Tacs.” Leaning back, then driving forward, I struck him in the nose with a fierce headbutt. My mother always claimed my head is as thick because she dropped me more than once right on my noggin. I could hear his nose crunch and break, a smushed lump in the  middle of his acne craters. He started giggling and tried headbutting me back, but I shifted my head at the last moment and he struck the side of the dumpster, leaving a another huge dent.

Lastly, what can we expect from you in your next book?

My next book, which is almost finished, is entitled The Watchers, and is the second book in the Victor McCain series. The thrills are ramped up, the stakes higher and in the end, the fate of the planet may depend on what Vic decides to do next. No problem, right Vic? 

Thanks so much for visiting Unwritten, Tony! I do hope you'll return and wish you much success.

Thanks for having me, Mysti!

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