The United States faces a catastrophe far worse than the Wuhan pandemic of 2020. Like before, the threat originates in China, but this time it’s not just another virus. It is a powerful device that is already embedded in cities throughout the civilized world. When activated, billions could die.
Jacob Savich is the only man capable of stopping whatever is planned. Though plagued by his own personal demons, he is commissioned by the President to assemble a clandestine team of warriors with the necessary backbone and moral flexibility to protect the country. Until now, they have been successful, but this new mission poses the most dangerous challenge Savich has ever faced. He must identify the nature of the attack, when it will occur, and who is responsible. His relentless pursuit of each clue takes him a step closer to stopping the elusive mastermind behind the plot, but it also leads him toward his own death. Despite the danger, Savich must hurry. Time is running out. The day of YAOGUAI is near. Modern civilization is about to end.
T. Milton Mayer is a former Major in the United States Air Force and a retired Head & Neck Surgeon. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He and his wife divide their time between the Greater Cincinnati area and Naples, Florida. His previous books: Scorpion Intrusion and The Immigrant are available through Amazon.
Tom Mayer, writing as T. Milton Mayer is one of my favorite authors of suspense and thriller. Welcome Tom. Let’s talk a little bit about how you started writing and why.
Tom: At age sixty, my career as a surgeon ended abruptly after I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. The early retirement was unexpected and difficult. Much to my wife’s chagrin, I spent every day at home. After rearranging her kitchen for the third time in six months, she told me I needed a hobby. I had always been an avid reader so I decided to try my hand at writing fiction.
It was far more difficult than I had imagined. My first effort was a rambling one hundred fifty thousand story about a family in the impoverished coal country in southeast Kentucky. After reading the manuscript, I put it on a shelf where it remains till this day. It was horrible. Realizing I needed to learn more. I purchased a number of books on writing. I discovered there were multiple rules that must be followed when writing any story: maintaining a consistent point of view, no head hopping, maintaining proper tense, minimizing ly words, avoiding passive verbs, etc, etc.
Five years ago, I finished Scorpion Intrusion, a 93,000 word thriller. I published it through Create Space. The book had its flaws but was well received. Subsequently, an acquaintance asked me to write his life story. After that, I wrote Quantum, a sequel to my first novel. Realizing I needed help, I sought the advice of a book coach and selected Joanne Tailele. Her advice and guidance have been invaluable. Quantum was published by Simon Publications and has had excellent reception. Joanne is helping me put the finishing touches on my third novel, The Thirteen which I expect to be ready by July.
JT: Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
Tom: Most of my stories are inspired by current events in the news. Others stem from people I have known or things I have witnessed personally. My next novel resulted from a walk I took in a park near my Florida home. It was a swampy area with elevated asphalt paths for walkers and cyclists. One morning I noticed an abandoned bicycle half submerged in the water and wondered how it got there. That led to an entire story that evolved into a one hundred-thousand word thriller. If I had a brand, it would be fiction thrillers. They all also have a touch of political influence.
JT: Let’s talk about publishing. Today there are so many choices; self-publishing, small independent presses, hybrid and traditional publishers. Why did you choose Simon Publishing LLC?
Tom: I tried traditional publishing but found the process to be tedious and the chances of rejection high. If I were younger, I might continue to try that avenue, but the submission of multiple query letters was too painful and time consuming. I discovered that using Simon Publications, I eliminated most of the painful drudgery associated with traditional publishers. A small independent press offered me excellent service and provided a finished product I could be proud of.
JT: Marketing is probably the biggest problem for most authors. Whether you go the traditional route, self-publish, or somewhere in between, it is primarily the author’s responsibility to market their own books. What do you do?
Tom: Getting the word out is of course one of the most difficult aspects of writing. I have utilized the social media. I also enroll in as many book fairs as possible. I met with several books stores to convince them to give me shelf space. I considered radio commercials and billboards but decided they wouldn’t be very cost effective. Didn’t think I could sell enough books to offset the expense.
JT: What do you like best about being a writer?
Tom: I get to lose myself in my characters and live somewhat vicariously through them. I can guide the story in any direction I want. It also gives me the chance to express my personal thoughts about various issues. I enjoy the entire creative process and often don’t know what will happen until I type it. The story takes on a life of its own.
JT: On the flip side, what is your least favorite part?
Tom: Rewrites. I tend to do a half dozen of these, even when the project is supposedly finished—much to the chagrin of the publisher.
JT: In response to the above question, one thing you do that I think is very helpful is to print out the entire manuscript after you THINK it is done. You always find things you want to change, whether it is in a particular scene or just the structure of a sentence. Being detailed oriented is both your asset and your curse.
Tom: Decide what your goals are. Keep writing and experimenting with different styles and points of view. Once you have perfected your skills, you can try the traditional publishing route, but it’s a long and tedious process. Be prepared for rejections. It’s happened to some of the best. Just remember, even if your manuscript is accepted by a publisher or agent, it will probably take at least several years before it makes its way into print. Personally, I prefer the small independent press option.
JT: Thank you Tom. Always a pleasure. Where can readers buy your books?