Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Douglas Misquita - Haunted - Author Interview & Guest Post

Author Interview

1. Who is the plot based around?
The plot is based around a federal agent, Kirk Ingram who has not come to terms with the loss of his wife and daughter. As he battles with the memories of his failure to save them, he turns to relentlessly claiming vengeance against the specter of organized crime and terrorism because it soothes his guilt and gives his haunted life a sense of purpose.

2. What is the main idea of the plot?
The plot explores the idea of a nexus between organized crime networks and corporates and how the two can combine to unleash a deadly form of terrorism whether explicit through open carnage or implicit by creating an atmosphere of mistrust and fear of immigrants.

3. When does the plot take place?
The plot takes place in modern times, circa 2010.

4. Where does the plot take place?
I’ve tried to fuse fiction and real places. So the story takes the reader from a fictitious dictator state on the fringes of the collapsed Soviet Union, to Costa Rican villages. The bulk of the plot takes place in Los Angeles and off the west coast of the United States with a hostage situation and some good ‘camera-shot’ story-telling in the Mojave Desert. I call it camera-shots because I switch perspectives like you would see different angles of the same scene in a movie.

5. Why did the plot develop the way it did?
Well, I try not to analyze that too much; there are some unknowns in that thinking process that should be left as is. Anyway, the plot came together first as a sequence of large-scale action scenes; I wanted to have explosions, gun-battles, undersea action, UAV drone action, use cool weapons. And then the story was constructed around these scenes. Sort of like a backward approach. It also created some roadblocks but then I got practical, twisted the story some more, introduced more linkages and tied the whole thing up neatly.

6. How did you come up with the idea for the plot?
That’s easy: I love the concept of incidents that can push an individual over the edge into a vendetta against something or someone, fuelled by the individual’s own guilt and failures.

Guest Post

While writing Haunted I set out with the goal of creating literary live-action. I wanted to be as descriptive as necessary to make the reader feel he or she was in the action living out those gun-battles and car chases with the characters of the book. At the same time I wanted the book to be as fast as it could be. With that goal in mind, I spent a lot of time visualizing the action-sequences from the perspective of the characters and then using adjectives and adverbs that readers could relate to, to get a sense of the live action.

The outcome of these ‘scenes’ essentially led to other ‘scenes’… For example, I started off with “How would a revenge-killing in a scrapyard in a thunder shower play out” and after I wrote that opening chapter I was left with a physically and psychologically devastated Kirk Ingram. So what do I do with Kirk Ingram? He’s too wounded to get to work immediately, so I decided to plug the hiatus with something that would give Kirk enough time to step back into the action when he was better. This branched me off to Russia and the theft of a nerve agent and the undersea search for the shipwreck carrying the nerve agent.

Thus I had two threads now: one with the nerve agent which is blatant terrorism and one with Ingram which deals with organized crime. There had to be a link between the two for it to make sense, so I had my villain who was trying to enter the big time: moving from organized crime to terrorism. This allowed me to explore facets of an upcoming villain - I mean, I’m sure they don’t get it right all at once, there’s bound to be mistakes, goof-ups. At the same time it allowed me to keep more than one protagonist because realistically speaking, there’s no “one” hero. Every hero has all those people who help him or her. So everyone in the story is capable and I think a lot of the readers would like to associate themselves with the various characters in the story.

But now, I had all these characters and here’s where a lot of walking up-and-down my living room helped. There’s no easy way out of a mire of a plot and with Haunted, since the story was developed around scenes and not vice-versa, I really had a hard time working out relationships between the characters. The first draft of the book was like a carpet with all these threads hanging loose because I just wanted to be done with the story. But after a long break, I returned with a more mature thought process and by the fourth or fifth revision had all those threads neatly trimmed and tied up.

For authenticity I researched a lot online ensuring that characters used the right weapons, drove the right vehicles and even smoked the right brands of cigarettes.

Yeah, I guess that about sums it up. That’s how Haunted came together.

Book Summary:

FBI Special Agent Kirk Ingram’s life is torn apart when his family is brutally murdered before his eyes. Devastated physically and psychologically, he vows to destroy organized crime in all forms.
In the Eastern bloc, a rogue dictator state is stockpiling Citex, a deadly nerve agent...

Across the globe, an international trade house funnels Balkan organized crime activities through its business channels and now hatches a plot to distribute Citex to major cities in the world, creating a nexus with terror that threatens to bring the world order to the point of anarchy.

And only one man stands in the way of global terror and paranoia. One man seeking redemption and waging a personal battle against the demons of his past.

USD 16/-, INR 350/- (discounts available with online stores in India)

Number of Pages:
372 Pages


Leadstart Publishing Corp. (Imprint: Frog Books)

Release Date:
January 2011

Buy Links:

Online/ Offline store listing

Author Bio:

Douglas Misquita is an action-thriller writer from Mumbai, India. His debut novel Haunted has been very well received by fans of the genre. Besides writing, Douglas plays lead guitar on a rock n roll band and enjoys travelling and reading about places that are steeped in history. He has an MBA in Information Technology and Systems and a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering and is currently a Project Manager in the wireless communications industry.



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