Hey there everyone.
For tonight’s installment of the Author Interview Series, we have a very talented and prolific writer willing to chat with us.
May I present to you all Award Winning author Andrew Hess, as he takes us into the world of his gripping books and poetry with aplomb.
Here we go and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.
Hi there Andrew, thank you for taking the time to be with us as our guest here today.
It’s an honor to be here.
Let’s start with your main series of novels that you have created that have multiple entries to their names – “The Phoenix Blade Series” and “The Detective Ryan Series”. Please tell us more about the story and character arcs for these epic tales, what gave you the initial ideas for them and how they have evolved since you first created them.
The Phoenix Blade was my first series. The first book, Project Justice was written due to my perception of the world changing so drastically once I was in college compared to how it was growing up. I decided to write a book on a fictional government conspiracy and at the same time let the characters exact justice against those who were truly evil in the world. The story for the series came from a dream, which is how I came up with the ending for the first book. From there, I spun it into a longer and more in depth conspiracy series.
The Detective Ryan Series was conceived in a much different way. I grew up watching detective shows and reading detective novels. I read a lot of James Patterson books and always wanted to write my own detective series. The character, Ali Ryan, came from an old college friend. She had a sassy attitude, but was nice and caring too. I lived in the New Paltz and Poughkeepsie area for five years and wanted to write something based on the people I knew (including the victims). The Detective Ryan Series seemed to take on a life of its own. I had a lot of readers tell me how much they enjoyed it and kept coming up with new twists to add to her story.
You have also published two new entries for two new series – “Finding Strength (Strength, Hope, Love Series Book 1)” and “Deadly Games: Book 1 of the Detective Thornton Series”. What can we expect from your book Finding Strength, in terms of plot and characters, as it sounds like a departure from your previous work? And regarding Detective Thornton, does he share any of the world inhabited by Detective Ryan or is this another completely new series with different goals and directions?
Deadly Games (Book 1 of the Detective Thornton Series) is a spin-off of the Detective Ryan Series. You meet Detective Thornton in books 2 and 3 of Ali’s books. His first two books are set before the Campus Killer case falls in Ali’s lap, and shows why he is a sarcastic jerk who thinks he can get his way with anyone and anything. There will be more books added to his story that will also combine with the Detective Ryan Series. The first book, (Deadly Games) takes place at a murder mystery weekend. He thinks it will be an open and shut case for him until the murders become real.
Finding Strength (Book 1 of the Strength, Hope, and Love Series) took me by surprise. It was completely outside my weird little mystery/suspense world and was very much outside of my comfort zone. It shows the life of Emma Dawson, a woman who enjoyed the world she knew with her husband and two kids. It took her husband to lose his job for her world to crumble. The series will chronicle her life as she becomes a 40-year-old divorced mother of two. Each book will showcase another hardship of Emma’s life through the years as her kids get older.
You have two stand-alone novels called “#1 Fan” and “Trapped Inside: Living with Agoraphobia”. What kind of themes and genres do these books touch upon? Both of them sound psychologically based on very trying circumstances faced by the protagonists.
#1 Fan was originally written to be a screenplay. I started coming up with ideas I wanted to be strictly for the big screen, but couldn’t get passed the first ten pages. Once I decided to write it as a book and deviated from the outline quite a bit, everything flowed naturally. I wouldn’t really classify this book as a psychological book. #1 Fan is about the life of an author on the rise who meets a woman the night before his first big book signing. He never expected her to be a fan of his writing or to fall in love. He also didn’t plan on letting his success go to his head.
Trapped Inside: Living With Agoraphobia, was written as a way to bring awareness to the social anxiety disorder known as Agoraphobia. There are varying degrees in which it affects people; some are not as severe as others and are able to live their lives nearly unaffected by it. Others, like the character Justin Ackers, becomes so intense that they cannot leave their house. I wanted to use this novella as a way to bring awareness and show that there are ways to treat the disorder.
Finally regarding your published works, you also have two poetry collections called “Chamber of Souls” and “Hall of the Forgotten”. Please tell us more about your poetry, your inspirations and relationships with words and what it means to you personally being a poet alongside being an author too?
Poetry was my initial entry into the world of writing. Most of the poems were written between 2007-2010. They were written as a way for me to deal with different situations and emotions. Everything was written in Free-Verse Poetry. Every word was etched from my heart and the dark reaches of my mind. Each book of poetry is a complete story when you read each poem in order from beginning to the end.
Chamber of Souls tells the story of a man who thought he had everything in life only to lose it all in one moment. He loses the woman he planned on marrying, the home he lived in, and himself. As he returns home, he finds himself on a journey to find himself again.
Hall of the Forgotten is an ode to Edgar Allan Poe’s Cask of Amontillado. It was written as a way to tell my story of the people who wronged me. If you know the story of Cask of Amontillado, you will appreciate how the main character handles each person that wronged him.
If any of your novels were to be made into films (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
I would definitely love it if The Phoenix Blade Series or the Detective Ryan Series became a show or movie.
The Phoenix Blade dream cast would have David Henrie or Skylar Astin (Andrew Lancaster), Joanna Garcia Swisher (Lilly Henderson), Logan Henderson (Mike Santangelo), and Anna Kendrick (Amber Fergusson).
The Detective Ryan dream cast would have Adrianne Palicki (Detective Ali Ryan) Shemar Moore (Officer Rodney Johnson) Cam Gigandet (Detective James Thornton).
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
The hardest part is plotting the outline or hitting every detail about places I have never visited, or writing about places that I visited a decade ago. The easiest part is writing the dialogue. The words are spoken so freely as I type away on the keyboard. Each personality shines through with their own individual voice.
Who are some of the authors and historical figures that inspire you?
Edgar Allan Poe and James Patterson were my main sources of inspiration. I also loved reading the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. I’ve also had several Indie Authors that have inspired my writing; Anne Conley, V. Kelly, and Tanya Sands.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
It depends on the book and where it takes place. Most of the time I Google people, places and events that coincide with the time and area I choose to write about. If it’s something local or within a two-hour drive, I drive out to the area to investigate it personally, take pictures, and gain a feel for the atmosphere. With the Detective Ryan Series, I lived in the New Paltz and Poughkeepsie area for five years. I went to college there, and loved going back to revisit the campus and the surrounding areas.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I used to write just because I had an idea for an interesting book or movie, or I needed to vent out my emotions. Most of my writing remains based on random ideas, but are also inspired by people around me. My readers are also taken into consideration with every book I write, especially if it’s part of a series. This makes reviews very important. I take every critique (the good and the bad) into consideration when writing the next instalment.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I hate writers block. It’s taken years to find a way to get through it easily. Thankfully, I have a music playlist set up on my computer and on my phone that seems to draw the words out of me.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would say to start networking earlier. There was too much time wasted on Facebook doing nothing when I could have been connecting with other authors and joining different author groups.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
It used to be watching movies, playing pool, or playing video games. Now, I spend most of the time with my 7-week-old son and my wife.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
There’s a lot coming in 2017. Expect the second book in the Detective Thornton Series to be released in late January or early February. The fourth book of the Detective Ryan Series will release in the spring. The second book of #1 Fan, and the second book of the Strength, Hope, and Love Series (Finding Hope) will release during the summer of 2017. I may also have a few more surprises in store if my mind and fingers decide to work together.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Network with authors of all genres (don’t limit yourself just to your genre).
Work hard, and keep a list of ideas to look back on down the road.
Don’t lose your passion for writing. Remember why you decided to write in the first place.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for your wonderful interview Andrew, it will be a lot of fun checking out all of your books and how each of your series unfolds too 🙂
Andrew Hess is a resident of Long Island, New York and a Lindenhurst High School Alumni (graduating class of 2001) Having been a fan of writing creative writing and journalism, Andrew found himself with the desire to become an author while studying Psychology at SUNY New Paltz. His first book, Chamber of Souls, debuted in 2011 where he depicted the life of a broken man wallowing in self-pity. Using free verse poetry, he brought this character to life while he journeyed to find himself.
Hess also found himself immersed in the world of mystery and thriller novels. His first Series, The Phoenix Blade, showcased a group of vigilante 20 year olds hired by the government to rid the country of those that have evaded justice. This fictional government conspiracy series currently has three books available and was awarded the Best Series of 2014 by Indie Author Books.
Despite spending most of his life Lindenhurst, Andrew also spent five years living in the New Paltz and Poughkeepsie areas. His return trips helped inspire his second series, The Detective Ryan Series. Currently, there are two books in the action packed series that depicts the life of Detective Ali Ryan as she investigates a series of murders while struggling to keep her family together.
Best Mystery Thriller Author of 2015 (Indie Author Books)
Best Book Series 2014- The Phoenix Blade (Indie Author Books)
Multi-time nominated as Author of the Year, Mystery Author of the Year, Favorite Book of the Year, Best Mystery Book of the Year, and Best Male Author.
You can connect with Andrew on the following Social Media channels:-
You can buy Andrew’s books here:-
Still want more? Well, there is a lot of anticipation building for Andrew’s books, particularly for more in each of his different series and where they will lead to next. For more articles relating to the theme of ‘Anticipation’ then check out the links below:-
1. Waiting Game – The Dreaming Lady
2. German Turkey Rebellion – Mac’s World
3. Zombie Flamingos – Kitten Thursday and ‘MurKan Thanksgiving!
4. An Upturned Soul – How To (probably NOT) Read Your Astrology Chart
5. Anticipation, what a cruel word! – Micks Blog
6. Evolution – AINSWORDLY
7. The 5 Secrets To Buying The Perfect Christmas Gift – Unique Lovely Gifts
8. Anticipation: The Daily Prompt – Sorkrates
9. Purposive Writer – Mind The Gap
10. A Day of Thanksgiving – 5AcresAndShe
11. After An Eternity – Blog of Hammad Rais
12. Familiar – teenspirit
13. 2017 will be a great year – ARMY OF THE FALLEN BIKERS
14. Spiked Heels That Can Get You In Trouble – Custom Shoes Blog
15. Crystal Balls – a nomad in cyberspace
16. LIFE – When in Batangas Part 2
17. Waiting…all our lives… – Random Thoughts and Musings
18. First Drafts – Thanksgiving Haiku
19. There Are More Poets than Stars in the Firmament – thankful for blog friends
20. Anticipation – suzhalgal
21. Are You Prepared? – Pete Gardner Psalms
22. Quill & Parchment – I Will Wait !
23. Anticipation – The Inkwell
24. Devil Doll Musings – Free Fallin’
25. Desert Moon Meanderings – Anticipation
26. Toortsie, Kameel en Bokbaaivygie se blog – As jou wekker deurmekaar is
27. Anticipation – Mariam Hyder
28. Daily Post Prompt: Anticipation – The Bag Lady
29. sonja benskin mesher – the year
30. Nog 2 keer slapen – @Peter’s Blog
31. Anticipation – Swa-Mikosho
32. Anticipation of an Insomniac – Inside Mama’s Head
33. Fluffy Pool – Anticipation and Day 23
34. Placidity – Leaking Ink
35. Anticipation – Writer2011
36. Amie Writes – The night before Thanksgiving…
37. Annette’s place – DaILy PRomPt/ANtiCIpaTIoN
38. Here, There, Everywhere… – fit2fatforme
39. know my heart – search me: letting go
40. Suddenly Single… Minded – Meanwhile…waiting at Luggage Claim
41. inspiration in progress – unanticipable
42. HarlemATL Inner City Blues – Invisible Scars
43. My Anticipations – Micks Blog
44. Happy Thanksgiving – Roseylinns Reflections
45. Anticipation… something to come… – Serendipitous Web Life
46. Thanksgiving Anticipation – The Chicken Grandma
47. Thanksgiving Musical Recital Story, Part 1 (WAW) – Shmaltz and Menudo
48. Edmund – A Walk in the Woods
49. Sara Ackerman, author – Thanksgiving Ghosts
50. flirting with minimalism – In Anticipation of the Urge
51. The Dating Game. P1? – Rexine Rawhead
52. Anticipation – @HumbleBirdLove
53. I Anticipate the Wait – My Loud Bipolar Whispers
54. It’s too late – themanbehindtheglass
55. First graders anticipate fun time in class – Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 YNN
56. Sweet Anticipation – Postcard from a Pigeon
57. Lost Property Repository – Anticipation sucks!
58. Simple Joys – Nervous Anticipation
59. Anticipation v’s Reality – a mile in my shoes
60. Leanne Murphy – Ten words #38
61. wordsmither web – Anticipation
62. Harcourt 51 – Anticipation
63. Kate Murray – Anticipation
64. The Gad About Town – Keep Calm & I Don’t Remember the Rest
65. Cage Dunn: Writer and Author – The Wings Are Spread – Ready to Fly
66. Outside The Lines – KL Beats Boulevard
67. Anticipation – Occasional Dreams
68. Vlog – The Life of Jan – Tis the Season
69. Po’ Girl Shines – Anticipation Worth the Wait
70. B_ up to date – Some girls …
71. Flowers and Breezes – Anticipation
72. 🙂 – Love it Now
73. What Does It Take? – Sunken Thought
74. Anticipation – 2amcoffeebreak
75. Control – keriloa
76. Countdown to moving. – Elaine’s Bloggers Paradise
77. Online dating, first impressions – Elaine’s Bloggers Paradise
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79. Happy anxiety* – serenitynay
80. Anticipation – blondiehoy
81. Anticipation – bLAHbutterfly
82. Thoughts: Childhood Anticipation – Sincerely, Loewe
83. Tiffany Higgins, writer – In anticipation of Christmas
84. speaking up for myself – Stupid
85. Nature Needs To Roll With It – Apparently I’m Funny
86. Noner Says… – Anticipation, Hard Goodbyes
87. Have an Attitude of Gratitude – Happy Wifey Life
88. Flat Tyre – Brendon Ward
89. Timeandreflections – Mirage or Marriage
90. juantetcts – Daily Post:Anticipation
91. Because I’m Different – writealineblog
92. Early Afternoon and the House is Still – S. Thomas Summers
93. kStan(ly) kSays – hide the china
94. Pathfinders – WazirNama
95. Crossing Colorado – How to Avoid Thanksgiving Portions and Overeating
96. wordsareallihavesite – Anticipation
97. The Only Salvation – emotionsoflife2016
98. PROJECT ASTRAL – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
99. Insach – When you fall for it.
100. What it’s like – WP anticipation
101. The Lazy Wanderer – 100 Days of Happiness – Day 62
102. Anticipation – Inner Whispers
103. Frank Prem – notes on hope and redemption: #8 – the human condition
104. Spatchcock! Gesundheit… – The Page Turns
105. Sneeze – Kurtis Lunz
106. Blue Eyes – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
107. Anticipation – Mindflight
108. Musings of a Random Mind – A Thanksgiving Story
109. SERENDIPITY – ANTICIPATION – CARLY SIMON AND MENEMSHA HARBOR
110. Anticipation is.. – peepal
111. Wide Eyed In Wonder – Six Word Story: Anticipation
112. Heltsley Home Page – Adventures in the Life of a Blind Computer Geek #anticipation
113. Covert Novelist – Anticipation
114. The Sharks of Fear – Harry Crumb
115. Sasha’s Writings – My Second Blog!
116. A Seemingly Endless Wait – atrangizindagieksafar
117. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Anticipation
118. LadyLebz – I SHOULD BE PROMOTED
119. LadyLebz – I’M HAVING A BABY WITH MY CLOSE FRIEND
120. Betcha didn’t know! – Are you still publishing too many post? Discover why doing this could ruin your blog
121. Anticipation – Micks Blog
122. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Daily Prompt:Was it worth the anticipation?
123. Weird And Wonderful – Pleasures, Imaginations and Anticipation
124. s1ngal – Antsy in Anticipation
125. 3 isms… – indisputably inconclusive
126. So excited I can hide it – In my world
127. Do Not Annoy The Writer – Anticipation and Disappointment
128. Betcha didn’t know! – Betcha! I have something to say! Discover a tip that could boost your views
129. Martha L Shaw – Seek Directions
130. Anticipation – Random Thoughts and Musings
131. Stuck in Anticipation – Lifestyled Islander
132. Plant – Thanksgiving Cactus – MINDING MY P’S WITH Q
133. Tales of Virginia – Tales of Men – A Passing Melody
134. Just Write… – SUCCESS STRATEGIES
135. anticipation – for the love of poetry
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139. Diary of a Married Woman – Mine
140. debooWORKS – Game Over
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142. Anticipation – Wings Of Poetry
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146. kStan(ly) kSays – so the mighty hunter waits
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150. THE BLANK PAGE – Anticipation
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155. Full-Time – Wait
156. Full-Time – Waiting
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158. Premonitory Funk – Write On Queen!
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166. Waiting – Two Are Better Than One
167. Perspective – The Era I lived in
168. Positivity is contagious – pass it on! – art of being fabulous
169. Don’t Put A Dollar Sign to Happiness in the Workforce. – Mid-Life Inspirations
170. The Lack of Sunbeams – Just a Little Magic
171. Zombie Flamingos – Well, what do you know?
172. Anticipation – writemebad
173. 26 Letters Poetry Blog – Train Window
174. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Anticipation
175. Anticipate – Hazy Perception
176. the15thday – always fits just right
177. Overreaction – november child
178. the FLAVORED word – Sometimes everyone needs a solid shove to their backside
179. LOVE BEING SPOILED – Dreams
180. Our Random View – Anticipation
181. Daily Prompt : Anticipation – Bob’s Blog
182. NEVER STOP BELIEVING – Rainbow
183. When Morning Gilds the Skies – Bits of Poems
184. Wordless Wednesday: Anticipation – whippetwisdom.com
185. The Meeting – wordsonwings
186. And then there was one – Butterflies or nah?
187. Anticipation: The Daily Post – Sorkrates
188. The Waiting is the Best Part – Just Writing!
189. The New Tenant – Ms Skyfall
190. Christmas Anticipation – citySonnet
191. Devil Doll Musings – Recreational
192. The Poetic Syndrome – The Bravest Sweetheart
193. Anticipation: Marzipan Chickens… – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
194. Anticipation: A Musing on Advent – Catholic Spiritual Insights
195. Michel Montecrossa Blog – Today’s Art: Love World Action Saves ‘Last Spaceship Leaving The Earth’ – drawing by Michel Montecrossa
196. The Wandering Poet – I remember that day
197. radhikasreflection – Anticipation
198. 26 Letters Poetry Blog – Black and Red
199. confessions of an indian curry-eater – Tandoori Cottage, Bishop’s Stortford (66%)
200. Southern By Design – Profound Rantings (Of A Sleep Deprived Mom)
201. slideaways – anticipation
202. Designer Sophisticate – It’s Meat Dressing Day!
203. Anticipation… – Emotions that matter.
204. When Civilizations Meet – Khayal
205. ….on pets and prisoners….. – daily prompt: anticipation
206. Lost Property Repository – Slipping into the abyss
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