In his rough and tumble job there are no tailored Italian suits, no bimbos eager to please, and no massive underground fortresses built by evil overlords seeking world domination—just an endless series of sinister threats to the safety and security of the billions of mundane citizens of the planet. Sure, Dick’s tough and he knows a few tricks to help him get out of a tight spot, even if his boss accuses him of over-reliance on an abundance of explosives. But he’s also got a mortgage, a wife upset by his frequent absences on “business” trips, and an increasingly alienated teen-age son who spends way too much time playing in gaming worlds on the computer.
When a mission to bust up an arms exchange in New Zealand goes spectacularly bad, ending with the showy destruction of the Dunedin port facility, Dick is thrown into a maze of conflict involving Hong Kong arms dealers, cyber-criminals, Chinese government goons attempting to suppress computer access by dissidents, and even militant Maoris seeking rocket launchers to shoot down tourist-laden jumbo jets. Then a young computer expert back at the Philadelphia headquarters for The Subsidiary, an international espionage agency created in the aftermath of 9/11, discovers that the bad guys are involved in a vast conspiracy. Dick is forced to partner with the espionage neophyte to battle evil on multiple fronts, leading to a final confrontation that incorporates real-world conspiracy theories and cutting-edge technology.
In the end, Dick can save his partner, save his marriage, save his son, or save the world, but he can’t do it all.
Narration and voices by Bruce Pilkenton.
Targeted Age Group: Adult
I used to play a lot of classic role-playing tournaments at game conventions–in fact I was the world’s top ranked player in the RPGA for about fifteen years. Not only did those tournaments include the traditional worlds like Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Paranoia, Star Wars, and Call of Cthulhu, but some of the more overlooked spy-oriented systems like Top Secret, Timemaster, and James Bond. I also read a fair number of thrillers and watched a fair number of spy movies, but the spies were almost always either supercool experts at everything or shadowy loners. For Net Impact, I wanted to write about a spy who was just a regular guy. Sure, he would have some training and skills, but he would also have weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Plus, his family–yes, family–wouldn’t know he was a spy.
To further raise the stakes, I wanted to put this spy in a world no spy had ever really been in before. Fortunately, tech’s explosion has provided just such places to go–and the criminals and goons are already doing plenty of business there.
Take a look at the reviews and if they look interesting, I’d appreciate it if you give Net Impact a try, then add your own review on Amazon or wherever you usually talk/blog/share/post/tweet/write about books.
When you wrote the book did you know you were going to offer it as an audio book?
Why did you decide to produce an audio book?
Since my writing style is very cinematic, I thought it would be interesting to have an actor, like Bruce Pilkenton, who is superb at doing different voices and accents put together an audio version as a kind of poor-man’s movie of the book.
Also, by producing an audio version of my thriller, I could differentiate it from the zillions of other thrillers out there and put it in a much smaller marketplace where it would have greater visability.
How did you choose the reader for the book and the production company?
I’ve known Bruce Pilkenton for a long time and he is great at voice work, so I contacted him about the project. He sent an audition file and was great at working with me to fine-tune the voices how I wanted them. Bruce has his own studio, so it made it cost-effective for him to do the whole project.
The acx.com process is pretty straight-forward and they are very responsive if you have questions. You can also get bunches of actors to audition to find the one who is right for you. What else would you like to share with readers about your audio book?
I’d really like feedback, both on the book itself, and on the audio experience. I have two other thriller novels and this first audio-book is an experiment to find out if there is an audience sufficient to make those other thriller novels into audio books, too.