Monday, August 8, 2011

Mondays With Mike: Author Tony Powers

TONY A. POWERS is an old friend who is a member of one of my writing groups.  He grew up on a farm in Altoona, Iowa and attended Old Dowling High School (which I did, too) and Ellsworth Junior College where he lettered in football. He graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Radio & Television and worked nearly 20 years in broadcast news; 16 years at WHO Radio & TV in Des Moines in the 70's and 80's where he did basketball play by play for Iowa, Iowa State and Drake on WHO Radio. In the 90's he became a Veterans Employment Counselor for Iowa Workforce Development.  He is a combat veteran winning the Bronze Star for Valor.

Mike:  Tony, it is great to have you with us today, especially knowing that your computer crashed and you probably have a lot of other things to do.  Your latest book, I beleive, is 1st & Dead which follows Murder on the Opinion Page.  How did they come about?

Tony: 1st & Dead and Murder on the Opinion Page arose from my interest in writing letters to the editor over the last twenty years. First I wrote a self help book, Getting Published: A layman's guide to writing letters to the editor. In the book I coached readers on how to write an effective letter to the editor. The book included past letters that were published in the Des Moines Register and USA Today. I might add that it is very difficult to get a letter published in USA Today. They receive something like one thousand letters a week.
I've always read mystery novels and after reading one, I thought about writing a novel about people who disappeared after writing a letter to the editor. Murder on the Opinion Page was born with the main characters being Dan Kawowski, a police detective, and Jane Dockery, his intern studying criminology at Dixon University in Des Moines County, Colorado. Dockery by chance discovers that people have disappeared after their letter to the editor was published. They stumble onto an al Qaeda terror cell disguised as hog farmers who were kidnapping and murdering people who had written letters to the editor condemning al Qaeda, Osama, Saddam or any of its operatives. There's also a terrifying killer hog in the novel.

M: Your main characters are Dan Kawowski and Jane Dockery. Can you tell me a little about their relationship and how it has developed from book to book

T: Dan Kawowski and Jane Dockery had become heroes for terminating the al Qaeda cell. He is elected Des Moines County Sheriff and she becomes an FBI agent. But al-Qaeda plots revenge. They smuggle an assassination team into the U.S. with Kawowski one of the targets. It's in this novel, that I introduce a huge canine named Laddie. It turns out to be a real page turning thriller.

M:  Do you have anything upcoming?
T: I'm going to start writing the third novel of the trilogy soon.

M:  What are your writing habits … do you have a daily or weekly goal?

T: I usually try to write a chapter every day.
M:  What started you writing?
T: My interest in writing really blossomed after I finished a 3-month writing course from Marshall J. Cook who retired as a writing professor at the University of Wisconsin. He is a published and accomplished author. He advised me to self publish because of the extreme time and difficulty it takes to find an agent and get your book accepted by a traditional publisher. I chose AuthorHouse a leader in the self publishing field. I felt they did an admirable job in publishing my first two mystery novels.

M:  Where can we find your books?

T:  You can find my novels on all the major book sites: Google, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble as well as at selected bookstores. I've done very well in Google eBooks I'm very proud of my novels and feel they stand up to even the traditional mystery novelists in quality.

M:  Besides your third book in the thriller series, do you have any other writing goals?

T:  One of my writing goals is to write a screenplay someday but first I have to learn how to do it!

M:  Thanks, Tony … I’m posting some links to your books (and ebook editions).
      Amazon                              The publisher
T:  Thanks, Mike

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