Will “Triad” take John Reinhard Dizon to the Best Seller List?

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  1. Rumor has it that your current work is an historical piece that addresses the pre-WW II era. It seems as if this time period is often eclipsed by WWII such that most of us are mostly unaware of the events leading up to it. Does your novel fill in some of the blanks?

What the novel does is try to help readers understand the mindset. Just as Millennials have great-grandparents who remember WWII, teens in the pre-WWII era had great-grandparents who saw the Civil War. Radio was like the Internet back then, it was a phenomenon. There’s an episode in the novel that reflects how people thought we were being invaded by aliens when The War of the Worlds was broadcast. People were extremely vulnerable to propaganda, which is how the dictators took over most of Eurasia. Governments played on that, and it is remarkable how easily people gave up their civil liberties in exchange for having their leaders tell them everything was all right.

  1. Historical fiction is typically populated by a mix of fictitious characters intermingled with historical figures. Are your characters purely fictitious or based on actual people?

It’s a mix, which is something I try to do as much as possible. I use the actual people to help readers understand the historical figures, while creating characters to help bring them into perspective. Chess Power is based on someone I know. He lived through the Pendergast Era, and I turned him into an FBI agent trying to earn a paycheck while serving his country. Alvin Karpis is my favorite gangster, and I thought I could do more to bring him to life in this novel than writing a biography about him. Some of the protagonists are entirely tongue-in-cheek, like Cat the Bounty Hunter. Alternately, J. Edgar Hoover and Heinrich Himmler are who they are, they create their own stereotype that no one can change.

  1. Historical fiction has a sub-genre, speculative history, which examines what could have happened had past events played out in a different way, for example, if Hitler had won WWII. Is there anything of that nature in Triad?

Not really. In my opinion, authors who do that are dead in the water. You’re asking for too much of a suspension of disbelief. What this novel is doing is asking, suppose we got from Point A to Point B by taking this route? All roads lead to Rome, but some take paths you wouldn’t imagine. In this novel, we have gangsters helping thwart assassins trying to murder some of our great leaders. In reality, Lucky Luciano made a deal with the Government to put Mafia associates at the waterfront in NYC on alert to catch Nazi saboteurs. After the war, the US Army recruited hundreds of Nazi war criminals to help win the Cold War. Many say the ends justify the means, and this novel calls that into question.

One thing I’d like to point out is that most publishers and agents loathe postmodernist literature. It breaks all of their traditional industry rules. It takes your head out of The Box and tosses it into the street. It took over eighteen months for me to find an indie publisher for The Bat, one of my first works which was also a postmodernist novel. It is unique among art forms in that it brings the reader out of the audience and sits him alongside the author. Anyone who’s read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut can relate. You realize you’re being jerked around, and you ask, what’s this guy doing? Where is he going with this? It’s actually a classical concept, the deus ex machina, but postmodernists like myself take it places you’ve never seen before.

  1. What particular event or situation inherent to that historical period, if any, inspired you to set a novel at that time?

Again, it was all about Karpis. I find it amazing that he is the least known of all the 1930s gangsters, though by far the most successful. He is probably the only man in history to have personally known Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, and Charles Manson. He was a criminal genius, though surrounded by Ozark hillbillies whose IQs ranged in the eighties. This is what provides us the angle where his partners suspect his mind is controlled by either the Government or aliens. It also supports the storyline that technology is changing the world faster than people can absorb it, and Karpis becomes their lifeline in helping them cope. He is also the only one smart enough to figure out what the Nazis are up to.

  1. Writing an historical novel involves a significant amount of research. Do you have any particular method for gathering the information you need?

German society and culture has also been another area of expertise for me. I try to write about subjects I know a lot about. People have no idea how closely America is tied with Germany. If not for a few votes, our national language would have been German. People in Texas can tell you how many cities and towns have German names. It was an act of God that Roosevelt and Hitler dragged us into WWII. After the war, we helped rebuild Germany into the economic power it is today. Hitler envisioned a world ruled by the Third Reich and the USA. When the Germans declared war against us, it was an ultimate betrayal. I think the novel takes a lot of that into account.

  1. Do you generally travel or vacation at locations used as settings for your novels, use past experience, or simply research them from home? Has a particular location ever inspired a novel in and of itself?

Living in Kansas City really helped me channel the Gangster Era of the Thirties. I’m a short driving distance from Union Station where the Kansas City Massacre occurred. UMKC is a short distance from the neighborhoods where the Karpis-Barker Gang used to recruit their gang members. Alvin Karpis had a luxury apartment at the Plaza where I hang out all the time. It’s not much different from my life in South Brooklyn where I grew up. My parents knew lots of associates from the Colombo Mob, which is where I got the background for my crime novel, The Break. I clearly remember Crazy Joe Gallo, who took on Joseph Colombo in a war that changed the face of the New York Mafia. It’s safe to say that I’ve a lifetime of experiences that inspires lots of these novels.

  1. When you mention the “Five Families in NYC” do they include Rockefeller, Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan or are they purely fictitious?

I love it! That’s the five Mafia families who controlled the underworld of the 20th century. There was the Gambino Family, the Genovese Family, the Colombo Family, the Bonanno Family and the Lucchese Family. In the timeframe of the novel, Albert “the Mad Hatter” Anastasia was the boss of his family after killing the Don, Vincent Mangano. Anastasia was then murdered by Carlo Gambino, whose son-in-law and heir Paul Castellano was knocked off by John Gotti. The FBI’s annihilation of the Gotti Mob heralded the demise of the New York Mafia. That makes your question perfectly logical. There’s almost nothing left of the Mafia in comparison to what it was in the last century. Top guys who get elected Godfather are thinking, “Oh, please, not me!” They usually wind up doing life in Federal penitentiaries.

  1. They say that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Is there something to be learned from this period of history that’s relevant to today?

It’s all about civil rights, and how governments manipulate them to ensure their power and authority. When you deny criminals their rights, it then becomes a question of how you define a criminal. The FBI shredded the Constitution to win the War or Crime in the Thirties. They next used their authority to eradicate enemies of the State, much like the Nazis and the Communists did. It wasn’t until the McCarthy Era did we realize we had gone too far. Islam caused us to repeat history with the Patriot Act after 9/11. There are always those who will feel that law enforcement keeps us safe, while others will feel that they will be taken next.

  1. The intermingling of the FBI, mafia, politics and “Big Money” typically result in considerable corruption. Do you think things of that nature have gotten better or worse since the pre-WWII era?

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Great Depression nearly destroyed the middle class, which is what spawned the Gangster Era of the Thirties. We’ve been seeing the steady erosion of the middle class since the end of the 20th century, and it’s resulted in the War on Drugs and our current Gangsta Culture. Desperate people turn to crime as a last resort, and when governments crack down and rich people refuse to share the wealth, history will repeat itself again and again.

  1. I sounds as if this novel has a plethora of subplots as well as something for everyone, e. history, intrigue, conspiracy, a touch or romance and perhaps a touch of the occult which broadens its appeal to just about every reader. Such broad appeal is often the stuff of New York Times Best Sellers. Do you think this might be the one?

Hitting the best-seller list is like hitting lightning in a bottle. The odds are phenomenal, but it happens. I personally think pigeons will be shitting on my statue in cities across America long after I’m dead. If there’s any justice in the world, maybe this’ll be The One. There’s also great unknowns like Elle Klass, Pamela Winn, Chris Birdy, Susanne Leist and Marcha Fox who also deserve their day in the sun. We’re all starving indie authors who are writing great novels and just waiting for our day to come.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500878642

The_Triad_Cover_for_Kindle

SYNOPSIS

The Triad is a postmodernist historical fiction novel centering on the pre-WWII United States of America and its difficulties in maintaining its neutrality in a world on the brink of war. Amidst rumors of a conspiracy by the Axis powers to diminish America’s capacity to engage in hostilities, the FBI is called into action. Special Agent Chess Power is empowered by Deputy Director Melvin Purvis to put together a plan to thwart the efforts of a mysterious team known as the Triad. Powers heads out to Alcatraz Island and enlists the aid of criminal genius Alvin Karpis in return for his parole. Karpis agrees on condition that his partners, Fred and Doc Barker, and Harry Campbell are included in the deal. Power agrees, and the game of cat-and-mouse soon begins.

                It is announced that Karpis and his gang escape during transport to a military base for medical observation, and the criminals are considered fugitives though the FBI dragnet is non-existent. Karpis returns to one of his main hideouts in Kansas City where he reestablishes contact with his Mafia connections. During that time he learns of activity by the Triad in the Missouri area and immediately begins working on leads provided by both the FBI and the Mafia. He discovers a plot to assassinate Vice President Harry Truman, and moves in to thwart the Triad near Truman’s home in Independence.

                Karpis’ FBI and Mafia informants next lead him to Philadelphia where the Triad agents have been sighted. During this time, one of Karpis’ gun molls, Carole Robbins, finds out where the gang is hiding out and rejoins her long-lost lover. She provides a romantic comedy angle to the action-packed story as the laser-focused Karpis is repeatedly distracted by her antics. She also becomes his weak spot as the Triad learns of her existence and seeks to use her against Karpis. Yet the lovely girl is not without her own devices, and she remains one step ahead of the Triad as they fail to abduct her time and again.                                                                  

                In Philadelphia, both the FBI and the Mob learn of the Triad’s plan to murder Army General Dwight Eisenhower as he and his wife are looking at property in the Gettysburg area of York County. Once again Karpis is able to use his criminal genius to determine the Triad’s course of action and uncover their sniper nest near the hallowed battlefield area. 

                In the climactic episode, Karpis learns of the Triad relocating to the New York City area in time for a Presidential speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt scheduled at Madison Square Garden. Unknown to Karpis, one of the Triad members is connected to the Sicilian Mafia, and they have made arrangements with the Five Families in NYC to coordinate the assassination. The Karpis-Barker Gang manage to save the day in stopping the Triad and bringing the killers to justice.

        The postmodernist techniques are evident with the use of non-linear narrative, metafictional technique, elliptical structure and classical irony. Of particular note are the dream sequences in which Karpis seems to be transported through time to modern-day Harlem where the gang’s bank robbery is pre-empted by a botched attempt by a street posse. Upon waking, he finds himself in the ‘dream house’ on the Plaza in Kansas City where he begins to suspect Freddie Barker of being a spectre. There is also a sequence where J. Edgar Hoover meets with Heinrich Himmler at an INTERPOL convention where they discuss objectives in destroying world Communism and eliminating crime in the USA and Germany. These are but a couple of scenes that may define this work as a postmodern classic.

                This is a rollicking action/adventure tale with plenty of thrills, chills and tension-breaking comedic episodes that make The Triad a barn-burner that readers will long remember.

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John’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/John-Reinhard-Dizon/e/B00DU9JNUQ/

John’s Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/johnreinharddizonUSA

John’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnRDizon

John’s Blog: https://centerstagejrd.wordpress.com/

OTHER TITLES

Tiara: http://www.amazon.com/Tiara-10th-Anniversary-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPS7R64/

The Kingdom: http://www.amazon.com/Kingdom-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00L2LLCY4/

Generations: http://www.amazon.com/Generations-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00K5DQYSY/

Generations II: http://www.amazon.com/Generations-II-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00JG56C2U/

Transplant: http://www.amazon.com/Transplant-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00JQRH1J6/

Destroyer: http://www.amazon.com/Destroyer-Abaddon-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00FDWB7KC/

Nightcrawler: http://www.amazon.com/Nightcrawler-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00I0K9QEI/

Nightcrawler 2: http://www.amazon.com/Nightcrawler-II-Tryzub-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00L8653CU/

Wolf Man: http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Man-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00H4HWDAC/

Vampir: http://www.amazon.com/Vampir-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPPI7FC/

King of the Hoboes: http://www.amazon.com/King-Hoboes-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00HXQ4YKQ/

The Break: http://www.amazon.com/Break-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IPPI3ME/

Strange Tales: http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Tales-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00JAHX8OO/

Hezbollah: http://www.amazon.com/Hezbollah-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IZMV4D2/

The Fury: http://www.amazon.com/Fury-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00FK3UTE4/

The Test: http://www.amazon.com/Test-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00IVB9EA2/

Stxeamtown: http://www.amazon.com/Stxeamtown-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00GSTZK5W/

The Standard I: http://www.amazon.com/The-Standard-John-Reinhard-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00E1TL5LO/

The Standard II (The Citadel): http://www.amazon.com/Standard-II-Citadel-John-Dizon-ebook/dp/B00KP2B40I/

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Interview with Author T.L. Chester

TLCHESTER2014
T.L. Chester is a highly creative individual with an exceptionally original and captivating style in both her literary and photographic endeavors. I found To Penetrate one of the most intriguing and suspenseful books I’ve ever read. Her first published work, a book of poetry, entitled “Strap In, Hang On,” is an apropos description of what it was like to read her novel, a warning of sorts which certainly reflects upon an amazing and interesting author who bears watching.

MF: Your first published work of poetry, “Strap In, Hang On,” obtained some excellent critical reviews and then spawned a rather lengthy and lively discussion amongst the reviewers, many comments of which were deleted by Amazon. What was your take on all the fuss?

TC: This was my first publication, and the expression itself was more for the love of it, and I can only hope readers sincerely enjoyed it. Grady Harp is notorious for Amazon reviews and has been slated to determine the fate of future authors. In my case, the review was very critical, such that his fans didn’t appreciate it, and I greatly appreciated their support, it became a controversial matter on Harp’s turf.

MF: It appears that your poetry was an outlet for painful experiences and events in your life, much of which was quite personal. What motivated you to share that with the world?

TC: We all have these things we must overcome over long term, and event inspired. It was an accumulation of all those events that the only justified thing to do was a creative outlet. We are all going through something; we are all experiencing this rollercoaster. It was therapeutic in nature, and turned into sharing. Sharing these thoughts in community speaking events, online through blogs and various outlets created a demand and that’s how the first book was born.

MF: Your novel, “To Penetrate,” is described as “a deeply chilling tale of psychosomatic secrecy and unveiling, “and a psychological thriller suitable for the “instinctual reader who appreciates nonlinear stories.” I found it yanked me in and didn’t let me go until the last, incredible page. How did you come up with the idea for this story?

TC: My thought process is certainly fragmented, but I thoroughly enjoy organizing processes. Though I had done various works with short stories for publications, I had never created a book like this. My thoughts for this book came through various concepts, a song might have inspired a chapter, a symbol had relevancy to the characters, so I kept notes, what inspired this and what I planned to do with it. The story was just somehow always there. After noting all these concepts over time, the book wrote itself, it was the transitional pieces that took time; this very much explains why there are so many eggs.

MF: What is your favorite part about the creative process?

TC: Purging is my favorite part of the creative process. I’d be lying if I said there was no part of me in what I write. It’s a creative expression of what it might be like to be in someone else’s shoes, feeling life in a manner that I may not understand, or see things from a perspective I don’t currently know. Getting a peep of the world in a way that I may not yet comprehend gives me a truly deep appreciation for what I have been through in life, and some faith that we are all connected. Capturing that, making note of it and putting it back out in various works is the only thing that gives this meaning for me.

MF: What are you working on currently and when do you plan to have it released?

TC: I am working on a precursor for To Penetrate. This book is not as subtle in story, I am aware that To Penetrate in comparison is methodical and sometimes gory, but slight in giving clues for those who love to pick up the pieces. Other works currently include a complete biography that I am currently ruminating on, and a philosophy book.

MF: Can you tell us a little bit about it so we know what to look forward to? Will it be similar to “To Penetrate” or entirely different?

TC: The next book is a precursor to a series of events in To Penetrate & can be a lot to take in; it’s probably comparative to the movie Se7en in terms of being in your face and has explicit adult content. The biography is another work that is personally significant. My philosophy book is to shed light and criticism on current affairs and hopefully will create conversation around dogma.

MF: You also have two photography books out, “Miscellany,” and ”Idiosynkrasia,” which provide another dimension of your talents. Was there anything in particular that inspired them?

TC: I had begun writing as a result of my involvement in various events that created a demand, after publishing and my works started to receive reviews, I would then get requests to be the critic, or participate in entertainment pieces, political satire, and the like. I have always had a natural interest in photography, and it’s just too easy if you are as inclined with technology as it stands. Needless to say as I had participated in entertainment journalism I would naturally take pictures, sparing my stint in photojournalism that turned into more publications over time.

MF: Can we expect any more photography books in the future?

TC: I may be inspired as I developed more as a photographer and would like to do so; currently I am producing material for brochures, calendars, contributing pieces for entertainment publications and so forth.

MF: How would you describe the synergy between your writing and photography?

TC: These are such incredible questions. My photography, at its best captures a feeling that can’t be described, but we all can feel just in observing, “that moment”. I hope my writing, captures what we can’t see and need the picture painted.

MF: What else do you enjoy doing besides photography and writing, as if that isn’t enough! Any other creative endeavors or outlets?

TC: I promise I am not an adrenaline junkie, I am not. I do find that I need inspiration. I have always enjoyed exploring. Currently I enjoy flying lessons; I also have begun diving, as well as a variety of dancing sessions. I am a foodie, and like to try new restaurants. I am fortunate in that people in the community know me, and I am called upon to participate in writing or photography of events and that gives me a lot of exposure, maybe more than I care for at times. I very much enjoy the heavens, astronomy, astrology, and the like. If you ever have to wonder about my writing, and are in the know, my Pluto is in the 5th house, & Mars Conjunct Jupiter are an aspect in my chart, and if you’re not, there’s always Google.

BOOK LINKS
To Penetrate
To Penetrate: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-penetrate-tl-chester/1111341865?ean=9781105692048
Strap In, Hang On
Strap In, Hang on: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strap-in-hang-on-t-l-chester/1015235916?ean=9781435700871
miscellany
Miscellany: http://www.amazon.com/Miscellany-Tl-Chester/dp/0557058090
Idiosynkrasia
Idiosynkrasia: http://www.amazon.com/Idiosynkrasia-TL-Chester/dp/0557038715

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Website: http://tracylchester.wix.com/tlchester#!__bio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/TLChester/294383153916470
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4289805.T_L_Chester
Blog: http://journalistauthortlchester.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/sensual-jams/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tracy_chester

PRESS RELEASES
Strap In, Hang On: http://www.prleap.com/pr/98273/
To Penetrate: http://www.prleap.com/pr/186187/