Interview with Tim Smith, author of
Interview with Tim Smith author of your Vendetta Factor PublishAmerica (2006) ISBN 9781424141258 Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (5/07)
Today, Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views is content to welcome Tim Smith, author of "The Vendetta Factor." Tim Smith is definitely an administrator in the human services field, working with adults with disabilities. He resides in Dayton, Ohio, where vehicles works as a freelance photographer when he isn't busy writing and promoting his books.
Tyler: Welcome, Tim. To begin with, would you describe for many people the basic premise of the novel, "The Vendetta Factor"?
Tim: "The Vendetta Factor" is often a throwback to the types of pulp fiction novels provided by Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane. It calls for Nick Seven, a former CIA agent living in Key Largo, Florida, getting pulled into a nasty turf war between two Mafia families. One organization controls the experience in Miami, but a competitor Don in Saratoga Springs, New york city wants to take over. Nick finds himself being pressured by both families, as well as a Federal prosecutor by using a personal agenda, while finding that he's been betrayed by someone he thought was obviously a friend.
Tyler: The setting as well as your reference of Raymond Chandler remind me in the old film noirs, especially the film "Key Largo" which is a crime story in addition. Why did you pick the Miami area on your setting?
Tim: I've been vacationing while in the Keys and southern Florida for several years. When I sat because of write my first Nick Seven adventure Specialists myself a question: merely were a former CIA spook who wanted to go somewhere to start over, where will it be? The Keys was the obvious choice for me.
In that section of the country you have anything that lends itself to a good adventure story - exotic locations, atmosphere and sunsets that are incredible, nearly every nationality represented, and tremendous name recognition. Once you mention "Key Largo" most people instantly picture Bogart and Bacall. Because of wealth of movies and Shows set in Miami and South Beach, lots of readers are already experienced with the area. Besides, it beats setting against the law thriller in Dayton, Ohio and gives me a great excuse to move there every year for research and parasailing.
Tyler: What can you feel sets your book as well as all the other crime novels and stories regarding the mafia?
Tim: This isn't a typical cops and robbers crime thriller, in which you have the police or a private eye cracking the situation. My hero, Nick Seven, is Joe Citizen, just a guy minding his own business without any desire to get back in to the action or intrigue that has been part of his former life. Once he gets dragged in to the mix he has to rely on his wits and instincts to leave out and get his life back. There's also a lot of humor and satire added too, including a running argument between two hit men about whether Frank Sinatra or Julius LaRosa had the most significant impact on pop culture.
Tyler: Not surprisingly, Frank Sinatra was a great singer along an Italian background and I believe there were rumors about mafia connections, but pardon my ignorance, who had been Julius LaRosa?
Tim: To quote one of the characters, "You never got word of Julius LaRosa, one of the greatest singers ever?? That's un-flippin'-believable! That guy could hit an increased C like I hit targets. You hit a high C?"
Seriously, LaRosa was an up-and-coming young crooner on Arthur Godfrey's daily Television series in the 1950's. (You have heard of Arthur Godfrey, right? Good). One day Godfrey fired LaRosa on the air - live - for many imagined slight, brilliant career never fully recovered. Although I'm a huge Sinatra fan, I believed it might add some laughs to own argument as a running gag in the book, with no disrespect created for either gentleman.
Tyler: Well, my bet remains on Frank Sinatra, but i appreciate you for the explanation. Tim, what really takes its good crime novel is often the hero or detective. Will you tell us a little bit regarding your main character, Nick Seven?
Tim: Nick is often a former CIA spook who spent his career tracking down terrorists around the globe. While on an assignment years earlier his wife was killed inside of a bombing that was intended for him. After you have revenge on the man responsible, he left the service as well as set up shop from the Florida Keys, owning a club on the Gulf of Mexico with Felicia, a former co-worker from Barbados whom he always has a thing for.
Nick is cynical, cool and hard-boiled by using a sensitive romantic side he needs to keep hidden. When he was obviously a spy he always operated being a maverick, and still insists on running his life by himself terms. He's the guy your mother wouldn't assist you to play with, but one you will want on your side.
Tyler: Would you say you might be a lot like Nick Seven, or possibly is he predominantly an illusion character?
Tim: A lot of my own, personal personality traits went into Nick Seven, and i believe of him as my alter ego. He extends to do the things I is only able to dream about - living in The Keys by using a beautiful woman from Barbados, involved in intrigue, beating the unhealthy guys, and winning at Blackjack and Poker.
Tyler: Nick may sound like a character many men would wish to be. Richard Blake, who reviewed "The Vendetta Factor" for Reader Views, said the novel has great movie potential. Would you envision a film in the book, and whom could you want to play Nick Seven or even some of the other characters?
Tim: I often see this as a mix of "CSI: Miami" and "Peter Gunn," making use of the exotic locations I described from the book accompanied by a retro jazz score. I've always pictured George Clooney or Pierce Brosnan playing Nick. They both have the requisite "cool factor" and sarcastic wit to embody the character I created. Regarding Felicia, I'm holding out for Khandi Alexander or Vanessa Williams.
Tyler: I understand "The Vendetta Factor" is the third novel. What were your previous novels about?
Tim: "Memories Die Last" introduced Nick Seven, bringing him outside of his self-imposed exile when the CIA convinces him the fact that terrorist who killed his wife might still be alive, forcing Nick to revisit events he had long ago banished towards the cellar. His investigation reveals high-level government corruption and cover-ups.
The follow-up, "Never Rely on Dreams," has Nick and Felicia unwillingly included in America's war on terror while wanting to outsmart a rogue agent off their past. Part of the conspiracy has Nick being set up as the fall guy for the murder he didn't commit, one that he must solve in order to himself.
Tyler: I understand you've won some awards on your novels. I've always been curious about award contests and there is so many out there. Does one tell us which awards your novels have won, how we entered the contests, and in what way a writer should decide which contests are worthwhile to get in?
Tim: "Memories Die Last" won the Allbooks Reviews Editor's Choice Award for fiction in 2004, and was named Best Mystery Novel of 2005 by Blackrefer.com. "Never Rely on Dreams" was named Best Mystery Novel of 2006 at Blackrefer.com, and "The Vendetta Factor" is now a finalist in a contest at Authorisland.com. The citations for any first two books came being a complete surprise, since I didn't know those sites gave awards. You're right there are many contests around, and I would advise writers to check out the sites or organizations before entering. They must realize, too, that you have often a cost involved, which prohibits many starving authors. Often you need to compare that from the potential exposure you could or may not receive and move from there. If you're an unknown, I wouldn't suggest sending your book towards the Pulitzer people unless your horoscope was actually good that day.
Tyler: Thanks for any information, Tim. What would you say were your major influences, literary or otherwise, that have inspired your writing?
Tim: From a literary standpoint I've always been a fan of Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, Robert B. Parker and James W. Hall. I reckon that their style influenced the way I write. My biggest inspiration, one which keeps me writing, may be the response I get from individuals who have read my books. The nicest compliment I'm able to get is when they say "I can't wait to see your next one." It won't get much better than that.
Tyler: I believe you there, Tim. Appreciation by others on your work outweighs another benefits. Do you consider yourself solely a writer of crime fiction thrillers, or will you see yourself branching out into other genres?
Tim: I'm comfortable writing in this genre, but recently tried my hand at a romantic comedy told through the man's perspective. Surprisingly, I ran across that it wasn't that tough to switch gears, especially since I was able to draw on my own, personal experiences in the relationship wars.
Tyler: What are you writing now? Can we see that romantic comedy on the web anytime soon, or is there another chapter to be written about Nick Seven?
Tim: The romantic comedy is now in the rewrite-and-polish phase before We've it proofed and edited. I'm also working away at another Nick Seven adventure, tentatively titled "Jinx Money." You will see more Nick stories coming, since a personality with as many layers as he has will always find an trouble to get into. All I would like to do is check out today's headlines and imagine what however do in the situation.
Tyler: Thank you a lot for joining me today, Tim. Before we go, would you like to let our readers know your blog address so they can read more information about "The Vendetta Factor" as well as your other award-winning novels?
Tim: They might visit https://www.timsmithauthor.com to see all about my books, to see some photographs of locations the spot that the stories take place.
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Tyler: Thank you, Tim, for being here today. I'm hoping we can look forward to much more Nick Seven stories.