The Pine Cones Writers Den is on fire…

with awards, new releases and milestones reached. What is the Pine Cones Writers Den? PCWD is a robust writers group based out of the Portland, Maine area. Comprised of ten members, spanning just about every genre you can imagine, each monthly meeting takes on a life of its own, as thriller writers critique memoir and chic lit writers critique post-apocalyptic tales. Without a doubt, the depth and variety of critique has led to vast improvements in my writing over the years, pushing me in directions that I likely wouldn’t have considered if I sat around, high-fiving with other thriller writers all the time. Not that I don’t like hanging out with other thriller writers! The group is always busy; submitting to agents,  publishing on their own and striking deals to expand their author footprints. Each meeting brings exciting news and new manuscript samples to the table. There’s never a dull moment. With that said, I’d like to highlight a few of the most recent accomplishments/releases. First up, Tim Queeney, with his second release in two months! Seriously, that’s impressive. Starting with his Perseid Collapse Series Kindle Worlds release, The Borealis Incident, in February, he follows up with book 3 in his Perry Helion thriller-adventure READ MORE

Interview with Murray McDonald

The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World Interview Series: Bestselling thriller writer and Highland warrior: Murray McDonald Murray McDonald is a long time friend in the grand scheme of my writing career. Pretty much from the very start. We both rose through the Indie ranks with covert operations/political thrillers, sharing strategies, comparing story ideas and having some good laughs along the way. He’s been unflaggingly supportive of my writing, and didn’t hesitate to offer a story for The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World. As a native Scot, and a denizen of the U.K., I didn’t expect Murray to write a story about Doomsday Preppers surviving the Perseid Collapse “event.” Prepping hasn’t caught fire in the U.K., like it has in the U.S., and it’s not for a lack of post-apocalyptic imagination or a spirit of rugged individualism. Murray offers a bit of hilarious insight into WHY, a little later. I had something else in mind for his story, and so did Murray! As a matter of fact, he far exceeded my hopes and expectations with the story he pursued, helping to answer one of the primary questions readers posed about the series. Obviously, he had some of the same questions. Without READ MORE

Interview with Ian Graham

The Perseid Collapse Kindle World Interview Series: Thriller writer and Virginian: Ian Graham Today we hear from one of my early thriller writer buddies. Ian and I met while I was heavy into writing the Black Flagged series, a hardcore covert operations/political thriller saga. Ian had recently launched his first Declan McIver book, a story about a “reformed” IRA black operative thrown back into a world of violence, and we hit it off grand—as his character would say. I admire Ian’s writing style and the story building he demonstrated in the Declan McIver-Black Shuck series, so it was natural for me to reach out and ask him to contribute a story to the Perseid World. We’d talked in the past about my leap from writing thrillers to post-apocalyptic books, so I hoped this might pique his interest. I think it did more than spark a little interest. Ian has published one novella, The Amsterdam Directorate, and is feverishly working on the second installment. It probably goes without saying, but The Amsterdam Directorate is a natural extension of his talent as a thriller writer, and an unveiling of new skills in a new genre. Without giving away the rest, let’s here it READ MORE

Interview with A.R. Shaw

The Perseid Collapse Kindle World Interview Series: A.R. Shaw—Post-apocalyptic thriller writer and former Texan A.R. Shaw is unique within the initial wave of launch authors, because she’s the first post-apocalyptic writer I approached with the idea of writing in The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World. Her popular series, Graham’s Resolution, tackles the idea of a devastating pandemic, but goes much further than I ever did in The Jakarta Pandemic. Her first novel, The China Pandemic (she’s on the no visa to China list with a growing number of Kindles Worlds authors), launches a much deadlier pandemic—on par with the “Captain Trips” superflu in Stephen King’s The Stand. This change alone yields an eerie, dystopian feel to her series, which readers will find mesmerizing. She takes this same approach in her novella, Deception on Durham Road, creating an unnerving feel to a mostly quiet and serene setting in the neighborhood featured in The Jakarta Pandemic. Of course, Durham Road immediately following the “event” is anything but safe and placid, as readers quickly learn. I’m straying into spoiler territory, so let’s get on with the interview. When we discussed your story idea, I was really excited by the prospect of going back READ MORE

Interview with Tim Queeney

The Perseid Collapse Kindle World Interview Series: Tim Queeney—Renaissance man and thriller author Tim Queeney is one of those rare authors I’ve met in person. Quite a few times, actually. We are members of the Pine Cone Writers Den, a diverse collection of hardworking, talented authors living in and around Portland, Maine. In this day an age of virtual friends, social media contacts and email buddies (all good), I can’t tell you how satisfying it feels to sit down with in front of live writers (Skype doesn’t count…though it’s a step in the right direction). Tim anchored the action/thriller contingent of the group, treating us to his Perry Helion Series, which he explains later. Tim is an avid sailor, and coincidentally keeps his sailboat less than fifty yards from mine. I could easily swim to his boat from my mooring—if I didn’t mind the cold water. We didn’t figure this out about until a year ago. I’ve resisted the temptation to head out on Tim’s boat, because I heard a nasty rumor that he doesn’t like to rely on electronics for navigation. Old world brute. Tim explains his disdain for GPS and all things non-Christopher Columbus era in the interview. READ MORE

Author Spotlight and Cover Reveal: Alex Shaw

The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World Author Spotlight and Cover Reveal: Alex Shaw  An international thriller/covert ops writer by trade, Alex and I have a lot of common ground outside of the post-apocalyptic genre. Like many of the authors writing in the Perseid World, he broke onto the scene with rapid fire, timeline driven thrillers. Hetman, his first novel, received critical acclaim in the UK and has been translated into several languages. Follow up novels featuring Alex’s signature protagonist, Aidan Snow, include Cold Black and Cold Blood.  Alex  spent many of his earlier years in the Ukraine, teaching and business consulting out of Kyiv. Currently, he splits his time between family in the UK and business development opportunities throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. When I first spoke with Alex, I was particularly intrigued by his character, Aidan Snow, a former SAS trooper living in Kyiv. Coincidence? Write what you know? I’ll quit speculating now, before I get in trouble. 😉 Readers are in for a treat with BLACKLINE. He’s remained quiet about the plot, but I have learned that novella features an SAS trooper “on holiday” in Maine…during August 2019. I know—Bad timing. As you probably guessed, this won’t be a story about READ MORE

Author Spotlight: Greg Ferrell

The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World Author Spotlight: Greg Ferrell When I heard the Greg was interested in writing for the Perseid Collapse World, I quickly did a little research into his books. Zombies. Now we’re talking! With the Walking Dead midseason premiere a week or so away, the genre was on my mind, so I was excited to speak with Greg about his idea for a novella. I wasn’t expecting zombies, but I’ve often said that zombies might be a little easier to contend with in a post-apocalyptic world, mainly because they’re predictable. They don’t gain your trust, then stab you in the back for your supplies, nor do they kidnap your children for slave labor at the nearest FEMA camp. Yeah, I might prefer zombies oddly enough. I just need a katana. Probably cut my own head off with one of those. I’m off on a tangent. Back to Greg! I spoke with him at length about his writing, living in Florida (yeah, he’s another one of these lucky $#@#@!&! in Florida!) and his idea for the Perseid Collapse novella. First, I learned that his Humanity’s Hope series is far more than a zombie story. I won’t spoil READ MORE

Interview with Sean T. Smith

The Perseid Collapse Kindle World Interview Series: Sean T. Smith—author, songwriter, family man. Did I mention Sean lives in Florida? I’m a little focused on Florida these days, thanks to the five feet of snow accumulated on the ground in my yard, so I particularly enjoyed the setting of Sean’s Perseid Collapse Kindle Worlds novella—The Florida Keys. Not the Keys I remember from Spring Break, but the descriptions of the mangrove swamps, sweltering heat and lush vegetation took me away from a harsh New England winter for a few hours. Of course, Sean’s novella was not a peaceful Margaritaville interlude. Set several months after the “event” that paralyzes the United States in the original Perseid Collapse Series, things are vastly different. Sprawling FEMA camps dominate the landscape, providing the only refuge for the vast majority of Americans caught off guard by the “event.” Not everyone lives in the camps, which is where Sean’s novel starts. Unfortunately, life outside of the camps is dangerous—in a Mad Max kind of way within  Sunshine Patriots. Without giving any more of the story away, let’s kick off the interview. Sean, your story is the first novella published in the Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World that READ MORE

Interview with bestseller Russell Blake

Next in The Perseid Collapse Kindle World Interview Series: Bestselling author and tequila connoisseur Russell Blake. Russell Blake has been at the top of my “to read” list since his first two novels, Fatal Exchange and The Geronimo Breach, two crash courses in what a fine thriller novel contains. I read both of these novels on my sailboat, and reached out to Blake when I returned—to congratulate him on an incredible “breach and clear” style entry into the Indie book scene. That’s covert ops speak for “explosive,” and his books are nothing less than explosive…all 35 of them. You heard that correctly. Since 2011, Russell has released 35 novels in a variety genres—mostly thrillers. It’s an incredible accomplishment, which has required Russell to put in unearthly hours and put down untold quantities of tequila. To this day, he will not reveal which was more important to his production. Tequila jokes aside, there’s a reason Russell is an unmatched publishing phenomena. His stories grab you from page one, and he can write two to three times faster than most authors, while maintaining an unblemished level of quality. Let me tell you a quick story about Russell’s involvement in The Perseid Collapse Series READ MORE

Interview with author and journalist Tom Abrahams

First up in The Perseid Collapse Kindle World Author Interview Series: Accomplished author and professional journalist Tom Abrahams. I’ve known Tom for most of my writing career. We met online…wait a minute, this sounds like a Match.com testimonial. Rewind. Tom and I became friends during my Black Flagged Series days, when I was writing globe-spanning covert operations novels. His first novel, Sedition, a political thriller set amidst a nation-toppling conspiracy in Washington D.C., captured my attention, along with his blistering follow-up, Allegiance. The rest was magic…there’s really no way to write this without sounding like we’re couple. Tom has penned a three novella series for The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World. Fans of my series will undoubtedly enjoy the story he has custom crafted. Let’s get started. Tom, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing life. I’m a husband and dad who works for a television station. I love reporting on politics and traveling around the country with our political leaders. It’s fascinating and fun and gives me a real appreciation for how a representative democracy works (or doesn’t in some cases). More than that I like watching Downton Abbey and Homeland with my READ MORE