Video I Made: Ask Me Anything
A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook and Instagram and asked readers to drop questions in the comment section promising I’d make a video with the answers.
It’s a bit long – over 30 minutes – but I put chapter links in there so you can hop to the questions you want to hear about. Or grab some popcorn and watch the whole thing.
If you enjoy the video, give it a thumbs up on YouTube, which helps me out with the YT algorithm. I’ll probably make more of these sorts of videos, so if you’re interested, you can subscribe to my channel and be notified when a new video comes out.
Book I Recommend in the Video
At one point in the video, I recommend a truly excellent novel called the Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. It was published in 2012 and won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2013. It tells the story of a young man raised in a North Korean orphanage who grows up to become a kidnapper of Japanese citizens.
I found the story to be a mesmerizing journey through a mysterious land that is populated by people with real needs and wants and hopes and dreams. It shows the suffering of the North Korean people and depicts what humans are willing to do to survive and thrive. It’s a story of human nature, love, and sacrifice.
Highly recommended, if you haven’t already read it.
What I’m Launching on December 26, 2023
Announcing The Japanese Assassin, book one in a new series, available on Amazon December 26th. No pre-order available, so watch this space for a reminder.
In the heart of a dense jungle, a young woman awakens—wounded and alone.
She remembers nothing—not how she got there, not her past, not even her own name. When she’s attacked, she’s forced to fight for her life, and is surprised to find she possesses the skills to survive.
She emerges from the jungle to find herself the prey in a deadly game. The target: a formidable assassin, or at least that’s who she used to be. They trained her to kill and survive, and now they must fix their mistake.
But who is she now? Will she run for her life? Or does she confront her demons and pursue the truth, no matter what she may uncover?
Run to the fight.
As frightening clues surface from her past, she puts a plan into motion that tests herself against a deadly foe. From a jungle island in the South China Sea, to the gritty streets of Hong Kong, and to the snowcapped peaks of the Japanese Alps, she’s pursued by enemies intent on winning the bounty offered for her demise while she frantically searches for her own identity.
Can she survive long enough to discover her true self?
The Japanese Assassin is the first story in a new series by Amazon-bestselling author Jack Arbor, whose Max Austin series took the world by storm. Arbor masterfully weaves a narrative with his signature full-tilt pacing, high-octane action, and unforgettable characters.
Dive into the thrilling world of The Japanese Assassin and discover for yourself why Jack Arbor’s latest creation is a must-read. Grab your copy today and join the legions of readers eagerly awaiting his next blockbuster.
New Keyboard I’m Trying
This is random, but I recently updated my everyday keyboard to a NuPhy Air 75 mechanical keyboard, and wow.
I use an ergonomic keyboard for writing fiction. Something about pounding out 2K – 3K words every day combined with my advanced, er, life experience, and I find that the ergonomic keyboard is a must. I’m in transition from an old crumb-crusted Microsoft to a squeaky clean new Logitech.
However, for everyday tasks, I was using an old Apple keyboard. I stumbled across a YouTube video about mechanical keyboards, and after first snorting derisively at the idea, I watched a few more videos and decided to give it a try.
If you’ve never used a mechanical keyboard, it’s difficult to explain the satisfaction of the tactile feel and unique sound of a mechanical keyboard. Highly recommended.
Book I’m Reading
I had high hopes for this one. It’s been on the best-seller list forever, and it has over 37K ratings on Amazon 4.5 average, no mean feat. It’s also by a well-known author named Tess Gerritsen of Rizzoli & Isles fame who has been in the game a long time, and I was intrigued by the blurb, which is rare for me.
The story is about an enigmatic former CIA officer who retires to the Maine countryside along with several of her former CIA buddies. Trouble encroaches on their retirement utopia and they band together in something called “The Martini Club” to foil the evil plot that bubbles up from the protagonist’s past.
And herein lies my issue. A lot of the story is told in extended flashbacks to the protagonist’s earlier life, which makes it difficult for me to get into the story. What time zone am I in here? And yes, I’ve used flashbacks to show Max’s relationship with his father, but I’ve kept them short and I use italics so it’s obvious what time frame the reader should be in.
My other issue with the story are the character points of view (POV) choices made by the author. The main protagonist/narrator is told in first person, which is fine. But two minor characters have POV roles: a character who seems evil but may or may not be the villain, and then oddly, the local sheriff, who is portrayed as earnest but ineffectual. Neither POV choice seems particularly important to the story, instead I would have liked to see another character from the Martini club with a POV to provide rich context to the main protagonist.
I like the lead character a lot, and so I might be inclined to read the second book in the series, but if the hopping around between time eras and points of view is similarly vexing, book two will probably be my last one in this series.
A lot of people like the book, so I wanted to mention it here in case you haven’t given it a read. Drop me a line and let me know if you like it; I’m obviously in the minority on this one.
Recommended, with reservations.