Monday, December 14, 2015

Interview with Piers Platt, author of RATH'S DECEPTION

Piers Platt is the New York Times bestselling author of "Combat and Other Shenanigans," a memoir of his year-long deployment to Iraq as a tank and scout platoon leader. Piers grew up in Boston, but spent most of his childhood in various boarding schools, including getting trained as a classical singer at a choir school for boys. He joined the Army in 2002, and spent four years on active duty.

When he's not writing or spending time with his lovely wife and daughter, Piers works as a strategy consultant in
New York city.

His latest book is the sci fi/thriller, Rath’s Deception.

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About the Book:

On the cut-throat streets of Tarkis, orphaned teens like Rath end up jailed … or dead. So when the shadowy Janus Group offers Rath a chance to earn riches beyond his wildest dreams, he seizes it. But the Janus Group is as ruthless as the elite assassins it controls. Rath will have to survive their grueling, off-world training, and fulfill all fifty kills in his contract before a single cent comes his way. And ending so many lives comes with a price Rath can’t anticipate. It’ll certainly cost him what’s left of his innocence. It may well cost him his life.

For More Information

  • Rath’s Deception is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thanks for this interview, Piers.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

Thanks for having me! I loved both reading and writing from an early age, but I didn’t get serious about it until a few years ago. I wrote a memoir (Combat and Other Shenanigans) of my time as a platoon leader in Iraq, and published it, and it kind of took off. And it reminded me that this was what I always wanted to do, it kicked my butt a bit and got me back in gear.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation?

I have a 4-year old daughter, so I try to spend as much time with her as I can. She is awesome, but relaxation isn’t really on her agenda, its more about cramming in as much activity as possible into every minute that she isn’t eating or sleeping. I wish I had that much energy!

Do you have a day job? Or a night one?

I do – I work in the Corporate Strategy department at a large financial services firm in NY. Sounds boring, but it’s actually a nice challenge – I basically have to keep my company up to date on all the latest trends in the industry, and understand why the trends are occurring, and what our best strategy should be to compete. It forces me to learn something new every day, but it’s not as much fun as writing.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

I wouldn’t say rocky, but it’s been a lot of hard work – nights, early mornings, weekends, etc. When I wrote my memoir, I initially tried the traditional route – querying agents, etc. But soon after, I stumbled across several of the more prominent indie authors and their blogs, and I never really looked back.

What is it about the sci fi genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?

It’s one of my favorite genres to read, so I think that (hopefully) means I can add my own original spin and still meet readers’ expectations for what a sci fi book should be. Also, I feel like it’s more of a blank canvas than many other genres – more freedom to create new things, and fewer constraints (vs. say, historical fiction…which I also love to read!).

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Bladerunner meets Jason Bourne.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

I think it will appeal to fans of both the thriller genre (assassins, conspiracies, organized crime) and sci fi (space travel, cool technology, futuristic setting). There’s a fair bit of action in there, too – and as a combat veteran, I’m pretty well-equipped to write tactical stuff. A lot of writers have never fired a weapon in their life…so how could they know what it feels like to do so at all, much less in a tense situation?

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Oh god, I wish I knew. I would set up a nice little campsite there and hang out all the time! I think I just built up a creative storytelling muscle over time…I used to invent stories in my head as a kid, whole fantasies, usually riffing off of Star Wars or another favorite story world. I still do…but now I write them down, as well.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Be organized. There is so much information out there today about how writers can be successful, from outlining techniques to writing faster to which marketing methods work best. It’s too much info! So I write it all down, everything I find that could be useful. And I have a nice little playbook for all of it, that I can reference whenever I need to…and I don’t need to keep it all in my head.

What’s next for you?

Books 2 and 3! They’re written already, actually…they’ll be released over the next two months. I wanted to make sure I had the whole story arc written before I launched Rath’s Deception (Book 1). So I have a few finishing touches to put on them, and then maybe I can start thinking about what I want to write next.

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