by Jeff Gunhus
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Publication Date: January 10th 2016
Genre: Adult, Thriller
When a high-society call girl is murdered in her Georgetown home, investigators find two cameras hidden in the walls of her bedroom. One has its memory erased, presumably by the murderer. The second is connected to the Internet through an encrypted connection…and no-one knows who’s on the other end.
Special Agent Allison McNeil is asked by beleaguered FBI Director Clarence Mason to run an off-the-record investigation of the murder. The most direct path to apprehending the killer is to find the videos, but with rumors that the victim’s client list may have included Mason’s political enemies, Allison worries about the director’s motives. As she starts her investigation, she quickly discovers that she’s not the only one pursuing the videos. In fact, the most aggressive person racing against her might be the murderer himself.
Q&A with the Author
1) Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I was born in Iowa but lived overseas in Greece, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia from ages 5-12. Because of this, I grew up without a lot of TV and video games in my life. The real escape was into books so I was a voracious reader from an early age. In my adult life, I founded and run a national home improvement company with a few thousand employees and I have five kids ages 15-5. Some dads play golf or watch sports to relax. I write novels.
2) Where and when did your writing journey begin?
My parents recently sent me a box of stuff from the attic. In it were some old report cards from 5-8th grade. It was cool to see my English teachers all mention in the comments that I ought to be a writer. Then I took a break to built a national business and have five kids (not a really a break now that I think of it) so getting back to fiction has been a real joy. I wrote a novel in 2012 to get my son interested in reading. That began the journey of publishing my writing.
3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
Stephen King because his voice is so clear and he takes his time to make his characters breath. Michael Chabon because his use of language is beautiful without being pretentious. James Patterson for his ability to sink a hook into you and keep you turning pages. Tolkien and Herbert (Dune) for the world-building.
4) What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?
With five kids, I have to get up at 5am if I want to get anything done. When I’m really deep into a book, I’ll add an evening session as well. The key is consistency. I write 6-7 days a week.
5) How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
Killer Pursuit is the second novel featuring my protagonist FBI Agent Allison McNeil. While the series is purposely written so that a reader can start anywhere in the series, the case she’s working on is a copycat to a case she brushes up against in book 1. Because I live so close to DC, I wanted in included more of the corridors of power and put my reader in the room with some of the world’s most powerful politicians. I think it give a good balance to the close, personal story of Allison and her father.
6) What do you think sets your novel apart from others current on the shelves?
I like to think that readers of my books can really sink their teeth in the characters and truly care for them as they get dragged through the mud on their journey. I’m also known for having a twist you didn’t see coming. I think Killer Pursuit delivers on those promises.
7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?
It’s always more fun to write the bad guys. Maybe it’s therapeutic. Harris was a lot of fun and his scenes came easily. It’s said that part of the author is in every character, but since Harris is such a terrible person, I how I don’t have too much of him in me. Maybe writing people like him keeps the bad stuff lurking inside me at bay. I know my wife doesn’t like reading characters like him. Usually she asks if it’s time to get a pen name.
8) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?
The scenes with Allison and her father who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease were special to me. While I have not had a direct family member suffer from the disease, I have seen it up close and personal through my friends. I teared up a bit writing those scenes and part of me hopes my readers have that same emotional connection to those scenes.
9) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?
I like writing female protagonists because it forces me to question how much of my own worldview and experiences are influenced by my gender. I hope readers enjoy seeing a strong woman who more than holds her own in what is still a man’s world in the FBI. That’s changing for the better every day, but there is still improvement needed.
10) What are your hopes for this novel?
I hope people with be entertained and want to go back in read Killer Within to see more of Allison McNeil.
11) What do you have in store next for your readers?
I have a thriller set in the near-future that is almost ready to be sent to my publisher. It might be my favorite book yet. I’m very excited about it!
About the Author
Jeff Gunhus is the author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 100 on Amazon and have been Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists.
After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.