Author Interview with Paul Byers
1) When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I took some creative writing classes in college but didn’t really do anything with them. Then about 15 years ago, my brother who was working in the advertising industry wanted to know if I would like to write a monthly humor column for a pet website. I started writing, enjoyed it and it branched out from there into creating my novels.
2) Where did you get the inspiration from for Catalyst?
I’d say in part, some of the inspiration for Catalyst came from listening to the stories my Dad would tell. He served in the Navy in WWII in both the Atlantic where his ship was sunk at Normandy and in the Pacific where he dodged Kamikazes and sailed into Tokyo Harbor.
So I took the inspiration I got from him, combined it with my passion for aviation and mixed it with my love of a good mystery and thrill of an adventure.
3) How long did it take you to write Catalyst from start to finish?
Between the day job, the family, life in general and not knowing exactly what I was doing, it took me about three and a half years from start to finish. I shaved a year off that time for my second novel, Arctic Fire.
4) What drew you to the spy thriller genre?
I’ve always enjoyed the “what if” or the “who done it” factor in stories. What better way to combine the two than in a spy novel set in the dark days of WWII?
5) What is your editing process like?
I am a terrible self-editor. I know what I want to say but the idea doesn’t always travel from my brain all the way down to my fingertips in one piece. After I have finish the first draft, I go back through it to find any glaring mistakes then have a few trusted associates look at it not only for typos and such but for word choice and story flow. With that done, I send it off to the editor for the final polish.
6) What are your writing goals for 2013?
Like most writers I prefer to spend my time writing but it doesn’t do you any good to write if no one knows about your books, so I plan on spending several months marketing, getting the word out. However, a writer writes and though I’m not positive of my next project, I‘m kicking around the idea of a sequel to Arctic Fire.
7) Are you working on something right now? If so, can you tell us more about it?
I have two projects in the works right now. Greed, is an action thriller set on a remote island in the South Pacific that’s been described as “what I’d expect if the late Michael Crichton had decided to write a novel that was equal parts Lost and Indiana Jones.” It’s at the editor’s desk right now so I’m hoping it will be out in a couple of months.
I’m also working on another WWII thriller that has ties to Catalyst entitled Shattered Sky. It follows the crew of a B-17 that gets shot down in the skies over war-torn Europe. The first draft is done and I’m going over again before I turn it over the editor. It too, should be out in early summer.
Thanks for answering my questions, Paul!
Author: Paul Byers
Genre: World War II Spy Thriller
In the waning months of World War II, the allied armies advance upon the crumbling German war machine like a juggernaut. In a final desperate bid to save the Fatherland, a plan is conceived that could turn the tide of the war-the completion of an advanced jet-propelled bomber capable of delivering a deadly payload to the shores of America.
Captain Griff Avery of the OSS has just botched the defection of a prominent German physicist, a man crucial to the Nazi end game, letting him fall into the hands of the rogue SS General masterminding the plot. But Avery’s troubles have only just begun: overwhelming evidence points to the woman he loves as the German spy who foiled the defection.
Now under suspicion himself, Avery sifts through the lies and deceit, uncovering the treacherous German operation. Against orders and on the run, Avery is forced to wage a secret war of his own, recruiting the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress and a reckless group of flyboys and their P-51 Mustangs to help him hunt down the secret SS cell and prevent the slaughter-no matter what the cost.
Paul grew up in Oregon on the shores of the mighty and mysterious Columbia River, and spent endless hours daydreaming on the beach in front of his house, making up stories about the ships from exotic ports all over the world that steamed up the river – what secret cargo might they be carrying; did they harbor spies who were on dark and exciting missions?
Later in adult life, he moved to another mysterious and provocative city – Las Vegas, just outside the famous Nellis Air Force base. After work he would sit on his porch and watch the fighters take off and land, igniting his imagination with visions of secret missions and rich speculation about what could possibly be hidden at Area 51.
After moving back to his native Pacific Northwest, Paul worked for the Navy and took every opportunity he could to speak with veterans from WWII to the Gulf War, listening to them swap stories and relate the experiences of a lifetime.
So it is this combination of a passionate love of history, a vivid “what if” imagination, and a philosophy of life that boils down to the belief that – there are few things in life that a bigger hammer won’t fix – that led Paul to become a writer of exciting, fact-based action-thrillers. His greatest joy is leaving his readers wondering where the facts end and the fiction begins.