Q & A with bestselling author Russell Blake.
Q: The Delphi Chronicle posits a troubling & plausible conspiracy. Where did you get the idea?
Russell Blake: The idea stemmed from the title. I was originally going to call it The Pegasus File, & I'd conceptualized a cool cover, so I googled it to confirm there weren't any other books with that name. The original conspiracy was much tamer than what I wound up with after that search. I had the idea of a literary agent getting a manuscript detailing a shocking scheme, but I hadn't defined what it was, exactly. From that search came this conspiracy, & I have to admit I considered toning it down, because it scared even me. So readers? This is fiction, OK? And U.S. government? No need to send a wet team after me. We all understand it's fictional. As in, an invention, not real. That's my official position. Readers can decide how plausible the invention is for themselves. Some will hate it, as it portrays the U.S. government in a negative light.
Q: Why write it as a trilogy?
RB: It would have been a long single volume if I'd tried to squeeze it all into one book. Given the success I saw with the Zero Sum trilogy, I wanted to do another one, & this was just naturally written in three volumes, although I think most will get the first one, & then buy the specially-priced bundle of Books 2 & 3 if they're interested in following the story to its thrilling conclusion (wink wink).
Q: How do your novels compare to the work of your peers?
RB: I think they're faster paced than most. I try to catapult readers through a series of twists & turns at such aggressive velocity they're left gasping by the end. And I dislike books where I can see the ending coming a third of the way through. Just hate that. I try to write racing, intelligent thrillers that don't pander & aren't formulaic. All have gotten raves, so I'm fooling at least some of the people most of the time...
Q: Part of Delphi unfolds in Mexico. Any particular reason?
RB: I live in Mexico. Have for almost a decade. Modern Mexico is very different than portrayed by the U.S. media. Many parts are indistinguishable from cities in the U.S. Strip malls, high rises, melting-pot racial integration, etc. It's not burros & cactus & sombreros. One of the things I find fascinating is how different it is than my expectations when I moved here, & I try to impart that. I don't see many novels that are set in modern Mexico, & most I've read are caricatures of the truth. Mission bells, white-garbed peasants, mariachis, stereotypes. I try to imbue my fiction with reality, not some Hollywood portrayal of the country based on a snapshot from the 1950s. I think readers will find that distinction interesting, as do I.
Q: You're prolific. What's your secret?
RB: All I do is write. And I have a lot of stories floating in my head. I have been spending a lot of time getting them out onto paper (or more accurately, pixels). I think readers would do well to read Night of the Assassin and King of Swords for a synthesized version of my style. But there will be plenty more to come.