- Why does your book stand out in the genre you chose to write in?
Readers tell me they like the original plot and the fact that the twists and turns are both unpredictable and satisfying. But the single-most repeated comment I’ve received in reviews and emails is “I couldn’t put it down!” One blamed the book for losing an entire night’s sleep, another for burning dinner, and a third for getting in trouble for reading at work. I even received an email from a celebrity who told me he read it two sittings. Here’s the story:
Show of hands—How many of you are Crosby, Stills & Nash fans? If you’re over 30, you’ve got a hand up, over 55 and you’ve got two hands up. And you younger folks…you’re fans too, even though you may not know it; you hum along to their songs everyday on the radio, never realizing the artists behind the music are the voice of three generations.
I’m a big fan—always have been—so imagine my elation a few weeks ago when I received an email from David Crosby telling me that he absolutely loved my debut thriller, BRAINRUSH. And he wasn’t kidding; he even gave a shout-out at the MUSE benefit concert at the Shoreline Pavilion in SF last month, with the likes of Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt, John Hall, Jason Mraz and a bunch of others on the scene. Now that’s a brain-rush!
- Give us 5 reasons to read your book.
- It’s a page-turner
- The plot is original and the themes are current.
- It appeals to both adult and YA audiences.
- You will never predict the ending!
- It’s been described as “An international thriller with thought-provoking soul”
- My mom will thank you (Oh, that’s six reasons. Sorry.)
- How did you come up with the plot? Any specific inspirations? Did you draw on personal experiences?
I definitely drew on a number of personal experiences in writing Jake’s story. This is a somewhat sensitive topic for me, best answered by the following excerpt from a recent press release:
As a young pilot in the Air Force, Richard Bard was faced with a serious health diagnosis that threatened to take his life away. In “Brainrush” he adds drama and adventure to his personal experiences in what “Publisher’s Weekly” describes as “an inventive and compelling hybrid of science fiction, adventure and political thriller that is terrifically entertaining.”
When terminally ill combat pilot Jake Bronson emerges from an MRI with extraordinary cognitive powers, everyone wants a piece of his talent—including Battista, one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists. To save his love and her autistic child, Jake is thrust into a deadly chase that leads from the canals of Venice through Monte Carlo and finally to an ancient cavern in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan— where he discovers that his newfound talents carry a hidden price that threatens the entire human race.
- What was your favorite scene to write in the book?
Like most authors, I put a lot of heart and soul into my stories, not to mention hundreds of hours of research. I don’t mind; it’s a labor of love. Since a substantial portion of Jake’s story in BRAINRUSH takes place in Venice, Italy, I decided to rent an apartment there to start the book. I wanted to capture the sounds, the smells and the pace of the ancient city. I lived there for five weeks. It was an amazing experience. The 430-year-old apartment in the San Polo district overlooked a quiet canal. It had a private courtyard and water garage and friendly neighbors that smiled at the American writer who spoke just enough Italian to get by. The apartment would become Francesca’s ancestral home in BRAINRUSH, I thought. Her gondolier father, Mario, could house his prized gondola in the water garage. Jake’s friends and the Guild of Gondoliers could set their plan in motion from the dining room upstairs…
The narrow alleys, walkways and bridges of Venice became my quiet haunts at night, as I imagined chase-scenes and romantic encounters that might work in the book. It was an inspiring experience, to say the least…and one that I intend to duplicate in future locations. By the way, don’t be surprised to see more of Venice in future books. I want to go back!
- Are any of your characters loosely based off of people you know or yourself?
The key phrase is “loosely based”. And, yes, in addition to my own fears and aspirations, the characters in the story are imbued with characteristics from people I’ve met throughout my life—some good, some bad, but all colorful!
- How did you choose the title and/or the characters' names?
I struggled with titles for some time. I carried a pad around with me and added new ones to the list as they came to me. There were hundreds. Ultimately, I decided that a single-word title would be best, one that conveyed the underlying theme of the story. BRAINRUSH was the last title I ever wrote on my list. I knew it was “the one” before the ink was dry.
As for characters, they came to me in a more stream-of-consciousness style, each name “felt” like the character. “Jake Bronson” sounded a bit too strong at first, but as he developed on the page I grew to appreciate the contrast between his strong name and his sensitive inner soul.
Now for some quick questions
- Cairo or Tokyo?
Tokyo – mystery, technology and a proud people with many hidden layers.
- Mountains or seaside/beach?
I love being by the water. Did you know that crashing waves produce ‘negative’ ions which (even though they’re called negative) induces a mild euphoria in humans? Really.
- Tom or Jerry (from the cartoon)?
It’s got to be Jerry! Smart, fast, and never gets caught!
- Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate chip. Hey, I’m a writer—I’m allowed to make things up!
Before I sign off I’d like to tell you about a special promotion I have going on right now. It’s quite unique and the response has been very positive. It offers readers their choice of 2 FREE Kindle or Nook Bestsellers with the purchase of the Top-Rated 5-Star thriller BRAINRUSH for $2.99. Pick free books like the #4, 5 & 6 NYT Bestsellers BLIND FAITH, THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, THE ABBEY plus a dozen more. This is for real, no tricks or gimmicks. You can read the details at http://richardbard.com/promo
That’s it! Thanks very much for giving this new author a chance.
All the best,
GIVEAWAY: I promise this book was great, I recently reviewed the book here ; this book is great for young adults/adults of both genders. For a chance to win one of two signed copies of Brainrush, please leave a comment for Richard with your email. To earn one extra point, become a GFC or Networked blogs Follower. This giveaway is for US/CAN only. Giveaway will end on the 23rd of September.