Everyone, please welcome author Daniel Annechino to the blog today. We chat about obstacle courses, protagonists, other great mystery/crime stories, and plenty more. Also, don’t forget to check out the great giveaway at the bottom of the post! For more reviews, guest posts, and interviews, check out the blog tour schedule over at iRead Book Tours.
Are minions/sidekicks just throwaway devices in a tale? Can they become more? Do they need to become more?
In my opinion, secondary and support characters play a vital role in just about any novel unless it’s one like Robinson Crusoe. They not only support the main protagonist, they add depth to the story. If well developed they add a new dimension to the book. So often an author keeps support characters in the background so the reader never truly gets to know them. I think this exhibits laziness on the writer’s part.
Who are your favorite hero duos from the pages?
I, of course, hold Detective Sami Rizzo, the lead character, dear to my heart. Although there are several other characters who blend well with her, I think the dynamic between Rizzo and her boss, Captain Davison works well. They have a love/hate relationship, but if my readers are paying attention, they’ll see that the love and mutual respect outweigh the “hate”.
In writing your bad guys, do you want the reader to enjoy hating on him/her, or do you want the reader to be waiting for that magical moment when they redeem themselves?
Actually, I want the reader to be conflicted between positive and negative emotions. Although all of my villains are hard boiled, there are certain aspects of their actions and character that (hopefully) make my reader angry with themselves because they either empathize with him or see past the evil. They want to hate him, but I try to make that a difficult task.
If you were asked to create the syllabus for a college class in mystery/crime literature, what books would be on there as required reading?
That’s a tough question because there are so many outstanding mystery/thrillers in the world of literature. If I had to choose three, they would be: Silence of the Lambs, The Shining, and The Godfather.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I read whenever I can but find that my attention span isn’t as focused as it should be. Since I began writing I can no longer read a book as a casual reader. I find myself editing every line and that really distracts me and takes me out of the story. Aside from that, I like movies, good wine, when I have time I like to cook, I love the San Diego Zoo, I’m a big Padres and Charger fan, and of course, I love to travel. Last, I hate to admit it, but I could easily waste away in front of the TV for hours. We now have so many choices that it’s easy to get seduced by the “Boob Tube”.
What is the first book you remember reading on your own?
Wow! You’re really taxing my brain. I’m not sure if this was the first, but The Little Engine That Could comes to mind.
As a Christian, there’s only one answer: Jesus Christ.
Will there be a tasty libation involved?
Oh, yes. Jesus has a history of making the finest wine.
Book # 1 – Book Description for They Never Die Quietly:
They Never Die Quietly tells the story of homicide Detective Sami Rizzo, who is assigned to head a task force investigating serial killings in San Diego. Simon, the highly intelligent, cunning, and deceptively charming villain, redefines the depths of human evil. He believes God has given him absolute authority to purify his unholy victims through a ritual that ends in a grisly crucifixion. Driven by warped religious beliefs and guided by his dead mother, very much alive in his subconscious, Simon abducts “chosen ones” and holds them captive in a Room of Redemption. There, the victims helplessly await their crucifixion. Detective Rizzo urgently yearns to solve the case and gain the respect of her male colleagues, but her obsession to apprehend the killer on her own clouds her thinking. When Simon outsmarts Rizzo and captures her, determined to make her his next victim, she must employ all her resources—both physical and intellectual—to outwit the villain at his own game.
Buy the book: Amazon
Book # 2 – Book description for Resuscitation:
Two years ago, Detective Sami Rizzo narrowly escaped a brush with death at the hands of a serial killer. After apprehending the killer and bringing him to justice, this life-changing event compels her to resign from the police force. In her heart of hearts, however, she struggles with the decision. But a second serial killer—a well- respected doctor gone astray—uses his charm to seduce his victims and then performs horrific surgical experiments on them. In a final act of depravity, he scatters their mutilated bodies throughout San Diego County. Feeling a sense of duty and obligation, Sami Rizzo appeals to the police chief and mayor, and they reinstate her as a homicide investigator. As the body count grows and the killer’s experiments become more and more brutal, Sami follows one dead-end lead after another, while trying to deal with a sickly mother and a turbulent relationship with her lover. But then the killer makes a crucial mistake: one of his victims survives. Sami does everything to protect the barely alive victim, but the killer has a different plan.
Buy the book: Amazon
Book #3 – Book Description for A Piece of You:
Homicide Detective Sami Rizzo is at it again! She never dreamed “America’s Finest City,” would be tormented by yet another serial killer, but for the third time in the last five years a depraved maniac is stalking the streets of San Diego. Based on her qualifications and prior successes dealing with multiple murders, who else would Captain Davison assign to head the investigation?
Different from Sami’s past experiences, this fanatic is like no other. His methods of killing defy everything profilers think they know about serial killers. As an intense investigation begins and bits and pieces of evidence emerge, no one can understand his motivation. He’s merciful, yet brutal. And just to make things even more confusing, all of his victims are blood-related. Is he settling a vendetta? Did he randomly pick a name out of the phone book and begin a rampage? Or is there a deeper story?
Based on very little evidence and a lot of gut instincts, Detective Rizzo pieces together a complex puzzle and narrows the field of possible suspects. She learns that the killings may connect in some way to powerful people within the judicial system and doesn’t know who to trust. Ultimately, she comes face to face with the killer for a battle of brain and brawn. Can she outwit the shrewd killer, or will she be his next victim?
Buy the book: Amazon
Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor specializing in full-length fiction, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, in 1992 while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly.
His second book, Resuscitation (Thomas & Mercer 2011), a follow-up to his first novel, hit #1 in Kindle sales in the UK and reached #26 in the USA. He is also the author of I Do Solemnly Swear (Thomas & Mercer 2012) and Hypocrisy. A Piece of You is his fifth novel, the third in the Detective Sami Rizzo series. A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.
Win 1 of 20 print (or gifted Kindle) copies of A Piece of You: A Sami Rizzo Thriller (open to USA & Canada).