Monday, March 25, 2013

Douglas Dorow, The Ninth District, plus #giveaway

AUTHOR: Douglas Dorow
PUBLISHER: Douglas Dorow
GIVEAWAY?  Gift/Giveaway two ebooks kindle or epub - Be sure to leave contact information to be entered into the drawing.

Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?

I’m a thriller writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They say write what you know, I write what I like to read: thriller, suspense, action adventure stories.

Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.

The Ninth District is a story about an FBI agent who finds himself up against an adversary who has been robbing banks. They discover that the ultimate target is the Federal Reserve, which has never been robbed, and they want to keep it that way.

How long have you been writing?
I started writing in a couple of creative writing classes in college. After a break and working in my real life career, I took a couple of writing classes and started writing again. That was probably 18 years ago, when my daughter was born.
What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve enjoyed reading thrillers, spy and espionage, suspense for a long time. I decided I wanted to try writing one and found I really enjoy the creative writing process. With my first thriller, I decided I wanted to write about an FBI agent with a family.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?

I don’t write a detailed outline. I start with an event and start asking “what if” and trying to answer the questions. Then I just write quick scene notes in a timeline. I note the main event of the scene, time, point of view character and start writing. New scenes and ideas will pop into my head as I write, as well as some minor characters. 

An example of this is with The Ninth District. I knew I wanted to writer about an FBI agent in Minneapolis. Through some research I discovered that the Federal Reserve has never been robbed. And after reading an article in a local paper about urban explorers who visited the sewers and tunnels under the city, but were avoiding sites across the Mississippi river from the Federal Reserve after 9/11 heightened security, I brought these things together into my story.

What comes first: the plot or the characters?
With me, they come together and influence each other. The inciting incident comes first and sets the location that the characters are playing in. Then, probably the plot.
Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?

The book took some research. I used google and some books to learn some things. I have a friend, who is now an FBI agent, so I asked some questions of him.

I don’t write full time, so it’s hard to say how long it takes. I write in spurts as I find time. It may be a few sentences or a few pages per sitting.

What are some of the challenges in your writing process?

The biggest challenge I have is finding time to write. I have a full-time day job as an Information Technology Manager and a family which keeps me busy.

Describe your writing space.
I don’t have a regular writing space. I have a laptop and write where I can. Often, I’m writing in coffee shops after I’ve dropped my son at soccer or hockey practice. While I write I often have my earbuds in and listen to music. I find that it keeps the distractions out and part of my brain engaged so errant thoughts and ideas aren’t distracting me either.
What books or authors have influenced your writing?
I like to read, so there have been a lot of authors. Earlier in my reading I liked Stephen King, Ken Follett, my favorite book was Trevanian’s Shibumi. Some of the series thriller authors I’ve read, include: Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Lee Child, Nelson DeMille, James Rollins, Clive Cussler,Vince Flynn, Brian Freeman and William Kent Kruegger.  Notice some of these are other Minnesota authors? 

Lately, I’ve started to explore other indie thriller authors, authors I wouldn’t have found in a bookstore, but now that the ebook revolution is alive I’ve found lots of new, fantastic writers.

What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?

I wish I had a crystal ball. Ebooks will continue to grow. It will be interesting to see how the physical bookstore changes. There will always be people who prefer the paper book, but we’re already seeing the impact of ebooks and the mail as a distribution system for paper books impacting the brick and mortar store. Publishers will need to change as well. Their value to an author is changing.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for

The Ninth District is my one book out now, in English and Spanish. 2012 I worked on broadening its availability with ebook, paper and audio. 2013 is a year where I’m focusing on writing, planning to release book two in the FBI series and the first in a spin off novella series I plan to write following a new FBI agent from the first book into the elite FBI Hostage Rescue Team. After those two new books, I’m writing a new Action/Adventure novel.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Write. Learn your genre, your craft. Don’t release your book too soon. Use beta readers to get feedback and when it’s ready utilize the pros to get our book ready to publish. Hire an editor and a cover designer and then write your second book, your third….

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

I have a website where I have info on my writing, some interviews with thriller authors and my blog.

I’m also active on twitter @dougdorow and have an author Facebook page

The Ninth District is available as an ebook, paper book, audiobook and in Spanish as an ebook/paper book.

The Federal Reserve has never been robbed. 

FBI Special Agent Jack Miller, pulled into a high-profile case to mentor a new agent, finds himself in a clash with the toughest opponent of his career. The chase culminates in the bowels of the city, in the storm sewers and tunnels beneath The Ninth District Federal Reserve of Minneapolis.


  1. Sounds like a fascinating read Douglas. Clive Cussler and James Rollins are a couple of my favorites too. Great advice on writing!

    Cheers, Sara

  2. Excellent advice about learning the craft. Too many new writers finish one book and think it's ready to publish.

    Sounds like a good read!