Monday, May 19, 2014

Mike Sullivan Talks About His Character Sam Seabury




Hello: I’m author, Mike Sullivan. I’ve created action hero, Sam Seabury and would like to share with you how Seabury came into existence. 

1.   How did you go about creating him?

Unlike other action heroes who remain in one country, I went a different route with Sam Seabury. I wanted to create a heroic figure, someone who stood out, yet at the same time never stayed long in one place. It wasn’t until I started thinking about Seabury’s occupation that he began to take on a life of his own. In a moment of insight (rarely do I have them), I saw him as a merchant seaman operating on a world stage. If I turned him into a big, brawny, good-natured person with a lot of street smarts, I figured I was well on my way to making him sound real. Seabury isn’t the type to hold back without expressing his opinion about matters that concern him, like helping the poor or coming to the aid of anyone victimized by crime. The sea may be his home. Fresh air, clear skies and calm seas nurture his soul. But once he goes ashore –well, that’s a different story. He’ll go the extra mile for anyone sending out SOS signals, so he’s constantly engaged in crisis situations, no matter how large or small. A friend of mine spent his entire career as a merchant seaman. He was a person you came to admire and respect. You knew in a pinch he’d always be there for you. I patterned Seabury after him.  

2.   Who is Sam Seabury?

Physically, he’s six feet, two inches tall and weighs 235 pounds. He’s a thirty-five year old Hawaiian who travels the world’s great oceans serving as Chief Boatswain’s Mate aboard a variety of merchant cargo ships. Emotionally, Seabury lives by a strong moral code. He’s as kind and patient as he is cerebral and fair minded. He’s also college educated and has a very inquisitive mind. Women everywhere like him. Men would like to be him. Yet beneath the exterior of civility lies another, darker side. At times he’s emotional, prone to anger. A man his size can be a formidable force if spurred into action. Picture an ethical man waging war against the dark forces of the criminal mind, and you have a pretty good idea who Sam Seabury is.

3.   You mentioned a dark side to Seabury’s nature. Could you elaborate more on that?

Seabury lives by a set of values. Once they’re broken, usually by crooks operating within the criminal underworld, his vengeance is swift and decisive. He operates beyond the law and has his own way of seeking justice. Like everyone else, he isn’t perfect. He has his own set of demons. In my debut novel, Dead Girl Beach, the love of his life Dao Suttikul, a radiant Thai beauty, ends up the victim of a grisly murder one month before their wedding. He’s never gotten over it. The thought of his older brother Benjamin’s suicide also eats at him and he carries around the scars of the tragedy. At times his past comes back to haunt him, and I suppose that’s what makes him a memorable character. Hopefully, the reader will connect with him and want to see more of him.  
  
4.   What books have you written in the Sam Seabury novel series?

I’ve been published twice in the United States. My publisher is Eternal Press/Damnation Books. I’ve signed a contract for a third book with them. Dead Girl Beach was my debut novel. The second novel in the series is Ransom Drop.  The first two novels are for sale now on Amazon, Goodreads, and also available with the publisher www.damnationbooks.com.

The third novel, Eden 2, will launch soon, hopefully this quarter as the final editing has been already completed. I’m excited about this book because of its Biblical implications and its locale, set in Southeast Asia.

5.   I see you live in Bangkok. Do most of your books take place in Asia?

The first three books in the Seabury series take place in Asia. The setting for Dead Girl Beach is the beautiful Koh Phangan Island located on Thailand’s Southern Gulf Coast. Ransom Drop takes place on the Plain of Jars in central Laos. Eden 2 in the secluded jungles of eastern Borneo. As you can see, Sam Seabury gets around. I’ve always been interested in tropical island settings. Exotic lands intrigue me. There’s something fascinating about them. I suppose that’s why I use these settings in my novels.  For those readers enamored by tropical islands, mysterious jungle forests, drama, mystery and romance, perhaps my books will interest you.
  
6.   Tell me briefly about Dead Girl Beach. That’s an interesting title for a book.

Five young women have been murdered at a terrible place the natives call Dead Girl Beach. When Seabury receives news of his fiancés murder there, he is forced into the role of amateur detective when the local police offer no help solving the crime. He comes up with a name, Greta Langer, a sick, sadistic socio-path whom he links to the murders. After a harrowing boat ride and a trek through a hot, sweltering jungle, he tracks her down near an inlet cove on Dead Girl Beach. In a bizarre ending filled with irony, he avenges his fiancé’s murder.   




7.   What about Ransom Drop? You mentioned earlier the novel takes place in Laos.

Yes. Seabury goes out on a limb by promising to deliver a million dollar ransom to the remote region of the Plain of Jars in central Laos. His friend Benjamin Hong’s daughter Victoria has been kidnapped and held for ransom there. Along the way, Seabury discovers a tragic wartime secret from America’s Secret War in Laos, four decades old. The secret affects the lives of two prominent US politicians. There’s great suspense here since the reader doesn’t know if Seabury will bring Victoria back home alive, or if he’ll live long enough to see the secret reach the light of day. It’s that kind of pulse-pounding drama.   

I had fun writing the book. Not only was the motorcycle chase scene through central Laos challenging to write, but my intention as always was to leave the reader with thought provoking questions long after they read the last page. I like to give them something to think about. It’s a little like living here in Asia. There’s a period of adjustment for any foreigner because things are not always as they appear. That’s what makes the place so exciting.   

8.   I’m intrigued by your third book, Eden 2. What’s that about?

Seabury finds a papyrus map indicating the presence of a second Garden of Eden built after the original Garden of Eden was destroyed by the Great Flood.  He travels to the faraway jungles of eastern Borneo with two women and an aging college professor in search of the second garden.  When they find it, Seabury questions the early Church Fathers reasons for excluding this information from the original Bible, casting doubt on its authenticity. The novel is not just a tale of adventure. It can be read and interpreted on several different levels. It has strong Biblical implications.

9.   Anything else you are working on now?

I’ve completed the fourth novel in the series, the Anonymous Hacker. To be honest, I think it’s the best book in the series so far because of the subject matter. It’s in the process of being edited now.  The setting is Brussels, Belgium. The world is on the verge of apocalypse when a brilliant female hacker crashes the computers of the entire international banking system. She’s determined to hold politicians and bankers accountable for their acts of greed and corruption. Think about it, a world without banks, nothing moving in and out of commercial shipping ports, riots in the streets, and bloodshed everywhere. That’s a pretty frightening picture. Yet, with each passing moment, Seabury finds himself immersed in the depths of a world gone mad. Each move he makes draws him perilously close to the edge of danger. Read my excerpt from the novel to see how it all begins.
  
I think AH is a timely novel because of its depth and substance. I hope the novel has a far-reaching appeal because of its message. Unless we as a collective group of world citizens take control and hold bankers and politicians accountable for their actions, nothing will ever change. The number of recent protests like Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring suggest currents of unrest existing in a world burdened by social inequality. People are fed up with the system. Every aspect of their lives is controlled by a cabal of elite globalists interested only in accumulating vast sums of wealth and remaining in power. I wonder how much money these financial barons have to make in order to be satisfied. That’s just the point. They never will be satisfied.  They’ve rigged the system to their own advantage. I’ll admit they’re pretty good at it, but that still doesn’t make it right. They serve one God, the God of corporatocracy and are obsessed with making money. It’s no wonder the people are marching and seeking change.
   
10.      In what genre would you place your books?

I’m glad you asked because at times it’s difficult to say. For the most part my books are adult thrillers set in exotic lands. I also can’t resist making social comments whenever possible. I like to deal with themes like love and honor, bigotry and betrayal. I also like to include religious themes in my books whenever I can. They are emotionally powerful. The Anonymous Hacker, however, is the exception. Unlike my earlier novels set in the countryside, AH takes place in a modern city, Brussels, Belgium, the heart of the European Union.

Generally, I try to write novels which are fast paced and spur reader interest. Sometimes you accomplish this goal, sometimes you fall a bit off the mark. But with anything else you learn more about yourself and your craft the more you write. Being modest, I can see my own novels improving with each new book I write. I believe you become a better writer by writing diligently each day. That’s why I encourage young writers to write continuously. Don’t let a day go by without writing something. You only get better by doing.

11.       Is there anything else you would like to add?

Only that I hope people will come to know Sam Seabury –what he believes in, and what he stands for. As I see it, my purpose as a writer is to entertain. To give the reader the best possible book I can turn out each time I write another novel.  I owe them that much. At the end of the day, I sincerely hope they are as excited as I am about each new adventure Seabury embarks upon. He’s an honest man who enjoys helping others. I guess we can all learn a lot from that. The world isn’t such a bad place after all if we learn to greet each day with a smile and utilize our God given talents.      



EXCERPT: from Anonymous Hacker.

     “Simple,” said Julie Dunbar, “the RFID chip inside the artifact offers a link to their banking system. I capture the wireless router system and ping the information back to the home station here in my room. As of today we’ve planted a chip inside the New World Bank of Brussels. I’m working on getting the system decrypted now. After that I’ll be able to breech their server.”

“And own the system,” Seabury said.    

“Bright Boy.” She grinned. “Once I siphon funds from one account to another the cabal of international bankers will think each is stealing from the other. They’re such paranoid jackals when it comes to losing money, it won’t be hard to light their fire.”

“What happens after that?” he said.

“After what?”

“After they find out what you’re doing.”

“Then it becomes an inside job,” she said. “It won’t take long for the bank’s IT teams to figure it out and connect the hacking to Anonymous. We have that reputation, you know.”

He said nothing.

She looked at him. “Our goal is to bring down banks all over the world. We’re talking about a collapse in the financial system.”

Collapse in the financial system, he shuddered at the thought. She barely got the words out before a pain stabbed his heart.

 Her lips pursed. “People need to know how these crooks are screwing them over. They need to be held accountable. A big change is coming. Believe me, it is.”              

4 comments:

  1. I'm a huge Sam Seabury fan. He's a strong, reliable and honest hero. Each adventure is a rollercoaster ride of emotion, mystery and suspense with a little humor thrown in here and there. Whether he's dealing with man-eating fish (Dead Girl Beach) or a cyber-net of criminals (Anonymous Hacker), Sam Seabury is the ultimate hero. I look forward to his next adventure. I wonder where Mike will take him next?

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Cheryl for taking the time to read the interview. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. AH was a fun novel to write.
      Sincerely,
      MIKE

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  3. I learned even more about Seabury. What a fantastic character! Great interview, Mike.

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