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The Vatican Knights Series Book 1
While on a visit to the United States, Pope Pius XIII is kidnapped by a terrorist cell calling itself the Soldiers of Islam. If the United States and its allies do not meet their demands, they will execute the pope. So when FBI Specialist Shari Cohen is called to duty to track down the terrorist cell responsible, she learns that she is not alone. Deep behind the Vatican walls a secret order dispatches a clandestine op group of elite commandos known as the Vatican Knights. Their mission: bring the pope back alive. As Cohen and the Knights work in tandem they uncover a White House conspiracy involving high-ranking members on Capitol Hill. When she begins to get too close to the truth about the pope’s kidnapping, she becomes the target of indigenous forces trying to keep the conspiracy safe. However, in order to get to her they must go through the Vatican Knights.
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About the Author:
Rick Jones was born and raised in the Boston area and moved to Las Vegas in the early eighties where he graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in English. He is retired from law enforcement and currently resides in Las Vegas where he writes fulltime. He is the bestselling author of the Vatican Knight series (THE VATICAN KNIGHTS (soon to be a major motion picture from Amber Entertainment), SHEPHERD ONE, THE ISCARIOT AGENDA, PANDORA’S ARK, THE BRIDGE OF BONES, CROSSES TO BEAR, THE LOST CATHEDRAL, DARK ADVENT, CABAL THE GOLGOTHA PURSUIT, and TARGETED KILLING); the psychological thriller, FAMILIAR STRANGER; and the bestselling action/adventure series, The Eden Saga (THE CRYPTS OF EDEN, THE MENAGERIE and THE THRONES OF EDEN); and CITY BENEATH THE SEA.
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Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey? Been writing for more than 20 years—since 1980, actually. Though I’ve only found success starting in 2013, which continues to this day. So it took me 23 years of perseverance and determination to get me where I am today. Never give up on anything, whether it’s writing or something else. Eventually you will get there.
How many books do you currently have published? 18
What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why? Pretty much the Vatican Knights books. Of that group I’d have to say The Iscariot Agenda because it outlines Kimball Hayden (main character) in great depth, such as his personal suffering and torment while working under the control of the Vatican. Though he can defeat anything external, he cannot defeat his own demons.
Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release? Yes. The Black Key (Book #2 of the Hunter series).
What do you enjoy most about writing? Time to myself and the escape of going into new lands and situations.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? No. Not really. I have difficulty with the first few chapters, trying to get them right. After I feel comfortable with them, then I fly right through. I never write an outline. I don’t even know where the narrative’s heading. I just follow the logical path until story’s end. If you follow an outline, then there’s no surprises or enjoyment because you already know what’s going to happen. What’s the fun in that? Let the story take you away and follow its course. If you do, then writer’s block shouldn’t be a concern. At least it isn’t for me.
Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you? All the time, which is why I never write an outline. As you write the story then you begin to see things that would deter from an outline and make the story better. Sometimes it hits you like an epiphany, so you add something which may change the direction of the entire story. But that’s what’s great about writing.
Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? Kimball Hayden, lead commando of the Vatican Knights. Every hero in every book has to be flawed; every writer knows this. And since all characters are flawed and no longer unique regarding this, then you have to find something additional to add to their character in order to make them unique. In Kimball’s case, he was a former government assassin who killed with impunity, including women and children if they compromised his position in the theater of operation. After having an epiphany, Kimball seeks redemption through the Vatican. Though he’s strong and powerful and can command or defeat any external situation, he’s so fragile underneath that he fails to overcome his personal demons.
So far, what has been your favorite scene to write? Any knife scene involving Kimball Hayden. Gunfights bore me sometimes because it’s done all the time, though I do have the use of firearms in all my books.
What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers? As stated before, never give up. It took me 23 years and I couldn’t have been more blessed. The Vatican Knights is in (motion picture) development with Amber Entertainment (London) with Ileen Maisel (The Golden Compass and Dangerous Liaisons) acting as producer. I will also be acting as co-producer on the project. The plan right now is to franchise the series into several films, which is why I revised the first four editions. So for anyone who wants to write, my advice to you is to persevere. That’s my tip. Success will not come overnight. It may not come from the sales of your first few books, either. Remember, it took me 23 years. But in the day of the Indie writer, it would probably be far less. If you quit, you will lose everything. If you stay with it, then you have everything to gain.
If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? The Vatican Knights because it’s the start of the franchise, and hopefully the first movie in the series that will blaze a path for more movies to come.
Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character? Working on The Black Key; looking for a February release date.
Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read? Anything from Vince Flynn, Clive Cussler, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon and a few others.
Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why? Anything from Vince Flynn.
Thank you for the interview, it was a pleasure.