Another BannerSnack sample for my friends popping over today from ChazzWrites.com.
In this episode, a review of World War Z attacks right after the quick and exciting new announcement: This Plague of Days by Robert Chazz Chute is launched! Then, “In the Line of Fire”, a new chapter reading of Higher Than Jesus (complete with sound effects!)
In the last instalment, Jesus Diaz was fresh from a coital conquest of the boss’s daughter. Then he got set up for murder. Poor Jesus! He’s so clever and loveable, yet such a luckless assassin. Pray for him. It’s going to get a lot worse for him before it gets better.
This podcast is sponsored by Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com.
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Thanks for listening!
It’s episode #73 and Bradley Manning finally gets to talk. Not to me but to the world, and that’s a good thing (finally!) Chazz is down, furious and off the deep end. This podcast includes recommendations for better podcasts, self-loathing, and whining about taxes. Chazz also gets to read a couple of his favorite chapters from Higher Than Jesus. (Also, Jesus unofficially forgives him.) Chazz also makes time to rail against haters and discovers he’s too sensitive to understand how sensitive he is.
Check out the links to books by Robert Chazz Chute under “Shop” at AllThatChazz.com. Books include:
Bigger Than Jesus
Higher Than Jesus
Self-help for Stoners
Six Seconds, How to Build Your Business with the Vine App
Crack the Indie Author Code
Write Your Books: Aspire to Inspire
Sex, Death & Mind Control
Murders Among Dead Trees
If you like the books, please leave a happy review wherever you buy books.
Music today is Mistake the Getaway by Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.
Web banners, podcast art and book covers by our sponsor, Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com.
Better people than Chazz: Scott SIgler.
Thanks for listening! If you like the podcast, please leave a happy review. If you can’t stand me but you like cool people, check out the Cool People Podcast at CoolPeoplePodcast.com.
I’ve been stymied. I hate that. I’ve been working on the new novel in the Hit Man Series, Hollywood Jesus. Several chapters went well, but there was something missing and I just figured out why it wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I was holding back. I wasn’t being reckless enough.
What makes Bigger Than Jesus such a great read is that it has the pace of a long chase scene with lots of twists and cliffhangers and no chance for anyone to catch their breath. I wrote Bigger Than in a certain way that was braver and less calculated than what I have been doing. As I wrote Bigger Than, each night I finished a chapter I often had no real idea how I’d get Jesus Diaz out of the corner I’d written him into. The next morning the answer came. (Sometimes it didn’t and I had to think longer, but when you ask the right question, the answer always appears.)
CUTTING & REWRITING…
The first stab at Hollywood Jesus wasn’t all bad. The chase scene with the cops and the scary way Jesus gets out of it? I’m keeping that. The meeting in the office? I’ll lose that. It’s too static and talky. I’m also keeping the big ending I’d planned, but the plots and plans and surprises go deeper and I’ll introduce new motivations.
The first two books started out with a murder. This time? It’s different, but no less scary and creepy. The key to making the character work for the reader is that he was terribly abused as a child and my funny hit man identifies with innocent victims. Jesus has a code and he always tries to make sure no civilians are hurt on his missions. Now that I see how this plot is going to unfold, it’s a much bigger, more sweeping story that has roots all the way back to the heart of book one of the series.
Jesus Diaz was in deep trouble with my first attempt at this book. I understand now how I can shove him down so deep, Hollywood Jesus will have a deeper emotional impact as well as more action with a pace that matches Bigger Than Jesus. Maybe even faster.
THE BIG PICTURE…
Bigger Than Jesus
New York; Opens with fast, perilous action; it’s a quest for money, love and escape with the alluring Lily Vasquez.
Theme: A man stands up to the Machine. He is not a cog.
Higher Than Jesus
Chicago; Opens with increasing tension, battling drug addiction while fighting two opposing forces over an arms deal and trying to save the body and soul of the sexy glamazon, Willow Clemont.
Theme: To become who you are meant to be, you have to conquer your failings.
L.A.; Opens with a rescue; opens old wounds in a war with multiple, powerful enemies, a slavery ring that hits Jesus very close to his heart and two beautiful women. Expect betrayal. Even so, you’ll be surprised from whence it strikes.
Theme: Sacrifice for the greater good…sucks.
I got my groove back, Stella! (That’s a dated book and movie reference, but it made somebody reading this smile briefly.)
I’m working on the next book in the Hit Man Series, Hollywood Jesus. Here’s a little excerpt from the first chapter. Read between the lines, and you’ll find some tips on protecting your home from burglars…or quirky assassins with mommy issues.
On TV, the hero slips a credit card into the edge of a door to pick a lock. That destroys the credit card — who needs that hassle unless it isn’t your credit card? — and isn’t nearly as easy as it looks except with cheap motel doors. The next option is to pull out a lock pick set and get to work, hoping a nosy neighbor doesn’t spot you while you struggle to overcome the lock. It’s not just picky work. It’s nit-picky and plenty of locks are different so you have to take the time to learn the lock. More hassle. If Dexter episodes went down in real time, it would be a much longer and more boring show.
You’ve used the hockey stick and bicycle chain trick to rip off doorknobs, but since you’d look suspicious walking around with that sort of bulge in your sports jacket, you’ve left that tool at home. That’s your only complaint about West Coast weather: The sun always shines in Hollywood, so no stylish trench coat for you.
If you were a brainless thug, the quickest way into Fitzwald’s house is simply to kick in the door, making sure your heel connects full force by the lock. That’s almost always effective. Even paranoid homeowners may spend $1,000 on a security door, but they spend the least they can on the installer so the frame is $25 worth of wood and the screws that hold it in place are usually way too short. One or two kicks gets you in quicker than fumbling with a key. That makes plenty of noise, though, and that choice could end badly with you tying up the nosy old man from next-door with electrical cord. One heart attack that’s another murder charge against you. Who needs it?
The key to a happy life is less stress, so you do the brainy thug thing: You look. The key isn’t under the mat or on top of the doorframe. It’s under the second flower pot you check. The homeowner would have had half a chance of keeping you out if he’d thought to at least stick the spare key in the pot’s dirt. That would have stymied you easily, but since no one wants dirty fingernails, you’re standing in Fitzwald’s house, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
As you step into the living room, a motion detector shines red and a shrill alarm goes off, jangling your nerves. However, alarms are even easier to deal with than people who leave their house keys in predictable places…
~ Robert Chazz Chute is a crime novelist and suspense writer who podcasts weekly, but never weakly (see below for the latest podcast.) To begin The Hit Man Series, Bigger Than Jesus is for sale at the low introductory price of just .99 cents because the first taste is cheap. Once you’re hooked as a thriller fan, the second in the series is Higher Than Jesus. Enjoy.
Books by Robert Chazz Chute. Book covers by Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com. I’m just putting the finishing touches on my crime novel, Higher Than Jesus. The ebook will be out soon and the paperback will be launched soon after that. (Lots of things happening all at once at Ex Parte Press these days.)
I just had a very nice new review of Bigger Than Jesus on Amazon. It was fair and solid and four stars. No complaints, only happiness. However, I then spotted someone else comment that “He’s been dead for thirty years and people still try to imitate him.” I can only assume the commenter meant Mickey Spillane, since the reviewer noted that my main character, Jesus Diaz, is influenced by Mike Hammer (the hero of many a Spillane novel) and characters from many movies.
Jesus Diaz is a movie freak, mainly because movies are about escapism and that’s one of the great themes of The Hit Man Series: Escape. However, I must object. Spillane has only been dead since 2006 and he has new novels coming out starring Mike Hammer (to be completed by another novelist, of course, presumably with a Ouija board) all the way into 2014!
More to the point, I’ve read some Mickey Spillane and enjoyed it, but I’m not trying to imitate the author. The story is written in the same POV as Bright Lights, Big City, but I’m not trying to be Jay McInerney. I share a common worldview with Chuck Palahniuk, but I had that worldview long before I read Fight Club or any of his other excellent novels. I’m not trying to “be” anybody else in my writing. I’m me and deluded enough to think that will be sufficient.
Influences? Sure. I’ve got them. When I read Blake Crouch’s Run, I knew I wanted to have the same fast pace to the story without letting up. I love William Goldman’s talent for reversals, so just when you think you know what happens next, surprise! You don’t. I’ve learned from other writers, but it’s rather reductionist and insulting to call me an imitator. I don’t think anyone who has actually read my books would call me that. No one author owns fast pacing and cliffhangers. I call that learning, not aping. I don’t mean to be thin-skinned. I just don’t want to be mischaracterized.