Interviews – A few weeks ago I read and then wrote a review of the modern cyber thriller “All Systems Down”. After I posted my review, I contacted the author, Sam Boush, and was able to interview him.
Myself: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
Boush: I wanted to be a writer, at varying degrees, as far back as I can remember. (You can read about my Winnie-the-Pooh fanfic here.) Much later, as a college student at Oregon State University (go Beavs!) I must’ve wanted to be an author badly enough to write a pretty awful first novel – that ended up getting some undeserved award attention – but was ultimately never published. Thank goodness. I look back at it now and it was pretty cringy. Nineteen-year-old Sam needed to do more than a week’s worth of research before attempting a historical fiction epic.
Myself: Did you read much growing up?
Boush: I read all the time. As a kid, fantasy was my primary genre. Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Raymond E. Feist. As a kid, I also developed an early taste for technothrillers, which is what I write now. Michael Crichton was my favorite, and I must’ve read nearly everything he wrote in the early days.
Myself: I have been a fan of both Robert Jordan and Michael Crichton myself. What are the best and worst things about being a writer?
Boush: The best is being able to work from home, on my own schedule. If I need to run errands there’s no one but me to say no. If I need to pick up my kids or just take a sanity day, it’s the same thing. The worst part might be the marketing. Driving two hours for a book signing where five people show up. Reading that one-star review that, upon reflection, I sort of agree with. That sort of thing.
The other best thing, I suppose, is that my book is doing really well. It’s gotten strong reviews, good sales, and interest in the industry. Hopefully, I can keep the momentum going with my next couple books. And more after that!
Myself: I thoroughly enjoyed your “All Systems Down”, so the success with it you mention does not surprise me. Where do your story ideas come from?
Boush: All Systems Down was inspired by news articles on the growing cyber threat to critical infrastructure. I also read several terrific books on the subject including Richard A. Clarke’s Cyber War. I’m working on another project right now that came, in part, in a dream. I woke up at four in the morning and put down three thousand words before breakfast.
Myself: I look forward to seeing what that dream resulted in. I would have been hard-pressed to put down 300 words, let alone 3000, at that time of the morning. At least not without being fortified by copious amounts of coffee. What tools do you use in your writing?
Boush: I use a few:
- Word – The main writing platform
- Excel – Keeping track of A, B, C plots.
- Flashcards (physical) – Early-stage plotting
- My library card – everything else!
Myself: How should your fans follow you or get in touch?
Sam’s novel in eBook format is currently available for $0.99 on Amazon. A synopsis of the novel:
A North Korean cyberattack cripples America’s infrastructure, sparking chaos and leaving the country vulnerable to a military invasion.
Brendan Chogan first senses trouble afoot during his job interview for a security guard position at a Portland, Oregon, robotics company. A computer virus is apparently affecting the building, which then loses internet access. A report comes in by phone that the internet is down across the country. It’s merely the beginning of a North Korean strike against U.S. systems, and soon citizens nationwide lose their cellular service and electricity. Panic ensues, and Brendan realizes that he, his wife, Vailea, and their 8-year-old twin daughters may not be safe.
As Brendan and Vailea struggle to secure their home and stockpile food and water, the city descends into chaos. It’s there they meet up with refugees from the coast, where the armada of Chinese and Russian ships have slammed into the shore. An invasion has begun.