INTERVIEW WITH TOM ABRAHAMS

Welcome to a Tattered Remains Interview

Tom has traveled places most people would avoid.

He’s braved the stinging winds of a category four hurricane as it pounded The Gulf of Mexico, living and working without power for days.

He’s picked his way through the Amazon jungle, trekked across the irradiated exclusion zone of Chernobyl, Ukraine, and climbed the crumbling, high-altitude stone steps leading from the barrio Tacubaya, Miguel Hildalgo, in Mexico City.

He’s been evacuated in an ambulance from the barren Badlands of western Canada.

Tom is a veteran television journalist and author who’s spent the last 20-plus years telling the biggest stories of our time.

He’s reported from the East Room of White House and Capitol Hill, interviewed Presidents and presidential candidates, and was at the Pentagon while smoke still rose in the hours after 9/11.

He’s writes post-apocalyptic thrillers, action adventure, and political conspiracies.

Tom lives in the Houston suburbs with his wife, Courtney, and their two children.

Enjoy the interview… 

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Why did you choose to write in the post-apocalyptic genre when you wrote “The Traveler Series? 

A:  A couple of years ago I was approached about writing in Steven Konkoly’s Perseid Collapse Kindle World.  Kindle Worlds is a place on Amazon for licensed fan fiction.  Steve is a friend of mine and asked me to write a story for his “world” launch.    I’d never written post-apocalyptic fiction before, so to stand out from the other more established authors in the genre, I wrote three stories.  They sold pretty well and Steve suggested I try writing my own story.  That was the genesis of The Traveler Series.  I’m glad I gave it a shot.

What were your goals and intentions for “The Traveler Series”, and how well do you feel you achieved them?  

A:  I wanted to dip my toes into an ever-popular genre and test the waters.  I was hoping to sell a few copies a day, maybe a couple dozen if I was lucky.  I never expected HOME, the first of the three books, to explode the way it did.  Its success pushed me to write the next two installments more quickly than I’d planned.  I increased my daily word count by 2-3 times.  Also, I learned a lot about what readers want to see (and what they don’t).  I think my next series will reflect those wants.  So, all in all, mission accomplished.

What are some of the references that you used while researching the series? 

A: I created a hand drawn map of the protagonist’s compound for easy reference.  That was a big help.  Also, I’ve been to many of the places mentioned in the books, so I’m drawing on memory and personal experience.  The best location research tool is Google Maps.  And then I use search engines for a lot of stuff.  I also have, as a result of people reading HOME, a newly formed team of outstanding experts who answer questions as I write and then make corrections to the early drafts.  One is a gun and radio guy, another has military experience, a third is an emergency room physician.

 Is the character Marcus Battle complete fiction or he is a reflection of another real person?
A:  He’s complete fiction.

 How did you come up with the titles for your books (Home, Canyon and Wall)?

A:  I wanted the books to have a western feel.  Originally, I’d named the first book Homestead.  My wife, who is brilliant, suggested a shorter title would look better on the cover.  So I shortened it to Home.  The first book is about leaving Home.  The second book is about the destination (Canyon) and the third is about hope (Wall).  I like one-word titles.

 What did you enjoy most about writing this series?

A:  I love the creative process.  It’s cathartic.  I also enjoy sharing what I’ve created, for better or worse.  Some people have really loved it.  That’s gratifying.  Others haven’t enjoyed it.  That’s okay too.  Art is subjective. I learn from the critics too.

 How long have you been writing?

 A:  I’ve been writing since I was a kid.  As far as long-form writing, I completed my first novel sixteen years ago.  I’ll never publish it.  It was my practice novel.  I dabbled with other plots and stories for almost a decade before I decided to write Sedition.  It’s a political conspiracy novel.  I self-published it in September 2012.  A year later, traditional publisher Post Hill Press bought the rights.  They published Sedition and all three of my action-adventure novels (Allegiance, Allegiance Burned, Hidden Allegiance).  I bought back Sedition from them this year, reworked it, gave it a new cover, and published the sequel Intention.

 Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

 A:  I’ve always loved reading.  My parents fostered that love.  I might not get a toy at the store, but they’d always buy me a book.  I think one has to be a good reader to be a good writer.  I got into journalism, my day job, solely because I loved writing.  It’s very different from fiction, but it keeps me sharp.

How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

A: I think eBooks are fantastic.  They broaden the audience and are the bulk of my sales.  I will, however, always have a soft spot for physical books.  There’s nothing like holding it in my hands, cracking the spine, turning the pages.  As for publishing, there’s a place for both.  Traditional publishing opens doors that are much more difficult to open as a self-publisher.  That said, I like having control over my work.  So it’s great to be a hybrid author, where I get to experience both worlds.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

 A: Michael Crichton was a master of taking plausible science fiction and turning it into a fantastic thriller.  Sphere is one of my favorite books.  George Orwell’s Animal Farm is one I could read again and again.  The subtlety of his writing is genius.  I read both of them and think, “How did they think of this?  Why did they choose that word?”

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

A:  Yes. 🙂   I have a day job as a television news reporter and anchor.  That takes up most of my time.  I’m also a husband and father of two.  They’re my world.  So writing gets what’s left.  I do find myself, however, squeezing the other two in favor of banging out another 500 words here or there.  My family is very understanding and supportive.

How do you find or make time to write?

A:  I try to write in the mornings.  When I’m close to a deadline, I’ll write after work too.  Those days are tough.
Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?  Summarize your writing process.

 A: I’m what they call a “panster”.  That means I fly by the seat of my pants.  I have a general idea of what I want the story to be, I have a vague outline, and then I fill in the gaps as the story goes.  It’s really more intuition than logic.  And sometimes, as crazy as it sounds, the characters tell me what to write.

What are some ways in which you promote your work?  Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?

A: I have a couple of FB accounts.  I have a web page.  I have an email newsletter.  I like using all of them to communicate with fellow authors and fans.  They do take away from writing time, but that’s part of the deal.  I’m not just a writer.  I’m a writer, a marketer, an accountant, and a publisher.  It’s what modern day authors need to do to be successful.

What do you like to read in your free time?

A:  I don’t have any free time.  I like to read authors I know personally.  There are too many to list.  Mostly, though, for my day job I’m reading periodicals.

 
What projects are you working on at the present?

A:  I have two projects right now.  One of them is for the upcoming Nicholas Sansbury Smith Extinction Cycle Kindle Worlds.  It’ll be a novel-length story set in his best-selling universe.  It drops in October.  I’m also working on The SpaceMan Chronicles.  Book one is SpaceMan.  It’s in edit right now and will be available November 22.  Book two is Descent.  I haven’t started writing it yet, but I have the general outline and I’ll get to it as soon as I finish the KW book.  I’m incredibly excited about SpaceMan.  It’s a really fresh take on the Post-Apocalyptic genre and I think readers will love its authenticity.  I’m getting help from friends at NASA to make it as realistic as possible.

 Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

A:   I do.  99% say really nice, humbling things.  The other 1% offer advice or constructive criticism.  It’s always gratifying to know someone read something I wrote and then took the time to let me know what they thought.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your books, but nobody has?

 A:  Could we buy these and make movies out them?

Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?

A: Hanging with my family.  Playing golf with my son.  Talking politics with my daughter.  Napping with my wife.

 What does your family think of your writing?

A:  They love it.  They’re my biggest fans and best agents.  I couldn’t do any of it without their support.

 

Author Biography

 

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Tom is a 2016 inductee of the International Thriller Writer’s Association.

He is a hybrid author (traditionally and self-published) who writes post-apocalyptic thrillers, action adventure, and political conspiracies.

His action-adventure ALLEGIANCE series is published by traditional publisher POST HILL PRESS.

He self-published the Amazon best selling post-apocalyptic Traveler Series (HOME, CANYON, WALL). HOME, debuted in December 2015 and held the #1 spot in Amazon’s Post Apocalyptic category for more than a month. Book 2, CANYON, reached #1 in 24 hours after it’s launch in March 2016. Book 3, WALL, debuted in June 2016.

In 2017, respected thriller publisher LUZIFER VERLAG will release a translation of HOME in German.

Tom’s next novel is SPACEMAN. It is available for pre-order and is due for release in November 2016.

The sequel to Tom’s debut political conspiracy novel, SEDITION, will release July 31, 2016. It a complex, timely novel called INTENTION.

Tom lives in the Houston suburbs with his wife, Courtney, and their two children.

Read more about Tom’s work and join his Preferred Readers Club at tomabrahamsbooks.com

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THE TRAVELER SERIES (3 BOOK SERIES)

Five years after a pneumonic plague killed two-thirds of the world’s population, army veteran Marcus Battle is isolated. He’s alone with his guns, his food, and the graves of his wife and child.

Unaware of the chaos that’s befallen everything outside of his central Texas ranch land, Marcus lives a Spartan life. If anyone steps onto his property he shoots first and never ask questions.

But when a woman in distress, chased by marauders, seeks asylum, Marcus has a decision to make.

Does he throw her to the wolves to protect himself or does he help her and leave the shelter and protection of home?

MAD MAX meets THE GOOD THE BAD & THE UGLY
One of “Twelve Books You Should Read If You Love The Walking Dead.” —Bookbub
“Tom Abrahams’ HOME introduces us to a prepper nightmare.” –BoingBoing

*****A KINDLE *ALL-STAR* SELECTION ***** ***AS SEEN IN SCI-FI MAGAZINE***

HE THOUGHT HE WAS PREPARED. HE THOUGHT HIS FAMILY WAS SAFE. HE WAS WRONG.

 

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THE PILGRIMAGE SERIES (3 BOOK SERIES)

BOOK 1

CROSSING is a post-apocalyptic disaster story of survival. James Rockwell is vacationing in Maine with his family when an earth-changing explosion sends them on a race for their lives.  Their first step is escaping an island in the midst of a tsunami, and it only gets more dangerous from there.  Can they find their way home as civilization crumbles around them?
Set in the post-apocalyptic world of Steven Konkoly’s best-selling Perseid Collapse series, CROSSING follows the same timeline of cataclysmic events from one family’s perspective.
It’s a bullet-train of a thriller riding on the edge of the rails to the last page.
CROSSING is a novella and is part one of The Pilgrimage Series.

_____________________________________________________________________

BOOK 2

What happens when a safe harbor isn’t so safe?
The Rockwells have survived the first leg of the journey home against the wake of a reality-bending disaster, but patriarch James is dying.  His wife somehow finds help in a detour to rural Pennsylvania. While James recovers in a seemingly secure compound, the outside world is plotting violently against them and the well-prepared survivalists who’ve given them refuge.
Set in the post-apocalyptic world of Steven Konkoly’s best-selling Perseid Collapse series, REFUGE follows the same timeline of cataclysmic events from the perspective of new, meticulously hewn characters who fit seamlessly into Konkoly’s work.
It’s a page-turning tumble into a dangerous rabbit hole, where survival comes at a cost.
REFUGE is a novella and is part two of The Pilgrimage Series.

_______________________________________________

BOOK 3 

You can never go home again.
The Rockwells have survived the perils of a slow, dangerous trek along the eastern seaboard and arrived in their small, idyllic Maryland neighborhood anxious to begin their new lives.
But others are living in their home, taking it as their own in the Rockwell’s absence. And they aren’t leaving without a fight.
Set in the post-apocalyptic world of Steven Konkoly’s best-selling Perseid Collapse series, ADVENT follows the same timeline of cataclysmic events from the perspective of original characters who blend perfectly into Konkoly’s work. It’s a heart-pounding conclusion to The Pilgrimage Series, with a satisfying but haunting end to the Rockwell’s journey.
ADVENT is a novella and is part three of The Pilgrimage Series

 

A POLITICAL CONSPIRACY (SERIES)

BOOK 1

The President of The United States is dead. There is no Vice President to take his place.

As the nation slips into a constitutional crisis, a small, secretive group conspires to violently seize power.

They have the will. They have someone on the inside. And they have the explosives.

Standing in their way is a woman who knows their intentions. Can she stop them in time? If she does, will it matter?
BOOK 2

Timely and powerfully thought-provoking, INTENTION finds best selling author Tom Abrahams (The Traveler Series) return to his roots with this breathtaking novel that brilliantly unpacks a vast, global conspiracy to alter the balance of power. Sedition was just the beginning… A hip-hop star is murdered. A notorious terrorist is freed from custody. An assassin weaves his way across Europe, setting the stage for a global catastrophe. All of them work in the shadows of an ancient organization bent on changing the course of history. Can a woman whose demons have consumed her, rid herself of the pain in time to stop them?

A JASON QUICK ADVENTURE (SERIES)

BOOK 1

Allegiance is the first novel in an exciting series of action adventures.  It combines a political thriller with espionage and science fiction in the explosive, fast-paced world of a reluctant hero…                                                                                                                                                                                             Beer, Redheads, And Politics… Jackson Quick Should Have Known Better.
First, He Trusted A Texas Politician.
Then He Fell For A Leggy Woman.
Worst Of All, He Drank A Beer That Tasted Funny.
Now He’s Running For His Life, Trying To Piece Together How He Fell Into A Battle Over Something So Small It Takes A High-Powered Microscope To See It.A sniper team takes aim at a gubernatorial candidate. A political aide is kidnapped and interrogated about the encrypted iPods he’s carried around the globe. A research scientist on the verge of an earth-shaking breakthrough disappears from his secretly funded university lab. All three are connected in a battle over something microscopic. As the pieces of a Texas-sized conspiracy collide, will the unwitting hero at the center of it succeed in saving his life and the Republic? Or will those trying to silence him prove too powerful in a world where there is no allegiance

BOOK 2

Allegiance Burned is the second novel in an exciting series of action adventures.  It combines political thriller with espionage and science fiction in the explosive, fast-paced world of a reluctant hero…

Guns.  An heiress.  Nuclear Fission.  Jackson Quick just couldn’t stay away.

 A scientist is murdered a mile beneath the earth, his secret laboratory exposed. A formula capable of shifting power among the world’s largest nations is missing and its rightful owner wants it back. After staying hidden for months, Quick is pulled back into the darkness he despises. Forced to face his demons and align himself with the very people who betrayed him, he agrees to hunt for the formula. Racing against time and an evil black-market czar, Quick crosses the globe in search of a mathematical equation so valuable that nations and terrorists will pay whatever the cost to control it. From the scientist’s lab in South Dakota to London, Chernobyl, Ukraine, and Heidelberg, Germany, Quick uses his guile and good luck to outwit the competition at every turn. Or so he thinks. In the end, is his freedom worth the price he’ll pay to earn it? Or is he better off letting the formula fall where it may.
BOOK 3

 Jackson Quick wants resolution. He’s tired of running from his past and his enemies. To end the chase, he embarks on one final mission–find the lone remaining copy of a powerful, earth-changing formula, and hand it over to the man he despises most.

The journey begins when Jackson and his girlfriend, discovered hiding in Northern California, escape and take their lives back into their own hands. With the help of a television reporter, they locate the formula while attempting to play two dangerous men against one another. Somehow they must find their way to the formula–and deliver it without losing control. But as Jackson learns along the way, he’s never been in control. His life, from the day he was born, was a conspiracy against him.

THE SPACEMAN CHRONICLES (AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER)
BOOK 1 

Clayton Shepard is 249 miles above Earth when the lights go out.He has no communication, limited power, and an unbreakable will to survive.

His one goal: find his way BACK to his family.

Shepard is an astronaut on his first mission to the International Space Station.

When a violent blast of solar magnetic radiation leaves him stranded in orbit, he’s forced to use his wit and guile to find a way home.

He has no idea what he’ll find when he gets there.

SPACEMAN is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian tale that tells the survival story of a man and the family he left behind. It’s written with the help of former astronauts, NASA team members, and well-respected astrophysicists that give SPACEMAN a unique sense of detail and desperation.

All of these novels that can be purchased from the Amazon page for Tom Abrahams

 

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