Thursday, July 3, 2014

My Guest: Katie Lindon

My Guest this week is not a writer, at least not of books, though she's a dab hand with computer code. That may surprise regular followers of this blog. What will surprise you even more is knowing she is an ex-NSA super-spy, with a wealth of covert and clandestine missions in her file. Let's see if we can't prize out a detail or two. Ladies and Gentlemen...



My friend and fellow thriller writer Seumas Gallacher has tagged me in a little game called 

Meet My Main Character
Blog Tour


The Rules are simple...
…the taggee must write a post answering the same seven questions about their Main Character… then the taggee becomes the tagger and chooses five other authors… sort of like a chain letter with all the potential to become a global virus.

Now with several suspense thrillers already penned and a plethora of personas to chose from, who should be subjected to the interrogation is an interesting dilema.

My readers are particularly enamoured of the dynamic I created between two that share main billing in the series of novels that form 'the CULL'. Special Agent Amy Bree, the ex-FBI agent who is the younger half of the duo, has already been subjected to an uncomfortable interview; an experience she didn't enjoy (you can read that here: http://www.ericjgates.com/Winks5thecull.html ) so it seems only fair her enigmatic partner should be placed in the spotlight this time.

…now meet my main character.

1. Tell us a bit about your main character? Is she fictional or a historic person?

Katie Lindon is a fictitious character, firmly based upon others who have worked in the clandestine world of cyber-intelligence and who have had the misfortune to cross my path at some point. Her name, however, originated from a request by a cousin of mine to feature her 12-year-old daughter in one of my books. Katie, my Katie that is, is a little older though, which could explain why the younger version is still not speaking to me.

When we meet Katie Lindon she has just left the Tailored Access Operations unit at the National Security Agency for a job with a strange outfit called Office 312, a covert operation within Homeland Security reporting directly to the Vice President, although it's a Vatican priest who appears to be running the show. Why has Katie given up her long career in intelligence for this peculiar adventure? Well, as she nears her sixty-second birthday, she's thinking about retirement; the chance to develop her pet project, and make some serious retirement cash selling it to the Intelligence community, is foremost in her mind. She's been an active field agent on many a dangerous assignment, especially in the 'bad old days' when to access an enemy's computer, you had to be in the same room with it. Despite still possessing a sharp mind, keen instincts, an abrasive no-nonsense attitude and an agility that defies her age, she has been relegated to a windowless room at the Fort Meade headquarters of the NSA for the last few years.

Now she finds herself partnered with a disgraced ex-FBI agent with almost no field experience and tasked to hunt down a serial killer.

Yet not only is everything very distinct from how it initially appears, what will happen to her, and her new partner, will radically change them and the way they view the world.

2. When and where are the stories set?

The tale kicks off in Washington DC in the present day, but quickly takes the protagonists to Houston and Chicago, then onward to Europe (Austria, the United Kingdom, and Slovenia), then back to the States (for Amy) while Katie is off to Bolivia. The first three books climax with a return to the Eternal City of Rome, Italy. They get around, and having access to a private jet helps.

3. What should we know about her?

Katie was born in the UK, the daughter of the then Head of the London CIA station. Her mother was English and they lived in the UK for the first 13 years of her life. Curiously, despite returning to the States, Katie has retained her British accent... and a preference for tea. She is an expert with a computer and has developed her own Artificial Intelligence surveillance system called SANTA. Many people refer to her as Mrs. Lindon, which prompts the inevitable question about a Mr. Lindon, but it's not until book 3 of the series that we learn about her other half.

Her skills are not limited to computers, however; she possesses the full range of abilities of any top covert agent, everything from martial arts, through weaponry to thinking on her feet while under extreme pressure. When we meet her, she's a 'kickass granny' but events ramp this up to an awesome new level, unsuspected by her or her partner when they start out on their quest.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

The series is primarily a fast-paced tale that spans three continents (so far) and is reminiscent of the level of action of '24' or the Bourne movies, yet there are hidden depths. The overall theme is the effect of change upon individuals and society; how we handle it, how we accept or reject it. In the climatic scene in book 1, Katie undergoes an experience unlike any she has encountered before; something that will mark her life for ever. How she reacts to this, how her friend and colleague responds also, is the underlying subject of books 2 and 3.

5. What is her personal goal?

All she wanted was to make some money and be able to travel to some of the places her missions have taken her during her career, but this time as a tourist. A simple-enough goal, one that prompts her acceptance of this one last job-change. Yet matters go terribly wrong and her objective is forgotten in the light of the new challenges she faces. To say more would mean major spoilers, so, dear reader, you'll have to read the first book to find out what put her on this new path and how she handles it.

6. What are the titles of your novels, and can we read more about them?

Currently there are three full-length novels in the series:


And these are the global Amazon links where you can find them:

the CULL book 1 – Bloodline   http://authl.it/B00AGZ27FA?d
the CULL book 2 - Bloodstone http://authl.it/B00HDGEHVC?d
the CULL book 3 – Blood Feud  http://authl.it/B00K5VD85S?d


All three books can also be obtained in one download here:
the CULL books 1-3 - Blood Box box set

http://authl.it/B00KFN3HK2?d
7. When can we expect the next book to be published?

The fourth book in the series, 'the CULL - Blood Demon' has been announced and will be available for Christmas 2014. 

There are some MAJOR surprises lined up for this one!

Mysteries are revealed...

...some characters are not who they seem to be...

...and the tale goes ballistic! Hang on to your seats!






And now, for the next victims…


1.  Gritty Crime Thriller author, and one of the most admirable people I know, Andy Laker   andylaker.blogspot.com 
2.  Blogger of the Year and author Scarlett Flame   http://missscarlettflame.blogspot.co.uk/
3.  Fantasy novelist and part-time Dragon, Paul Cude   http://www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk/
4.  Conspiracy author mate Laurence O'Bryan   http://www.lpobryan.com/blog/
5.  Fellow mystery thriller writer Jan Ryder   janryder.blogspot.com

…many thanks to Suemas Gallacher, a.k.a. That Man!, for press-ganging me aboard the Tour… check out his blog http://seumasgallacher.com/ (Scottish-English dictionary required). 


Eric @ www.ericjgates.com

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