Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Pius Man by Declan Finn with Interview


1)      First, tell us about yourself – where  you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

I live in New York city, in a back corner of Queens that few people have ever heard of. My family are a collection of readers – so much so that our family basement has a better collection of books than the local library. The family is also swarming with medical professionals, engineers, and philosophy professors, so ... it was an interesting household.

2)      How long have  you been writing?

I've been writing for about 16 years. I started with what is now referred to as Fan Fiction. Only when I started working on it, it spiraled out of control into a creation of my own design. I've been writing ever since, usually because I've found my own world's more interesting than some I've read.  It also helps keep the voices quiet. Muahahahahaha!!!

3)      Do you have a favorite place to write?

My home office, actually. I'm boring, I know. But the walls are decorated with Hubble Photos, and the bookcases are stocked with reference books that include everything from medicine, history and guns, to medieval warfare and languages foreign and domestic.

4)      Why did you decide to write A Pius Man?

Because if I read one more Dan Brown carbon copy who decided that he could make up whatever history he felt like and pass it off as “well-researched,” I was going to bang my head against the wall.
…Okay, maybe I should expand on that one a little. Once upon a time, back when I was a history major, I did a graduate paper on Pope Pius XII, routinely referred to as “Hitler's Pope.” During my research, I learned exactly how much of the popular history was complete and utter garbage. And, since more people seem to learn their history from fiction than from nonfiction, I thought that A Pius Man was the way to go. I was going to slip in a few facts in between the action sequences, and it would be a nice little thriller.  And as I wrote it, it turned into a massive, sprawling trilogy of epic proportions.

5)      Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

My favorite character was probably Scott “Mossad” Murphy. He's an American who decided that, if he wanted to be on the front lines of the fight against terrorism, Israel would be the place to go. So, he signed up for Israeli Intelligence, and never looked back. I like him because he's not the sort of guy who shoots his way out of a situation, but he does have a hundred different escape routes planned out in advance, and booby traps to go along with them.

6)      How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

My least favorite character is a bit of a surprise. Without spoiling too much, I can say that there was one bad guy that just wouldn't die. I dropped a building on him, stabbed him, blew him up, and did everything but throw him under a train. Every time I spoiled his plans, he came back for more, and managed to make the last loss into a victory.  Remember how I said that A Pius Man spiraled out into a trilogy?  He's why. 

7)      Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

First rule of writing: you can never edit yourself. Let me say that again, just to be crystal clear. YOU CAN NEVER EDIT YOURSELF. Even a friend of mine, who is a professional editor, has started to write his own books. And he can't edit them, because he has the same problem that every other writer has – you only see what you meant to put down. I have Just Write! Ink do my editing. As well as a dozen friends of mine who have English degrees, and who habitually edit the local newspaper (they're not on the staff of said newspaper, they just read the news with a blue pencil in hand, because they're putting in their own corrections over the morning coffee. These are the people you want to edit). I've also gone to several writers groups I'm a part of, just to get impartial beta readers that will happily tell me to throw entire chapters under the bus.

8)      What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

What is this thing you call “not writing”? When I'm reading books or watching television, I think “that's an idea. But I'd do it this way.” When I play video games (yes, I do play them), I will occasionally steal an element and warp beyond recognition it to fit another project I'm working on. The only time I'm not writing is when I'm asleep. And even then, I'm not sure what my brain is working on without me..
I also study Krav Maga, which is the self defense system of the Israeli army. When you absolutely, positively have to write a fight scene, Krav is the way to go.

9)      Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I read constantly, and I read practically everything that isn't nailed down, and some of what is. But the books I have to read as soon as I they come out, are: Jeffery Deaver, James Rollins, Jim Butcher, Lee Child, Tom Clancy, Bernard Cornwell, Brian Haig (especially his Sean Drummond Series), and Kim Harrison thrown in.

10)   With a title like this, how much religion can readers expect to have shoved down their throats?

Surprisingly little, actually. As I said, this book started from a history paper. The only religion that crops up is something that I can footnote historically (I should know, the first draft had footnotes.)

A Pius Man
by Declan Finn


As the head of Vatican security, Giovanni Figlia must protect a new, African Pope who courts controversy every other day. The Pope's latest project is to make Pius XII, "Hitler's Pope," a saint. Things haven't gotten better since the Pope employed American mercenary Sean Ryan.

Then a body fell onto the Vatican doorstep.

Soon, a pattern emerges-- people who go into the Pius XII historical archives are dying. Each time, a priest has been in the background-- a priest close to the Pope. One of the victims was an al-Qaeda operative, drawing Scott "Mossad" Murphy of Israeli intelligence to Rome.

Now, Ryan, Murphy and Figlia must join forces to unravel the mystery around the Vatican, as even the man Giovanni is supposed to protect looks like a suspect. To get out of this alive, they must discover if Hitler's Pope was a Nazi collaborator, or a pious man.

About the author:

Declan Finn lives in a part of New York City unreachable by bus or subway. Who's Who has no record of him, his family, or his education. He has been trained in hand to hand combat and weapons at the most elite schools in Long Island, and figured out nine ways to kill with a pen when he was only fifteen. He escaped a free man from Fordham University's PhD program, and has been on the run ever since. There was a brief incident where he was branded a terrorist, but only a court order can unseal those records, and really, why would you want to know?

My Review:   October 2013   ~ Review Copies ~

A Pius Man: A Holy ThrillerA Pius Man: A Holy Thriller by Declan Finn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I would like to thank the author Declan Finn for giving me this book for an honest review. This is a very well written mystery and I kept turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next, there was quite a bit of action and the story has a lot of research invested in the story. Some of the chapters had some info at the end of those chapters pointing you to blogs for info on a specific subject introduced or expounded on in that chapter. I felt that those could have been added at the end of the book as it was a bit of an interference of keeping ingrossed in the story, when your told to go look up actual data on the subject or where you can do so, just should have been at the end of the book not the chapters. I am looking forward to Declan's next book.

View all my reviews

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