Posted in Guest Post, Political thriller, Spotlight on June 1, 2015

Today I welcome author Steve Vincent, author of Fireplay (free short story), The Foundation (free at the time I wrote this), and a new release due out June 11th, State of Emergency.  These feature reporter Jack Emery.

First the books and then how Steve cooked up these political thrillers.

fireplay cover


A chance lightning strike. A reporter in the right place. A scandal that will rock America.

Journalist Jack Emery has seen it all. Embedded for the New York Standard with the 8th Marine Regiment in the heart of Afghanistan, he has covered everything from firefights to the opening of new schools. But nothing has prepared Jack for the story that is about to explode right in front of him.

When a convoy Jack is riding in is attacked by a lone zealot, Jack asks a question that puts him on the path of a sensational story. But he’ll soon learn that his struggles to find the hook are nothing compared to the dangers of getting it out.


Amazon * Momentum website * iTunes * Barnes & Noble

The foundation


He who holds the pen holds the power.

When a corrupt think tank, The Foundation for a New America, enlists a Taiwanese terrorist to bomb a World Trade Organization conference, the US and China are put on the path to war.

Star journalist Jack Emery is pulled into a story far more dangerous than he could have imagined. Because the Foundation’s deputy director, the ruthless Michelle Dominique, recognizes that whoever controls the message controls the world. And she will take control, no matter the price.

Enter Jack’s boss, Ernest McDowell, owner and chairman of the largest media empire on the planet. In the midst of political upheaval, EMCorp is about to become the final play in the Foundation’s plan. When Dominique traps the EMCorp owner in her web, Jack’s the only one left to expose the conspiracy before it’s too late.

As the world powers smash each other against the anvil of Taiwan, Jack will risk everything to battle the Foundation and prevent them from taking control amid the devastation of a global war.


Amazon * Momentum Website * iTunes * Barnes & Noble

state of emergency cover


What is the true cost of security?

Amid a wave of unprecedented terrorist attacks on American soil, a panicked and inexperienced president declares a state of emergency and hands over control of the country to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The quiet and unassuming Administrator Hall soon becomes the most powerful man in America. Determined to stop the attacks, Hall enforces his order across the US, using a newly empowered State Guard to deal with anyone who gets in his way.

As totalitarianism descends across the country, battle-weary reporter Jack Emery is faced with a terrifying new reality when friends, colleagues, and sources are imprisoned before his eyes. Among weekly terrorist attacks, FEMA atrocities, and the clamp tightening on every element of society, Jack becomes one of the few struggling to stop the madness.

This time though, he’s on the wrong side of the law and fighting the very government he’s trying to save.


iBooks * Amazon * Momentum website * Barnes & Noble


Guest Post – Cooking up a political thriller

Writing popular, genre fiction is in many ways following a recipe. I know that saying this takes away some of the mystery, but it’s the truth. While readers want to be entertained and surprised, they also want to broadly know what they’re getting if they pick up a thriller, or a police procedural, or a sci-fi or a fantasy.

But within that broad parameter – or recipe – authors have an enormous amount of freedom to cook up stories in fun and amazing ways. Some plan in great detail before they write a word, some map out a whole series ahead of time, and some write by the seat of their pants. Some are inspired by concept or some by character.

For me, inspiration comes from figuring out a cool concept or conspiracy and then finding a way to plug characters into it and have them bounce off of each other. This often manifests itself as a “what if?” question.

For The Foundation, I was interested in the concentration of media power in a few hands and wanted to explore what would happen if that were subverted to some nefarious end. That was my “What if?” After that, I had to cook up some characters and get them into trouble for 85,000 words to help scratch the itch of that original question. Given it turned into a globetrotting, action packed ride, so much the better!

For State of Emergency, the second in the series and my newest book (released on 11 June 2015), the “what if?” was more about internal subversion of a political system. Whereas The Foundation was big, bold and brassy, I think State of Emergency is a much more localised, nuanced plot. There’s still plenty of danger and action for Jack Emery to work through, but it’s a more subtle, menacing type.

The prequel novella I recently released – Fireplay – was easy. In developing The Foundation, I realised there was this rich backstory from Jack Emery’s life as a journalist that it would be a shame not to explore it. I wrote it because I wanted to, but also because I believe in giving readers – particularly in digital – a small, free treat from time to time. I may do more of these in future.

There are plenty of ideas in my head – great situations or premises for plots – that simply wouldn’t fit for a Jack Emery story. They may be developed as stand alone books in future, or as another series, but they’ll never be in this series. The concept needs to fit the plot, and the plot needs to fit the characters. If one link in the chain fails, so too will the book

Once you’ve settled on a concept, developed a plot and fit your cast of characters inside, it’s important to research all the elements of the story. Nobody is perfect at this, I’m sure I’ve made mistakes and some reviewers are quick to point them out. But, like most authors, I do my best to get my facts straight and in doing so keep the reader in the story, rather than screaming at the book for being WRONG!

This has been tricky for the Jack Emery series, for one special reason – I’m Australian. An abject fear of getting it all wrong is the reason I need to research so much. I know my own country’s politics and political system back to front, but when writing political thrillers set in America, I had to go back to school and learn. Good thing I enjoy it

If writing popular fiction follows a recipe, then coming up with great concepts and characters is the same as using good quality ingredients. The research? That’s making sure you cook it probably.

About the Author

vincent steveSteve P. Vincent lives with his wife in a pokey apartment in Melbourne, Australia, where he’s forced to write on the couch in front of an obnoxiously large television.

When he’s not writing, Steve keeps food and flat whites on the table working for the man. He enjoys beer, whisky, sports and dreaming up ever more elaborate conspiracy theories to write about.

He has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Political Science and History. His honors thesis was on the topic of global terrorism. He has traveled extensively through Europe, the United States and Asia.

Website * Facebook * Twitter