The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice by Andrew Hess.
What would you do if everything you said and did was monitored and used to force you into working covertly for the government?
College student Andrew Lancaster has had enough of corrupt politicians and corporate greed, but his anger filled rants may have gone too far. When Lancaster is contacted by a government official calling himself “The Benefactor,” he learns his private communications have been monitored. And there will be consequences.
Lancaster is given a choice; join forces with the government he distrusts, or face a treason indictment. As an added incentive, he’ll receive the answer to a question that has plagued him since childhood-who killed his mother.
It is something Lancaster cannot live without knowing and enlists as an undercover operative in Project Justice. At first the mission seems ideally suited for his do-gooder attitude. But Lancaster soon discovers the tactics he’ll be using are not only dishonest; they’re deadly.
Lancaster learns he will be an assassin; eliminating targets the Benefactor and other high ranking officials deem to be evil.
I’m thrilled to have Andrew Hess with me today.
What inspired you to write this novel?
In 2005 I was enrolled at SUNY New Paltz where I studied psychology. I contemplated writing a book several times but couldn’t find a gripping plot that could grab someone’s attention. I don’t really remember what I saw on TV, but something caught my eye and I wondered what would happen if the government listened to everything we said and could see everything we did; namely our phone calls and emails (ironic that 8yrs later we found out they were).
When did you start writing this book? How long did it take you?
I initially started writing The Phoenix Blade in 2005. It took me about eight months to write up to the halfway point in the book before my computer crashed and was forced to shelf it for a while. In 2008 I finally found a way to access the files using a portable A Drive and picked up where I left off; finding I hated almost everything I wrote and spent another six months re-writing it to get the plot where I wanted and continued re-writing it sporadically for the next five years.
Are your characters or plots based on anyone or experiences in real life? Or are they completely fictitious?
Thankfully non of what happened in the book ever happened in real life, but some of the characters were loosely based off of friends, but mostly were fictitious.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Obviously I would have to say the main character, Andrew Lancaster, is ultimately my favorite. He starts out naive and wants to do everything in his power to find out who killed his mother; he just didn’t realize he signed his life away to some unknown government agent. Lancaster struggles with the morality of killing others in the name of justice, wants to do everything to protect his friends and still hopes there is some way to walk away from everything with a potential future that didn’t end with his group being arrested.
If you stepped into Andrew Lancaster's shoes, would you react the same way he did to adversity?
What is your favorite time of day to write?
Morning, noon, night and late night.
Who is your favorite author?
I have two. Edgar Allen Poe has been my all time favorite due to his dark edgy words and stories. His tales are gripping and keep you on the edge of your seat. I especially love his stories like the Tell Tale Heart and Cask of Amontillado.
James Patterson has been my other favorite author. He has such attention to detail that whether you’re reading to his books or listening to the audio books, you can picture everything that happens; the settings; the characters; their movements.
What genre do you like to read the most?
I’m a big fan of mystery, suspense and thrillers. They keep me invested in the story and keeps me wanting to see what happens next.
Exactly what snagged me as I read your book.
When you pick up a book at the store or library, what makes you select it? What makes you put it down?
The first thing I notice about a book is the cover. If the cover doesn’t stick out, chances are I’m going to pass right over it. After I pick up a book, I read the synopsis on the back and see if the story is plausible and interesting enough before I crack open the first chapter.
I'm an avid reader so what is the last book you read or are currently reading?
Neighborly Complications by Anne Conley.
Ready for some Fast & Furious questions?
Favorite Ice Cream? A mix of chocolate chip cookie dough and cookies and crème ice crème
Favorite Movie? Boondock Saints
Favorite Super Hero? Batman
Favorite tv show when you were a kid? Boy Meets World
Food you can’t stand? Vegetables and Humus
What annoys you? People who drive too aggressively and think they own the road.
Jeans or Sweatpants? Jeans if I have to go out or a pair of shorts the moment I get home.
The day is not complete without… Writing and talking with my fiancé
One Word that best describes yourself… Unique
Now for my favorite part...here's an excerpt from The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice
Bright white lights. It was the first thing I noticed when I opened my eyes. My head was throbbing; everything was blurry.
“Just relax Mr. Lancaster,” a stern woman’s voice said as she laid a hand on my chest; forcing me back to the bed. “You’ve been through a major ordeal and need rest.”
I tried to push myself up on the bed, but found my arms tied down with thick leather restraints.
“What’s going on? Where am I?”
“Relax, you’re in good hands.”
I craned my neck to look through the window on a solid white door. I thought I saw a familiar face standing outside. She had short brown hair. I wanted nothing more than to get out of that room, but was remanded to the bed. My arms thrashed around; trying to fight the restraints, but couldn’t move them more than an inch from the plain white sheets. My claustrophobia was kicking in; making my heart beat faster; keeping in time with the loud beeps on the machines I was hooked up to.
“Mr. Lancaster, you need to relax.”
But I couldn’t. I didn’t like being held against my will. I was scared and alone; held hostage by some random woman in a white room.
Suddenly, I felt a calming sensation sweep over my body as if every muscle in my body was relaxed and numb.
“There, that should do it,” the woman said as she injected a syringe into my IV. She wiped my eyes; allowing me to see her large frame standing next to the bed. Her blue surgical mask covered her face; keeping her identity hidden.
“What did you do to me?” It was the only words I was able to speak before the room blurred and faded.
“He should be out any second.” The woman’s voice echoed as if she was talking down a long hallway.
“Good bring him downstairs,” a stern male voice said. I could hear a loud long beep as I was wheeled out of the room forcefully.
I love sequels and when I finished reading The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice, it left me wanting to read another! Tell me about the sequel.
The Phoenix Blade is a four part series; the second of which will launch in September. Here's the blurb:
The Benefactor has been arrested, the Phoenix is dead and the group known as the Revolution has been disbanded for nearly three years. Witness the fallout from the biggest government conspiracy the U.S. has ever seen as the President faces treason charges. But there are those that don’t want him to make it to trial. As the group known as the Committee plans out their attacks, a familiar face begins eliminating the former members of the Revolution.
There will be a Facebook Virtual Launch Party for the Release of AWAKENING on August 28th.
Click on the button below to join in on the fun!
Here’s a little info on the author:
Andrew Hess is a resident of Long Island New York who likes to spend much of his time traveling between Long Island, New York City and the Dutchess County areas. In 2011 he debuted with his first book Chamber of Souls, a small book of free verse poetry which depicted the struggles of a man who thought he had everything in the world only to feel like he lost everything after a rough break-up. In 2013, Andrew debuted his novel The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice; the first in The Phoenix Blade series.
Andrew is also a blogger at TheWritersRevolution13.blogspot.com where he interviews and promotes other authors in order to assist indie authors get more exposure. Andrew is also a frequent guest on the Anthony Charles Podcast, a show dedicated to creative professionals as they give insight into their works and the lives they lead; guests have included authors, comedians, musicians, stuntmen, actors and producers.
Click on the Titles below for Buy links:
The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice
Chamber of Souls
Hall of the Forgotten
Thanks again, Andrew Hess for joining me here today!