18 July 2015 by Published in: kindle worlds 2 comments

Steven-Konkoly-JET-Black-Web

Steven-Konkoly-web

Steven Konkoly is an author who needs no introduction. His Black Flag and Perseid Collapse series routinely top the charts in their categories, and I wrote a novella for his Perseid Collapse Kindle World that was an absolute hoot, and sold pretty decently (Ka-CHING!) thus far. That experience convinced me to open up the JET world to other authors – that and a voice that usually tells me to kill the neighbors or skeet shoot off the roof after I’ve had a few too many. But this isn’t about me. It’s about Steven, who’s a good friend and a skilled author, as his sales stats clearly show. Here’s Steven talking about writing in the JET Kindle World:

Russell: How did you come to be interested in the JET Series Kindle World?

Steven: After the third finger on my left hand was snipped with a bolt cutter by a cartel thug hired by Jose Cuervo (I suspect that’s not his real name), I decided to cut my losses (pun intended) and write the damn novella. At least that’s what I think happened after spending happy hour at Acapulco Joes with Blake in Cabo…all I really remember is a shrill whistle sound and my head being yanked backward. Somehow they repaired my fingers (with no scars) so I could sign the contract, or so I was told.

On a rare serious note, I have been a fan of the JET series since its inception. JET and my covert ops based Black Flagged series share similar features, particularly the one I will exploit in my novella, JET BLACK.

Russell: Tell us how your story links to the JET Series. Characters, setting, specific event? Is there any crossover or meetings between your characters and any of the original characters?

Steven: JET BLACK links directly to Maya, the main character/female Mossad agent in Russell’s hit series. The novella will open with Maya and her team poised to assassinate a Russian mafia boss at a Caribbean Resort. The mafiya kingpin has been courting Iranian agents known for aggressively shopping the Russian WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) market. The Mossad wants to kill (literally) any possible deal in progress. At the same time, a Black Flagged hit team led by Jessica and Daniel Petrovich (Mr. and Mrs. Smith team from my novels) move on the same location, pursuing a target familiar to Black Flagged readers—Dr. Reznikov. The collision of these two groups will leave deep cuts, bloodstained walls and lots of mangled bodies…along with a new partnership.

The JET Series books are fast-paced action and adventure stories. What genre(s) do you explore in your story?

Most of the story will explore the different types of sunscreen used by the Petrovich’s and members of Maya’s team before they attack their targets. I also describe different tropical drinks in excruciating detail. The last few pages are action packed…unless my editor wants me to explore their wardrobes. Never mind, that was the first draft before Jose visited me with a few suggestions.

Readers of both series will seriously dig JET BLACK. Action, adventure, black ops, gritty descriptions of close quarters combat, high tech gear…this will feel very familiar readers.

Russell: The JET series has been set all over the world… the Middle East, Asia, South American, the Caribbean, etc. Tell us about where you set your story, and why?

Steven: JET BLACK is set on Punta del Este in Uruguay at a luxury resort. Dr. Reznikov has recently emerged from exile (imposed by his new employer) and demanded a luxury vacation prior to being whisked away to another unknown, and likely squalid, location. Since the Black Flagged team specializes in South American ops, they were a logical outsourcing choice for the CIA.

Russell: Tell us a little about your main character. Why do you think readers will like her?

Steven: Jessica Petrovich is a former CIA deep cover operative, with a very shady past. Psychologically unstable, but pathologically practical, Jessica and her equally pragmatic husband form a lethal black ops duo that most targets never see coming until it’s too late. The Petrovich’s work like a well oiled machine, but they are far from infallible. They typically work with a hand picked team of operatives from the core Black Flagged unit…quirky operatives that keep the operations interesting.

Russell: Did you decide to include any of the main characters from JET (Jet / Maya, Matt or Hannah?) If so, Why?

Steven: Maya. Because I want to write a girl on girl scene. Hand to hand combat between Jessica and May, you freaks. I don’t write erotica…not under my real name.

Russell: What major theme comes across the clearest in your story? Is this a theme found consistently in your other works?

Steven: Hard choices in difficult situations—mostly grey areas. I don’t believe in black and white version of any story, so I typically make the journey a little difficult for readers. I want you to work a little trying to separate the good guys from the bad guys. Sometimes there’s very little difference.

Russell: Share some of your story about becoming a writer.

Steven: I have a very unorthodox career. Prior to seven years ago, I had never considered writing a novel, short story or heaven’s forbid…a poem. Quite inexplicably, I decided to write a story about a family in self-quarantine during the worst pandemic in recorded history. I spent 3 years writing The Jakarta Pandemic, which quickly found a readership. A year later, I penned the first of four Black Flagged books, featuring a protagonist character that didn’t currently exist in the genre. The series took off right away, and I never looked back. Well, that’s not exactly true. It took me a while to get to the point where I felt comfortable quitting my day job and taking up this venture full time. Not to get weepy or anything, but Russell Blake has been there since the beginning…we’ve “grown” up together as Indie authors, and I owe a great deal of my success to his wise tutelage. I’d be even more successful if I ignored his “drink before noon” advice.

Russell: Do you have a background related to your writing? What makes you interesting outside of your books?

Steven: I’m going to be really lazy with this question. I just copy pasted my “author description.

Steven graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993, receiving a Bachelor of Science in English Literature. He served the next eight years on active duty in various Navy and Marine Corps units.

From leading Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations as a boarding officer in the Arabian Gulf, to directing Close Air Support (CAS) as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) assigned to a specialized Marine Corps unit, Steven’s “in-house” experience with a wide variety of regular and elite military units brings a unique authenticity to his writing.

Russell: JET is set in a world where many governments including Israel and the U.S. have covert operations including false flag and assassinations. Do you believe this is really the world we live in? If so, what are your thoughts on the future?

Steven: Absolutely. So much goes on behind our backs…far more than the Snowden leaks exposed. I believe he only scratched the surface. CIA, Mossad, Russian SVR and contract paramilitary groups (for hire)—to name a few groups I feature—run a constant assembly line of operations around the world. I don’t get overtly political in my books, but I think they stand for themselves…not everything done in the name of a sovereign nation is in the best interest of that nation. I’ll leave it there.

Russell: What are you working on next, aside from the novella in the JET Series Kindle World?

Steven: After finishing JET BLACK, I will turn all of my attention to FRACTURED STATE, my newest thriller series set in the year 2035. Quick synopsis: In the year 2035, California’s drought has reached epic levels, forcing the state to consider an unthinkable, desperate option to survive. Secession from the United States. In the quasi-socialist, surveillance-state known as San Diego County, Nathan Grimes, a district water reclamation engineer, will stumble into the middle of an epic battle to decide the future of California, and ultimately the nation.

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Comments

  1. Zarayna
    Sat 18th Jul 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Blake and Steven,

    Just a quick note to wish Steven much success and a great deal of fun as a member of Blake’s Jet set. Sounds an alluring tale well told.

    Also wishing you well with Fractured State – being an apocalyptic thinker, your story sounds worryingly realistic. May it be a warning and not a prediction.

    Kindest,
    Zara.

    Reply
  2. Janet
    Mon 20th Jul 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I have another new author to check out. Cool. All from pretty pictures. I liked Mike Neals pretty pictures, found Toby, found Emily and Russell (who cracks me up!) and now Steven. 😉 Look forward to checking it out.

    Reply

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