Monday, August 1, 2011

TOUR: Interview with Gordon Kessler, Author of Brainstorm + Giveaway

I am a former US Marine parachutist, recon scout, and Super Squad team leader, with a bachelor's degree in creative writing.  I have taught novel writing for Butler County Community College, have previously self-published two thriller novels, and I am a founder and former president of the Kansas Writers Association (a fourteen-year-old group of one hundred and fifty writers).  I have published two thriller novels; Jezebel and Dead Reckoning. My unpublished thriller A Culling of Innocents was a finalist for the Rupert Hughes Award at the 2003 Maui Writers Conference.  Two other unpublished thrillers, Jack Knight and The Storegga Effect, won first place consecutively in the KWA's 2003 and 2004 novel-writing competitions.  My nonfiction book specifically targeting beginning novelists, Novel Writing Made Simple, won second place in the Oklahoma Writers Federation's 2004 competition. Brainstorm, my latest thriller manuscript, won first place iconsecutively in the KWA's 2003 and 2004 novel-writing competitions. My nonfiction book specifically targeting beginning novelists, Novel Writing Made Simple, won second place in the Oklahoma Writers Federation's 2004 competition. Brainstorm, my latest thriller manuscript, won first place in the KWA's novel-writing competition in a previous year and is by far my best work.

Hi Gordon, thanks for dropping in at Minding Spot today to talk about your book, Brainstorm.

In fifteen words or less, please tell us about your book, Brainstorm.

Gordon: Seemingly ordinary man must save the Free World; woman risks all to save her man.

Wow! I did it. That was tough.

What inspired you to write Brainstorm?

Gordon:  From the time I first heard about remote viewing years ago, I've been fascinated by it and the secret government projects that involved this psychic talent. The idea of it alone, opens doors to possibilities I could never have imagined, otherwise. Throw in: my interest in the high-tech research into futuristic weapons, nonlethals, and defensive measures; and current international tensions, and you have the physical plot. Bind it all together with the love story that I always wanted to write, and you have Brainstorm.

Is the town of Gold Rush replicated of any specific town in the USA? If so, which one?

Gordon: Great question! Well, in my mind, it's a bit like Crested Butte, Colorado—one of my favorite places to snow ski. Gold Rush is a lot more isolated, but has that same sort of quaintness. About twenty years ago, when I was in Crested Butte skiing, the bank blew up due to a propane gas leak—talk about exciting!

Robert Weller sounds like a fantastic character.  How did you decide which characteristics and flaws he needed to succeed?

Gordon:This was a difficult one for me. I can't go into too much detail, or I'll spoil the book, but he needed to be the average Joe—like you and me. I wanted the reader to come away from the story with just a smidgen of doubt about who they really are, after being inside Weller's head throughout the book.

Robert Weller is very open, honest, and even a little gullible. He wants to believe everything anyone tells him, like most of us do. He grows as the story goes along, due to circumstances that seem too strange for him to believe or comprehend. At first, these situations take control of his life, and they propel him through much of the story. But there is a turning point where he takes charge and confronts these conflicts head on.

What book are you currently reading?

Gordon: I haven't been reading popular fiction nearly enough, lately. But I did just downloaded and started reading Conrad Jestmore's mystery River of Murder. I was hooked within the first couple of pages, and I'm sure it's going to be a real fun read.

Are you currently working on another novel? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

Gordon: Yes, I'm working on The Master Plan, a sequel to Brainstorm. Many of the Brainstorm characters return and, this time, the stakes are even higher. Talk about research—wow! I'm having a blast.  Actually, I'm using The Master Plan to answer and explain many of the basic questions we've all had: What is the meaning of life? Who are we, really, and how did we come to be? Does God really exist—if so, what does she/he look like?

In order to tell this story, I need the Daniel McMaster and his remote viewing abilities. I also use some incredible, little-known facts and odd natural phenomena that science has a hard time explaining (without leaning toward the paranormal) that I think will really make the story interesting and exciting. Like I said—I'm having a great time with the research alone.

Do you have any tips or pointers for aspiring writers?

Gordon: Nothing too much different from what they've probably heard before: read popular fiction in the genre they're writing, go to conferences and workshops, find a writers' org and a good critique group, ensure every scene you write has a purpose and be memorable to the reader, and—if you love writing entertaining stories—don't ever give up.

Thanks so much for your time and dropping into today at Minding Spot!!

What if a small American town is secretly replicated, populated with kidnap-ped scientists and psychically talented civilians, and then used as a proving ground while training psychic assassins? Political and military leaders of the Free World are the targets of these psychic warriors, and Project Brainstorm's goal is world domination. The only person who can stop the unthinkable plot is a seemingly simple man without a clue. In Brainstorm, Gold Rush seems to be just another sleepy little Colorado community full of friendly, caring citizens, quaint cottages, and a sort of quiet peace, held gently by the picturesque mountains that surround it. However, something isn't right in Gold Rush, and early on a Monday morning Robert Weller awakens with a cautioning and insuppressible voice inside his head. He soon finds a secret behind every door, a motive with every glance, and a lie beneath every spoken word. After meeting a strange but beautiful woman named Sunny who insists they were once lovers, people begin dropping dead around him without apparent cause. The world he thought he knew twists upside down as paramilitary teams hunt him, and his own wife and the people he considers friends turn against him. Weller finds himself thrown into the middle of a military mission to rescue thousands of the town's citizens from a plot to destroy the Free World. Time is running out: Weller, Sunny and thousands of innocent citizens are facing nuclear devastation. Major “Jax” Jackson and a U.S. Air Force Para Rescue team are their only hope—but how can Jax and his PJs save them all, armed only with nonlethal weapons?


Gordon is giving away winner's choice of a basic Kindle, Kobo, Sony Reader or Nook to one randomly drawn commentor!!

Follow the tour to increase your chances of winning! The more you comment, the more chances you have to win! Check out each stop on the tour!

 (Only one comment per person on this stop)


  1. Great fifteen words or less synopsis! Tells it like it truly is. If you've a moment today, how did you first hear about remote viewing? I was fascinated when the special features from the movie RED referenced all of the former secret ops projects like remote viewing, but you've obviously had this informatino for some time. Enjoying the tour!

  2. I really enjoy stories set in small, quaint towns because everthing seems so unified. I've never been to Colorado but I imagine the snow-capped mountains there must be quite scenic. I live near a ski town and love the views. Gold Rush seems like a town I'd want to visit.


  3. This sounds great! I can't wait to read it!

  4. Gordon,

    The subject matter is fascinating and Brainstorm sounds like it would be a great summer read.

  5. This is great!! thanks for the giveaway!!!

    gfc follower

    vidishamun at gmail dot com

  6. Congrats on the book! And very nice giveaway
    marajbrandon AT earthlink DOT net

  7. i re twitted and put the accept on twitter the cover of the book stand out the color and the thing on it would catch my eye first the story seem like it would be good to read

  8. Denise,

    I first became interested in remote viewing when the Star Gate project was first revealed to the public in the mid 1990's. With research, I found out about a number of black projects like Grille Flame, Bluebird and MK-ULTRA , as well as devices like the “stemoceiver,” and I used what I found out to give Brainstorm the feel of realism.

    I discovered that, during the early days of the Cold War, the U.S. Government, through the newly formed CIA, actually experimented on its own unknowing citizens with mind altering drugs, radiation, “narco-hypnosis” and electroconvulsive therapy in order to keep up with the technology being developed by its Cold War nemeses, the Soviet Union. They endeavored to create unwitting assassins that would be infallible against interrogation—as revealed by the U.S. Congress’s Church Committee and the Rockefeller Commission. Then, beginning in the sixties and early seventies, a number of the major world powers shifted focus away from the control of the mind and began conducting mind-power studies.

    During the latter days of the Cold War, the U.S. Government furtively threw its hat into the paranormal ring. For the next twenty years, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Army conducted experiments in remote viewing and other psychic phenomena through the Star Gate and Grille Flame projects as well as others under various code names. They reported moderate success, likely relying much more on the information gathered through their remote-viewing teams than is recorded. Through these gifted, psychically trained voyeurs of space and time came the opportunity to look into the past, the present and even into the future. Originally considered only slightly better than a coin-flip, their accuracy improved dramatically over the life of the project. The remote viewers became valued consultants, giving strategic advice and foretelling the outcomes of conflicts in Grenada and Panama as well as Operation Desert Storm and many other actions, both made public and kept covert.

    Too me it's all fascinating, yet "Twilight Zone" sorts of stuff. Thanks again for your question, Denise!

  9. Great giveaway and the Brainstorm sounds awesome!! Can't wait to read it.

    follow on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  10. I like that your main character is a 'regular' guy! Thank you for the contest!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  11. REMOTE VIEWING is not a term I have heard before. I imagine it to be exactly as it sounds.


  12. Have you noticed any common trends in the genres and styles that students choose to write?

  13. awesome interview! thanks for sharing :)

    fallendream03 AT gmail DOT com

  14. Good interview, appreciate this tour.

    fb-ms #at# darryl #dot# com

  15. this book is really intriguing! loving it!

    wefancybooks AT gmail DOT com

  16. Leni, on your question about common trends: I don't see much except that I feel today's young writers have more of a relaxed style that is very inviting to readers. Some of the older generation seem a bit stiffer, as if worried their old HS Eng teacher is going to proof-read their stories. Also, I notice a leaning toward fantasy--it's becoming a huge market--even bigger than ever before.

  17. I suppose, in a way, this book would be a conspiracy theorist's dream (even though it's fiction) because although plot's of such magnitude may not have been hatched as yet, with the way the world is advancing, they may be very possible. I'm loving the tour so far:)


  18. Interesting interview! loved it!


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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