I’m very excited to introduce you to former NYC Police Officer and Author Ahmad Taylor!
KM: Welcome Ahmad! Thank you for taking time out to stop by my blog. Tell us about your book, DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.
AT: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (DSOM) is a Suspense/Thriller with a dash of Sci-fi to keep things fresh and interesting.
The story revolves around an ex-government agent: Derrick Thomas, and his attempts to find and save his family who has gone missing.
The Thomas family is a group of well educated; extremely successful; and highly trained scholars who each have served their government in some capacity at various points in their lives.
The story starts off with Derrick receiving a message from his father asking for assistance with retrieving some private data files for a research project his father is engaged in. The reader quickly learns, along with Derrick, that his father’s service with a seemingly benign agency extends well beyond the “occasional researcher”, and when he seeks the assistance of his sister in helping his father, Derrick discovers that his sister has also been downplaying her responsibilities with this very same agency.
The story then takes you on Derrick’s perilous journey to uncover a slew of secrets that he hopes will piece together the puzzle of where his family is located at and him bring them to safety.
Book Blurb: Government agent Derrick Thomas awakes from a disturbing dream to find a message from his father asking for help. As he sets out to lend his assistance he quickly discovers that not only can he not find his father, but that a clandestine government agency is out to derail his search before it can begin. After the murders of two of his father’s colleagues and the further disappearances of his mother and sister, Derrick is thrust into a fight for his own life and a struggle to uncover details of a secret government experiment which his family may be part of. Will he be able to save them and uncover the truth before he becomes the next victim of an organization bent on keeping him silent?
KM: Ohh, a clandestine government agency! Do you think your time in law enforcement aided in your world building in DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.
AT: I have never personally dealt with any clandestine organizations, but then again, how would I have known at the time?
Both my background in law enforcement and private security (over 10-yrs combined) definitely gave me some added insight into working for government agencies both on the local and federal level. Much of the fighting scenes were derived from simple, yet effective self-defense techniques that law enforcement officers receive in their training.
KM: Your cover art doesn’t mention a publisher. Are you choosing the self-pubbed route? What framed your decision?
AT: I self-published DSOM* in January, 2012.
The decision came after several long months of waiting by the proverbial phone (really email and snail-mail these days) for a response to the hundreds and hundreds of queries I sent out to agents and the handful of publishers that allow direct submissions from authors.
I had gotten to a point where I was physically and emotionally drained from the entire experience of trying to be heard (read) by “traditional” houses. I was becoming rather disheartened with the entire ordeal and was sitting on my book for nearly a year when a good friend sent me an article on Indie writers and the chance for success with self-publishing.
I had started writing DSOM with not only the intention of making one hell of a story that readers would be talking about and appreciating with friends for years to come, but also to have my words reach the proverbial “masses” who could enjoy my hard work. I had lost faith in the idea of getting my work into the hands of many who could decide for themselves the worthiness of my words.
After reading the article that my friend had sent me, a veil was lifter from my eyes and too the fear of NEVER getting published.
KM: A lot of my followers are also fellow writers. Describe your writing process for us. What works for you? How long did it take you to write, edit and prepare for publishing?
AT: When I started DSOM, I was very motivated. I had never taken on something of that magnitude before, so in the beginning I did not have a very solid game plan.
I grabbed my hand-scribbled notes and just jumped right in. The first few nights (I prefer writing late night into the a.m.) I would grab some tea, some earbuds pumping a random playlist, and just write every single thought I had in my head. I was so afraid that I would forget something that I just typed as fast as I could. Even if the idea was out of place, I would just highlight it for revision later and keep writing.
This was my “process” for the first few weeks of writing. After many nights of cramping and “writer’s block” I realized I need to try and develop a more organized process that would allow me to be more productive. I started tweaking my outline before actually writing, and I would re-work the layout of my chapters so that there was a flow to the story.
I wrote DSOM pretty quickly, mainly due to the fact that I was so excited to be writing and to get it done, and all-told; it took a little over a month to finish. Editing took a few weeks more of back and forth between my editor and me.
There was an 8-month hiatus, when I was shopping it to agents and houses and receiving little or no interest, and then I finally got the “stones” to put it out myself and let the public decide it’s value. I got it out in January, so in total, writing + editing + final edits = 2 ½ months of actual writing and wordsmithing.
KM: Such a colorful story has to have a colorful artist! Please tell us about yourself.
AT: I am a 35-yr old writer, living in S. Florida.
I am a former NYC police officer, and I still dabble in private security from time to time.
I enjoy a good Suspense/Thriller, which is why I chose this genre for DSOM. I like a well-crafted story, with lots of surprises that explode into wild action scenes which is what I attempted to do with my writing. The best feeling when reading a book or watching a film is when you have a ton of expectations and you have the whole plot “figured out” and then; Wham! The writer takes a sharp right-turn that you never saw coming.
I enjoy watching and playing most sports (no soccer or Nascar, cause they’re stupid… lol)
I also enjoy getting together with good friends and having a long night out at our local distillery.
KM: Thanks for stopping by. Tell us where people can find you and your book.
AT: You can find the Suspense-filled, Action-packed, Thriller: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON at:
AhmadDarkside Live: http://www.ahmadtaylor.com
AhmadDarkside’s Musings: http://www.ahmaddarkside.blogspot.com
And look for the paperback version of DSOM coming in the next few weeks.
*Currently working on the sequel to be released in the second half of 2012.