Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Conversation with Thriller Writer Kevin Hurley

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Kevin Hurley

We are delighted to welcome author Kevin Hurley to Omnimystery News today.

As characters collide with deadly force on the streets of New York, the line between right and wrong blurs, long-standing loyalties are questioned, and no one is really sure, even if they succeed, what the final outcome will be, in Kevin's new thriller Cut and Cover (Skyhorse Publishing; October 2015 hardcover and ebook formats).

We recently had the opportunity to spend some time with him talking about the book. You can also enter to win a copy of the book by visiting this post on the site.

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Omnimystery News: Introduce us to the lead character of Cut and Cover.

Kevin Hurley
Photo provided courtesy of
Kevin Hurley

Kevin Hurley: My main character, John Rexford, is a big-hearted guy who has had several set-backs in his career as a professional athlete and joins the Marines, mostly because his father did and he didn't want to jump into corporate America after college. He is a nice guy, patriot, but when sees injustice has no problem exacting his superior fighting skills on the bad guys.

OMN: How do you see him developing over the course of a series?

KH: My character will change dramatically over the series, as he sees his life turned upside down by his enemies. He becomes calloused, but maintains his integrity.

OMN: Do you think it matters if an author's lead character is of the opposite gender?

KH: I think it matters, though it shouldn't if the writing rings true. I've talked a lot of women readers who prefer a woman author when the protagonist is a woman also. I think it is more difficult for a writer to go out of their comfort zone and write from the perspective of the opposite sex.

OMN: Into which genre would you place Cut and Cover?

KH: Thrillers/Military/Espionage for now, but bringing in some law enforcement characters next. Labeling is good if you want a steady following of readers. It gives them, at least, a basis for their expectations from an author.

OMN: Tell us something about the book that isn't mentioned in the publisher's synopsis.

KH: Too often, spy thrillers start with a baseline acceptance of global conflict and unexamined assumptions about who the good guys are. Cut and Cover has a deeper take: Are we in a perpetual war for oil, or is that a cover story for the naked lust for power? How much good do do-gooders really do? What are the benefits and limits of international law?

OMN: How would you tweet a summary of Cut and Cover?

KH: A high-stakes thriller novel transcending genre, with perspective on violence, machismo, 21st-century life, and love.

OMN: How much of your own personal or professional experience have you included in the book?

KH: There is plenty of me (or how I want to be) in this book. I study martial arts like John Rexford, and I hate when the bad guys cause pain to innocent people.

OMN: Describe your writing process for us.

KH: I first just write and let it go where it wants, but after about 20K words, I make sure I have an outline to keep me on track, though it changes daily. I try to know the end as soon as possible, and work my way to get there, but even that can changes in the process.

OMN: Have you come across any particularly interesting or challenging topics while researching your plot points?

KH: My most challenging experience is in the sequel to Cut and Cover, where I had to spend countless hours learning about the European Union and NATO and how there are structured and co-exist.

OMN: How true are you to the story's settings?

KH: I set my books in a real place. Stay true to geography and environment. Readers who live somewhere don't want you getting it wrong about their hometown.

OMN: If we could send you anywhere in the world to research the setting for a book, where would it be?

KH: Puerto Rico (the third location in the series) because you can surf there in 83 degree water.

OMN: You mentioned that you study martial arts. What are some of your other outside interests? And have any of these found their way into your books?

KH: Many of my personal activities are in the book, cycling, martial arts, causing general mischief.

OMN: What is the best advice you've received as an author?

KH: Don't ever let anyone tell you, "It's already been done." Because you haven't done it, so it hasn't been done.

OMN: Have any specific authors influenced how and what you write today?

KH: Nelson DeMille and John Updike. I love Mr. DeMille's sarcasm and Updike's sense of place and human flaws.

OMN: Complete this sentence for us: "I am a thriller writer and thus I am also …".

KH: I am a thriller writer and thus I am also … living in a world of self-imposed paranoia.

OMN: How did Cut and Cover come to be titled?

KH: The book's main character is undercover and kills with knives in a primitive way whenever possible, hence Cut and Cover. Also, certain scenes take place in the NYC aqueduct system which is made of "cut and cover" aqueducts.

OMN: How involved were you with the cover design?

KH: The cover design went through several revisions, and the publisher was kind enough to allow my input.

OMN: What kind of feedback have you received from readers?

KH: Positive feedback makes me happy, negative feedback, when accurate, makes me better.

OMN: Suppose Cut and Cover were to be adapted for television or film. Who do you see playing John Rexford?

KH: Chris Hemsworth, when he's not pumped up for Thor, would be a perfect John Rexford.

OMN: What kinds of books did you read when you were young?

KH: I read Stephen King as a teenager, and Kurt Vonnegut.

OMN: What categories or genres of books do you enjoy reading today?

KH: Espionage, Tai Chi and contemporary fiction.

OMN: When selecting a book to read for pleasure, what do you look for?

KH: A big one.

OMN: What's next for you?

KH: I live one day at a time when possible, and would love to keep John Rexford alive as long as I am.

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Kevin Hurley draws his inspiration from a family history of military service from the Korean War to present-day Afghanistan, as well his martial arts interests. He lives in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, where he is an avid cyclist and practitioner of Yang-style tai chi chuan.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Cut and Cover by Kevin Hurley

Cut and Cover by Kevin Hurley

A Thriller

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)iTunes iBook FormatKobo eBook Format

To most people, Maj. John Rexford is a retired Marine living in the Catskill Mountains of New York on disability. Even John's girlfriend, Maggie, has no idea he's really a CIA spook recruited in Afghanistan and assigned to kill enemies on US soil.

With exemplary skills in hand-to-hand combat and small arms weaponry, John Rexford completes a string of successful kills, eliminating terrorists and their money supply in the New York Metropolitan area. With the FBI hot on his trail for these illegal assassinations, John must find a way to stop an international team of explosives experts from destroying New York City's aqueducts, killing thousands with chlorine gas, and burning the five boroughs to the ground. During his mission, John runs afoul of a high level underworld assassin who uses his mastery of yoga to silently strangle his victims. When the assassin discovers John's one liability — his girlfriend, Maggie — John will have to make a terrible choice between her life and the capture of her abductor.

Cut and Cover by Kevin Hurley

1 comment:

  1. Great book. I recommend it to anyone who wants a fast entertaining read that also makes you wonder "Is that really happening today?"


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