Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Conversation with Thriller Writer Jeffrey E. Seay

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Jeffrey E. Seay

We are delighted to welcome author Jeffrey E. Seay to Omnimystery News today.

Jeffrey's fourth thriller to feature NCIS Special Agent Ruben Carver is The Jihadist List (Provident Press, July 2016 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we recently had the chance to catch up with him to talk more about the series.

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Omnimystery News: Give our readers an introduction to Ruber Carver.

Jeffrey E. Seay
Photo provided courtesy of
Jeffrey E. Seay

Jeffrey E. Seay: Ruben is a maxed-out GS-13 Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. I've revealed his age as fifty-three and throughout the series there are snippets which flesh-out his background. Born and raised in Oklahoma, he's a big guy at 6'3” and 220 lbs, but I've purposely not described any other aspects of his appearance. I've left that to the reader.

My favorite thing about him is his memory and while he's a no-nonsense kind of guy, he's got a sense of humor I can deal with. He's someone I don't mind hanging out with for hours at a time.

OMN: How did the Ruben Carver series get started?

JES: It was kind of like spontaneous human combustion. It just happened. I was living in Tokyo at the time and had finished a contract with AIG. I'd been hired to establish its Special Investigation Unit to look into suspicious insurance claims. It was a tough assignment for a lot of different reasons, but the result was spectacularly successful. The team I put together was great and what they accomplished in the year I was there was amazing.

The organization in New York and I had come to loggerheads on a few issues and they didn't renew my contract. So, there I was, sixty-one years old in a country that retires its citizens at sixty by default. It was an “oh, crap” moment that had me scrambling. Anyone who's been fired from a job knows what I mean.

I contacted a few headhunters, rolled out fresh resumes and reached out to numerous folks in my professional network; but the writing was pretty much on the wall when it came to landing gainful employment. The capper was my wife had a job. The last thing I needed was to have her come home at the end of the day and find me sitting in front of the computer in my underwear playing video games.

I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't even know what the story would be. It started with four words: “The phone woke him.” That's all it took.

OMN: Does the premise for your stories come from your former work as a NCIS special agent in counterintelligence and counter-terrorism?

JES: It's important to emphasize the stories are fiction. That said, the foundational stuff I build the plots around are factual. Being an NCIS Special Agent was, for the most part, the coolest job on the planet and I won't deny the kernels of the stories are, in many cases, sketched around personal experiences.

OMN: Are most of your stories set in places where you’ve live or worked?

JES: Yep, particularly in the Far East. The reason I started the timeline for the series in 2005 is because the mental images I have of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Beijing are from that period. While Tokyo hasn't changed that much since then, KL, Shanghai and Beijing have — in a huge way.

I may write pulp fiction, but it's important to me the stories are set in locations that are, or at least were, real.

OMN: What do you enjoy most about writing this series?

JES: Character creation would be number one. The stories grow — morph — through layered character development. While the overall story arc may not change much, the shifts in tone or flavor are completely dependent on the depth of the various dramatis personae … especially the bad guys.

Number two would be dialogue. It doesn't matter if I'm reading, watching a movie or a TV show, if the dialogue is crisp, smart and believable, I'm hooked. When I write, I know the importance of driving scenes with a combination of snappy chinwags and the more formal colloquy. And while it must ring true — always, I really enjoy writing it.

OMN: What's next for Ruben?

JES: I'm about thirty thousand words into number five. The working title is Centrifuge. For anyone interested I've posted the first couple of chapters on the blog page of my website. They're raw and will eventually go through the edit process but I wanted to give readers a taste of what's coming.

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Jeffrey Seay is a retired NCIS Special Agent. He spent more than half his career in the Far East in counterintelligence, counter-terrorism and force protection operations. Seay has the distinction of being the first Personal Security Adviser to the Commander of the Seventh Fleet. He also completed a decorated tour in Iraq, running counterintelligence collection operations in support of the Coalition Provisional Authority from fall of 2003 to spring of 2004. Currently, Seay bounces back and forth between San Diego and Tokyo, having gone back to Japan after his retirement in 2007 to build the security and fraud investigations departments for three multinational firms.

He's a graduate of the University of Southern California in Business Administration and holds a law degree from Whittier Law School.

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

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The Jihadist List by Jeffrey E. Seay

The Jihadist List by Jeffrey E. Seay

A Ruben Carver Novel

Publisher: Provident Press

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)iTunes iBook FormatKobo eBook Format

Carver, along with his main squeeze Rivka Levitan, are in San Diego, and it's no vacation. They've been pulled in to help counter an international terrorist bent on murder and mayhem in the Southern California beach paradise.

A story steeped in current geopolitics straight out of front page news. Carver is on the clock to stop a plan that could affect U.S. military readiness on a massive scale.

It's like the man said: "It's only fiction 'cause it hasn't happened yet."

The Jihadist List by Jeffrey E. Seay


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