Interview with Alex Ryan

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a military family, and lived mostly on military installations outside of the United States and have had exposure to many different countries and cultures growing up. While I don't know that background in itself influences my writing, I think it is fair to say that it certainly indirectly influences it. My career choices, including military service have similarly me taken me to other countries like Germany, and Southeast Asia. There is a reason Bruce Highland frequently flashes back to the cold war Western Germany theater.
What's the story behind your latest book?
As of current, I am working on a book titled 'Deadly Heirloom.' It is a departure from the Bruce Highland series but it is basically a reinvention of Leon's Fire. It's my attempt to break in to the traditional publishing market. It may well end up as a Smashwords ebook after publication. In a nutshell, a forgotten cold war era man-portable tactical nuclear weapon is discovered by an Army unit, and stolen by one of the men. That man's modern day grown up son takes over his father's mission of terror, and ace detective and CIA contractor Rodd Mace is charged with finding and stopping him.
How do you approach cover design?
The last two covers I've had professionally prepared. Prior to that, I would sit down and the computer and thumb through my collection of photographs I've personally taken, and select images that would represent the theme of the book, select one for a background, and overlay images to form the graphic. I keep my cover art fairly simple. Photographs convey a lot. For example, The Vine Fraternity's cover is a shot of a thatched hut over water in Vietnam, with an overlay of a war time military map of Cambodia at the bottom. That thatched hut is actually a booth for a seafood restaurant in Can Tho, taken from a similar booth. Gauthier's List is a shot of an abandoned Nike installation north of San Francisco called Hilltop 88, chosen for it's semblance to NOLF San Nicolas island. The Gatekeepers cover I shot while flying over San Francisco on the way back from Half Moon Bay. By the way, Hilltop 88 is visible in that photo.
Describe your desk
My work desk, which these days I rarely occupy, is clean and organized. Within the context of my writing environment, it could be the dinner table, a hotel room desk, or even a pub counter.
What is your writing process?
Honestly, I don't come up with my ideas sitting in front of the computer. I'm usually engaged in some kind of activity, like long distance cycling, hiking up a mountain, or having a few at the pub when stories, plots and scenes are mentally developed. I then put them in to words when I have down time. I follow a mental outline, and fill in the blanks with various relevant scenes. And I don't always stick to a rigid outline. I sometimes deviate from my planned course.
Published 2017-11-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Project Dark Chapter
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,720. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
A rogue author, disillusioned with the perception of an unhealthy alliance between a book publishing company and a government intelligence agency seeks to dismantle and destroy the company. Top level private investigator Bruce Highland employs his experience, knowledge and instinct to bring him to justice in a fast paced, action packed thriller.
Rain unto Death
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,400. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
An saga of a search for a terrorist cell bearing a horrific biological weapon. Meet Rex Muse in this exciting new series.
Leon's Fire
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 78,140. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
CIA contractor Bruce Highland is matched against a diabolical pair as they try to unleash a nuclear holocaust on a major United States city using a stolen nuclear weapon. Will he find them in time?
The Lambda Tribe
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,230. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Ace private investigator Bruce Highland searches for a diabolical assassin using genetically modified primates to do his work.
The Vine Fraternity
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,830. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
The Vine Fraternity is a saga of a Vietnam veteran's quest to find justice for the brutal murder of his family. In the course of doing so, a secret, illicit quasi-government organisation spanning two generations is uncovered. Private Investigator Bruce Highland uses all of his resources to bring together justice.
Gauthier's List
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 77,720. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
Gauthier's List is an action thriller adventure of a detective, Bruce Highland who tracks a delusional killer armed with a mind control device developed under a secret CIA program.
The Gatekeepers
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,360. Language: English. Published: February 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
A thriller about a private investigator and former intelligence officer Bruce Highland, who seeks to clear his client of a murder charge, only to become entwined in government conspiracy.