Brain to Books Blog Tour
Author: K.P. Merriweather
Book: Borderline of the Agency series
I ignore the haters and naysayers while churning out literary pulp and epic saga doorstoppers in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Psychological Thriller genres. While not writing, I also program retro-style gaming awesomeness for Windows and Android. I still reside somewhere in St. Louis, Mo.
What you see is what you get.
Erik Hart gets in over his head when he accidentally breaks an important company computer while on reassignment. Unwilling to lose his job, he agrees to pay for it by working for the cruel taskmaster Zachary, an enigmatic man who seemingly knows more than he lets on…
When Erik becomes a target for breakneck enforcers, he finds rogue scientists willing to help him disappear if he can finish one final job in return. His search for answers leads him to a powerful origination bent on stopping him by every ruthless method at their disposal!
Bright light seared Erik’s vision as he roused. He squinted and put up a hand to shield his eyes as he wavered in a hazy cloud of pain.
“Voy a llamar a que el éxito!” Albero’s voice said triumphantly. “¡Buenas tardes, hombre!”
“What?” Erik murmured and sat up, finding himself on a table atop a shower curtain. Nearby, a swivel crane-arm halogen lamp shone in his direction. Albero, who wore a white apron spattered with blood over his stained dress shirt and slacks, busied himself in cleaning instruments in a bucket of bleach on the kitchenette counter. “What happened to me?”
“I removed your appendix,” Albero answered. “You were feverish and vomiting uncontrollably.”
Erik touched his side near his navel, noticing a small scar there. “No stitches?” he asked.
“We have sealant these days, no need for stitching. It’s too unclean.”
Erik carefully removed himself from the table and tottered for the bedroom area where he spotted a pack of cigarettes and lighter next to a glass ashtray on the nightstand.
“I need something for the pain,” Erik grumbled.
“Tequila?” Albero suggested.
“I’ll pick up some soon.”
Erik shook out a cigarette from the pack and pulled it with his lips, then lit it, expelling harsh smoke in the air.
“Hungry for anything?” Albero called as he rummaged through the small cabinets, coming across a small skillet and bottle of cooking oil. “I’ve got bran flakes and sweet peppers and eggs. You need a better diet – more fresh fruits and vegetables.”
“I want booze,” Erik snapped and made his way for the heavy dark curtains at the window, peeling them aside. Outside he saw a large lot and in the distance a large castle-like complex with a large domed roof and barred windows. “Where are we?”
“In the outskirts of Menoka,” Albero answered and placed the skillet on the small two-burner counter stove. “That there is called the Industrial Complex, also known as the Sector Isolation Holding Unit. It’s where military criminals and anti-government agents are housed.”
“Wouldn’t this part of town make it company housing then?” Erik wondered aloud as Albero poured in oil then picked up a kettle set on the counter and filled it with water. “Usually they make housing not far from high-security Federal jobs like that. They don’t want to risk leaks…”
“It’s true.” Putting the kettle on the stove, Albero turned the knobs then focused his attentions to the refrigerator. “We’re in the transient hotel while I’m awaiting my paperwork to get certified. You are my assistant.”
“What do I assist you with?”
Albero withdrew a bowl of sweet peppers from the cold storage and returned to the counter. “Executing criminals.”
Erik turned toward the doctor in shock. “The hell?” he squawked.
“What’s with that look, mi amigo?” Albero laughed and wagged a finger at Erik. “Their last licensed prison executioner died and they needed someone with a lot of skills. There aren’t that many you know.” Albero took up a butcher knife from the drain board and a handful of peppers, chopping them with expert precision. “Besides, we have some friends coming up that just need to sleep and not necessarily in dirt, eh?”
Erik ground his teeth and stormed away from the window. “I hate this,” he thought, grinding out his stub in the ashtray. Lighting another cigarette, Erik smoked and paced. “Bit by bit, he feeds me some info and yanks the control a little bit tighter…” Looking at his wrists and right ankle, his simmering anger burned stronger in response to the tethers. “This can’t be all part of a big plan…”
“Better rest up. We have a busy day tomorrow.”
Growling, Erik glared back at Albero who busied himself in frying the colored peppers. He stormed over, snatching up the butcher knife left on the counter and Albero calmly withdrew a revolver from at his back with his free hand, pointing it at Erik’s head.
“Tsk, tsk, muchacho, what a bad thing you’re doing,” Albero said, not once looking at Erik as he continued frying the food. “Now really think about it. I’m an unlicensed doctor accused of nefarious things. You don’t want to get on my bad side, eh?”
Erik paled and dropped the knife to the floor with a clatter. “That monster could be telling the truth,” he thought fearfully and gingerly touched his side. “What if he poisoned me to mimic those symptoms? What if he implanted explosives in me claiming he was taking out my appendix?”
Erik dashed for the small tan-tiled bathroom and dropped to his knees, gagging into the toilet.
Albero set his revolver on the counter and whistled as he turned over the food.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
This book is a continuation of the series started with CHAIN REACTION. I never thought of writing a science fiction psychological suspense, especially focusing on the nature of existence. I wrote the seemingly uneven streaming-consciousness type parts on the meaning of sense of self, dreams, and reality on purpose. I wanted the reader to feel what it’s like inside Erik’s headspace, and it’s not a good place…
I originally wrote the story for an English assignment in middle school (the segment appears in CHAIN REACTION, chapter 7), and what started out as a short story became a longer book originally in first person (no longer in print) later expanded to a larger saga in third, covering several books. The story in the whole Agency saga hadn’t changed (aside from first to third), just lengthened to add more details that were originally vague or limited in scope.
Stories always require some form of research. What kind of research did you do for your book?
For the later books, BORDERLINE and my next upcoming novel in the series LINE OF FIRE, I had to look into cybernetics and neurotechnology. I already knew about computer science, engineering and military technology, so it wasn’t much to apply what was originally ambiguous in the first rendition of the novel.
Which scene or chapter was the hardest for you to write?
The scenes involving Erik’s contact with the shady Doctor Hansen were the most difficult to write. Hansen was supposed to come across as eccentric with an undercurrent of menacing. I hope I rendered him well.
Please describe your favorite scene or chapter in your book and tell us why it was your favorite?
I had fun writing chapter 28. The character Brodie Avers is a chipper dirty old man type, who honestly cares for the main character Erik despite his vulgar banter. My favorite scenes were Erik’s time recuperating with the hacker Bunny and makeup artist Shanter. I enjoyed writing them and found them quirky and interesting. I felt sorry they couldn’t get more page time after playing their parts.
Which of your favorite characters do you relate to the most? Who is your favorite character and why?
Erik started out as an author avatar until he found his own voice, becoming a temperamental space cadet. I think his evolution is due to my punishing him way too often! (I can be such an evil god, mwahaha). As for my favorite character, it would be Erik’s friend Francisca. She’s strong-willed, protective, and brutally honest, also has a high standard of honor. I wish I had friends like that in real life…
I once read that every author is simply a compilation of his/her most favorite authors. Which authors have done the most to influence your writing and why?
The three I can name off the top of my head are Robert Cromier, Caroline B. Cooney, and Walter Dean Meyers. Their works were different than the other books I read to escape as a teen, as they wrote on realistic themes stories that didn’t always have happy endings and showed that life sometimes sucked. Cromier is the main offender. I have him to blame (lolz).
“Story” has always been the center of all human cultures. We need it. We seek it out. We invent it. What does “story” mean to you?
Story to me means feeling some kind of emotion and thinking of new things after putting the book down. Have you ever read a book that challenged your preconceptions, made you ask questions about the world around you, or dredged up feelings you never knew existed? That’s what I hope my works does. A lofty goal, sure, but it compels me to continue writing in the face of hard times.
Tell us about your next project.
I work multiple projects given how fussy my computers are and whatever I can finish first. So I don’t have definite release dates.
Where can we find you and your book?
I don’t talk about myself much, but you can find more information about all the books I’ve published on www.majestikmultimedia.com!
Connect with K.P. Merriweather
Borderline is also available on Amazon