Thursday, September 26, 2013

Interview with Andy Straka, author of Dragonflies: Shadow of Drones


Shamus-Award winning crime novelist Andy Straka breaks new ground with this near-future science fiction thriller in which a former pilot and the ex-infantryman who saved her life search for justice in a world where surveillance by micro-drones is fast becoming the reality. Former Army helicopter pilot Raina Sanchez is plagued by nightmares. She can't erase the memories of being shot down in Afghanistan, of losing her foot in the crash, and the death of her commanding officer. When asked by an ex-military contact to participate in a secret drone operation with ties to the war, she jumps at the chance to exorcise some of her demons. She joins Tye Palmer, the decorated ex-infantryman who rescued her from the flaming wreckage of her Kiowa chopper. As civilian private investigators, together they embark on a sensitive, risky effort: using cutting-edge micro air vehicle drones in an attempt to expose the son of media mogul Nathan Kurn as a campus date rapist. But as Raina and Tye come closer to the truth about Kurn and his powerful allies, Raina's loyalties take a potential detour when she begins to understand a chilling reality. In a world where surveillance devices as small as tiny insects are being piloted into places most would never imagine, public and private forces both large and small are maneuvering to control them with inevitable consequences. For Raina and Tye the danger didn’t end when they finished their military careers−the threat has just begun.
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The Interview

What is your favorite quality about yourself? 

A: Hmmm…I suppose it would be the willingness to continue to pursue and tell the truth, wherever that may lead. I try my best to do this.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? 

A: This one’s easy. I wish I were better organized. My wife has been a big help and an influence on my in his regard. I’m far better organized than I used to be.

How long have you been writing? 

A: Seriously for 16+ years. Sporadically before that.

When did you first know you could be a writer? 

A: When my first short story--more of an essay--was picked up by a high-end regional magazine. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.

What made you want to be a writer? 

A: At heart I’m a storyteller. Every person walking the planet has a story. Every imagined character has a story. To me the most powerful form of communication is through narrative.

How did you come up with the title of the book?

A: I’m a licensed falconer, so naturally I started thinking about flyng when it came to drones. Dragonflies seemed like a natural and appropriate fit on many levels for microdrones.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

A: It’s a big story and a big topic that will take several books to unfold. Knowing when and how to cut things off and where to end this first book was a challenge and not everyone agrees with the way I chose to handle it. I’ve listened to readers and I’m attempting to make adjustments. Fortunately, there are many more books to come with potential future editions and combinations of different books, so I’m hopeful that this issue can be resolved to more readers’ satisfaction. The books will obviously have to play out a little differently than any screenplay or teleplay might.

Did you learn anything while writing your book? If so, what was it? 

A: Yes. As an established crime novelist I think I’ve seen both the upside and downside of jumping out and trying something new. On balance though, I’m glad I took the risk. The larger story is a blast to tell and I can’t wait to bring more of it to readers.



Publisher's Weekly has featured Andy Straka as one of a new crop of "rising stars in crime fiction." He writes the bestselling Frank Pavlicek novels starring an ex NYPD detective turned private eye and falconer (A WITNESS ABOVE, A KILLING SKY, COLD QUARRY, THE NIGHT FALCONER, FLIGHTFALL) and is the author of two widely-praised thrillers, RECORD OF WRONGS and THE BLUE HALLELUJAH. Andy retired early from a career in medical sales to pursue his passion for writing. A licensed falconer, he lives with his family in Virginia where he hunts, hikes, and rails against the powers that be. He has also managed to survive a longstanding stint as a stay-at-home Dad, which makes neurosurgery look like tiddlywinks. An admitted technogeek, he opens a new series in 2013 with the near-future Sci-Fi thriller DRAGONFLIES: SHADOW OF DRONES. Visit his blog "Prepare For Turbulence" at or stop by


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