Thursday, November 5, 2015

Interview with L.D. Beyer, author of In Sheep's Clothing

Title: In Sheep's Clothing
Author: L.D. Beyer
Release Date: August 2, 2015
Publisher: Old Stone Mill Publishing
Genre: Political Thriller
Format: Ebook/Paperback

One man holds the reins of power. 
One man vows to protect him. 
One man vows to destroy him.

Caught in a game of chess he didn't know he was playing until it was too late, the President makes the only move he can, plunging Washington and the nation into chaos. Stunned and reeling, Vice President David Kendall takes the oath of office and tries to heal a nation in mourning. But what the new president doesn't realize is that things in the White House aren't always what they appear to be, and sometimes what looks like the best option may turn out to be the worst. When one fatal decision triggers consequences he never envisioned, President Kendall finds himself caught up in the same game that cost his predecessor his life.

Although there was nothing he could have done, Secret Service Agent Matthew Richter is haunted by the death of the man he had vowed to protect. When his girlfriend dumps him and his boss tells him that his job is on the line, he thinks his life cannot get any worse. He soon realizes how wrong he is when he finds himself fighting to save another president from the deadly forces that he has unwittingly unleashed.

This new release by L.D. Beyer is a fast-paced, action-packed political thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
In Sheep's Clothing is available for order at  
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What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
A: Raising three great kids with my wife.  My two older children are both in college and have begun navigating through this journey we call life on their own.  I’m confident that they will succeed in the world.  My youngest is a still at home—he’s a middle schooler—and he’s a great kid.  I’m confident that he too will find his own way in life.  Has it always been easy?  Heck no.  Parenting never is.  I’ve made way too many mistakes to count.  But I also think that I have given my children the foundation they need to succeed. 
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
A: To one degree or another, we are all a product of our environment. I am an avid reader of thriller and suspense novels from authors like David Baldacci, Steve Berry, Michael Connolly, Mike Lawson and Brad Thor.  I’m certain In Sheep’s Clothing was influenced by these and many other fine authors. But in many subtle ways, it was also influenced by my own experiences: the places I’ve lived, the events that took place, both in the broader world and in my own back yard.  From a scene perspective, I tend to write about locations that I’ve been in, places I’ve lived, and cities I’ve visited.  I’ve lived in over a dozen different cities and I’ve lived through many historic moments going back to the racial tensions and turmoil of the 60’s, the Viet Nam war, the Kent State shooting, Watergate, the attempted assassinations of two presidents—Ford and Reagan—the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, a rash of kidnappings, hijackings and terrorist attacks, rapid advances in technology…all of this was happening around me and I’m sure it has influenced my writing.
When and why did you begin writing?
When I was 12 or 13, I remember seeing an ad that said something like, “Get Paid to Write Children’s Books.”  I was intrigued and actually wrote a few things but I never did submit them.  A few years later, I wrote a short story for a high school English assignment. My story was well received and was published in a school anthology.  In college, I wrote another short story, again for a literature class, and it too was well received and published in a school anthology.
But after graduating, I guess I did the expected thing and followed a more traditional career path.  I met my wife a few years later and we got married.  A few years after that, we started a family.  Frankly, between career and family, I forgot all about writing for a while.
It wasn't until several years ago that I finally muscled up enough courage to make a drastic change in my life: to give up my corporate career, to spend more time with my family and to pursue my dream of being a writer.
There's something cathartic about writing.  Writing is a journey and the journey has its own rewards.  It’s really cool to start with a blank page and watch as the story unfolds, sometimes taking twists and turns I never expected. I know that sounds like I'm not in control when I write but after giving them a nudge, the characters and the plot tend to evolve on their own and go in directions I never envisioned when I first began typing. 
As a writer, I'm finally getting a chance to be creative, something I was not really able to do during my more traditional life.
You know, I wish I could find some of my early writings!  That would be really cool!

What inspires you to write and why?
I write what I like to read.  I love thriller and suspense novels—medical thrillers, legal thrillers, historical thrillers, political thrillers—particularly ones that are full of intrigue, and ones that are fast-paced, with lots of action & adventure.  My taste in movies is the same.  Intrigue, suspense and action & adventure—I’ll take that any day!  When I read or watch movies, I want to escape and to live vicariously through the characters, even if only for a short while.  I want to root for the good guy and hate the bad guy.  For me, trying to bring this type of experience to readers is a huge thrill.  I can only hope readers are able to experience this with my books!

What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Thrillers.  My fist three books are all thrillers.  The first is a political thriller, the second, a political / terrorism thriller and the third, a historic thriller.  This is the genre I prefer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I think it was after reading Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October and thinking, I can do that.  I ‘m not by any means trying to say I’m as good as Tom Clancy.  But, as I looked at how he structured the story, switching between different points of view and then tying it all together at the end, I thought I could follow the same formula and write something that people would like to read.  I thought that I could build tension and create suspense just like Clancy did.  I felt I could create characters that people could relate to, just like Clancy’s Jack Ryan.  I also felt I could carve out my own niche, and use my own writing style to stand out vs. other authors.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
I think the most challenging thing is when the writing is not going in the direction that you hoped.  My first attempt at a sequel to In Sheep’s Clothing wound its way into a very dark area.  Before I knew it, I was researching kidnappings, Amber Alerts, meeting with local police officers and learning how they handle child abduction, researching FBI profiling techniques, its quick response team and how the court system dealt with such cases.  I was about a third of the way done and I sat back one day and realized that I really didn’t like where it was going.  James Patterson des a great job writing about such things—and I do enjoy reading Patterson—but when I was reading about real child abduction cases as part of my research, that was too much. 
I think what I’ve learned is that I may need to throw away several months of work, take a break, then pull out a blank piece of paper and go back to the beginning.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
I think I learned how to write shorter, crisper scenes and not waste words on extraneous detail.  I learned to keep the plot moving and to build in just the right amount of tension.  I learned to make my characters real—even the good guy or gal has flaws—and I learned to look at my characters critically and make sure they have motivation for everything they do.
But the biggest thing I learned is that I CAN write a book and launch it and achieve some measure of success.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
Like many writers, I have a day job.  I don’t see that changing any time soon.  It’s a matter of finding balance and being able to devote enough time to my writing and not ignore my family or drop the ball on my job. 
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
My biggest strength is that I’m persistent and I never give up.  In Sheep’s Clothing took 22 years from when I first began writing to when I finally got it published.  It’s not that I’m a slow writer—life got in the way.  I began this book a year before my daughter was born.  But once kids came along, many things that were front and center in my life got pushed to the back burner because I had other, far more important priorities.  The other challenge was my career.  As I began climbing the corporate ladder, my responsibilities and my job became far more complex.  I ended up moving half a dozen times over the course of my career, once for a three year stint out of the country.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had the opportunity to pick up what I had started and carry it to the finish line.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
My strength is also my weakness.  There’s a fine line between persistence and stubbornness.  There are times when I can’t see exactly where that line is.  My wife will tell you I can often be found on the wrong side.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

My current favorite quote comes from George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.  “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”  This perfectly describes the political intrigue and what’s at stake in In Sheep’s Clothing.

L.D. Beyer spent over twenty-five years in the corporate world, climbing the proverbial corporate ladder. This meant a lot of time away from his family, extensive travel, a half dozen relocations, and the opportunity to live and work in Mexico for several years. In 2011 he decided it was time for a change—he was tired of moving every few years, he wanted to spend more time with his family and he wanted to chase his dream of being a writer. LD Beyer is an avid reader and although he primarily reads Thrillers, his reading list is somewhat eclectic. He believes a few hours with a good book beats a few hours in front of the TV any day. LD Beyer lives in Michigan with his wife, three children and a dog named Tope (pronounced Toe-Pay), which he adopted in Mexico. He enjoys cooking, hiking, biking, working out and fixing just about anything that breaks in the house. With 3 kids, a dog and an aging house, he always seems to be fixing something!

For More Information
  Visit L.D.s website.
Connect with L.D. on Twitter and Facebook 

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