The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. - Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895
aobibliophile™: hi Russell and welcome to aobibliosphere™. people are generally curious and would want to know more about you so please tell us something about yourself.
Russell Brooks: I used to be on Canada's Track team and also played five instruments. For now I'm just sticking with the violin and singing.
aob™: have you always wanted to be a writer?
RB: Actually my first dream was to be the fastest man on the planet. But numerous track injuries and my difficulty in securing a sponsor kept me back. So I hung up my track spikes in 2007 and concentrated on writing to see how far I could go with it.
aob™: what books do you read? any favorites?
RB: I've read a variety of books. In high school I used to read Stephen King because he was the most talked about author back then. I eventually moved onto Anne Rice with her Vampire Chronicles. The one book that really blew me away was 'A Time To Kill', by John Grisham, that I found in my sister's bedroom. Once I was done with it I immediately read 'The Firm' in 2 days. When I began to write Pandora's Succession I discovered Barry Eisler, Joseph Finder, and even dabbed with Eric Jerome Dickey (Gideon Series), because those books were closer to the genre that I was writing.
aob™: what's the story behind Pandora's Succession?
RB: It was just an idea about what many of us fear:
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Government workers with access to dangerous weapons who will use them against us. It's already happened with Senior Biodefense researcher, Bruce Ivins, who had access to Antrax and sent out Anthrax-laced letters to members of Congress in the United States, back in 2001. There was also the Sarin Gas attacks in Tokyo in the mid 1990s, perpetrated by members of a Doomsday Cult. I was creeped out by these events when I first read about them. More ideas for the story came the more I studied those events.
aob™: your main character Ridley Fox is a very welcome addition to the thriller genre. as i mentioned in my review, i liked how you portrayed him. how did you come up with such a strong but vulnerable hero?
RB: Thanks, I'm glad that you like Ridley. Honestly I didn't expect such a huge response to him from readers. Fox was loosely based on a former track teammate from high school. He was the guy that was always attracting the right girls while making the other guys jealous. Funny enough, whenever he messed up he always came to me for advice on how to fix things. I just imagined him as someone who's multilingual, an amateur musician, who travels to the most dangerous areas of the planet blending into a crowd. Of course it was important to give him some character flaws so that readers can more easily relate and/or even accept him.
aob™: what were the challenges you faced Russell when writing this book?
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aob™: you mentioned in your comments on my review that you have some things in the pipeline. would you like to discuss them further?
RB: I have an untitled mystery/adventure novel that should be available by Winter 2011. I'm still doing some promotional work on the paperback edition to Pandora's Succession, which will be available soon. In the meantime I'm researching subject matter for the sequel to Pandora's Succession.
aob™: what would you like to tell your readers and critics?
RB: To the readers, thanks for your continued support and for telling friends and family about me and the recitals I do on The Russell Show (on YouTube). To the critics, I don't mind constructive criticism. I've already accepted that my books won't please everyone.
aob™: what do you do when you're not writing?
RB: I'm trying to be more active again. Since I retired from Track I've put on some weight, so I'm currently spending three days a week working out. I'm also getting back into playing the violin - my first musical instrument. Some of the best subject ideas for my next novel came when I was practicing.
aob™: when you made your first sale, how did you celebrate and with whom?
RB: I was by myself at home. My goal wasn't to celebrate my first sale, but my first 10,000 sales.
aob™: is there anything else you'd like to share to your followers and readers?
RB: Join the mailing list on my website, www.russellparkway.com. It's the best way to keep up to date on everything that I'm doing, which includes giveaways, new releases, etc.
aob™: thank you very much Russell for taking time to stop by. it was a pleasure having you on aobiliosphere™.
RB: Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.
for more information on Russell Brooks and his work, please visit: