Clark Lohr tagged me for The Next Big Thing, where authors blog about what's coming next. But before I tell you about The Hydra Effect, let me introduce you to Clark’s website at and direct you to his fan page on FaceBook, The Devil’s Kitchen by Clark Lohr.

The Next Big Thing is blog interviews with tagged authors about a book they’ve penned. Here’s my interview on The Hydra Effect Book One: Zihuatanejo

Series Title:  The Hydra Effect

Where did the idea for the book come from?

In 1991 I bought an old VW camper, packed my gear and German shepherd mix, and headed across the border to learn Spanish and visit the ruins of Mesoamerican culture. I thought I was going to write a book and had my mini-tape recorder, a portable computer (this was pre wifi and laptops) and a printer stowed on board—with a little Honda generator to run off my engine and power the computer. I could make camp anywhere, hook up the generator, seal myself into the cabin with custom no-see-um netting, flick on the lamp and write.

I spent a couple weeks visiting Pacific beach resorts and getting the feel of things. When it was time to get underway again, I remembered the words of my mechanic back home to follow the coastal route through Michoacán and avoid the mess of pot growers and Federales in the mountains. But all along the lonely Ruta 200, between Manzanillo and Playa Azul, I could smell the skunky ripening marijuana, although I never saw the fields for the thick forest bordering the highway.

At dusk, a shiny pickup sporting blinking colored lights in its grill zoomed up behind me and pulled into the on-coming lane, edging forward until two piggy, gold-laden men leered into my window. I thought my heart was going to stop. They wouldn’t pass, but pulled up enough to reveal the third man who pointed a rifle at me.

What genre does your book fall under?

Crime fiction.  Subgenre: Narco-thriller

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmmm, the main character, JadeAnne Stone, is the offspring of a Vietnamese woman and an American serviceman. She has auburn-hair and green eyes although her bone structure is Asian. Maybe Lucy Liu with contacts? Jade’s sidekick is, of course, a dog. Rex from the Australian TV series, Kommisario Rex is perfect. And JadeAnne’s love interest, Anibal? Since Eduardo Palomo has passed on, I’m considering Gael García Bernal. He’d look hot in the beach scenes.

Dulce de Ojo
Dulce de Ojo

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Private investigator JadeAnne Stone agrees to search for a Mexican banker’s wife last seen in Zihuatanejo, and soon discovers Mexico is more than beaches and margaritas when she and attack-trained, Pepper, are hijacked off the highway, and ensnared in a web of intrigue as oil politics intersect with El Narco's grab for power.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m currently chumming for an agent, but I think I might publish Book 1 as an e-book to see if I can develop a following. Jade and Pepper are clamoring to be let out of the WORD file they reside in and show the world what they’ve got.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I spoke the first draft of the first four chapters into the mini-recorder as I chugged my bus between Acapulco and Mexico City in 1991. Twelve years later I wrote 50,000 more words during Nanowrimo. It took me eight more years and countless drafts to finally type El Fin. Book two is moving along much more rapidly.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’ve been influenced by Don Winslow (The Power of the Dog, Savages), T. Jefferson Parker's Charlie Hood series (especially Border Lords, Iron River, The Jaguar), but my work isn’t as dark and violent. The first book in the Hydra Effect series fits more closely with Lisa Brackman’s Getaway, Michelle Gagnon’s Kidnap and Ransom, Audry Braun’s A Small Fortune. I love magical realism but Zihuatanejo doesn’t use it as does Clark Lohr’s Devil’s Kitchen. Later books will incorporate a more as JadeAnne is immersed in the magic of México. And like Clark, I’ve been heavily influenced by non-fiction—books, essays, news articles and blog posts. Favorites are: David Lida, Ioan Grillo, Malcolm Beith, Deborah Bonello.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I inherited a love of spies and mysteries from my dad. I even worked with a PI for awhile. After the incident driving through Michoacán, the characters started talking to me. Writing is the only way to shut them up.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

People who are interested in Mexico and love Mexican food will enjoy my descriptions. I lived in Mexico for three years—without being abducted or shot off any highways—and I incorporate as much of what I learned into my novels as I reasonably can. Also, without giving too much away, JadeAnne has a wound that she is healing as she investigates deeper into the world of El Narco and her own past.

Check out these writers I've tagged to participate in The Next Big Thing blog chain. They're scheduled to post the week of December 10th, 2012.

Robbi Sommers Bryant is an out of the box woman who writes out of the box novels.

Jeanne Miller is the author of Vacation,—a novel of romance, loss and forgiveness to be released in April 2013 from Last Light Studio,

Advance praise for Vacation:

Miller delivers a complex romance—with funny, revealing dialogue and a strong sense of the sincere but precarious bonds formed among strangers forced together by a shared itinerary.               -Kirkus Review

Ann Philipp is the author of the humorous cozy, Grand Theft Death, now available for Kindle.

Don’t forget to check out my tagger, Clark Lohr or visit him at his Facebook page, Devil’s Kitchen by Clark Lohr.

And again, visit author Terry Ambrose at

For more "tagger stories" go to

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