Interview with Bryan Koepke, author of 'Sabotage'

Bryan Koepke lives in the United States with his wife, and dog. He grew up in the midwest, settled in Arizona, and then twenty years ago made his way north to Colorado. He's a private pilot, Electrical Engineering Technician, and since 2009 has been employed as a Financial Analyst. Bryan has always had an interest in writing. He wrote his first stories at the age of 7. He started writing thrillers in 2010, and published his first book in 2014.

He holds an FAA Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic's license, Pilot's license, and has a BS in Finance. He's also taken multiple graduate level engineering classes. His many hobbies include hiking, fishing, skiing, and travel. He's an avid reader and enjoys watching television shows like 24, Homeland, Breaking Bad, The Blacklist, and Ray Donovan.

His latest book is the thriller, Sabotage.

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About the Book:

Title: Sabotage
Author: Bryan Koepke
Publisher: Writers Cabin Press, Ltd.
Pages: 316
Genre: Thriller

Reece Culver and his friend Haisley Averton travel to Scotland with only one thing on their minds - fishing.  After witnessing an automobile accident involving a freelance journalist they quickly realize that something far greater than a crash caused his SUV to sink into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic.

With increasing curiosity, Reece inserts himself into the complicated life of Marie Rhodes who is in the middle of her own crises as she watches her 20-year marriage crumble.

Realizing that they’ll never make it out fishing, Haisley uses his skills in computer forensics to find out who hacked into Karl Rhodes’ office computer at Draecon International and made it appear that he’d remotely accessed the dead journalists laptop.  As Haisley combs through logs on the chief of strategy’s computer he stumbles upon an even bigger plot involving a secret drone factory somewhere in the United Kingdom, what looks like funds being embezzled out of Draecon International, and a plot that threatens the national security of the U.K.

Reece spends increasingly greater amounts of time with Marie Rhodes trying to learn what she knows and soon finds that he can’t resist the temptation of falling in love with the woman of his dreams.  But as things heat up he questions her true motives.

When Karl Rhodes’ executive secretary is found dead Reece agrees to protect Marie’s soon to be ex-husband Karl.  In a tricky game of cat and mouse Reece travels the globe as he tries to keep Marie, her husband, and Karl’s mistress out of harms way, and unknowingly puts himself directly into the crosshairs of a hired assassin.

For More Information

  • Sabotage is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book? 

A few years back I read an article about corporations that were too big to fail.  This got me thinking about a premise for a new book in the Reece Culver thriller series.  I envisioned a large multi-national corporation named Draecon International that was headquartered in London.

With this initial idea in mind I came up with a handful of powerful executives each on a path to satisfy their own motivations. As I wrote Sabotage I thought about what a high level executive might resort too to ensure that this giant of a company didn’t fail, and what pursuits they might take on to ensure their career went the direction that they’d envisioned.

As with any book I’ve ever written the initial notes, outline, and plot serve only as a beginning framework. As I write tens of thousands of words weaving together subplots and scenes the characters take on a life of their own and guide the story in new directions I’d not thought of earlier.  For me this is where the real magic of writing takes place. 

With each new revision of the novel the story grows in depth.  I’ve come up with an analogy for this – think of a thriller writer writing a novel and let the image of a painter standing at an aisle come into your mind.  With each new revision of the novel the depth of the story increases much the same way as the layers of paint cover the canvas as an artist paints her painting in oils.  At points along the way the craftsman takes a step back and looks at the whole of their work. A dab of paint here becomes a new tree on the horizon or a lighter shade of blue becomes a cloud reflecting off of the surface of a pond. For me writing works the same way.  I step back and build a timeline of the scenes within the novel.  I outline them making notes about possible new paths a character might take.  As I write I leave these notes up on the right side of my computer screen.

As I wrote and rewrote Sabotage the motivations of the main characters became more obvious. Much like the interworking of a large family, the interworking of a group of executives within a large corporation is filled with conflict, tension, and rivalry.  As the company grows workers are passed over for promotions, positions are filled with newly hired employees, and the overall dynamics of the corporation changes.  In times when markets are tight assets or divisions are sold, and employees are terminated to make way for new corporate visions.  In the end the people at the top will do whatever it takes to save Draecon International.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Over the course of the past six years I've found a new passion in writing thriller novels.  For me the greatest challenge has been finding time in my busy life to write every day.  I do the bulk of my writing on weekend mornings, but also try to write a minimum of 3 mornings a week before commuting into my day job.  I've learned to make use of my 45 minute daily drive to and from work to think through scenes and jot down new chapter ideas while I'm stopped at traffic lights.

My advice to other writers would be to write as often as you can. Set a goal to write 1,000 words and develop a routine of writing in a quiet place within your home or at a coffee shop. Once you sit down to write don't look at any social media or email until you've completed your writing goal.

Once you've written your first draft make an outline of all of the scenes & chapters in the book. When you begin revising the draft use your new outline to keep notes, and jot down ideas for new scenes or chapters.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I started my own publishing company Writers Cabin Press, Ltd. back in 2014.  I've self published all of my work though this company.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I found the task of working as a publisher and marketer of my own work very challenging.  On this new book SABOTAGE, the second in the series, I've used many of the lessons I learned the first time around on VENGEANCE.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I'm currently writing INTRUSION, the third book in the Reece Culver thriller series, and I'm aiming to publish this new book in December of 2016.  I've also started writing the initial chapters of book 4 in the series and hope to have it published by December of 2017.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I enjoy reading multiple writing blogs, as well as reading articles on CNN.  I find much of what is happening in the news sparks ideas for future thrillers.

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

I let our dog Daisy outside, and while she's out I'll check my twitter account and email.  Next I'll lock the doors, shut off the lights and climb into bed where my wife and I will watch the local news. If I'm having trouble with a scene or subplot in my current work in process I'll think about the scenes and characters as I fall asleep.  I find this valuable because my sub conscious will continue working through the story as I sleep and often times the next morning or several days later the solution will come to me as I take my morning shower.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

All of my books have a central theme and in the first two it has been good always prevails over evil. 
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?
Thank you for having me.  Readers can find out more about me and my books at . They can find my work on my Amazon author page and on other e-book websites across the web.  If they’d like to receive my monthly author newsletter and find out about new releases or events please signup on my website.

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