Interview with Roy A. Teel, Jr. as he introduces a new crime series

I’m kicking off a new week with an interview with Roy A. Teel Jr. He’s created a new 30-book crime series and is touring the first novel, Rise
of The Iron Eagle.

Bio:
On May 11, 1995, at 30, Roy’s life was
irrevocably changed. After walking into the hospital, he was admitted and later
received the worst possible diagnosis – Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
His doctors gave him two years to live, and he left the hospital in a
wheelchair. After battling Multiple Sclerosis for nearly 16 years, Roy began
devoting his energies and passions to the full-time art of storytelling. His
disability has brought with it an unforeseen blessing. He can finally take
medications to alleviate some of the pain from his MS and focus on the
pleasures of character creation and the joys of putting words to paper.
As an author, Roy A. Teel Jr. is very
diverse, and his works include both fiction and nonfiction. His previous works
include The Way, The Truth, and The Lies:
How the Gospels Mislead Christians about Jesus’ True Message
(2005); Against The Grain: The American Mega-Church
and its Culture of Control
(2008); Light
of Darkness: Dialogues in Death
(2008); and And God Laughed (2013).
In 2014, Roy began publishing his latest and
largest project – a 30-book geographically-centered hard-boiled, mystery, suspense,
thriller crime series: The Iron Eagle Series. The main character, a former
Marine Corps Black Operative turned rogue FBI agent, hunts serial killers in
Los Angeles. Each novel addresses different subjects, and while fiction, all
titles deal with real world subject matter. The Iron Eagle Series is not about
things that can’t hurt you. What happens in these novels can happen to any one
of us if we let our guard down and/or are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
To learn more, go to
http://ironeagleseries.com/
Roy lives in Lake Arrowhead, CA with his wife Tracy,
their dog Sanford (Sandy), and their Tabby cat Oscar, who runs the house.

Welcome,
Roy. Please tell us about your current release.

Rise of The Iron Eagle is the first book in The Iron Eagle
Series.
Synopsis:
The city of Los Angeles is no stranger to violence. It
has both a colorful and grotesque history with it. Sheriff’s Homicide Detective
Jim O’Brian and FBI Profiler Special Agent Steve Hoffman are also no strangers
to the violence of the sprawling metropolis, but in the past decade, something
has changed. There’s a serial killer preying on other serial killers – some
known by law enforcement, others well off radar. “The Iron Eagle,” a
vigilante, extracts vengeance for the victims of Los Angeles’ serial killers.
His methods are meticulous, and his killings brutal. With each passing day, “The
Iron Eagle” moves with impunity through the streets of Los Angeles in
search of his prey. O’Brian and Hoffman create an elite task force with the
sole purpose of catching “The Eagle” and bringing him to justice. But
the deeper they delve, the more apparent it is that he may very well be one of
their own. As the two men stare into the abyss of their search, the eyes of
“The Iron Eagle” stare back.
Is The Iron Eagle a psychotic serial killer or a
new breed of justice?
*Content
Warning:
The Iron Eagle crime novel series contains mature subject matter,
graphic violence, sexual content, language, torture, and other scenes that may
be disturbing to sensitive readers. This series is not intended for anyone
under the age of eighteen. Reader discretion is advised.
Praise for Rise of The Iron Eagle:
“Rise
of The Iron Eagle is a gripping crime fiction that is both brutal and hard
hitting, and will keep readers glued to the very end. The narration is
descriptive and spine-chillingly honest… The story leaves readers gasping with
its horror, killings and crime. The scenes are raw and riveting, and the plot
is fast paced. This is a must-read for all those who like crime fiction.”

Reviewed by ReadersFavorite.com
Mr.
Teel, Jr.’s writing about criminals is like what Stephen King does for horror –
leaves a lasting impression and horrifies while weaving a tale that one can’t
step away from… Rise of The Iron Eagle is dark, gritty, compelling and
powerful.” –
Reviewed by Long and Short Reviews
“Dexter fans may find their new anti-hero in Roy A. Teel Jr.’s pulpy
crime thriller… Jeff Lindsay’s classic novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, gave rise
to a completely new kind of protagonist – a serial killer that hunts serial
killers. Roy A. Teel Jr.’s “Rise of The Iron Eagle” is proof that even the
best ideas can be improved upon.”
– Reviewed by BestThrillers.com
What
inspired you to write this book?
The Iron Eagle was birthed by my imagination through
tragedy after one of my schoolmates and friends was murdered by serial killer
William Bonin, aka The Freeway Killer, on Memorial Day, 1979. From that moment
on, I imagined a person who could protect people of all ages, sexes, races, and
creeds from predators. The idea for the series would elude me for over 30 years
until several life events encroached on my own life and people who are close to
me. I was also inspired by the men and women who work in law enforcement, both
state and federal. I was a partner in a commercial collection agency and
repossession company for over three decades, and in that time, we worked
alongside law enforcement, executing judgments and court orders, and because of
our deep connections in the world of skip tracing (finding people), we would
often find people that law enforcement was looking for, and we would often pass
information on to assist in their investigations. After being forced to retire
on disability in 2011 due to progressive multiple sclerosis, I was able to sit
down with those experiences, and The Iron Eagle series of novels was born.
Excerpt
from Rise of The Iron Eagle:
From the Opening of Chapter 8
John
walked into Starbucks at the corner of Topanga and Lassen just before six
thirty a.m. He got a coffee and a copy of the Daily News, and the headline said
it all, “‘Billy the Kid,’ Crips Gang Member and Serial Rapist, Body Found in
Legion Park: Iron Eagle Said to Be Killer.” He shook his head, “I should really
start looking for the people who leak this stuff.” He walked to a flower shop a
few doors down to purchase a dozen long-stemmed red roses. His truck was parked
in front of Country Deli, a local landmark for nearly fifty years. He knew the
area very, very well, but he knew it for all the wrong reasons. He pulled out
of the lot and headed west through the neighborhoods of oak and eucalyptus
trees, following Lassen as it turned from a busy thoroughfare into a quiet
neighborhood of post-World War II homes and horse properties, until he reached
the entrance to Oakwood Cemetery.
He
parked his truck outside the large black wrought iron gates and the ivy covered
brick walls of the cemetery and walked through the entrance and up the steep
incline of the main road. He walked past a blue and white striped tent; a small
backhoe sat quietly where fresh earth had been moved, and a concrete burial
vault sat on the ground next to the newly-opened grave. He walked out into the
cemetery grass and stopped in front of a grave marker set beneath a huge
California Live Oak. He looked at the gray and white granite and its
inscription, ‘Amber Lynn Swenson.’ He knelt and brushed away the fresh cut
grass, so the whole inscription was revealed. ‘Loving Wife and Beautiful Soul.
April 8, 1978 – March 20, 2003.’ Placing the flowers on the stone, he sat down,
leaning his back against the tree. “I miss you, honey. I miss my best friend. I’m
sorry I’ve been away for so long.” He heaved a sigh as a tear rolled down his
face, and he whispered, “I’m still looking for him, Amber Lynn. For the man who
took your life and our life together away.” He wiped the tears from his eyes,
his lower lip quivering. “I know I’ve told you, and I don’t know if you are
somewhere where you can hear me or not, but I’m sorry. If I had just been on
time that night, he wouldn’t have gotten you.” He wiped the stone with a
handkerchief from his pocket and laughed. “You always made fun of me for being
old fashioned … but you were glad I had it the night I asked you to marry me.
How could I know that this same piece of linen that dried your tears of joy at
our engagement would later dry my tears of sorrow at your funeral.” John paused
for a moment, his anger rising up. “He’s still out there, Amber, hurting women
and children. I can’t let that continue. I will find him…and I will avenge you
and all the others he’s tortured and killed. He’s a sly one; so far below the
radar not even law enforcement sees his pattern or knows that he even exists.
The randomness of his killings and the large area that he covers is his
protection. I thought I had him with Roskowski. He was evil but wasn’t the man
who did this to you.”
He
stood up and walked toward the unmarked piece of land next to Amber’s
headstone. “This is my spot, baby, right next to you. I’m not afraid of
death…I’m afraid of dying before I catch him and bring him to justice.” He
leaned down on his hands and knees and gently touched his lips to her name.
“Rest, my angel. The next time I come back, it’ll be to tell you that I got
him.”
***
What
exciting story are you working on now?
The Iron Eagle Series is scheduled to span 30 novels. I
am currently writing book 14, tentatively titled, Equality in Mercy. The novel takes the characters in The Iron Eagle
series into the dark and sinister world of psychology and psychoanalysis, as
well as hypnotherapy, where a killer (or maybe more than one) lurks, preying on
unsuspecting victims by manipulating their minds and emotions. The novel, while
fiction, deals with real world issues of what can happen when those that are
supposed to help heal the mind and emotions don’t, and instead use their powers
of persuasion and their education to the detriment of their patients and
society. It is a diabolical thriller that will keep my readers on the edge of
their seats and perhaps make them look a little more carefully at those in the
psychological profession.
When
did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have been writing my whole life. I am a musician. I
have played drums since I was six years old and started writing song lyrics in
my preteen years. Now, looking at the fact that I just turned 50 this past
March, I am feeling really old. I started to write professionally in 1996. It
was a daunting task to write both fiction and nonfiction works in what little
spare time I had while running a multi-million dollar company. I worked very,
very hard to gain both a publisher and agent through hundreds of queries for
over ten years, hitting nothing but walls of rejection.
In 2004, I was completing my dissertation for my
Doctorate in Biblical Studies and was being rejected by all of the major
Christian publishing houses, and a friend suggested that I self-publish. Now,
let me tell you, that was one hard pill to swallow, but I also realized that
the only way the world would hear my voice was to take the leap. So, in
December of 2005, I started Narroway Publishing LLC/Imprint: Narroway Press and
published my first book. Since then, I have published 15 titles (including the
first 11 books in The Iron Eagle Series); however, I did not recognize myself
as a professional author/writer until quite recently.
On December 30, 2014, I was accepted as a member of the
Authors Guild. I had applied for membership several times over the years. Being
accepted into the Guild is no easy feat. You have to be a proven author, who
has had success in writing, who writes quality books, and has a proven track
record of both publications and earnings (and my earnings just met the Guild’s
standards.) So, after a very, very lengthy vetting process, I was notified on
that date that I had been accepted into the Guild. To me, that was the turning
point. I was being acknowledged by my peers as a professional author/writer,
and that was the day I became a professional author/writer.
Do
you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do
other than write, and how do you find time to write?
I am now a full-time novelist after retiring in 2011.
Living with a wasting disease like MS has its own challenges. My wife (the love
of my life and my caregiver) and I have a daily routine to help me get my feet
on the floor and get my hands and fingers moving in order to write and get
around. I am fully ambulatory, and most people who meet me have no idea I have
MS. This is both blessing and curse. So, our day starts off with certain
exercises and stretching to wake up those parts of my body ravaged by the
disease. I usually begin my writing day around one p.m. The very first thing I
do is READ! I can’t write a word until I have read. I take an hour to read
news, fiction, and nonfiction, so that I am current on the day’s events
worldwide and have allowed my mind to exercise and begin the creative process.
Then, my wife and I have lunch, and I put my butt in the
chair, and I write. In the case of The Iron Eagle Series, I have written 13
novels in a little over a year. The secret to writing is quite simple. If you
park your rear in the chair with whatever down time you have, the words will
come, and before you know it, you will have a manuscript. I try very hard to
stop writing by eight p.m., but my wife and I tend to run over that, and I also
tend to write at night. One of the curses of MS is the inability to sleep due
to pain, so I am usually up until three or four a.m.
During that time, I try to catch up on fan email, respond
on social media, read, and write. I have to be careful writing at night,
though. I tend to stay glued to my seat, and there has been many an occasion
when my wife has woken up from a full night’s sleep and found me still sitting
at my computer. She scolds me then sends me off to bed to get what sleep I can
with the help of my pain medication.
What
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write linearly, meaning I write all of my books from
the beginning to the end. I don’t know who is doing what. The characters show
me as I write my books. My crazy writing quirk is that I write all of my novels
on the front and back of return envelopes that come in the mail. My outline, my
characters, my scenes, all on a single plain white window envelope. It drove my
wife crazy at first. She would just look at me and my scribbled envelopes and
ask, “How on earth can you keep anything straight?” I don’t know, but it works
for me. My wife earned her MFA in English and creative writing from UC Irvine
in 2001, the third best writing program in the country at the time. She is my
editor and harshest critic, but now she just laughs at my envelopes, which fill
a black binder, in their protective sheet holders, each with a single envelope
outlining each book.
As a
child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At first, an astronaut. There was only one problem – I
was afraid of the elevator that would take me to the capsule. It was a strange
fear that I grew out of, but as a little kid, being launched in a rocket into
space was a cool idea. The elevator, not so much. Then, as my interest and love
of music evolved, I wanted to play professionally as a musician, a dream I did
accomplish from 1979-1983 as a studio drummer in Hollywood. I didn’t really
have a childhood (that’s a story for another time), and for those few years I
was living my dream, which had to be halted when my son was born in 1983. From
17 on, I wanted to be in business, a goal I succeeded at and am proud of.
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
No matter what your situation might be, I am living proof
that with hard work and determination you can move mountains. Will you fall and
fail? Of course, but through those experiences you get stronger. Accept
constructive criticism. Use it to better yourself and your craft. Don’t let
anyone tell you that you can’t do something. There will always be those who
want to bring you down and beat you up. You must rise above it. Despite your
background and/or upbringing, if you have struggled your whole life like I did,
continue to dare to dream. Ignore the ignorant people. You can accomplish great
things, and you can overcome even the darkest of situations as long as you
surround yourself with positive people and role models. And even if you are
walking the road of life alone right now, walk it with your head held high and
your eyes clear and focused on your dreams and goals. If you do that, you will
achieve more in your life than the majority of people ever do.

Links:
Thanks for being here today, Roy! Happy writing!

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