Today’s special guest is mystery author Norm Harris and we’re chatting bout his Spider Green Mystery Thriller series.
During his virtual book tour, Norm will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly chosen winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!
Norm Harris’ first novel debuted on an Amazon bestseller list in 2002. It was a one-and-done, but now he’s back with a plan to publish a couple of sequels to that first mystery/thriller of days gone by. Except for time spent in military service, he is a second-generation Seattleite (that’s what they call those who dwell in the shadow of Mt. Rainier), with his legal beagle son, K-K, and five giant tropical fish. His upcoming release, Arid Sea, is the third book in what he hopes to be an award-winning Spider Green Mystery Story series.
Welcome, Norm. Please tell us about your current release.
Deception Pass is book 3 of the Spider Green Mystery Thriller Series. The story is based on what is known as “The Philadelphia Experiment.” During World War Two, the U.S. Navy experimented with teleportation. They teleported a Naval vessel from Philadelphia harbor and back. The U.S. Navy has a page dedicated to this on their website.
I brought the story forward to the present and retold it to suit my plot. I added the element of time travel. To expand the plot, I added a murder mystery. Three SEALS who were aboard the U.S.S. Deception Pass returned from the mission, and their wives were murdered in short order. Our protagonist, Faydra Green, a Navy lawyer, still defends the three men in a court-martial.
In the time travel scenes, Faydra travels back in time with a SEAL team to Moscow to find the secret documents involved in the construction and operation of the Deception Pass. And to prevent them from falling into the hands of Chinese agents.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had begun the book two years prior. I unexpectedly found myself this past April with four and one-half months of vacation. To fill the time, I completed the manuscript and then wrote book 4.
Excerpt from Deception Pass:
Fay awoke with a start. Noting the time (03:35 A.M.), she snapped on the lamp placed on the nightstand to the left of her bed. As she sat up, she clutched the bed covers up and under her chin. Her body, warm from sleep, grew cold when her dilated pupils refocused on the man dressed in black who was sitting on a chair placed several feet to the left of her bed.
“Shaman!” Fay croaked and cleared her throat. “Long time no see, my dear assassin. Although I seem to have just met you in my dream.”
A slight grin formed on the man’s lips. He said nothing.
“You ever think to first warn me with a phone call, maybe send an e-mail or text…or ring a doorbell, Jon?”
“Not my style, Commander. Good to see you again.”
“Jon, could I offer a cup of coffee?” Fay asked.
“Thank you. I don’t drink the stuff. However, I can get you one, if you would like,” the man replied.
A shocker. Jon knew how to make coffee? This could be interesting. “Okay, Jon,” Fay said. “You may get me a cup of coffee.” She realized she had just asked a confirmed assassin to make her a cup of coffee. This is insane! She added, “Jon, only coffee. No cream, sugar, or poison. Okay?”
“Okay, got it. Coffee black, no cream, sugar, or poison,” Jon repeated. “I will be back.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am writing book 5 in the series. Rain and Wind and Fire. The themes of my books are in part derived from songs. The song Brandy inspired The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree. End of the Innocence inspired, in part, Arid Sea. Sympathy for the Devil inspired The Girl Who Knew Death.
So as it is the song, They Call the Wind, Mariah gives me a plotline for Rain and Wind and Fire. You know this song. “Way out here, they have a name, for rain, and wind, and fire. The rain is Tess, fire is Joe, and they call the wind Mariah.” Three Bosnian sisters whose parents named them Kisa, Vjetar, and Vatre (rain, wind, and fire). The sisters will present a problem for our princess/spy Katrinka from book 4 when they use their powers to control the elements to destroy Katrinka.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When the first book, Fruit of the Poisonous Tree, was published.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write, and how do you find time to write?
I am a financial advisor working for a large US-based bank. I write when I find time during vacations or on weekends.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
According to other writers of fiction, my strong suit is dialogue. They tell me conversation is hard to write. I, on the other hand, find it easy. When I write a scene where someone is talking to someone else, I speak to myself. I find that odd in a way.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I did not know the answer to that question even when I was in college. I was going to take the first job I got wherever it was. I spent six years in the U.S. Airforce and ten years with an airline. Hence, the extensive world travel gave me a lot of reference material for my stories.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Without a better term, a necessary concept has become diversity and inclusion. We as a society were not aware of when I first began writing. Yet, all of my stories have a robust diversity and inclusion emphasis. I am proud of that, and I am proud of my characters as well. Good people who accomplish great things.