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Interview with Claude Bouchard, author of the Vigilante series

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Tell us about Vigilante series

The series starts with Vigilante , which deals with a serial killer who is ridding Montreal of the worst of the worst violent criminals. Once the vigilante case is solved, the series centres on a specialized government group known as “Discreet Activities” which performs clandestine operations for the betterment of society.

What genre is it?
The series could be classed as mystery, crime thriller, whodunit, suspense and action & adventure. Since the novels all include aspects of cops and crime solving, I’ve slotted them in the Police Procedural category at Amazon.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Based on comments and reviews to date, it seems rather clear that my series appeals to intelligent readers who like a good, action packed, suspenseful page-turner.

In a very crowded market your Vigilante series stands out and is very successful. What are your theories as to what makes a good thriller?
A good thriller has to move. Descriptions of characters, places and events should to be present only enough to make them seem real in the reader’s mind. Overdoing it slows the pace and simply becomes filler for increased word count. Elements throughout the story should support the final outcome such that the reader can think back and validate the outcome. Consider “The Sixth Sense” with Bruce Willis as an illustration to this point. One realizes nothing was at it seemed yet it all makes sense. This has much more appeal than briefly mentioning a minor character early in a story then making him the culprit and laying out the behind the scenes explanation at the end, none of which was presented to the reader along the way. Finally, a good thriller has an unexpected twist at the end.

Can you tell us more about (your lead characters) Chris Barry and Dave McCall?
Chris and Dave are both intelligent, logical men, each with their own particular strong sense of ethics and justice. Both are very personable and funny, sometimes in a smartass kind of way. I often wonder where they get that from.

Authors often talk about intentionally or subconsciously putting a lot of their own personalities into their characters. Do you see more of yourself in Chris Barry or in Captain Dave McCall?
In terms of personality likeness, I would say it’s about an even match which is probably why Chris, Dave and I get along so well together. I have yet to disagree with what either one of them does or says. The one thing about them which annoys me a little lately is that they seem to be in better shape than I am though they avoid kidding me about because, after all, their future is in my hands.

You’ve written some novels outside the Vigilante series, haven’t you?
To date, I’ve written one stand-alone novel entitled ASYLUM and I have a work in progress, The Last Party, which is also outside of my series. I also recently penned and released Something’s Cooking under the pseudonyms, Réal E. Hotte and Dasha Sugah, which is a parody/faux-erotica collection of ten short stories and corresponding recipes.

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How much marketing do you do for your books? What have you found most effective? Do you use social media?
I do much less marketing for my books today than I did a year or two ago. One can only put up so many “Buy My Books” tweets and Facebook postings before they start becoming static and invisible. Though I’m quite active on Twitter (@ceebee308) with close to 320K followers, I tend to promote other authors instead and the kindness is returned. I’ve done very little paid advertising as there doesn’t seem to be a high return on investment insofar as book sales go. Where I have been successful is with several KDP Select promotions which went well enough to fire up the Amazon ad machine on my behalf resulting in highly satisfactory subsequent sales.

How lonely is the life of a writer? The rest of us have colleagues that we can share the highs and lows of the work day with.
I speak for myself but I tell you, not lonely at all. Over time, I’ve made many friends via social media, some writers, others not and these people are the equivalent of the work colleagues I had in my past corporate life. Beyond twitter and Facebook( http://www.facebook.com/claude.bouchard2) , emails abound exchanging information and asking/answering questions. Live discussions happen thanks to Skype and I’ve even met some of these folks in person. In fact, my wife and I will be vacationing in Asia next spring with a fellow author and his spouse who live on the other side of the globe.

In that case, we’ll stop worrying about our favourite authors! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I love to cook, play guitar, paint, read and travel and I tremendously enjoy life in the company of my lovely and charming wife, Joanne. I’m very independent by nature but love helping others out. I’ve been told by many that I’m quite funny and quick-witted which is comforting because I first thought they were just laughing at me.

Have you got a website where readers can keep up with your work?
Indeed. I invite everyone to drop by at http://www.claudebouchardbooks.com and it’s more than just about my books. I have some of my artwork on display, I share my point of view on many subjects in my “Ramble On” blog posts and anyone looking for some quick laughs is urged to check out the “Simple Musings” page.

Where can we buy your books?
All of my books are available on Kindle worldwide and in print at Amazon in the US ., UK ., and Europe. ASYLUM is also available in ebook format at B&N, Apple and Kobo and in print at a number of online retailers worldwide.

What’s next?
I’m currently working on Femme Fatale, the seventh instalment of the Vigilante series. I hoped to finish it before the end of the year but that won’t happen because I was doing this interview. Just kidding. :) I also have The Last Party simmering on the back burner and waiting for my attention.

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