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Interview with Troy Brodsky, author of Jury Of Peers

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When Seth Meek exits the parking lot at Fort Meade, he doesn’t realize that he’ll never return to his dream job – creating computer encryption for the National Security Agency.  His is a life of comfort and delight – a loving wife, daughter, and another on the way.  He has money, security, and promise.

In the space of the next twenty-four hours, however, he is stripped of everything that he holds dear.  Seth watches as his family is purposefully and hatefully murdered, becomes a Federal fugitive, and faces off against the temptation to simply end his life.

In shame, self-loathing, and hatred he falls back upon what he knows – computers.  Now driven by his rage, and with nothing to lose, Seth embarks on a audacious quest not only to find and capture his family’s killers, but also to bring them to justice.

Seth, however, is not a killer.  He is not a vigilante.  He’s just Seth, a glorified computer contractor for the NSA.  Using his unique skillset, he reveals his plan to put the killers on trial… via the Internet.  Social media is the perfect medium for the geometric progression that he has planned.  The entire world will be the Grand Jury, forced to confront their own bloodlust, sense of justice, and morality as they decide upon a verdict.

Wow. What genre is this?
I suspect that Jury of Peers fits nicely into a few genres, though in an effort to conceal just how little I know about this brave new world o’ writing, I actually did a Google search… just to be sure.

Thriller.  Check.
Suspense.  Check.
Techno-Thriller.  Well, that’s Amazon Kindle’s term, but… yeah, sure.
Urban… well, there’s a city involved.
Police/Crime… there are cops.  There is crime.  There are cherry donuts.
Mystery… geez.  I dunno.
My wife says that it’s, “Current event fiction.”  Yawn.

Surely she’s got a point, with Edward Snowden and the NSA dominating the news?  What did you settle on in the end?
In the end, Amazon bundled it up neatly into Techno-Thriller, which I like.

“A suspensified techno-thriller of crime, cops, and cherry donuts.”  Check.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
It will likely fit into the lives of those who enjoy the far reaching legal twists of Grisham, the technological prowess of Clancy, and the realistic dialogue of King.  Add just a dash of Christopher Moore, and that’s the recipe.

My goal in writing the novel was to create a story that had a wide-reaching appeal. Most everyone has considered what they would do with the power of life and death.  I just wanted to ‘see what would happen’ to my characters, to the world as a whole, if suddenly they were given the chance to vote… Live or Die.  I want to challenge readers to examine their own beliefs, their own motivations, and I want them to have fun doing it.

Talk to us about Seth.
Seth is a young computer programmer contracting with the NSA because of his new and unbreakable computer encryption systems.  He is quietly famous among his colleagues, well off, and with a world of promise for the future.  He is honest, he is faithful, and he is suddenly cut off from all that he knows and loves.

Who else do we need to meet?
Saul Brown and Derek Siclo:  These two young men become the centerpiece of “The Trial.”  Both under eighteen, and both members of a D.C. gang – they are the instruments of destruction for Seth’s family.

James Finny and Spencer Tonic:  The two police detectives assigned to Seth from the outset, they are forced to play catch up to Seth’s plan of revenge… and to come to grips with what the system demands and what they believe to be truth.

How would you like the reader to feel as they read the last word of your book?
Sequel?  Prequel? How can I find more of this guy’s work?

I’d love for them to simply want more.  While having readers reflect upon their decisions along the way, to look at what they might have done in Seth’s spot – or as members of the jury – ultimately I want them to have had fun.  To have escaped.  To want more.

Have you written any other books that we should read next?
I have a half dozen on the way.  The next, The Bird of Rehua, is due out early next year.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Troy Brodsky, and I have a confession to make.

I make stuff up for a living.

Prior to my incarnation as a semi-lucid writer, I spent about a decade teaching all of the kids who mysteriously disappeared from the public schools.  These were the meth kids, the tweakers , and those who fancied a whole bowl of pot before class.  The vast majority of them were affiliated with one gang or another, many had a history of gouge-your-eyes-out violence.  I taught everything from 2nd grade reading to college physics every day and it was grand.  I moved from there to photography (the profession in which I now happily reside), and now wander around in this vast wasteland of ePub glee from time to time.

So here’s the quick and dirty on me, because if you’ve read this far, you’ve been waiting for the dirty.

I don’t know Kung-Fu, and I’ve yet to be arrested.  I’m perhaps most comfortable when I’m underwater and have an aversion to adverbs – I love my wife and son, and was once nearly run over by a tank.  That’s about as quick and dirty as it gets with me.

Of course, I’m always available via Facebook as I’m in Shameless Self-Promotion mode for Jury of Peers… so stop by, kick up your feet and chat.  Or, if you’re in the mood for a bit of a preview regarding the novel, or are decidedly anti-social, I have an app for that:  http://juryofpeers.us.

You mentioned Facebook. What’s the link?
https://www.facebook.com/JuryOfPeers.TroyBrodsky.

What’s next?
The Bird of Rehua:
Glare:  The Prequel to Jury of Peers… kind of.
And four others… hey, titles are hard.  I’m working on them.

Complete this sentence for us: if you like _________________, you’ll love my book.
“If you like butter, you’ll like my book.”

Right?  Right.

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  1. Pingback: Top 10 Books: Week ending August 30, 2013 | Indie Author Land

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