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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

ℚ Mexican Hat Trick: Blackfox Chronicles [4] - T.S. O'Neil

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Mexican Hat Trick (, T.S. O'Neil, 268 pages), a Contemporary Action Adventure, book four of the Blackfox Chronicles series.

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||


A very warm welcome to T.S. O'Neil

What was the inspiration for Mexican Hat Trick?

"When I first got out of the Army in the mid-eighties, I took a job for a major apparel maker as a Trademark Anticounterfeiting Investigator.

I had a military law enforcement background and was trying to get a job in federal law enforcement when an opportunity in brand protection or trademark anti-counterfeiting became available in the private sector. Well, it turned out to be a job that was a lot of fun. It involved running around different foreign countries and working with local attorneys and law enforcement officials to seize counterfeit apparel. It was some of the most fun you could have with your pants on. I hired a fellow comrade from the Army, who was a retired Special Agent in the Criminal Investigation Division. He was then working for the Immigration Service, and I got him to quit and work for me, doing seizures of counterfeit garments. He proved to be very successful at it and has a very lucrative practice doing it for numerous trademark owners. We used to do a lot of seizures in some very dangerous places like parts of Mexico and Colombia, so I thought that would make a great story and that’s how Mexican Hat Trick was born. I wanted to capture those experiences, but I also wanted to increase the level of excitement by adding some murder and mayhem."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I have a wicked pisser sense of humor, and I try and convey that in the story line. I actually just wanted to convey that I’m from New England and how better to do than work the words wicked pisser into an answer? I think I convey my sense of humor in all my books, as well as my background in the military, trademark anti-counterfeiting and cyber security. I also consider myself to be well-traveled and I like to weave exotic locations into all of my books."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Mexican Hat Trick - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is. The cover of my book is an ornamental skull wearing a sombrero. The skull is a symbol that is used for the Mexican Day of the Dead. I took a risk in that the cover is somewhat provocative, and it may turn some people off, but I thought that the Mexican Day of the Dead should be woven into the plot of Mexican Hat Trick as it makes for an interesting backdrop. I also wanted a hat on the cover, and it’s just a happy coincidences that I found a picture of a skull wearing one. I don’t know who the artist is as I bought it from one of those image websites."
Why should we read Mexican Hat Trick and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"The series is unique in that all the books in the series are interlaced with what Dan Pollock called “best in the biz techno action spiced w/humor and exotic locales.” They say that putting humor into a thriller is risky because you don’t want to lighten the mood to the point of making it comedic, but I think that spicing humor throughout the book and getting the reader to occasionally laugh, increases their level of engagement and keeps them reading. Finally, I also write about food as I like to appeal to as many senses as possible. I’ve read several of the Archy McNally novels by Lawrence Sanders, and I especially enjoyed the passages when Archy would be eating something as Sanders wrote it descriptively enough so that you could almost taste it."
Can you tell us something quirky about Mexican Hat Trick, its story and characters?
") I wanted to start out with a quirky and unique character, so I invented a Mexican man of Jewish religious beliefs, and I gave him the very unique name of Jesus “Chewy” Mendelevich."
Who would you recommend Mexican Hat Trick to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"There are some gruesome scenes in the book, but no overt sex scenes so I think anyone who would go to a PG-rated movie would be comfortable reading my book."
If you could / wished to turn Mexican Hat Trick and the Blackfox Chronicles series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"My wife and I have this discussion all the time. One of my lead characters, Char Blackfox, is a Seminole Indian and his son, Michael is half Seminole and half Irish, so casting both would be a tough call. They are also both large guys. Therefore it would have to be someone of a similar size, although Tom Cruise seems to pull off Jack Reacher—a character who is supposed to be 6 foot five inches tall, rather well. I think Josh Brolin could pull off the role of Char. I also think it would be good to have someone who has played a Special Operator before, as Michael is a former Force Recon Marine. David Giuntoli, who played a private security contractor in 13 Hours, would be a good choice. I would love to have the Coen Brothers direct the movie version of Mexican Hat Trick as they are used to making quirky movies like No Country for Old Men and Fargo. It would have to be shot on location—in various locations in Mexico, Texas, Florida, and Arizona."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"? I like to write about things that I know about or can easily research. I like boats, but I would never own one as they say the two happiest days as a boat owner is the day you buy it and the day you sell it. But I like to write about them. I had Char and Michael travel around on an eighty foot Hatteras that they appropriated for three of my novels. I wanted to write a military thriller that had a hacking subplot a few years after the Marine Corps launched their Special Forces Unit, and that’s where Starfish Prime came from. Mudd’s Luck was written on a dare. I have a friend named Ken Kelley and a sport that I don’t get—paddle boarding and I decided to combine the two. The antagonist is an Irish hitman who killed people who were paddleboarding. Mexican Hat Trick was an homage to trademark anti-counterfeiting—an occupation I had for about five years when I first got off active duty from the Army."
What is your writing process?
"? I usually write on the weekends as my daytime job currently keeps me very busy. I have a great home office and a laptop just for writing. I will try and write a chapter or two per session and my wife, and I will edit it during the evening, by reading it out load to see if it reads well. We will rewrite it until it does and I continue cranking out the chapters until it’s finished. Then we read the whole thing through and rewrite sections that don’t work."
What is in store next?
") I am going to take Dixon, one of the characters from Starfish Prime and Mudd’s Luck’s, and put him in a Dystopian future state where he is besieged by cannibals and mutants while he tries to rally the survivors and resurrect remnants of civil society. It should be a lot of fun."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"This is me and my Black Mouth Cur, Maggie. "
Hello Maggie! What a beautiful girl :-)
Thank you for sharing her with us :-D

Mexican Hat Trick
Available NOW!

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