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Saturday 9 April 2016

ℚ☄ The Good Traitor: Kera Mersal Thrillers [2] - Ryan Quinn

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Good Traitor (, Thomas & Mercer, 336 pages), an Espionage Thriller, book two of the Kera Mersal Thrillers series.

An ex-CIA operative is determined to prove her loyalty and clear her name, but her recent investigations land her in the middle of a geopolitical conspiracy.

"Ripped from the headlines, The Good Traitor is a highly relevant thriller that gives us a glimpse into a disturbing future in which no secret is safe.  Quinn vaults us into a world of geopolitical intrigue, where a discredited American spy determined to prove her loyalty must battle a sinister hacker and an all-knowing computer program pushing the world to the brink of war." - Scott Allan Morrison, author of Terms of Use

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Watch: My Book in 15 Seconds | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaways & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Ryan Quinn, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Generally we like to start with a music playlist, but on this occasion I came across something else that I would like to share...

As I was preparing my posts I researched Ryan, and found that he seems to like taking his shirt off... and then I came across this excellent piece by the 
Shirtless Dudes Book Club - the show for book lovers and lovers of shirtless dudes - hosted by Ben Baur and featuring Ryan Quinn ;-)   - Enjoy!

What was the inspiration for The Good Traitor?
Buy End Of Secrets - only $1.99! "The Good Traitor is a sequel to my previous thriller, End of Secrets, and I knew all along that I would write it.  However, although many of the main characters are the same, there are some significant changes in the new book.  For example, The Good Traitor includes an international element, the stakes are higher, and, I think, it’s a bit faster paced than its predecessor.

Many of these changes were inspired by actual events found in the real world, such as the cyberespionage war between the US and China, Edward Snowden’s revelations of domestic surveillance, and the evolving role of the media.  I’d say generally that while I don’t base anything in The Good Traitor off of a particular real-world event, readers will recognize some of the stakes, the high tensions, and the thorny moral issues that they read about in the newspaper and experience in their own digital lives."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I can’t claim to have any personal professional expertise that any of my characters would benefit from.  But I think it’d be impossible to write a book without pieces of myself turning up in every character and every scene.  This is far from autobiographical, but in a way it’s a pretty clear blueprint of the things happening in the world that I think are important and that we all need to pay close attention to preserve our democracy and civility and humanity."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Good Traitor - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I love the cover design process!  And I particularly love how the cover for The Good Traitor turned out.  I’m lucky to have a publisher that encourages feedback from their authors about cover design, and I was definitely included in the process.

About six months ago, I offered some initial notes about possible directions the cover could take, and they came back with four or five concepts.  I liked parts of some and different parts of others.  So feedback was given and the designer got back to work.  We did about three rounds of feedback and revisions to get to the final design.  Of course, the publisher has their editorial and marketing whizzes giving feedback along the way too.  And in this case, there was a clear consensus that made us all excited.

The talented person at the center of all this back-and-forth feedback, otherwise known as the artist, was Marc Cohen, whom I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting."
Why should we read The Good Traitor and what sets it apart from the rest? 
"The Good Traitor is a modern-day espionage thriller.  If you’re a fan of things like Homeland or Jason Bourne and are looking for the more thought-provoking book version, this might be your thing!

I’d say there are two things that make this series stand out in its genre.  First, although the story is told like an action-packed thriller, the stakes are grounded in reality and it might make you think a little along the way.  Second, my cast of characters tends to be pretty diverse.  I rarely rely on white straight guys to save the day."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Good Traitor, its story and characters?
"Hmm . . . quirky.  Well, my protagonist Kera listens to news podcasts when she goes out for her jogs, which is something I do.  Maybe that’s more nerdy than quirky.

There is one scene in The Good Traitor where Kera sets up a “meet” with someone in Washington, DC.  She needed this meet to be free of electronic surveillance and on turf she’d scoped out.  I ended up setting in a state park along the Potomac where there are a bunch of rustic cabins.  I only knew about the place because my extended family gathered there for a reunion ten years ago.

That just goes to show that, as a writer, all of my random experiences might someday come in handy—from family reunions to my morning running routine."
Who would you recommend The Good Traitor to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d say The Good Traitor is great for anyone high school age and up, particularly people who like espionage thrillers, current events, and thinking about how technology is shaping our culture, foreign policy, and private lives."
If you could / wished to turn The Good Traitor and the Kera Mersal Thrillers series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I’d love to see this series turned into a film or TV show!  Many readers have said the same.  Hopefully it’ll catch the eye of someone in a position to make that happen.

In any case, I’ve always pictured someone like Olivia Munn or Paula Patton as my protagonist, Kera Mersal.  She’s a serious badass.

I’d want someone like Tony Gilroy or Jerry Bruckheimer to direct.  Do you think they’re reading this?"
Olivia Munn Paula Patton Tony Gilroy Jerry Bruckheimer
How about we tag them on Twitter ;-)

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones? (and of course we did see you discussing Saturday by Ian McEwan earlier ;-) )
Buy The Fall - only $1.99! "With the exception of my début novel four years ago, which was a college coming-of-age story, I like writing modern thrillers.  I don’t think I could stick to one series exclusively for my whole career, though.  I like to mix up the characters and worlds they inhabit.  But one thing that I’m noticing about all of my books and my ideas for future books, is that they are set against the backdrop of major social issues we face today and will be facing for the next generation.

I read broadly, across many genres of both fiction and nonfiction.  A lot of the reading I do (and listening to audiobooks when I’m on a run or in my car) is research for whatever book I’m working on."
What is your writing process?
"My goal is to write every day.  And for the most part, I stick to that.  That discipline carries over from my years as a competitive cross-country skier in high school and college, and now as a marathon runner.  With endurance sports, you have to get up every day and train, no questions asked.  I treat writing the same way, and it’s gotten to the point that if I skip a day because life interferes, I’m usually pretty annoyed about it.

To be fair, I’m not churning out top-notch stuff every day.  But on the bad days I at least try to focus on one or two things that move the story forward.  And that seems to increase the chances that the next day will be a good one."
What is in store next?
"I can picture another book that would follow up The Good Traitor, perhaps a whole series of them.  But right now I’m very deep into the process of writing a standalone thriller about neuroscience and artificial intelligence.  We’re really on the cusp of breakthroughs in both of those fields that will revolutionize our lives—perhaps even alter what it means to be human.  I just couldn’t resist getting in on that action."
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?
"Yes! I have an amazing eleven-year-old dog.  He’s a Rhodesian ridgeback–boxer mix (we think) and was a rescue from Hurricane Katrina.  Check him out.  I’ve attached a picture."
Ryan Quinn with Koa
Hello Koa!  What a beautiful face!   Love him!
Thank you for sharing him with us!  I saw many other great pictures of Koa on your Instagram - he seems like a really good sport, and very loved :-)

The Good Traitor
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads


Unknown said...

I will get shirtless for the cause of promoting books and reading anytime :-) Thanks for the opportunity to do this fun interview.

BooksChatter said...

Hi Ryan, thank you for popping by!

Well, the shirtless advertising must have worked on me as I ended up buying your first two books LOL

But then again, at $1.99 you cannot exactly say no!
(Yep, both 'End of Secrets' and 'The Fall' are only $1.99 on - links in the spotlight feature and in the interview! Don't miss out!)

BTW Lots of head scratches and hugs to Koa from all of us at BooksChatter!


Unknown said...

Great interview!
And.., Shirtless book club - hilarious!
Ryan is a very nice looking guy! (with or without the shirt!)

Unknown said...

I'm blushing :)

Unknown said...

Amazing. Thank you! Yes, the first two should be discounted to $1.99 all month!

BooksChatter said...

Hi Wendy!

for a 'really really really ridiculously good looking' overdose, you need to check out a family portrait of Ryan, his partner Chris, and Koa ;-)

Don't say I didn't warn you!


p.s. Hi Chris!

Wall-to-wall books said...

Ohhhh thanks for that! I will check it out!

And Ryan - Blush away! ;-)