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Tuesday 3 July 2018

ℚ The Consultant: Jonathan Hunter [1] - Tj O’Connor

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Consultant (, Oceanview Publishing, 432 pages), a Thriller, book one in the Jonathan Hunter series.

"The Consultant is a flat out, dynamite read. Fast paced, compelling, and all too real. O'Connor writes with authority and the pages fly by almost too quickly. My favorite kind of thriller, reminiscent of the best Ludlum and Forsyth." ―Christopher Reich, New York Times best-selling author of Invasion of Privacy.

Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Tj O’Connor; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Consultant ?

"I’ve been in the anti-terrorism and risk business nearly my entire life. Events from my life’s work have driven this novel in several versions over the past few years, culminating in this final product from Oceanview Publishing.

I wanted to tell the story of what happens to a counter-terrorist operative when he returns home after years away—the changes in his life, his family, and his perspective on his own life’s work that kept him away from home. In doing this, I also wanted to make the main character, Jonathan Hunter, real.

Hunter’s fallible, witty in a tight spot with gallows humor, and never the perfect “James Bond” type character. He’s not a dead shot. Not always timely or right in his actions or assumptions, and definitely not suave and debonair. Hunter’s one of us—flawed and fabulous!"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"A lot, actually—except Hunter is a real counter-terrorist operative, and I’ve been in anti-terrorism my entire career. The difference being that counter-terrorist operators are your Navy Seals, Green Berets, etc. They chopper into bad places and deal with bad people … directly.
Anti-terrorism guys like me are defensive. We design and consult on defensive anti-terrorism measures to try and stop the bad guys from hitting us. A fine point, perhaps, but a distinction needed here.

My personality also comes out in Hunter. Flawed, adventurous, and sarcastic at times. He’s fun-loving but gets the job done. He also flies by the seat of his pants a lot and it shows. Yup, that’s me!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Consultant - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover came from my great publisher, Oceanview, and the artwork was by Christian Fuenfhausen. I was delighted with this cover as it conveys a few subtle things.

First, Hunter’s face is lowered—he’s thinking, strategizing, and a little reflective about what he’s gotten into.

His pistol is up and ready—he’s readying for the action. It’s sort of James Bond, and while Hunter is nothing like James Bond, the black and red color scheme is eye catching and suggests that action-thriller storyline similar to those old Bond movies.

That is exactly what The Consultant is—fast paced, action, and adventurous."
Why should we read The Consultant and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"Tough question without sounding arrogant as hell! But, read The Consultant for a few reasons:

  • It’s the story of what happens to a small town when terrorism arrives—up close and personal.
  • It’s not about our government or the politics really—although they are in the background—it’s about Hunter’s coming to terms with his long-lost and unknown family in this small town when all hell breaks loose.
  • Jonathan Hunter may be one of the J-hero’s—James Bond, Jack Reacher, Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne—but he’s anything but. He’s a real guy—flawed and floundering at times, not the perfect marksman or operative, not suave with the ladies or even lucky all the time. But he’s fun and energetic and above all, driven.
  • Mostly, because it’s fast-paced, lots of action, and shows a real side of terrorism that most of us don’t consider. It also takes in current events like Russia’s global resurgence, the Iranian threat, and the question of refugees in this country. Not exactly the way you think, either! 

But the real reason to buy the Jonathan Hunter Thriller series … I work my butt off to make it fast and fun and exciting. Don’t let me down!"
Can you tell us something quirky about The Consultant, its story and characters?
"Ah, so many answers, so little time …

First, Hunter begins his story by being in trouble with the CIA and his mentor, the spymaster Oscar LaRue. He left his Middle East assignment when his brother called for help after nearly two decades of silence between them. Hunter knows he’s in a jam and when Oscar catches up to him, he’ll have to pay the piper with pieces of his butt.

This relationship is based almost in total on my twenty-four-year friendship with my own mentor, Wally F. Wally was one of the last Office of Strategic Services (OSS) operatives from World War II and a former CIA deputy director. Wally has coached, cajoled, harassed, and molded me for two decades in both my profession and in my writing. The only differences between Oscar LaRue and Wally F is the spelling!

Regrettably, I lost Wally to age and a bad heart three years ago. The Consultant was his favorite of all the books I wrote (and he’s had a hand in nearly all of them). My only regret is he was not here to see the final version and launch. The Consultant is dedicated to him."
Who would you recommend The Consultant to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Warning: If you want a superhero, suave lady’s man, or James Bond action guy, do not proceed. If Hunter gets by with the ladies, he is amazed.

Warning: This book contains real-to-life subject matter. If you’re expecting television endless-ammo gun battles, black-belt precision fights, or Lamborghini sport cars, do not proceed.

Intended Audience: Fast-paced readers. Readers who can follow a few subplots and twists and turns with a grin now and then and perhaps a few chuckles while still knowing it’s a world-changing crisis ahead!"
I think you just sold me your book!

If you could / wished to turn The Consultant and the Jonathan Hunter series into a movie, who would be your dream team?

"Again, so many answers, so little time!

Jonathan Hunter — Timothy Olyphant.
Oscar LaRue— Alec Guinness
Noor Mallory—Prianka Chopra or Sarah Shahi
Artie Polo—Idris Elba or Cuba Gooding Jr.
Shepard—Lou Diamond Phillips"
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 enjoy thrillers more than any genre, but I’ve also written four paranormal murder mysteries and two traditional murder mysteries. I love mysteries nearly as much.

My paranormal mysteries all have that light-hearted character telling the stories but they are traditional mysteries in tempo, end-goal, and in story development. Okay, so one of my key characters is always dead, but you can’t blame them, can you?

I read the same genres—mysteries and thrillers—whenever I have time. That’s usually in my car with a book tape driving to business meetings or book events."
What is your writing process?
"Well, if I have a process, it escapes me. I generally create a one-page talking paper on what the story is about. Then it goes into an outline for the first 100 pages.

I create characters and put faces to them (I steal those from the internet of people I think characterize my characters right). Then I do some basic research on things I might need—locations, political events, etc. Then I start writing.

By the end of the fifth chapter, my characters have taken over and the outline goes to hell.

Once I get the opening 100 pages done, I generally stop and focus on that until it’s close to what I want in total. Then I close the story in 100 page increments, repeating the rewriting from page 1 though wherever I am. I do this so I keep the story fresh in my head and I try to update my outline as I go.

By the time I finish the story, I’ve edited and rewritten those pages at least twice. Thereafter, it’s read, edit, correct, reread… kill off characters, chapters, and subplots I don’t need, repeat.

In the middle of all this, there is: Sixty-hour work weeks to pay the bills; two very large and demanding Labrador retrievers; my constant understudy granddaughter tugging on me; cooking; and, now and then, sleep.

Hey, now that I’ve written it down, I guess I have a process!"
Definitely sounds like you do to me!

What is in store next?

"I just completed the first sequel in the Jonathan Hunter Thriller series. It’s in a good scrubbing edit right now.

I’ve already started outlining book III, and, time permitting, I want to rewrite a mystery I wrote three years ago and get it to market, too.

Oh, somewhere in there, I gotta do some bill-paying work and do my anti-terrorism gig so I can keep the lights on late at night while I write all these books!"
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?
"There are two things that are pretty special other than my family. I’m a Harley Davidson guy and I raise Labs.

I have lost two precious to me these past two years. Today, I’m battling to save a third—Toby. But, Toby and Annie Rose—his new squeeze, are happy day-to-day either way. Here they are!"

Hello Toby and Annie Rose! Lots of head-scratches to both of you :-) And of course lots of love and best wishes to Toby xxx

Tj, thank you for sharing your beautiful fur-babies with us. We hope you are having a great tour and look forward to catching up with you again!

Terrorism hits Main Street America

The Consultant
Available NOW!

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Tj O'Connor said...

Thank you for this great forum to talk about Jonathan Hunter and The Consultant! We both appreciate it very much!

CMash said...

Great interview. I enjoy learning about the author behind the book. And this book was exceptional!