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Friday 1 February 2019

ℚ♫ The Winner Maker - Jeff Bond

- Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Winner Maker (, Jeff Bond, 334 pages), a Mystery Thriller that we brought to you in late December 2018.

"This is a fun, literate, debut. In the author's capable hands, chilling moments, well-drawn action, believable motivation, expert pacing roll into a solid, fast-paced thriller." - IndieReader

"The Winner Maker is storytelling at its best, delivering a tight, well-crafted plot that delves into the anxieties of high school that sometimes extends into adulthood. Bond gives us a fun read with a lot of excitement, but readers will also recognize people from their own adolescence, resulting in an immensely entertaining mystery with an exciting conclusion." - Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½

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

A very warm welcome to Jeff Bond; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in The Winner Maker, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?
"This is a list of the songs Eric likes that appear in the book"
What was the inspiration for The Winner Maker ?
"Broadly, I’ve always thought people striving for outsized goals could make a fantastic thriller – and The Winner Maker is my attempt to realize that.

Specifically on the title, I once had a high school basketball coach take me aside after a tough loss and say, “I believe in you. You’re a winner, and I’ll stick my neck out for you anytime.”
This coach was unlike Bob Fiske (the title character) in just about every way, but those words have always stuck in my head."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The plot of The Winner Maker revolves around a high school teacher’s “Winners” club, which perpetuates a culture of ambition and high achievement. None of my teachers had a club like this, but as an undergraduate at Yale and at different times in my scholastic career, I certainly saw the downside of too great an emphasis on “winning.”"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Winner Maker - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"My wonderful artist is Andrea Orlic [ArTrOcItY], who’s done hundreds of covers and was an absolute pleasure to work with.

The Winner Maker
is a book that tries to do a bit more than just make your pulse pound—in terms of character development, etc.—and I was looking for an image to match. I didn’t want the typical silhouette-running-into-danger thriller cover.

Andrea came up with this fantastic take: the teacher in the sun, half light, half dark, seeming to dictate who gets to join him in the spotlight. I thought it communicated so much about the premise, and had the perfect aesthetic."
Why should we read The Winner Maker and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"The Winner Maker is unique in that it delivers high-octane thrills and reversals in the style of Harlan Coben or James Patterson, but does it using complex, likable characters you’ll recognize from real life."

I thought Kirkus Reviews captured this well:
“Bond collapses two distinct literary genres into one seamless novelistic whole: a mystery and an emotional drama…The novel's central mystery is thrilling, but the true spine of the tale is the fragile connections between the past Winners, who must not only investigate Fiske's disappearance, but also the authenticity of their lives and friendships.”
Can you tell us something quirky about The Winner Maker, its story and characters?
"Hmm. One quirk that comes to mind is that a co-protagonist, Eric Pinkersby, has a weakness for cheesy pop tunes. I couldn’t help giving him some of my own favorites…in one case, I had to explain away the timing a bit in the book because it would’ve been a semi-oldie given Eric’s age. But the song just really fit the moment."
Who would you recommend The Winner Maker to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a fun, thoughtful read.

I don’t use profanity in my work, and outside of some innuendo and adult topics that probably shouldn’t be read by tweens or younger, there’s nothing to report there."
If you could / wished to turn The Winner Maker into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Unfortunately I’m at a loss when it comes to which actors are big right now—being the parent of 9- and 7-year-old daughters, I’m limited to Disney/Pixar fare at the movies. I will say that for the title character, the 74-year-old missing teacher, I’d take Ian McKellen hands down."
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 writing in different genres. The Winner Maker is a character-driven domestic thriller, but I have a couple more action-focused thrillers launching in 2019. And the other way, I have some stories and a novel in the works that follow a more literary, slice-of-life style."
What is your writing process?
"I keep it pretty simple. Coffee and laptop. A café, library, or botanical gardens in good weather.

I used to write in the early morning hours before going to a regular nine-to-five job, which conditioned me to write anywhere and make use of small windows of time."
What is in store next?
"My follow-up is called Blackquest 40. It’s more of a go-go thriller than Winner, a fresh take on the Die Hard formula about San Francisco tech workers whose office is locked down for a forty-hour corporate training exercise—or so they’re told as the story begins.

It’s available for pre-order now and releases on May 15th."
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?
"Sure. I have a big ole’ dog named Minnie."
Wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us; a big hello to the girls and lots of head-scratches to gorgeous Minnie! :-)

The Winner Maker
Available NOW!

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