Indie Book Promo is happy to welcome Allen Kent to the blog! He is here to answer some questions about himself and his book, The Shield of Darius. If this book sounds like something that you would be interested in reading, please use the buy links at the bottom of the post to pick up a copy or two!!
IBP – If someone else were writing about this book, what might they say?
Allen – A reviewer on Amazon recently wrote: “Kent’s story of terrorism, counterespionage, andbase political calculation is engrossing, timely, and frighteningly plausible. But for me, this book’s best quality is its PACE…. This is a quick, satisfying read and exactly the sort of e-book bargain that makes e-readers so great.”
IBP – Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
Allen – I have been fortunate to live abroad in both Iran and England, and these countries are featured prominently in my writing. If were to live somewhere else? Probably Northern Thailand.
IBP – When did you begin writing?
Allen – I have been writing since my college years and had a successful publishing career as an academic. But my interest has always been fiction, and I now have the time and freedom to focus entirely on novels.
IBP – Aside from writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Allen – I still work part-time as a coach for colleges around the country, am an avid traveler, gardener, and ecologist. My wife and I recently built an eco-friendly home that we enjoy monitoring, while exploring ways to improve its efficiency.
IBP – What do you enjoy most about writing?
Allen – The elements of writing I enjoy most are plot and character development. I love the challenge of creating an intricate plot and strong, believable dialogue. Ironically, the characters I enjoy most are often not the central ones. For example in Shield of Darius, I’m most fond of Amy.
IBP – Where do you get your ideas or inspirations from ?
Allen – I try to insure that my books are thoroughly researched and authentic – a major challenge for international thrillers. Fortunately, broad travel experience, time in the Air Force as a pilot,
and a background in international relations help a great deal with authenticity.
IBP – What are your favorite books/authors?
Allen – I particularly enjoy writers such as Robert Ludlum and John Le Carre whose novels interweave non-stop action with interesting places and people, while exploring questions of global corruption and justice.
IBP – Do you like hearing from your readers?
Allen – Hearing from readers is one of the most enjoyable parts of the writing process. Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with what readers are thinking, and I maintain a weekly blog at allenkentnovels.com through which I try to address questions and comments.
IBP – Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Allen – I am an early morning person and I like to start the day by cycling or walking at dawn, then work outside until noon. My writing time is in the afternoon, when I close myself in the study and can really get lost in a project.
IBP – What are you working on now?
Allen – My second novel, a domestic mystery titled Backwater, is now available on Kindle. I’m working on a third novel, again with an international theme, that hope to have ready by the end of the year.
Allen Kent is the pen name of Kent A Farnsworth who now lives with his wife in southwest Missouri. Though born in Washington D.C. and raised in the western United States, Kent has lived and traveled extensively abroad, including teen years in Iran, and college years in England. These experiences and a decade of work in Southeast Asia have had a strong influence on his fiction. Kent is a former Air Force pilot, college president, and university professor and has written extensively as an academic about leadership and school reform.
Excerpt from The Shield of Darius
Ben’s mind awoke before his body. He felt only pain. Sharp explosions bursting between his temples. He cracked open his lids and squinted dizzily at the white, mildew-spotted ceiling above him. With each throb, the ceiling seemed to sag downward, then retreat. Sag. Retreat. His gut twisted into a cramped spasm and he swallowed hard to keep from retching, gagging on his thick, pasty tongue. The room was musty. Smothering. He closed his eyes again and struggled to capture a complete thought, but found only images. The castle ruin above him on the hill. PJ on the tumbled stone wall.
Feeling a swollen tenderness behind his left ear, Ben wondered fleetingly if he had fallen from the wall himself, and was in one of those colorless London hospitals he had seen in the city. The pain forced life into his other senses and he focused on sounds, finding the irregular drone of distant traffic. This must be London. He struggled again for images, piecing them together until they suddenly coalesced into a memory, capturing the frantic woman in the woods and the race to the van.
As the memory developed, a pressure in Ben’s chest grew with it, crushing him downward until he could barely suck in a breath. He wanted to groan but as the sound formed, he choked it back, realizing he may not be alone. Letting his lids droop shut, he concentrated again on sounds, straining to discriminate voices from the general din beyond the room. More honking than usual in the grumble of distant traffic. Rush hour. In another direction, the faint clatter of metal against metal. Pans or garbage cans.
Suddenly Ben’s nose intervened, sending a jolt of olfactory electricity to his brain that caromed wildly about, searching for meaning, then shot to his heart with a surge that charged it into furious pounding. It was not a solitary smell that sparked Ben’s memory, but a mixture of odors that were more vivid than sight or sound. Not the sour-sharp blend of sickness and antiseptic that meant hospital, but a faint acrid odor of fetid water mixed with raw sewage. Strong spices favoring garlic that lingered in the air after a meal was cleared. Earthen buildings that smelled of damp clay, even when dry, and the sour tang of sweat from men and animals. And diesel fumes. A sky full of diesel fumes spewed from the tail pipes of a thousand Mercedes taxis and red double-decked buses. The smell was as distinctive as a signature. Ben Sager was back in the Middle East.
Allen Kent can be found:
The Shield of Darius can be purchased:
Backwater can be purchased: