My latest interview is with author Kenneth Hoss who was born at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, TX in 1957, but never lived as a military brat as his parents divorced when he was very young. He grew up in traveling a lot as his stepfather moved them around looking for work, and never attended the same grade school twice. It wasn't until High School that his parents settled down in one place long enough for him to attend the same school for more than one semester.
He supposes it was all the moving that drew him to books and writing. As a child, he had a very vivid imagination and writing was his way of getting all of these ideas and dreams out of his head and in a way, giving them life. Kenneth was a voracious reader as a child and still is to a certain degree.
As an adult, he spent several years in the military, serving in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. His time in the Army was spent mostly in Frankfurt, Germany where he took the opportunity to travel, as all you needed was a Military ID, and visited several countries. His Navy career, which lasted eleven years, was spent mostly on the West coast, which meant traveling to places like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Pakistan. It is an experience that he would not trade for anything.
Books & Writing: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Kenneth Hoss: Sadly I don’t. That was a long time ago. I do know that it would have been something about space travel and the hero saving the day. A lot of my first stories were the result of reading a lot of Heinlein and Asimov, two of my favorite authors.
Books & Writing: What interests you in writing?
Kenneth Hoss: The hope that my work will entertain my readers, give them an escape, even for a brief time.
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a bit about your book “Storm Rising”?
Kenneth Hoss: Storm Rising is the first book in a three book series and follows Detective Kelli Storm as she investigates several murders in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, is marked for death by a Colombian drug lord, and trying to solve her father’s murder from twenty-one years earlier.
Books & Writing: How did you come up with the story for the book?
Kenneth Hoss: I don’t recall the actual moment that the idea came to me, or even the reason behind it, as that was more than two years ago now. I watch several Police dramas, as well as read a lot of crime fiction, and I’m a former Police Officer. I suppose it was inevitable that I would write something along the lines of the Kelli Storm novels.
Books & Writing: Can you tell us something about the main character Kelli Storm?
Kenneth Hoss: Kelli is strong, independent and very intelligent. At the same time, she also has a certain vulnerability about her. She can take down the bad guys in the morning, and let her hair down at night.
Books & Writing: Is she based on someone you know?
Kenneth Hoss: Actually, Kelli is based on several women that have come into and out of my life over the years, but she is mainly based on one woman I knew when I was younger, and she broke my heart.
Books & Writing: Where do you see yourself in 5 years in relation to writing?
Books & Writing: Which writer(s) inspires you?
Kenneth Hoss: That’s a tough question, as I’ve been inspired by so many over the years. If I had to narrow it down, my first would have to be John Grisham. He wrote five books before making a name for himself, and that says a lot about him as a writer and a person.
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Kenneth Hoss: If you really love to write, don’t stop.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work?
Kenneth Hoss: They can purchase my current book in both eBook and paperback. The eBook version is available at these online retailers:
The paperback version can be purchased at these locations:
Books & Writing: Where can people find you on internet?
On Twitter - @kennhoss
My blog – http://kenhoss.blogspot.com
Below is an excerpt from his book Storm Rising!
The funeral procession stretched for miles, as officers from the five boroughs honored their fallen brother. Kelli expressed her sympathies to Bill’s parents, and whispered a promise that she would find the people responsible.
Now she and Kevin sat quietly in the living room, and though he had not really known Bill, Kelli knew that Kevin shared her loss. “You want a cup of tea?”
She looked up an attempted a smile. “Sure, that would be nice.”
He got up and kissed her on top of the head. “It’s going to be alright, you’re strong.” He turned and headed for the kitchen.
Kelli lay back on the couch and closed her eyes. She drifted off into a fitful sleep. She was once again in the midst of a shootout, glass flying all around her. She could hear the bullets as they whizzed over her head, and pounded the metal of her car.
Someone was shaking her and she swung her arms in defense.
“Whoa! Hold on slugger. You were having a nightmare.”
She opened her eyes and saw Kevin standing over her. “Shit. I was right there, and it was so real. They had me pinned down, and I was out of rounds. I’m scared, Kevin.”
He sat down and put an arm around her. “It’s okay, Kelli, it was just a dream,” he said, and pulled her closer.
She pushed him away and shook her head. “It’s not okay. My partner and his wife are dead because I had to go and piss off a drug lord. My mother doesn’t know who I am most of the time, and she’s getting worse.”
“Come on, Kelli, you can’t blame yourself for what happened to Bill and his wife, and there’s nothing you can do about your mother’s Alzheimer’s. You have to focus on what you can do, what you can change.”
She looked at him and smiled. “Now you’re starting to sound like my sponsor. You’re right, there’s only one thing to do. Get the son of a bitch before he kills anyone else.”