The Convenient Escape
By Robert Downs
Genre : Thriller
To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her.
Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.
But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won’t last…
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1. How did you come up with the idea for The Convenient Escape?
I’d always wanted to write a thriller, and in fact, I wrote a few before I was able to successfully publish THE CONVENIENT ESCAPE. The pace and the chase appealed to me, and that’s what I tried to do in this instance. I liked the idea of two people with a past who have to work together, even if they don’t necessarily want to, added another layer of complication and fun for me.
2. What sort of research did you do to write The Convenient Escape?
Almost none, if memory serves me correctly. I take John Grisham’s approach to research: I tend to do as little as possible. The exception being when I don't know enough to make whatever scene or character seem believable. Then, I dig just enough to be dangerous. While I tend to skirt away from research, I do have good analytical skills, which in some cases can be to my detriment, since I tend to analyze everything. I also have this need to learn about anything and everything, no matter how trivial it may seem at the time. When I write, I invariably analyze and utilize these different data sources, on some level that I'm not even aware of, and hopefully, I create something new, along with a believable story.
3. What is the main thing you want readers to take away from The Convenient Escape?
If I’ve entertained my readers for a few hours, then I have done my duty, and I will die a happy man. You might learn a fact or two about Southeastern Virginia, but what I am first and foremost is a storyteller, and I take my job very seriously. If I’m not entertained when I’m writing, my readers certainly won’t be entertained when it comes time to pick up my novels later.
4. What were some of the challenges you faced on the road to publication?
How much time do we have? Seriously, though, my road to publication hasn’t exactly been a straight-line, and even though this is my fourth novel, I was forced to find a new publisher. I tell people that finding a publisher is like dating: You have to find a publisher that has the same goals that you do, and the personalities have to fit, otherwise it’s probably not gonna work. Let’s just say I didn’t get it right the first couple times, but Black Opal Books has been wonderful to me thus far, and I hope our relationship can continue forever. I have four more books under contract with them, and I plan to send them a few more manuscripts before the end of the year.
5. What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
I’d say it’s all wonderful. I’m getting to do what I love to do, and that is a blessing in and of itself. Everything else is just the icing on top of the cake. From meeting other authors, to interacting with fans, to attending mystery conferences, to working with bloggers, libraries, and bookstores, to building a relationship with a publisher that has my back, to having your dad sing your praises loud and proud to the entire population of Fairmont, West Virginia, and knowing that my whole family has supported me every step of the way, it doesn’t get much better than this. I am truly lucky.
6. If your novel were being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play as Veronica Baird and Pete Nealey?
Honestly, I haven’t thought too much about this question, even though I love movies almost as much as I love books. I have a feeling my fans would do a much better job of casting THE CONVENIENT ESCAPE than I would. If I were lucky enough to have one or more of my novels made into a movie or TV show, that would be enough for me. As long as Hollywood doesn’t start telling me how to write my novels, I won’t tell them how to make or cast their movies.
7. Are there any nuggets of wisdom you can impart to aspiring writers?
Write because you love it, and because you have to do it. If you write for any other reason, then you’ll probably give up before you ever see publication, if you go the traditional route. In the end, persistence and a love of writing will save you. Not much else will. With writing, the journey is more important than the final destination.
Robert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he'd already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. To find out more about what’s next on his list, visit the author’s website: www.RobertDowns.net.
When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. Falling Immortality and Graceful Immortality helped him discover his true love: hard-boiled mysteries. LaCour’s Destiny helped him enter the mind of a female amateur sleuth with OCD tendencies. His fourth and fifth novels will come out this year with Black Opal Books.
When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reading, reviewing, blogging, or smiling. THE CONVENIENT ESCAPE is his fourth novel. To find out more about the author, please visit his website or Facebook Page.