Dead Letter File
on Tour November1-30, 2015
The second novel from Sudetenland author George T. Chronis is a fast-paced detective thriller. The place is Los Angeles, the time is just after World War II during the early days of the Cold War, and people are turning up dead on the streets of Hollywood. A smuggled Nazi ceremonial weapon is hidden somewhere in the city and several factions have no compulsion against killing to possess this objet d’art that conceals a valuable secret. Suspicion falls upon Tom Jarrett, a man with many secrets of his own from the war, who is forced to put his new life on hold so that he can unravel the mystery… if only he can stay alive long enough.
Genre: Historical Thriller
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: September 15th 2015
Number of Pages: 162
Read an excerpt:
Author Bio:After years as a journalist and magazine editor, George T. Chronis decided to return to his lifelong passion, storytelling. A lover of both 1930s cinema and world history, Chronis is now devoted to bringing life to the mid-20th Century fictional narratives that have been in his thoughts for years. Dead Letter File is his second novel. Chronis has also written Sudetenland, a historical fiction thriller set against the international crisis between Germany and Czechoslovakia during 1938. The author is already hard at work on a sequel. Chronis is married with two daughters, and lives with his wife in a Southern California mountain community.
DSA: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
George: For fiction it was way back in grad school. It was my first semester in film school at a private university and I was adding up the costs necessary to produce a thesis film and realized the investment necessary was out of my league without resorting to serious borrowing. My roommate was in the screenwriting side of the program and suggested I give it a look. The grizzled old gentlemen running the writing program was a colorful Hollywood veteran and we took to each other straight away. As I already had a typewriter and paper, and no further investment was required, I made the jump. As the stories I wanted to tell were all period pieces and he had not seen that often in his other students, I was something of a welcome oddity. He got a kick out of me wanting to write material based in the 1930s and encouraged the hell out of me. I owe that man a lot because he helped me see I could succeed as a storyteller.
DSA: How long does it take you to write a book?
George: The jury is still out on that average. Sudetenland took way too long to finish. But I met my wife right in the middle of the process and my scheduling habits had to be adjusted over time as our relationship grew. Dead Letter File is a much more compact endeavor that benefitted from plotting and dialogue I had already written years before, so I was able to publish it within a year. Since I've been drawn to mid-century stories I can't get away from devoting time to research in order to get the context and atmosphere correct. I'd like to get to a point where research takes one year and the writing takes another year. More than likely it will end up closer to three years.
DSA: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
George: My goal is to devote three to four afternoons a week to plotting or writing. Research reading I fit in whenever I can in the evenings.
DSA: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
George: I really love dialogue – how the words sound in my head and how they contribute to characterization. Sometimes I get carried away and have to double back to make sure there is enough descriptive character setup because not everyone enjoys dialogue as much as I do.
DSA: How do your books get published?
George: For now I am self-published. I ignore too many current trends in the publishing industry to get much traction going the traditional route. People seem to enjoy that they are getting something a little different when they read my books, so I am happy.
DSA: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
George: Often times an idea comes from an involved discussion, or someone makes a suggestion that a particular topic I am rambling on about is very interesting. The rest of the time they are stories I know I want to explore down the road. Much of my childhood was spent reading history and the daily newspaper, so a lot of topics have presented themselves over the years.
DSA: When did you write your first book and how old were you?
George: Sudetenland got started in 2000, so fairly recently. My thesis screenplay was completed in 1983. Everything in-between was magazine reporting.
DSA: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
George: That is pretty much time I owe my dear wife, so whatever schemes she has been plotting for us.
DSA: What does your family think of your writing?
George: Fairly positive so far. My wife is Chinese-American, and in Asian cultures writers are very well regarded. So she has been very supportive and is very proud that her husband is a writer. The kids are supportive, but I don't think they will be truly excited unless something sells a million copies. Their peers just don't read books so there is not the interest. Now, that I covered the video game industry for years as an editor is much more intriguing to them.
DSA: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
George: Two so far, and working on a third. Novels are like your children... you don't have favorites. You just appreciate each of them for who they.
DSA: Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
George: Don't forget about the plot. Complex characters are all the rage but if you don't have a decent story to hook them on, too often you will write yourself into a corner where the only escape is something rash that will leave the reader rather incredulous.
DSA: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
George: When I do it is usually that I approached an era or genre differently than they are used to and they really enjoyed experiencing something new. The men and women in my novels tend to banter with each other quite a bit for both tension and comic relief, and readers say they enjoy that too.
DSA: Do you like to create books for adults?
George: My sense of storytelling is pretty inclusive, so anyone from teen on should have a good read.
DSA: What do you think makes a good story?
George: I am old fashioned and like it when circumstances challenge characters and they are forced to sink or swim. One of the nice things about a novel is that you have the format length to be able to explore how character virtues, quirks and vices develop over time and under pressure. But in general a good story takes you someplace you have not been before and makes you feel something poignant.
DSA: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
George: To work on a car magazine. I thought it would be marvelous to have people bring you brand new cars every month to test drive and write about. As it turned out, I ended up fulfilling my wish but it was computer games not automobiles.
DSA: What would you like my readers to know?
George: That I really appreciate their taking the time to learn a little more about me, and my latest novel. All the best.