Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rath’s Deception by: Piers Platt Interview & Excerpt

We're thrilled to be hosting Piers Platt's RATH'S DECEPTION blog tour today!

Title: Rath’s Deception Author: Piers Platt Publisher: Piers Platt Pages: 350 Genre: Sci Fi/Thriller
On the cut-throat streets of Tarkis, orphaned teens like Rath end up jailed … or dead. So when the shadowy Janus Group offers Rath a chance to earn riches beyond his wildest dreams, he seizes it. But the Janus Group is as ruthless as the elite assassins it controls. Rath will have to survive their grueling, off-world training, and fulfill all fifty kills in his contract before a single cent comes his way. And ending so many lives comes with a price Rath can’t anticipate. It’ll certainly cost him what’s left of his innocence. It may well cost him his life.

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  • Rath’s Deception is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt: A light flickered on the edge of Rath’s peripheral vision: his internal heads-up display had an incoming message.  <Urgent: mission update> <New target: Deputy Ambassador Sorgens> <Original target is not to be harmed> Rath felt a bead of sweat form at his brow. He smiled at another group of guests and offered them his tray of canapés, simultaneously advancing through screens in his heads-up display to find a photo of Sorgens in order to identify him. Okay, got it. “We’re all done, thanks,” one of the guests told him. “Of course,” Rath said. “Sorry.” Guess I lingered a little longer than a normal server would have. He stepped away from the group, spinning slowly in place as if planning which group he would approach next.  There’s Sorgens – far side of the room. Rath stopped at three other groups of party-goers, working his way around the outside of the room in a looping curve, careful to avoid heading directly for the Deputy Ambassador. As he left the third group, he rearranged the napkins on his tray, as if straightening them, and surreptitiously jabbed one of the canapés with a tiny hypodermic needle, before slipping the needle back into his sleeve. Then he turned and headed for the Deputy Ambassador, but a security guard cut in front of him. Rath changed direction smoothly and headed for a different group, but he kept Sorgens in his line of sight. The security guard was leaning in close to Sorgens, covering his mouth to whisper in his ear. Rath dialed up his audio implants. “… credible threat. Intelligence is rated ‘High Reliability,’ so we’re taking it very seriously,” Rath heard the man say. The Deputy Ambassador blanched, his face turning nearly as white as his tuxedo shirt. “I’d like to get you out of here right now, sir.” Sorgens turned to the other guests, and made his apologies. “I’m sorry – I’m afraid duty calls, there’s an urgent message that needs my attention.” He headed toward the room’s exit, closely followed by the guard. Want a snack before you go? Rath thought, chagrined. He broke away from the group he was serving and walked briskly toward the kitchen, which was in the same direction Sorgens was headed. Let’s hope the kitchen has another exit close to wherever Sorgens is headed. Rath ducked inside – to his relief, he saw an exit at the far side of the crowded room. He dumped his tray into the first trash can he saw and elbowed through the servers and cooks, heading for the door. “Hey, watch it, asshole!” a busboy protested, spilling several plates onto a steel countertop. Rath ignored him and continued toward the back of the room, pushing through the swinging door. Sorgens was just disappearing through a side door halfway down the corridor, while the guard positioned himself outside the door. That looks like a restroom. Rath walked toward the guard, who was watching his approach closely, hands behind his back. Probably got a pistol in a belt holster back there, Rath decided.  So much for the frontal assault. Instead he took a sharp right turn down a side corridor, disappearing from the guard’s view. Mechanical plates implanted within his face shifted, obeying Rath’s commands, while his hair greyed, and his skin tone lightened. In the space of three seconds, he looked exactly like his original target. He turned on his heel, and stepped back out into the main corridor, looking both ways before appearing to notice the guard. “You,” Rath pointed at the man, “have you seen my deputy around here?” “Sir?” the guard asked, confused. “Oh, yes, Mr. Ambassador: Deputy Ambassador Sorgens is right in here.” “Ah, excellent,” Rath said, walking up. He was at least two inches shorter and thirty pounds lighter than the real ambassador, but people were slow to notice body type differences – if the face and hair matched, such discrepancies were usually dismissed. Rath’s voice matched the Ambassador’s as well. As ever, hearing another man’s computer-generated voice from his own lips made Rath’s skin crawl. “Let me just have a word, and then you can get him out of here,” Rath told the guard. “Of course, sir,” the guard said, holding the door open for him. Rath let the door close behind him, then strode over toward Sorgens, who was standing at a urinal along the wall. Sorgens looked up and saw Rath. “You heard about the threat?” Sorgens asked. “I did,” Rath replied. “Glad to see you’re on your way out of here.” He called up the targeting module in his heads-up display, and slipped a pen out of his pocket. The implement was known as a ballistic pen, built out of reinforced titanium for use as a close-quarters weapon, and modified by Rath to include a nerve toxin coating, for a faster kill. As Sorgens zipped himself up, Rath’s eye implant overlaid an anatomical model on his image, matching it to fit his size and body orientation relative to Rath, highlighting his bone structure and major organs. Sorgens turned away from the wall, and Rath stepped forward, putting his full body momentum behind the thrust. The pen punched between two ribs, directly into the highlighted outline of Sorgens’ heart, while Rath covered Sorgens’ mouth with his other hand, stifling his shocked gasp of pain. Rath left the pen embedded to minimize the bleeding, and, still covering Sorgens’ mouth, he grabbed him under the arm and dragged him silently across the room into one of the toilet stalls. He propped the dying man on top of the toilet, pulled the door shut behind him, and walked over to the sink, where the ambassador’s reflection stared back at him. Need to wash this blood off my hands. But my guess is that guard is supposed to escort Sorgens out of the building, so it’ll be an easier exit if I pose as him. “Everything okay, sir?” The security guard was pushing open the door. Rath reacted instinctively, and bent over the sink, splashing his face with water as he shifted his hair and face to match Sorgens’. He stood up and reached blindly for the paper towels, and dabbed at his face as he completed the transformation. When he opened his eyes, the guard was eying him in the mirror. “Ready to go, sir?” the man asked. “Yes – let’s get going,” Rath told him. The guard glanced at the closed stall door and Rath tensed himself in readiness, but the man simply turned and walked back out into the hall, checking in both directions before motioning for Rath to follow.  That was close, Rath thought, falling into step as they headed off down the hallway. He’s going to be pissed when he finds out he personally escorted the killer out of the building.
 About the Author
Piers Platt is the New York Times bestselling author of "Combat and Other Shenanigans," a memoir of his year-long deployment to Iraq as a tank and scout platoon leader. Piers grew up in Boston, but spent most of his childhood in various boarding schools, including getting trained as a classical singer at a choir school for boys. He joined the Army in 2002, and spent four years on active duty. When he's not writing or spending time with his lovely wife and daughter, Piers works as a strategy consultant in New York city. His latest book is the sci fi/thriller, Rath’s Deception.


Where are you from?
I grew up in and around Boston, MA. But I currently live in New York. So I’m a Red Sox fan living behind enemy lines!

Tell us your latest news?
I’m launching a book trilogy! Rath’s Deception kicks things off, and then each month I’ll be releasing another book.

When and why did you begin writing?
Very early on – English class was always my favorite growing up – I didn’t mind analyzing the classics, but I LOVED whenever we had free write or a creative writing assignment. I just loved to tell stories.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think being a writer happens in stages…you write for yourself, then you get up the guts to share it with friends, then you try to get published, then you get your first rejection letter. I’ve done all of those…and becoming a NY Times bestseller was a definite highlight “stage!” But I won’t consider myself a writer until I’m doing it full time. Soon!

What inspired you to write your first book?
My experiences as a platoon leader in Iraq. I wanted to honor the men I served with, and give people a sense for what war can be like…but from a different perspective (a humorous one). So I wrote Combat and Other Shenanigans.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I like relatable characters that are up against steep odds. I’m not one for flowery descriptions – I focus on the characters and the action, and let the reader’s imagination fill in some of the extra details.

How did you come up with the title?
Painfully! I hate titles. It’s somewhat an homage to Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe’s Rifles series…his main character is Sharpe, mine is Rath.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Of course! A novel better be making a statement about something. So there’s a bit of a moral to the story…but it’s not at all preachy. Mainly it’s just a rocking fun ride.

How much of the book is realistic?
Well, its set 300 years in the future, so…we’ll find out!  I don’t think the technology I included is at all out of the realm of possibility (or hard to understand today), and I certainly think Rath and the other characters react realistically to the situations they face.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No! Thank goodness. I’m not an assassin, nor do I know any.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Tom Clancy and Robert Heinlein’s books were part of my inspiration to join the military. Books like Dune and Altered Carbon inspired me to be a writer myself.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’ve taken courses from both Nick Stephenson and Mark Dawson, two very well-known indie authors who are willing to share some of their tips along the road to success.

What book are you reading now?
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I think Andy Weir’s story (author of The Martian) is incredibly inspiring – plus it’s a ridiculously good read.

What are your current projects?

Getting books 2 and 3 ready for publication! Putting the finishing touches on them now.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?

I have to thank all of my teachers from middle school through college. They fostered a love of reading and writing, and pushed me to be better every day.

What would you like my readers to know?

I’m really grateful to be here! Thanks again for the opportunity. 

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