Sunday, September 16, 2018

Blind Switch By Michael Sova

Blind Switch
By Michael Sova
Genre: Thriller, Suspense

A professional killer makes a hit, leaving no obvious signs of foul play.  There’s only one problem.  He got the wrong guy and is reluctantly called back into service.  His new target is female, blind, and scared.  She knows he’s out there somewhere, closing in on her.  She also knows she’ll never see him coming.      

Years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, bestselling fiction author Martin Reginald introduces a compelling new trilogy and tells a different version of that well publicized story.  In the first two novels, he suggests the explosion was an act of sabotage and the presumed culprit was the owner of Sand-Sational, a Louisiana-based beach restoration company.  The biggest revelations are promised in the final book in the series, but Reginald is murdered before the manuscript is completed.  Why?  Was someone trying to keep him quiet?  Is it possible his novels were less fictional than anyone realized?  What happens when it turns out Reginald himself was something of an illusion?

From the Caribbean to the Big Apple and back again, Blind Switch is a triumph of non-stop action and intensity in which very little is as it first appears.  Michael Sova returns with his most intriguing, most suspenseful, and most surprising work to date.

About the Author

Michael Sova is the author of the suspense novels A Shot at Redemption and Parlor City Paradise, as well as his 2017 release, a sports-themed cookbook titled 21 Sundays of Fantastic Football Food: Celebrating the Foods and Follies of Professional Football.  His new novel, a thriller titled Blind Switch, was published in July and is available now in paperback and most popular eBook formats.  

Blind Switch Excerpt
Having no better options, he waited directly in front of the bathroom door.  The target would see him right away, or so Fisher assumed, but he didn’t plan on giving Reginald time to think let alone react.  He’d grab his wrist and yank him forward.   In that same motion, he’d get an arm around his neck, bring him to the floor, and the syringe tucked into Fisher’s waistband would do the rest.  He’d managed similar takedowns half a dozen times before and never had a problem.   
This time, however, the plan had to be modified slightly when Reginald turned the bathroom light off before pulling the door open.  Fisher hadn’t considered that and it gave him pause.  His eyes had already adjusted to the room’s dimness but he still couldn’t see for shit and he knew Reginald wouldn’t be able to see much of anything.  For a moment, he wasn’t sure what to do.  If he didn’t hit Reginald just right, the asshole might fall backwards, slam into the bathroom door and send it crashing into the wall.  Fisher doubted the sound would carry far but it might cause someone in a nearby cabin to come investigate.  That wouldn’t do. 

He took a step to the side, giving Reginald space to move into the room.  Except… he didn’t.  Fisher couldn’t see much but he could sense Reginald frozen in the bathroom doorway, no doubt wondering what the hell was going on.  His room hadn’t been dark when he went into the bathroom so why was it dark now?  Was there a power outage?  Had he turned the lights off himself without being aware of the act?  Had something somehow come unplugged? 

Reginald was weighing the various scenarios.  That’s what anyone would do in that situation and had to be the reason he still hadn’t moved.  Fisher wished he could see the expression on his face but all he could really make out was an indistinct mass against a pitch-black background.   If Reginald were smart, if he had one shred of common sense, he’d retreat into the bathroom and close and lock the door.  What could Fisher do then?  It wasn’t like his target would sit there quietly while he went to work with his set of picks.  But whatever the guy was thinking, Reginald must not have felt threatened because he reached back into the bathroom and hit the wall switch. 

The room was instantly filled with bright, florescent light, as was a small area right in front of the door.  That’s right where Fisher had been standing a few moments before.  He’d moved but not far enough.  His left shoe and the lower part of that leg were now brightly illuminated.  Reginald stared at them dumbly and then his gaze slowly lifted.  He had time to take in the black shoes, black pants, black jacket and black gloves.  A question formed on his lips.  That’s when one of the shoes shot up and caught him squarely in the nuts.  His mouth hanging open, Reginald crumpled to the floor as Scott Fisher moved in.

What inspired you to write this book?
            One thing about inspiration is that you never know where or when it will strike.  I got the idea for “Parlor City Paradise,” my second novel, when a friend of mine went over the handlebars of his bicycle and suffered a broken neck.  He’s thankfully fine now, but that entire story was crafted around that one sudden, horrifying, completely out of the blue incident. 
            The inspiration for “Blind Switch” came to me almost as quickly.  I remember the exact moment.  A couple years ago, I took my family on a summer cruise.  It departed from New York Harbor, sailed to the Bahamas, and came back again a week later.  Our tenth floor cabin had a small balcony.  One night, I was standing on that balcony and staring down at the water a good hundred feet below.  Passengers and crew combined, there were probably close to four thousand people on that ship yet no one could see me and no one had any idea what I was doing.  It occurred to me that, given the right set of circumstances, a cruise ship and a wide expanse of open sea could be used to conveniently and secretly make someone disappear.  I knew in an instant I would someday work that scenario into a novel.  I did not envision that the novel would also have a strong autobiographical component.  That part came later, but that’s how “Blind Switch” was born. 

Do you have a favorite character, or in what ways do any of the characters represent you?
            I suppose I have favorite characters in all my novels but “Blind Switch” is a little different.  That story’s protagonist is a woman named Alex Rhodes.  She and I have a great deal in common, gender notwithstanding.  We are both authors, and we are both legally blind. 
            All of my life, I have repeatedly been asked one seemingly simple question.  How much can you see?  That sounds straight forward enough, but it’s almost impossible to answer, at least it has been for me.  So, instead of telling, I used “Blind Switch” to try to show readers how Alex sees the world and how the world sees her.  Of course, I put all that in the context of a thriller novel.  Without giving too much away, our heroine ends up on the run from a professional killer and her… ‘disability, for lack of a better word, makes her a unique and surprisingly challenging adversary.

What surprises did you encounter while writing the book?
            I am a discovery writer so pretty much everything comes as a surprise.  Each of my novels starts the same way.  I don’t even attempt writing a synopsis because I know that would be a waste of time.  I do, however, create an outline of sorts, and I lay out everything I think I know about the story and its key players.  That exercise may help get the ball rolling but I’m not sure it accomplishes much else.  Three novels into my literary career, I’ve come to realize that I can’t get a firm handle on a story until the writing process is truly underway, and I can’t really begin to know my characters until I insert them into various situations to see how they’ll react.  “Blind Switch” followed that same now-familiar pattern with one notable exception.
            As I’ve already mentioned, Alex Rhodes, the book’s protagonist, is visually impaired.  There are a few other autobiographical elements but that’s the big one.  You would think, given her close relationship with the author (aka me) those parts of the story would be the easiest to write.  It’s a reasonable assumption and I was surprised to find out that absolutely wasn’t the case; much to the contrary.  Sure, I know what it’s like to be on a city street and not be able to distinguish store fronts, road signs, traffic lights, etc., but Alex’s life experiences are completely different than mine.  She’s younger, single, female, and that’s only scratching the surface.  Despite the similarities, Alex is NOT a fictionalized version of me.  And as the story progressed and her situation grew increasingly dangerous and desperate, I had to keep reminding myself that I couldn’t get involved.  It was her mess and she had to figure her own way out.  I guess what I’m saying is that, at times, it was difficult to maintain a professional distance and that’s definitely something I had not anticipated. 

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