Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Blog Tour: You Only Live Once by @harisorkin with an #interview and #giveaway

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Humorous Thriller
Date Published: March 21, 2018
Publisher: Imajin Books

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Synopsis: James Flynn is an expert shot, a black belt in karate, and irresistible to women. He’s also a heavily medicated patient in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital. Flynn believes his locked ward is the headquarters of Her Majesty’s Secret Service and that he is a secret agent with a license to kill.

When the hospital is acquired by a new HMO, Flynn is convinced that the Secret Service has been infiltrated by the enemy. He escapes to save the day, and in the process, Flynn kidnaps a young Hispanic orderly named Sancho.

This crazy day trip turns into a very real adventure when Flynn is mistaken for an actual secret agent. Paranoid delusions have suddenly become reality, and now it’s up to a mental patient and a terrified orderly to bring down an insecure, evil genius bent on world domination.


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

I played with a number of themes in “You Only Live Once”.   One is the idea that if you believe in something hard enough you can create your own reality. James Flynn believes he’s an international super spy and he believes it so fervently that others do as well.  Another theme is the thin line between madness and rationality.  I think you have to be a little crazy to buck the status quo, but that’s the only way anything new or innovative ever happens.  Conventional wisdom can be a strait jacket.  (See what I did there?) 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Structure is always a challenge. It’s not always easy to build a story with enough propulsive power to make sure the second act (or middle) doesn’t drag.  Beginnings are fun, endings are fun, and middle’s are difficult for me.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

“You Only Live Once” is my debut novel. And being it’s my only novel, it’s obviously my favorite.  I have written in many other mediums though.  I’m a produced playwright and screenwriter and I design and write video games. 

If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

I worked in Hollywood for a number of years as a screenwriter, so casting always crosses my mind.  In fact, I originally wrote YOLO as a screenplay and it generated a huge amount of interest, but never was made…which is the sad fate of most screenplays unfortunately. I loved the character so much I decided he needed to live on, which is why I decided to write a novel.  Now it’s my new favorite medium.  I think Benedict Cumberbatch would be great casting for Flynn.  He plays a genius on the edge madness very well.  He’s very good at being heroic while also feeling conflicted and vulnerable. And he’s excellent with comedy. (He did a fantastic job as a contemporary Sherlock Holmes.)   For many of the same reasons, another good choice would be Tom Hardy. 

When did you begin writing?

I started when I was a kid.  I’ve been writing ever since.  I worked in advertising as a copywriter for a number of years.  I’ve had plays produced all over the country.  I’ve written screenplays as I’ve mentioned.  Two were produced.  And I write and design video games.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

I first came up with the idea for “You Only Live Once” over ten years ago.  I first wrote it as a screenplay and then I turned it into a novel.  I rewrote it multiple times.   So I guess maybe 12 years.  Hopefully, the next one won’t take as long.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

There are many authors I find inspiring.  And I have very eclectic taste.  Here are some of the writers who have inspired me the most.  Kurt Vonnegut.  Raymond Chandler.  Ian Fleming.   Joseph Heller.  Larry McMurtry.  Philip Roth. 

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I enjoy the initial brainstorming and outlining, but I really lose myself when I’m writing dialogue.  When I’m in the zone, the dialogue writes itself. It’s as if the characters are doing their own talking and I’m just trying to keep up and write it down. 

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

 Thrilling.  Funny.  Surprising. Touching. 

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

I’m brainstorming ideas for a sequel to “You Only Live Once.”  I’m about to release a choose-your-own-adventure comedy audio game for Alexa enabled devices.  It’s called “They Came in Outer Space.”  And I’m working on a new virtual reality video game for Sony and a company called Impulse Gear.

About the Author

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Haris Orkin is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and game writer. His play, Dada was produced at The American Stage and the La Jolla Playhouse. Sex, Impotence, and International Terrorism was chosen as a critic’s choice by the L.A. Weekly and sold as a film script to MGM/UA. His original screenplay, A Saintly Switch, was directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starred David Alan Grier and Vivica Fox. He is a WGA Award and BAFTA Award nominated game writer and narrative designer known for Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Mafia 3, and Dying Light, which to date has sold over 7.5 million copies.

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