Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chronicles of M - Book 1 by Nicholas Forristal : Interview, Review, Excerpt



Samuel is a retired agent to the stars. During a bank deposit, a heist goes sideways, resulting in him saving the day. Due to Samuel's actions, a mysterious man offers him an opportunity - join an ex-governmental agency who's tasked with handling an unconventional and unpredictable man named "M" as he battles the paranormal. Will he join for the adventure of his life, or will he continue his retirement?

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The house we arrive at has to be the most absurd places I have ever seen. It’s on an ordinary residential block, surrounded by ordinary suburbanite houses, on the most generic street name I have ever heard. Street Road. Surrounded by all this mundane, boring scenery is this one story, bright pink house with white trim and a small deck in the front yard. The well taken care of yard is covered in flamingos, yard gnomes, and just about every other old lady gimmick you can think of, all of which are aged from the sun. I can’t decide which is my favorite part of the yard. It's either the four foot tall stone rabbit eating a carrot at the end of the driveway, or the sloppily hand painted yard gnomes having a tea party in the middle of the yard. The white garage door has a gigantic mural on it depicting snow capped mountains with evergreen trees scattered everywhere and a little barn in the foreground. It reminds me of a Bob Ross painting.
"This house makes me want to vomit every time I see it.” M states as we walk up to the front door.
I stop halfway up the driveway. “Okay, wait. Before I take another step, I want to know what is going on here. I agreed I would follow along this far, but if you want me to go any further you'll tell me exactly what you two do?”
Thomas turns to look at me, thinks for a moment and says, “we're part of a government agency that deals with situations that no one else can.” He waves me forward. “Come on.”
“An agency that works out of that?” I point at the house. “Doing what, landscaping for the elderly?”
"Not exactly,” Thomas shakes his head and smiles. “The house is just a cover, we actually work in the basement. We just wanted it to appear as though some crazy old lady lived here so that we don’t have unexpected guests."

5 Stars
This book was such a surprising read, and so much fun. Samuel is a new hire, tasked with a mandate to persuade his new obnoxious client to channel his all-consuming anger and high-handed arrogance in less destructive ways. Sam’s job is to encourage his client to behave better by utilizing his own formidable negotiation skills.
While the main story is told mostly from Samuel’s perspective, there are also several chapters given over to other voices as characters step forward with their own tales; providing background and color to the events currently transpiring. These clever sidebars help fill in some holes and add pizzazz to the amazing back story. 
Like peeling layers of an onion, as the main story progresses, additional connections are revealed and motivations brought under scrutiny, until finally, the enigmatic and difficult client becomes slightly less mysterious, a little better understood.   
Some questions are answered but others arise in their wake.  The reader is challenged on multiple occasions to re-evaluate certain stale ideas and preconceptions; to think differently, if you will.  It is such a unique story; action-packed with a bit of mystery, and a lot of profanity.  By turns humorous, scary, and odd, this atypical story is never predictable. 
It kept my full attention and compelled my eagerness to discover what the next page would bring.  I love the premise and, the execution, flow and dialogue make this a delightfully quirky reading experience.  I am looking forward to the next installment as this winning cast of characters continues their adventures, and the world in which they reside gets ever more complex.
I borrowed this book, in kindle format, through the Amazon Prime Lending Library.
Reviewed by Laurie-J

Welcome Nicholas! Thanks for stopping by and agreeing to answer a few questions.  How did you start your writing career?


Well, you see, there's this guy named Fat Tony who I made some bets to a while back and.....nevermind.


Actually, I've been writing for fun for as long as I can remember. The idea of trying to do it as a side job happened because this story idea wouldn't get out of my head. I fought it for about 5 years, occasionally jotting ideas down and hoping it would go away. Eventually, I gave it and starting writing book 1. 


Tell us about your current release.


It's the first book in a long series - 10 books at the moment. It's about this retired Hollywood agent, Samuel, who gets caught up in this world of the supernatural that he didn't know existed. He ends up working for this ex-government agency that not only has to handle these supernatural events, but also has to handle this over aggresive, erratic kid named M, who does most of the fighting for them. Lots of twists and turns, dark humor, foul language and light hearted goofiness...and action -lots of faces being caved in. It's difficult to talk about it without spoilers.


Tell us about your next release.


A continuation of the first book. Things aren't going so well for the Agency that hired Samuel. M has been captured, Samuel is getting ready to quit, M escapes and now it's up to the agency to track him down before he destroys everything. It sets the foundation for the main plotline (and some subplots) that encompasses the next 8 books. Also lots of silliness, humor and action in this one. Less cussing too!


Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?


Isaac Asimov for being able to write well recieved books that are not only entertaining, but grounded in real ideas.


Jim Butcher for showing me that this insane idea of mine may work out, his did!


How do you describe your writing style?


Slightly experimental. I like trying different things to see how well they go over. Keep in mind, I have lots of beta readers who check my ideas out. Book 1, I tried seperating the backstory into it's own chapters, rather than meshed in the middle of the main plotline. I also wrote the backstory from the character's perspective and in their voice.


Book 2 was written with that format as well, but I also translated some film techniques into a writing technique, mostly for the action far people seem to enjoy it. 


How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?


I write little stories from their points of view. This way I get into their heads and understand how they would approach things. So, when I'm writing plotline for the book(s) I can look at scene and write how they would handle the situation and not how I need them to.

Nicholas Forristal is 30 years old, has a B.S. in Psychology, married, and has a 1 and 1/2 year old son. He probably watches too much tv, plays too many video games and drinks too much caffeine too. He's been writing silliness for as long as he can remember. From short stories for elementary state exams to plot line for video games...there was dabbling in poetry for a time as well.


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