Sunday, November 24, 2013

Giveaway and Interview With Bryan Powell

Let me introduce my friend and fellow author Bryan Powell. This is Bryan's fist time being on Sleuths and Suspects. Welcome Bryan! Without further ado let's get started with Bryan's interview. Oh, I forgot to say that Bryan is offering a free e-book to a follower who leaves a comment and email address.

Bryan Powell
              Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, my name is Bryan Powell, I’m a 63-year-old white guy who sometimes writes from a black guy’s POV, that’s point of view, for the writers among us. But before I tell you why and how I do that, let me finish introducing myself. I’m a full-time writer. To me, that means, I write all the time, and as a means of paying my bills. This is not a hobby or an avocation. It’s what I do. Before that, I was a full-time choir director. As a part of that position, I wrote music. I’ve written over 80 choral pieces ranging from children’s songs to youth, choral and adult choir numbers. Many of those, I’ve orchestrated and some have actually been published. My wife is my biggest fan and first reader. She and I read (out loud) everything I write, and we edit it together. We’ve done it that way since my first book in 2011. Three of my seven grandchildren are my second biggest fans. I tell folks, these are G-Rated books, meaning. The G stands for my grandchildren. If my 16, 14,and 11 year old grandchildren can’t read it, I won’t write it. But enough about me.
             Tell us about your most recent book.
My most recent book was one that I tried not to write. I write Adult Fiction/Suspense, and to say I’ve read a Biography or Auto-biography would be a stretch. So when my pastor approached me about writing his father’s story, I resisted. I didn’t think there would be enough; conflict, drama or intrigue. I was wrong. Reluctantly, I accepted the challenge along with 126 pages of handwritten notes to read over the Christmas break. I found myself drawn into Mr. Gillis’s life, and yes, there was plenty of conflict, and drama. Plus, there was a paycheck at the end of the tunnel and that was exactly what I thought I needed at the time. Little did I know, the lessons I would learn from this dear man. So I wrote Faith, Family, and a Lot of Hard Work…the Grady Gillis Story.
Why did you choose this genre?
Faith, Family, and a Lot of Hard Work…the Grady Gillis Story is way outside of my usual genre. It’s a creative memoir, and my genre is Mystery/Suspense/Action/Thrillers. I’ve written 16 of them. But this book took on a life of its own as I began to see life from Mr. Gillis’s POV. For those precious moments as I wrote his story, I actually became Grady Gillis. I began to speak and express my thoughts as I might have. It’s called a Creative Memoir because I wrote it like a novel rather than a straight Biography. It is chock-full of Mr. Gillis’ wit and humor with enough wisdom for us all to learn.
             What was your journey to publication like?
My journey to publication began as I, as a raw-boned newbie, began to look for a publisher. Sorry to say, at that time, I knew nothing of agents and traditional presses. I looked up publishers and found a plethora of “For Fee” publishers. After reading their various programs and statements of faith, etc. I settled with Tate Publications, located in Mustang, OK. In 2011, submitted my manuscript, Stranger in the Pulpit, and to my amazement, it was accepted. Of course, it took a little under $4,000 to lubricate the presses, but what’s that among friends. They did a great job of designing a cover and layout, not so good on the marketing. So I learned really early, if was going to get done, I had to do it myself. Thus, I became a marketing guru over-night. My second mystery novel, Stranger in the White House, was submitted in 2012 and after negotiating a better “Author contribution,” it was accepted and published in late 2012. When it came time to submit book three in the Stranger Series, I felt like I’d made Tate enough money for them to publish it with no “Contribution.” That didn’t work out and so I sought another publisher. I was at a big signing event down in Carrolton, GA, and met John Bell with Vabella Publishing. I found out that we had much in common. That Vabella was a small, independent, traditional press. I submitted The Stranger Among Us, and again, to my amazement, it was accepted. It was released this past October.
       What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?
               My wife and I have read all of the Joel Rosenburg novels, along with the Left-Behind Series, and I’ve got to say, Joel is my favorite author. That said, I just finished reading Don Brown’s Black Sea Affair and totally enjoyed it. Patty and I are reading (when I say reading, I mean, she is reading and I am driving the car…listening). Currently, she is reading Joanie Bruce’s thriller, Marked for Murder. It’s a nail-biter.
             Can you give us a little peek inside what you are working on now?
Currently, I am working on the second book in the Jared Russell Series. Book one, Sisters of the Vail, is a Kindle Direct Publishing book. It has been widely distributed in an E-book, but is awaiting its physical, soft-cover debut. Book two, Blood Brothers, picks up where Sisters left off. Jared Russell (a black, former Marine, turned architect) and his wife Fatemah go to Lebanon. Xavier and Wright Architectural Group has contracted with Lebanon International University to do their expansion and Jared is the liaison. He is provided with a lavished salary and expense account. Fatemah sees this as an opportunity to open the Harbor House, a “safe place” for new converts. However, when a “Fatwa” is declared, they and soon find themselves caught in a web of intrigue and deceit. The more they learn about Anita, their housekeeper, the more they are drawn into an international conflict. When it is discovered that Anita is Fatemah’s cousin and the daughter of the prime minister, things begin to spin out of control. You will fall in love with Anita, my feisty, out-spoken and endearing character, just as Habib did. Oh, did I tell you there is, as in all my novels, a romance percolating. Yes, big time. Guess who’s falling in love. To complicate matters, Anita has two brothers, thus the name. You will have to wait to discover their plot, but suffice it to say, America, watch your back, because the Blood Brothers are coming.
            What advice would you give to those who are on their own journey to publication.
       My advice to aspiring writers is this. Buy Velcro. You may question the wisdom or sanity of my absurd statement, but let me explain. Buy some Velcro, open the package, and follow the instructions. Sew one side to your chair and the other to the seat of your britches and sit. Don’t get up until you’ve written something. So my advice is simple. Writers write. And after they’ve written, they re-write, and re-write. Don’t get discouraged. Writing is a lonely business, so join a writers group. They will be your biggest supporters.
Can you share any books or websites that have helped you with your writing? 
      Let me recommend Renea Winchester’s book Stress-Free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author. For a fun read, check out her book In the Garden with Billy, as well.
              Please give us some links where you can be found.
You can find me by going to My website is with the header Author Bryan Powell’s Books. I can be reached by e-mail by pasting in

Author Bio: Deborah Malone’s first novel Death
in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in First Novel category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails,” edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association as well as Advanced Writer’s and Speakers Association. As a current member of the American Christian Fiction Writer she has established a blog where she reviews Christian Fiction.  



  1. I enjoyed meeting Bryan Powell and will look for his books. Totally agree with your Velcro suggestion!

  2. Hi Debbie and Bryan,
    Thanks so much for the great interview. It was nice to learn more about Bryan and his books. Congratulations and best wishes for much success with the new book.

  3. Good interview, Deborah. I won't enter the giveaway because I'm allergic to e-books. (Seriously, e-books don't fit into my format. Go ahead. Call me a dinosaur. I'd consider it a compliment. Espcially if you're calling me an Ankylosaurus.)

    I found your points about writing a biography very interesting, as well as your velcro suggestion, Bryan. I'm glad I got to read it.