Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Dangerous Past" by A. F. Ebbers {Guest Post & Review}


Airline Captain Frank Braden and his wife Nicole are suddenly stalked by professional assassins who have a deadline to make their deaths look like an accident or a suicide. And the couple doesn't know why they are being targeted. They don't realize that they stand in the way of a deadly conspiracy. Little by little they are pulled into a dangerous web of intrigue by a murderous criminal network that deceptvely offers the pilot his wife's life if he will concede to their demands. This is a thriller that rocks the highest levels of Washington.

About the Author and Guest Post by A.F. Ebbers:

A. F. Ebbers, a journalism graduate of Ohio University was a reporter/writer for major newspapers, ad agencies, and in public relations for Cessna Aircraft Company.  He also graduated from Army Flight School and flew for the Ohio and Kansas Army National Guards. Later he was called to active duty and served two flying tours in Vietnam. After retirement from the military, he flew for corporations and for regional airlines. A dual rated ATP pilot, he has written for numerous national magazines, Sunday supplements and trade and travel magazines and has written screenplays and short stories. Today he lives with his wife in the Austin, Texas area and, when not writing, enjoys tennis, flying and piano. Dangerous Past is his debut novel.


I write realistically about what I have experienced.  Most of the places in this novel are actual because I’ve been there: from Vietnam to Europe to Asia to Washington to Texas and most places in-between.  I create characters using a combination of real and imaginary personalities.  My motto for writing fiction is always write what you know.


One day I met a woman who wore a t-shirt with the words, “Be Careful what you say to me because I might put you in my next book.”

She knew about character development. 

That’s the secret. I’ve met my characters somewhere along the way of life. The meetings might have taken decades apart but it was what  they said to me that I always mentally classified them as a hellva nice person or a complete jerk or even a dangerous person. I rarely forget the neat phrases they said or their physical appearance or actions. And I always knew that someday they were going to be part of my future book.

Oh, but I changed their written physical appearance so only I knew who they were. Names were changed, short characters went to tall characters, the fat went thin and vice versus, etc.

As a former reporter for major newspapers I write realistically about what I have experienced. In my mind the events in my book could realistically take place next week or have taken place in the past. Most of the locales in my novel are actual because I’ve been there: from Vietnam, to Europe to Asia to Washington to Texas and most places in-between. My characters are a combination of real and imaginary personalities. The event and actions seem real because I question myself on every scene, and every spoken word, as to whether this seems real. 

My motto for writing fiction is always write what you know.


As a first time novelist I thought of a method to sell my hardback books before they arrived from the printer. It’s a good thing because it’s pretty hard to get them sold in a bookstore especially if you’re a self-published author. A news item once cited that the average mid-list author from a publishing house only sells about five books in a book store during his signing day. Unless, of course, he has a superstar name.  Under my system, I sold between 15 to 27 books during each seven-hour day.

Where? How? Simple. I got a vendor stand and state license, tent and sold them at festivals, fairs, and community market days in the central Texas area. And I had never sold anything before. I had neat, inexpensive posters that listed what the novel was about and placed photos and reviews all over my vendor stand to attract attention. These fairs are usually held on Saturdays once a month. During a time period of about three years, I sold approximately 2,000 books in two hardback editions during this part-time sales effort. 

The best part of this was that I got to interact with my buyers, before and after the sale, when nearly a quarter of them would see  my booth at future fairs and come over to personally tell me about how much they enjoyed the book, some saying they stayed up reading till 5 a.m. the next morning to finish It. I knew then I had a winner.

And this is important. When a person comes over to your booth to look it over, get up and talk to them, offering to tell them what the book is about. Don’t be silent, thinking the buyer will talk first. He’ll probably look and leave.

But don’t order too many books at the start until you see how they  sell. Maybe even try Print on Demand.   I took a big chance by ordering 1,000 books at the start. But I’ve been a professional writer for decades and I felt my debut book was good.


Every writer and author gets rejections. Just get over it or even use it  to your advantage. But don’t give up.
For example, when I was teaching a Saturday informal class at University of Texas on magazine writing, one of my students in class asked what was the secret to getting her articles published in national magazines.
 It was a question I had been waiting for.

 So I brought out a large roll of paper and gave one end of the paper to a student and told him to stand at the front of the auditorium stage and then gave the other end to another student and told him to unravel it by walking up the long aisle to the door. While going up the aisle he went through the door and disappeared, still unrolling the paper. Then I told the class that all those big and small papers taped end to end were my rejection slips and that’s what it takes to be a free-lance magazine writer or any published writer.

Remember, even Tom Clancy’s debut novel submission was turned down by every East Coast publisher he sent it to because they didn’t know him and probably didn’t even bother to read his manuscript. Not discouraged, he sent it off to a naval press in Maryland which normally did not publish fiction but they did read his manuscript of “Hunt for Red October.” The rest is history.

Learn more about A. F. Ebbers and his book on:

You can purchase "Dangerous Past" on:


I really didn't expect much from the book as seeing it mostly war, planes, assassins and conspiracy, but I was totally surprised at A. F. Ebber's "Dangerous Past". It just grabs you right from the beginning and doesn't let go until the end. Fast paced, strong characters, historically accuract and pact with action!  For a first novel, A. F. Ebber has all the elements of a great thriller.

I give "Dangerous Past" a 4 star rating.

* Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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