Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, release: August 15
he sleeps, the forgotten terrors of the past come alive.
Grammy-winning pianist Landon Jeffers’s brain cancer has given him only a few years to live. But when he sleeps, the forgotten terrors of his past torment him. When he wakes, shameful memories come rushing back. Desperate for answers, Jeffers discovers that a brain implant intended to treat his cancer is really a device to control him, forcing him to commit terrible crimes. Now he’s being manipulated by an evil crime syndicate and a crooked cop.
What if free will isn’t? What if your every move is predestined? If you kill, are you guilty of murder?
Adam Blumer fixes other people’s books to pay the bills. He writes his own to explore creepy lighthouses and crime scenes. He is the author of three Christian suspense novels: Fatal Illusions (Meaningful Suspense Press); its sequel, The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press); and Kill Order (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas).
A print journalism major in college, he works full-time from home as a book editor after serving in editorial roles for more than twenty years. He lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife, Kim, and his daughters, Laura and Julia. When he’s not working on his next thriller, he’s hiking in the woods, playing Minecraft with his daughters, or learning new chords on his guitar. He is committed to writing clean suspense that is free of profanity, vulgarity, and sexual content. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the Christian Editor Network, and The Christian PEN. He works with literary agent Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.
Interview with Adam
- Tell readers about your writing journey. How did you get started?
I’ve loved to write stories since I was a kid and studied novel writing in college. I completed five unpublished novels, mostly for youth, before I began Fatal Illusions, my first published novel, in the spring of 2002 in conjunction with a Writer’s Digest correspondence course on novel writing. In January 2006, literary agent Steve Laube, a well-known and respected voice in Christian fiction, responded enthusiastically to my book proposal and asked to see the entire manuscript. Of course, I was on cloud nine. Though he ultimately declined to represent me, he kindly gave me eight suggestions on how to make the novel publishable.
Energized, I followed his advice and got to work, but I still couldn’t find an agent or publisher. A year later, I contacted Kregel Publications, not about my novel but about opportunities to edit books from home. The managing editor noticed on my résuméthat I had written several unpublished novels and asked to see my latest project. Kregel accepted it for publication in August 2007. God opened a door I never could have opened for myself.
- What other novels have you written?
My first novel is Fatal Illusions (Meaningful Suspense Press). The sequel is The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press). Both are available as paperbacks and e-books.
- What gave you the inspiration to write Kill Order?
My dad, Larry, passed away from brain cancer in 2011, and several aspects of his cancer journey kicked off the initial story idea. One key detail involved a medical procedure; the doctors agreed to remove as much of my dad’s brain tumor as possible and replace it with medicinal wafers intended to fight the existing cancer. My mind began playing the what-if game. What if the doctor implanted something else, something that could monitor or even control my dad’s life? The story’s premise grew from there.
- When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?
When I was a child, I began writing wildly imaginative pirate and fantasy stories. My first handwritten story was a fantastical tale about Captain Kidd’s spyglass. In high school, I also wrote and finished an unpublished novel called Down with the Ship. It’s such an Agatha Christie copycat that I laugh whenever I peruse it, but emulation is how a lot of authors get to be where they are today. Those were the early projects that inspired me to take novel writing seriously. When I won a high school award for creative writing, I wondered if God wanted to do more with my love for fiction. In college I won more writing awards, and though I studied journalism, I took as many creative writing courses as possible. God opened doors from there, and I’ve never lost my love for fiction writing.
- Do you have a favorite Bible verse that resonates with you?
Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ESV). I’ve always loved this verse, and my wife and I included it in our wedding ceremony.
- If you could go back in time and give advice to your younger self, what would that be?
Writing the story is only half of the project. The other half is finding out what readers like to read, crafting the story for them by following publishing standards, and writing the story to the best of your ability. Then remember that publishers can take a very long to decide whether they want your work. Don’t get discouraged. Just keep going and waiting.
- What is the hardest part of the creative process of writing?
I rarely have difficulty coming up with story ideas and even an engaging premise, but getting from the beginning to the ending is a circuitous path that can sometimes come to dead ends. The hardest part of novel writing, in my opinion, is choosing the right path that comes out at the right ending. There are so many moving pieces and critical decisions along the way that the writer can become paralyzed, overcome by too many choices. If you’re an indecisive person, you’ll never succeed as a novelist.
- What is your favorite genre to read for fun?
Authors write what they like to read. When I was a kid, I devoured Hardy Boys books—yes, even my sister’s collection of Nancy Drew. While growing up, I read Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Ray Bradbury, and Madeleine L’Engle. Eventually I gravitated to suspense fiction by authors like Frank Peretti, Terri Blackstock, and Mary Higgins Clark. I grew weary of whodunits and preferred suspense novels. I like novels that grab me around the throat, keep the pages turning, and never let go until the final period. Suspense novels filled with plenty of action and conflict captivate me like no other books I read, though I also have a fondness for good literature, fantasy, history, biography, true crime, and science fiction.
- What was the hardest part about writing Kill Order? How long does it typically take you to write your novels?
The ending was tough to write. While I’m typically an organized plotter, I took off the training wheels on this one and let the story glide where it and the characters wanted to go. The journey became both fun but scary. I had the premise and some plot developments in place, but how the story concluded took more work than I expected.
I typically take at least a couple of years of evenings and weekends for the actual writing of the book. But that doesn’t count the time needed to shop the novel around through my agent and then wait on a publisher before and after the contract; the publishing wheel turns much more slowly than most readers realize. I wish I could write more quickly than that, but that’s the reality for me, since this isn’t my full-time gig.
- I noticed that your branding on your website is for “meaningful suspense.” What inspired you to write these kinds of thrillers and suspense novels? Also, could you please tell us what inspired your “clean fiction guarantee”?
I began reading Christian novels in junior high and soon gravitated to suspense. Back in the day, an inspirational thread was a staple in Christian fiction, and I believe a Christian novel can do more than simply entertain. These days many authors are leaning toward writing clean, moral stories but avoiding overt Christian content. I’m a believer that the inspirational content should stay (hence “meaningful suspense”). Books can encourage and even challenge readers’ thinking while taking them on a roller coaster of a ride. The “clean fiction guarantee” came about due to the rise of objectionable content in some Christian fiction. My fans were expressing disappointment to me due to content issues when they tried books by some Christian authors. I felt it was time to declare where I stood, and many readers have appreciated my guarantee.
- Where is your favorite place to write?
I have been blessed with a wonderful home office. Though I often like to write in other locations, this is by far my favorite place. I can close the door, shut out life’s distractions, pray, and become immersed in my story. Now and then, if I need a break, I can glance out the window and delight in God’s creation.
- What are you reading at the moment, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?
I’m currently enjoying Mind Games by Nancy Mehl. I especially enjoy a good thriller, whether Christian or secular. Some of my favorite authors are Steven James, Terri Blackstock, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, and Brandilyn Collins. I like how they weave story threads together and craft their scenes in ways that keeps the plot moving forward. Their books are great examples of what works in suspense writing. I learn so much simply by reading their novels.
- What is the best part of your author’s life?
I love hearing from readers who went to work tired because they stayed up too late finishing one of my novels. If I kept them immersed in my story and entertained, that’s a score in my book.
- Do you have any new writing projects on the horizon?
I’m almost finished with the first draft of the sequel to Kill Order and hope to have something ready for my agent sometime this fall.
- What’s one unusual fact about you?
When I was a kid, for a while I wanted to be a ventriloquist and had a “dummy” named Andy. But then I got braces and could no longer talk through my teeth like I used to. Andy sadly went into storage.
- Name your three biggest frustrations about the writing business.
1. The amount of time each book requires from start to finish. Included in this is the long wait time from publishers.
2. The continually changing rules in writing and publishing. Just when you think you know what publishers are looking for, your agent tells you something else.
3. Book marketing. One cannot guarantee sales. I wish a book release was like the movie Field of Dreams. “Build it, and they will come.” If only it were that easy. There is almost an equal amount of work in just promoting the book.
- On the flip side, what excites you the most about the creative process?
I get most excited about the creative process when a plot development I never saw coming unexpectedly presents itself, taking the story in a new but stronger direction. This epiphany has happened to me several times.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my writing life at your blog.
Endorsements for Kill Order
“A positively riveting, un-put-down-able read! Blumer implements an incredible mastery of language, plot, and style in this twist on the cat-and-mouse thriller. Kill Order will have you flying through pages to understand the connection between sadistic murders and Landon’s displaced memories. A sinister conspiracy at play will keep your heart thundering against your rib cage as you attempt, with Landon, to solve the mysteries of his past to help him, his mother, and his high school sweetheart survive the present. But faulty memories and past crimes have a way of haunting even children of God.”
—Hope Bolinger, author of Blaze
“Wow, I think I’ve discovered a new favorite in sci-fi thrillers! Blumer takes us on a wild, rollicking ride of adventure, mixing medical technology, family relationships, and political intrigue while addressing questions of moral choice and free will. A true tour de force that is better experienced than described.”
—David E. Fessenden, publishing consultant and freelance editor
Author of The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy, a Holmes-Watson mystery
“With Kill Order, Blumer delivers another high-concept, high-stakes thriller. With an expansive cast and an intricate plot, readers will find themselves on a relentless ride that races forward to the final page. Fans of Dean Koontz’s thrillers will like this novel. But Kill Order offers even more: a look into responsibility and guilt, culpability and fear.”
—Aaron Gansky, author of The Bargain, The Hand of Adonai Series, Who Is Harrison Sawyer?, Heart’s Song, and Firsts in Fiction
“Adam Blumer has created a story that parallels Stephen King and Ted Dekker’s offerings with his own unique voice. Kill Order’s inspiration thread is the added spice that makes this thriller unique and satisfying. Blumer’s what-if idea is well-researched, and the intrigue and raced for your life moments are well-executed.”
—Multi-award-winning author Cindy Ervin Huff
“Kill Order is a fast-paced, masterfully written psychological thriller with surprising twists and turns that will keep readers engaged until the very last page. I highly recommend it!”
—Nancy Mehl, best-selling author of Mind Games, http://www.nancymehl.com
“Already troubled by suspicious blank periods in his childhood memories, Landon Jeffers finds evidence he may be committing violent crimes that he doesn’t remember. It’s as if something outside of himself were taking control … From this premise, Adam Blumer develops one of the premier suspense novels of our time. It’s a page-turner you won’t want to put down till you’ve devoured the last sentence.”
—Donn Taylor, author of Lightning on a Quiet Night, The Preston Barclay Mysteries, etc.
“In Adam Blumer’s latest novel, Kill Order, we find accomplished pianist Landon Jeffers facing one of life’s greatest threats. His days are numbered. Cures are in short supply. Negativity and despair mount as an inevitable and premature end to such a gifted life seems too insurmountable. Until a cure is offered, experimental, mind you. No promises are made, but past cases have shown promise … of death and destruction to those who have been on the wrong side of justice for far too long … In Kill Order, the bad guys could easily find themselves on Raymond Reddington’s Blacklist. And Landon Jeffers could easily find himself on the vengeful side of the lawless. A bit mystery, a bit sci-fi, a bit thriller, when the reader pieces these ‘bits’ together, a story will emerge that will test one’s own moral compass.”
—C. Kevin Thompson, award-winning author of the Blake Meyer Thriller series and The Serpent’s Grasp
Kill Order Book Trailer
Where Readers Can Buy a Copy of Kill Order
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kill-order-adam-blumer/1132572349?ean=9781645261865
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas: https://www.shoplpc.com/product/kill-order/
Kindle E-book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRSPGMN/
How to Connect with Adam
Kill Order Paperback Giveaway
Here is the Rafflecopter signed paperback giveaway info. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8d1eaa8d7/?