To say you have had and continue to have a colorful career/life seems like an understatement.
Q. What made you decide to start writing and were you concerned in using stories/information from your experience as a black ops contractor?
A. My longtime partner and I had often talked about writing a book when we retired, but he passed away in 1997. Once I retired I told my wife and family what I had really done for work and they would ask me to tell them stories. I would tell them some of the things I could talk about and they encouraged me to write a book.
I decided to write my novels as fiction and I base many of my stories and characters on events or people who I knew of or crossed paths with during my career. However, I would never reveal anything that could compromise our country’s security.
Q. Were there times you wondered if you wanted to do this? To write about it?
A. Although I had given some thought to writing a book, I didn’t think I actually would, just because it was something I had never done and I wasn’t really sure what would be involved. Once I had made the decision, my goal was to write the best book I could and then do whatever necessary to “get it out there.” Since one of my cover businesses was a promotions company, I did have some ideas about how to market my book.
Q. Did you start out writing the experiences in black ops as novels or just writing down particular situations?
A I began writing down various experiences that took place during my career and then generated stories around them to tie them together.
Q. If the latter, when did you decide to move it into writing novels using that experience?
A. I started writing my first novel in 2009 and by that time had put together a binder of experiences and characters for my novels. Now I sometimes use current events as a backdrop for my story, and then use my knowledge of the world of Black Ops to be sure the story is authentic.
Q. How did you like acting?
A. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to act in several independent films. Although I had never been formally trained as an actor I had years of acting under my belt as a deep cover black operative – it is part of our training. In the film 27 Down I played the role of Captain Flynn, Chief of Detectives for the Boston Police Dept. I also got to play the roles as an FBI Special Agent in the film Revenge, and a District Court Judge in the film Luke Eleven.
I really learned a lot and eventually I worked as a Producer and Director on a couple of films was in several television commercials, and even did some voiceover work. I enjoyed it a lot and made some life-long friends, but then decided to concentrate on my writing career.
Q. What brought about your signing the contract with Kensington Publishing?
A. I was lucky enough to have the Editor in Chief of Kensington Publishing, Michaela Hamilton read my manuscript for Termination Orders. Michaela liked it and called me and invited me to Kensington’s offices in New York city where she introduced me to the owner and publisher of Kensington. I knew right away we would be a good fit. I was then offered a two book deal.
Kensington is a great company to work for because you are treated as a member of their family. My editor, Michaela Hamilton is not only my boss but we have become very good friends.
I would like to make a point that the other Kensington authors also made me feel like “one of the gang” and many other authors I have met in my genre have also been very supportive.
Q. In writing, how have you managed to maintain your main character’s voice amidst all the other voices?
A. I keep it as simple as possible. I am Dan Morgan, and Dan Morgan is me. Whenever there is a dilemma about what Morgan’s actions would be in a situation I think “what would I do?”
Q. Do you have a unique way to develop your dialogue?
A. I have my characters talk in a way that I spoke during my career as a “Deep Cover Black Operative.” In other words, I keep the dialog very realistic.
Q. What is your writing schedule?
A. I usually write about five days a week, from 4:00am to about 8:00am. No interference from phones, emails, texts, or other distractions.
Q. How do you stay in touch with your readers? Do you prefer in-person seminars and book signings or social media contact or a mix?
A. I do a combination of all of the above. I spend some time each day on Facebook and my Twitter accounts. I attend several of the bigger Author Conventions, especially those geared for readers and also do quite a few of library events and book signings.
Q. Do your plots and scenes come from your experiences?
A. Some do, and others I create from what I know from experience what can and can’t really take place.
“Maloney has a real winner.” —Marc Cameron
Black Ops veteran Leo J. Maloney delivers a lightning-fast thriller that puts America’s top operatives on a collision course with Russia’s deadliest weapon . . .
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest rail line in the world. But for Dan Morgan’s daughter Alex, it could be the shortest trip of her life—and the last. After taking out a sadistic North Korean officer, she boards the train to make her escape. But she’s not the only passenger with a hidden agenda. Dan Morgan has two choices: save his daughter before fighter jets blow up the train. Or stop a madman from annihilating the world. Either way, this train ride is a one-way ticket toward disaster—and the last stop is World War III . . .
“Maloney gives us an ultra-fast thriller with the scene shifting back and forth among the protagonists and causing the reader to become caught up in the events. The book is typical of a Dan Morgan thriller, keeping the reader glued to the action and certainly awaiting the next novel in the series. A well done and satisfying read.”
Praise for Leo J. Maloney and His Novels
“The new master of the modern spy game.” —Mark Sullivan
“Everything a thriller reader wants.”—Ben Coes
“Dan Morgan is one of the best heroes to come along in ages.”
”Fine writing and real insider knowledge.”—Lee Child
“Everything a thriller reader wants.”—Ben Coes
“A ripping story!”—Meg Gardiner
“Rings with authenticity.”—John Gilstrap