Red Screen received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Daniel Burke.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Title: Red Screen. Publish date: 12/05/2023
What’s the book’s first line?
Angela Harding, Director of World Simulation Development for Xperion, Inc, watched the team leads trickle into the conference room with coffee cups and laptops in hand.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
It’s the near future, and the Metaverse is home to millions of hard-core game addicts called Meta Junkies. Shea Britton is one of them. The top player in an elaborate fantasy simulation game called the Land of Might and Magic, Shea’s character, Darshana, is on a quest to rid the Land of an evil player known only as The Gray Warrior. What Shea doesn’t know is, The Gray Warrior is hunting her too, and he’s not playing a game. He’s killing for real, and it’s up to the FBI’s top profiler, Parker Reid, to stop him before he reaches her.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
I wrote Red Screen because I love suspense thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat and have realistic characters and plots, and I love epic fantasy and science fiction stories with a lot of unique characters and world building. Red Screen’s virtual reality setting allowed me to do both in one book. I got to tell a gritty, true-to-life story about FBI agents hunting a serial killer while at the same time telling a sword and sorcery fantasy complete with wizards and warriors on a quest to rid a land of evil. How cool is that?
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
Red Screen is a suspense thriller with a fresh plot line and a diverse cast of identifiable characters who readers will love, hate, and fear. It’s also choc full of neat gamer tech and fantasy elements.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
Special Agent Parker Reid barely survived an attack by a serial killer in which his wife was killed. As a result of his wounds, he suffers blackouts and is in constant pain from damage done to his right leg. He requires a cane to get around, and he abuses pain killers to deal with the agony. I modelled Parker after the legendary FBI profiler John Douglas and the fictional character Gregory House from the early 2000s TV series, House.
When did you first decide to become an author?
I knew I wanted to write in the sixth grade when I read Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. It was the first time I experienced the wonder of an author creating a world in my head.
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
I was a software developer before retiring in 2022. Now, I am a full-time grandfather.
How much time do you generally spend on your writing?
I write between two and four hours every weekday morning, and I try to edit an hour or two every night. I am always researching, observing, and making notes.
You have complete control of the product. That is the best and hardest part.
What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?
Writing the story is the easy part. It’s getting people to read it that’s hard. Promotion is essential.
Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?
Yes. For the editorial and marketing support.
Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)
Knowing that I built something in a reader’s head and maybe left something in their heart.
Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?
It’s a tie between Frank Herbert, JRR Tolkien, and George R. R. Martin, for the world building and incredible characters. The author I love to read the most, though, is Robert Crais. His Elvis Cole and Joe Pike characters are the best.