Jack Cannon's American Destiny

Rachel Thompson

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Author Interview - Owen Banner

What is your greatest strength as a writer? I’ve been told that my action is intense and that I’m pretty handy with a metaphor. I have a very sensory-driven style.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I don’t have it very often. If I start to feel it come on, I usually just focus in on the characters and let the smells, sounds, feelings, and sights that they are experiencing put me in the moment.

How did you come up with the title? My novel is called Hindsight, because, as it opens, Shirley O’Shea is plummeting eighty feet to the pavement. He counters the old saying that your entire life flashes before your eyes by saying that it’s just the events and decisions you made that got you killed that flash before your eyes. In mid-freefall, we are taken back three weeks to where the story started.

Can you tell us about your main character? His name is Shirley O’Shea. When we meet first meet him he’s falling eighty feet to the pavement with two bullets burning through him. Before that, he worked on a construction and demolition crew in New Jersey. It was the only job he could get, having come fresh out of prison. He’s got a younger sister, Haley, and an aunt, Winnie, but that’s it–well, plus his golden retriever, Shamis. They are the only family he has left. He’s has been out of prison for three years and is trying his best to protect and provide for them. He blames himself for his parent’s deaths and his grandfather’s suicide. He’s had it rough in life, so he’s got a cynical outlook on things. Because of his past failures, he doubts himself and his ability to gain control of his situation. He’s mistrustful of others, but when a man named Isaac shows up on his doorstep saying he was a friend of Shirley’s grandfather and wants to repay a family debt, Shirley can’t say “no”. It starts with a simple delivery. That’s where our story blows wide open and ghosts of Shirley’s past come back to haunt him.

Who designed the cover? I did.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? The idea for it actually started one night when I told a bedtime story to my younger sisters. It was going to be a simple three-night story, but I saw the potential in the main character, Shirley O’Shea and the trouble that he found himself in when he delivers a package for a large sum of money. Reading the book, you’d never know this, because it is most certainly not for children. When the story began to evolve, I decided to see where it went. I let the idea simmer for a while and it slowly matured; Shirley’s history, his future, and his mind unraveling throughout the events that followed. The man who gave him the package intrigued me too. His name is Isaac, and he’s connected to Shirley’s grandfather, who committed suicide a few years back, and to the IRA. He is a man that you both admire and fear. I was interested to see how Shirley would turn out with Isaac pulling the strings. Ultimately, I decided to begin the book with Shirley plunging eighty feet to the pavement with a bullet in his shoulder and another chewing through his lung. I took the challenge of telling the story in Hindsight in Shirley’s own words, so that the reader could get to know him better and feel every punch, spark of suspense, and ounce of regret as he did.

What was the hardest part about writing this book? Restricting myself to writing in Shirley’s voice. There is a lot that I know as a narrator that I want to make the reader aware of, and sometimes there are descriptions that I’d like to give, but I stop myself and say, “nah, Shirley wouldn’t say that.”

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? Keep your focus on your characters and let them drive the story. And write from your gut. Don’t worry about what’s proper or politically correct. You can always fix that later. First, just write.


“I am hurtling eight stories to the pavement. There’s a bullet in my left shoulder and another chewing through my lung. I am going to die.” – Shirley O’Shea

When Shirley got out of prison three years ago, he committed himself to being there for his sister, Haley, and his aunt, Winnie–the only family he has left. Then he met Isaac, a man with connections to his grandfather and to the IRA. Isaac said he owed Shirley’s family a favor: deliver a package and get some money. But things are never that simple, are they? What should have been an easy drop-off blows Shirley’s world apart. Now he’s on the run, a continent away from those he loves, trying to figure out what he’s gotten himself into, who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in order to keep his family safe.

But Shirley has a few skeletons of his own banging on the closet doors, and the hinges are starting to come off.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Thriller

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Owen Banner on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.owenbanner.com/

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