Lee Gimenez is the author of ten novels. Several of his books became bestsellers, including The Washington Ultimatum, and Blacksnow Zero.
His latest mystery thriller, Killing West, was published in July 2014. This book is now a featured novel of the International Thriller Writers Association.
Tell us about your background. Who you are, where you are from?
I grew up in Georgia and graduated from Georgia Tech University. After college I was in the military, and did my service as an officer in the U.S. Army. Later I was a marketing manager for several large companies including M&M Mars and Verizon. I started writing novels full time about 8 years ago. My wife and I now live in the Atlanta area.
What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the readers will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader?
My books are action based thrillers, so in them you’ll find plenty of suspense, mystery, plot twists, and cliff hangers. But they are also based on characters that are put in difficult situations, both physically and emotionally. They face life-and-death danger, fear, and separation from their loved ones because of their professions, which require them to be on assignment in locations around the world. I also try to imbue my books with other emotions: hope for the future, and the value of hard work and determination.
What prompted you to be an author and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain person, artist, or genre?
In my first five novels, which were sci-fi, I was inspired by the great science fiction authors of our time – Clarke, Heinlein, Asimov, Card, and Bradbury. My last five novels are thrillers, so my inspiration now comes from such thriller writers as Dave Baldacci, Brad Thor, Lee Child, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, and James Patterson. I’m a member of the International Thriller Writers organization, which includes the top names in mystery thrillers; my association with this group has been a big inspiration for me also.
If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
I would compare my novels to Dave Baldacci and Lee Child, because my books, like theirs, have exciting plot twists, suspense, and likeable characters that are not perfect, but rather are flawed in some way, like people in real life. My bestselling novel, The Washington Ultimatum, is based around two of my series characters. They are Atlanta private investigator J.T. Ryan, and FBI agent Erin Welch. I’ve written two books with these characters and they will be featured in my upcoming novel, Skyflash, which is due out later in 2015.
Tell us about your latest work and what inspired you.
My latest novel is Killing West, which was published in 2014. This book is now a featured novel of the International Thriller Writers organization. I introduced a new character, CIA agent Rachel West, in this book. The novel deals with an international conspiracy to take over the Internet. I always have a ‘What if?’ question for my books. The ‘What if?’ question for this book was ‘What if one person controlled the Internet?’ My inspiration for this book came from the many Internet hacking problems we see daily – companies and individuals being hacked online.