According to the FBI and Christopher Meeks, Los Angeles is the bank robbery capital of the world. Meeks fiction is as dangerous and dynamic as the city of Los Angeles. Here’s Seven things to know about Blood Drama and hold on for the ride of your life.
By Christopher Meeks
1) You might not put it down. It’s not very often I am glued to a book. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris was that way for me, and are many of Michael Connelly’s mysteries. I thought I’d create such a book, a fast-paced story. In Blood Bank, a theatre student, Ian Nash, is taken hostage in a bank robbery gone awry. Will he survive? It’s dark, yet at times infused with the kind of quirky characters I’m known for in my short fiction. There’s even an undercurrent of romance in it once Ian meets the FBI agent in charge of his case, Aleece Medina.
2) Story is paramount. My first books were literary short stories, engaging and often humorous. I happened to teach “Story for Animators” for seven years at CalArts, so when I turned to novels, I came to focus on structure and “story” above literary ornamentation. When I say “story,” think of Breaking Bad. Nearly every scene in that series had a twist, which is the same aim I had for this book.
3) It was inspired by a real bank in South Pasadena. For over a year, I used to correct my student’s papers in the lobby of the bank until I realized banks get robbed. Would I really like to be around for that? No. And that made me think of my novel’s premise. Ian being taken hostage is just the start of an unusual story.
4) It’s my neighborhood. My previous novel, Love at Absolute Zero, took place in Madison, Wisconsin, and in Denmark. While I loved going to those places for research, I thought my next novel should be closer to home—easier for studying. Besides, people like novels of Los Angeles. I was also able to meet with FBI agents here to get the details right. I learned that Los Angeles is the bank robbery capital of the world.
5) Humor is important. My first books were collections of literary short stories, engaging and often dramatic, where humor slipped in. I’ve come to see humor is a critical element in much of what I offer because humor is necessary to life itself.
I happened to just return from a production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame in Pasadena. When I was a theatre reviewer, I came to think of Beckett plays the equivalent of literary castor oil, difficult to watch and enjoy, but somewhere in there it was good for you. Then I reviewed a production of Endgame at the Matrix Theatre, which was hilarious amid the bleakness. I understood this is the way it should be performed, which most directors don’t seem to get. I fell asleep in the latest production as did most of the audience. You can get far darker if there’s some comic relief.
6) The thriller spectrum is large, so I could do a few things here. One is I wanted an average person in extraordinary circumstances. Thus, Ian Nash is not a detective for a living—he’s a student. His life turns over when he’s taken hostage, and he has to save himself. Second, I wanted a strong woman his age to make him see things differently. Thus, FBI agent Aleece Medina becomes a powerful force in his life.
7) It’s also a mystery. I started writing this as a mystery, but then when I introduced the bank robbers in their hideaway, some of the mystery was taken away, turning it into a thriller. Yet the bandits don’t reveal who they are or why two women lead the gang, which is highly unusual. That remains a driving force throughout the novel. Who are these people that force Ian to change his life?
You can get Blood Drama as an eBook or in print. Read more at my website,
More About Blood Drama:
Publisher: White Wiskers Press (June 15, 2013)
Category: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, Crime Thriller
Tour Date: November, 2013
Available in: Print & eBook, 242 pages
Everyone has a bad day. Graduate student Ian Nash has lost his girlfriend in addition to being dropped from a Ph.D. program in theatre at a Southern California university. When he stops at a local coffee shop in the lobby of a bank to apply for a job, the proverbial organic matter hits the fan. A gang of four robs the bank, and things get bloody. Ian is taken hostage by the robbers when the police show up. Now he has to save his life.
FBI Special Agent Aleece Medina’s analysis of the bloody bank heist drives her into the pursuit of a robbery gang headed by two women. She doesn’t anticipate how this robbery will pit her against both the bandits and the male higher-ups in the FBI while the media heats up during a giant manhunt.
The robbers are about to kill Ian, and all he has at hand is his knowledge of the stage.
Praise for Christopher Meek’s Love at Absolute Zero:
ForeWord Reviews’ BOOK OF THE YEAR FINALIST
Top-Ten Best Fiction 2011 at Book Chase: “It is impossible not to like Gunnar Gunderson. As he progresses from one disaster or near miss to the next, one views him with a mixture of compassion and laughter.” – Sam Sattler, Book Chase
Winner 2011 Red Adept Reviews Indie Award-Romance: “The author hit a home run. It’s a very good story, very well told.”– Jim Chambers, Red Adept Reviews
Winner 2011 Noble Award (not Nobel): “The tension between science and emotion has never been more keenly felt.” – Carolyn Howard-Johnson
“Thermodynamics are nothing; it’s that love thing that is so frustrat- ingly hard to figure out. Love at Absolute Zero is an excellent read that is very much worth considering, highly recommended!”– Midwest Book Review
Here’s what Some of the Reviewers Said From the First Tour of Blood Drama:
“What sets this novel apart from other thriller is the development of the characters. Not only is Medina more complex than the stereotypical FBI agent found in many suspense novels, but Nash is a new type of victim. His theater and academic background give him an interesting perspective. This is definitely a suspenseful, can’t-put-it-down thriller. Clear your calendar in order to have time to read this from start to finish!”– Tammy, The Self-Taught Cook
“Blood Drama was highly entertaining and extremely enjoyable. It is a combination black comedy and crime novel. The characters of Ian and Aleece are memorable, quirky, and unique. I reveled in Ian’s quoting David Mamet (or some other playwright or work of literature) to deduce and interpret the information he had to ascertain where the clues were leading them. Meeks is a gifted writer. He has a pleasing way of propelling the action forward while developing his plot and characters. I enjoyed Meeks Love at Absolute Zero quite a bit, but I liked Blood Drama even more. I’m hopeful that Meeks will bring back Ian and Aleece to solve another crime.”– Lori, She Treads Softly
“This is one action packed thriller that you don’t want to put down. The author doesn’t waste time with the trivial, he gets right to the action and stays there. Just when you think things are as bad as they possible could get…wrong!
This was different from most thrillers I read in that it also has a little humor, I absolutely loved that aspect of the book. The characters are well written, they seem like real people, flaws and all. There’s also romance in this book, which gives you a little relief from the gripping adventures. I liked this book very much and so I will be checking to see what other books this author has written.”– Vicky, I’d Rather Be At the Beach
“This story had me hooked just out of pity for the poor guy, but when things turned from bad to worse I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what was going to happen next. This was far from the typical suspense/thriller. Yes, it does follow the MOs you expect in some areas but the characters make it so unique. I loved these characters. They were so unique that I could see them as real. They had their quirks and secrets that revealed their flaws and their vulnerabilities Nothing is really too farfetched. Yes, there is one character you might argue is but I live in a huge city. Trust me, it is not farfetched. Can’t say more or I let a big secret slip which is a no-no in reviews. If you love suspense/thrillers that have some humor, you’ll love this book. Yes, it kept me riveted. You have to read this book. You’ll enjoy it and want more. Plus you’ll learn to appreciate your own days a little bit better.”– Rebecca Graf, A Book Lover’s Library
About Christopher Meeks:
Christopher Meeks first published short fiction in a number of literary journals, and the stories are available in two collections, The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea and Months and Seasons. Recently, he’s focused on novels. The Brightest Moon of the Century is a story of a man who yearns for love and success, covering over thirty years-a tale that Marc Schuster of Small Press Reviewsdescribes as “a great and truly humane novel in the tradition of Charles Dickens and John Irving.” His last novel, Love At Absolute Zero, is about a physicist who uses the tools of science to find his soul mate-and he has just three days. Critic Grady Harp calls the book “a gift.” The new novel, Blood Drama, has him edge into a thriller. Meeks also runs White Whisker Books and publishes four authors.
Christopher at the Red Room: http://redroom.com/member/christopher-meeks
Christopher’s Website www.chrismeeks.com
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