Please join me in welcoming James R. Hannibal to the blog today to chat about his new suspense novel, Chasing the White Lion!
James R. Hannibal is a two-time Silver Falchion Award winner for his Section 13 mysteries for kids and a Thriller Award nominee for his Nick Baron covert ops series for adults. The author of The Gryphon Heist, James is a rare multisense synesthete, meaning all of his senses intersect. He sees and feels sounds and smells, and hears flashes of light. If he tells you the chocolate cake you offered smells blue and sticky, take it as a compliment.
CHASING THE WHITE LION
SERIES: Talia Inger #2
GENRE: Inspirational Suspense/Thriller
RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2020
In Talia’s world everyone has an angle and no one escapes unscathed
CIA officer Talia Inger may have reconciled with the man who assassinated her father, but that doesn’t mean she wants him hovering over her every move and unearthing the painful past she’s trying to put behind her. Still, she’ll need him–and the help of his star grifter, Valkyrie–if she hopes to infiltrate the Jungle, the first ever crowdsourced crime syndicate, to rescue a group of kidnapped refugee children.
But as Talia and her elite team of thieves con their way into the heart of the Jungle, inching ever closer to syndicate boss the White Lion, she’ll run right up against the ragged edge of her family’s dark past. In this game of cat and mouse, it’s win . . . or die. And in times like that, it’s always good to have someone watching your back.
Hi James! Welcome to the blog!
Q: As a former tactical deception officer and stealth pilot, you have experienced your share of danger and intrigue. How does your past experience affect your books?
James: In thriller writing, a classified past is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve had amazing experiences I’m never allowed to speak of in public, and those hidden experiences meant my first three novels had to pass through multiple program security offices before publishers could ever see them. However, even though I can’t talk about my real experiences, I can draw from them as I write, giving me an edge. Research is a little easier too. Any writer can find the information I put into my stories, but it will be a difficult hunt. I have the unfair advantage of knowing which rocks to overturn.
Carrie: oh wow! i hadn’t thought about it having to go through security offices first!
Q: In Chasing the White Lion, you take readers deep undercover into the criminal underworld where the main heroine, Talia, hopes to rescue kidnapped refugee children from a human trafficking network. How did you come up with the plot for your book?
James: Compassion International’s mission of empowering impoverished children inspires me. Compassion gives children hope, dignity, and identity. These are in short supply in border refugee camps where neither nation wants to recognize a child’s existence. That lack of identity makes these children prime targets for criminal enterprises. I wanted to bring this to light and bring to light the power of Compassion’s work. By extension, every sponsor is as much a hero as Talia. In essence, the crime syndicate in my story will learn that they messed with wrong kids.
Carrie: “By extension, every sponsor is as much a hero as Talia.” – i love that!
Q: Talia is not only a CIA officer, but she is also in charge of an elite team of thieves. What type of research was required to accurately portray her role?
James: Thieves and magic go hand in hand. I am bound by a nondisclosure, but I can say that my research on this story led me to an opportunity for remote study with a pair of the most famous magicians in the world. What I learned about deception and misdirection became key pieces of the adventure.
Carrie: that’s really cool!
Q: Who is the target audience for this book?
James: The target audience for this story is adult thriller-lovers, leaning toward new adult. The story focuses primarily on characters in the millennial age range, and I hope their battles, frustrations, and triumphs will connect with millennial readers.
Carrie: It’s been a long time since I was a ‘new adult’ but I’m looking forward to reading it too! 🙂
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Chasing the White Lion?
James: My ultimate hope is that readers will see the power of child sponsorship and choose to become heroes themselves through Compassion International or some other child sponsorship program. Beyond this, I hope that Talia and Valkyrie will help readers see that we can trust in God for all things—anytime, anywhere—and that no one is beyond the saving love of Christ. He is reaching out. Simply take his hand.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
James: The story I’m working on now is a spy-left-out-in-the-cold story loosely related to biblical story of Job. I am incredibly excited about this story and the message it holds.
Revell is offering a print copy of Chasing the White Lion to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
NOTE: delivery of book may be delayed due to the COVID-19 shutdowns
What about you? What interests you most about Chasing the White Lion and/or my Q&A with James Hannibal?