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Interview with Kurt KammIf you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?I had lifelong friend and years ago I told him I didn't want to hear from him again. He was doing something at the time that really bothered me and I had had enough of it. In hindsight, lifelong friends don't come along that often.If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?I would like to keep Kneph in my closet. For the few who don't know who Kneph is, he's an Egyptian god with a man's body and a ram's head. So think of the fun of this:>Kneph riding next to me on Pacific Coast Highway in a Porsche convertible.>Sending Kneph out on a blind date.>Booking Kneph to appear on Dancing With the Stars.OK, you get the idea.How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?Let's go back a step. I have never been sure what my genre is, and have had difficulty finding comparable work. One of my books, Code Blood, won a handful of awards as a cross genre novel (paramedic/firefighters and a kid who thought he was a vampire). My firefighter series was classified as "mystery," but those books were really about the lives of firefighters and I never found anything similar. In the case of The Lizard's Tale, I read enough drug cartel books to steer away from writing the standard violence/smuggling/law breaking story. My plotline and characters are atypical. I write faction—fact based fiction—and while my stories are very realistic, they are very unusual.What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?The best and worst advice is "write what you know." On the positive side, it is true that it is easier to write what you know. You have less likelihood of going off on a tangent to write something that is utterly false and unconvincing. Doing detailed research will help you expand what you know. On the other hand, following that advice can be very limiting. You can sit around all day and think about things you know nothing about and end up writing a 2,000-word novel. I have learned that it can be worthwhile to write what you don't know. If you have a good imagination and use it with skill, you can write stuff that is realistic, entertaining and unusual. Try writing what you don't know and see what happens. Just make sure your editor has a look at it.Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?Not much of the material in The Lizard's Tale is related to my life. Dedo, the cartel's, banker has financial knowledge and skills which are drawn from my own Wall Street experience. The difference is that he has several billions of cash to invest, and I never had that problem. Ryan, the young DEA Special Agent, is a composite of many agents whom I met and spoke with while attending the DEA Citizen's Academy. Alejandro, the Guatemalan agricultural engineer is purely fictional as is Gina, the wildlife officer who is a real man-eater. Finally, the stunning, beautiful Mexican prostitute, Maria Gabriella, is pure fantasy. I should be so lucky as to have her as an event in my life!
The Lizard’s Tale
By Kurt Kamm
Publisher: MCM Publishing
Release date: June 21, 2016
Genre: Mystery/Crime Thriller
Length: 210 Pages
About the book:
When the DEA goes up against the Sinaloa Cartel, an orphan and an endangered lizard are caught in the conflict. The action moves from Guatemala to Mexico to Catalina Island off the coast of California.
Alejandro, a middle class Guatemalan, wants his share, and makes a deal with the cartel. Now he’s risking his life to deliver the goods.
El Dedo, a brilliant financier, is the Sinaloa Cartel’s banker. He worries about what to do with the billions of dollars collecting dust in his underground vault.
Ryan, a DEA Special Agent, needs to make a high profile case to get a promotion. Is the big yacht headed for California carrying a Mexican drug shipment?
Kate, a wildlife officer on Catalina Island, smells smoke. When she heads out in the middle of the night to investigate a fire, she makes an astonishing discovery.
Jorge, an orphan from the streets of Mexico, is abandoned in the United States. Will he find his way back home and track down his mother’s killer?
EXCERPTGina wasn’t looking for a husband—she was far too independent to let a man run her life—but she needed male companionship. After coming to Catalina, she spent a lot of time alone until she met Brad, a captain with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. He worked at Station 55, and was big, strong, and good-looking. All her Latin lovers had been dark and she was attracted to his blond hair. She loved running her fingers over the blond carpet that covered his chest. At thirty-six, he was five years younger than she was, and married. Brad was perfect.Their affair lasted almost two years. She didn't see him every day—in fact, she didn't want to see him every day. His wife and daughter lived in Seal Beach, and once a week he took the ferry to the mainland and spent three days at home. But he didn’t always head home right away, and they often stole a few hours together on one of the remote beaches on the rugged, wind-swept west end of the island. During the off-season, they sometimes managed to spend a night at a local bed and breakfast in Avalon, and occasionally she cooked dinner for him at the ranch house. When nothing else worked, they drove up into the hills and screwed in the back of his SUV. For Gina it was a perfect relationship—she got what she needed without making a major emotional commitment.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Malibu, California resident Kurt Kamm has written a series of firefighter mystery novels, which have won several literary awards. His newest novel, The Lizard’s Tale, provides a unique look inside the activities of the Mexican drug cartels and the men dedicated to stopping them.
Kurt has used his contact with CalFire, Los Angeles County and Ventura County Fire Departments, as well as the ATF and DEA to write fact-based (“faction”) novels. He has attended classes at El Camino Fire Academy and trained in wildland firefighting, arson investigation and hazardous materials response. He has also attended the ATF and DEA Citizen’s Academies. After graduating from the DEA Citizen’s Academy in 2014, he began work on The Lizard’s Tale.
Kurt has built an avid fan base among first responders and other readers. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School, Kurt was previously a financial executive and semi-professional bicycle racer. He was also Chairman of the UCLA/Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation for several years.
Visit his author website at www.kurtkamm.com
Kurt Kamm LITERARY AWARDS
TUNNEL VISIONS (MCM Publishing 2014)
2014 USA Best Book Award -Fiction: General – Finalist
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL (MCM Publishing 2013)
Best Novel 2013 – Public Safety Writers Association
Winner of the 2012 Hackney Literary Award for best novel of the year ($5,000 PRIZE)
Reader's Favorite 2013 – Finalist – Urban Fiction
The 2012 Dana Award – Finalist
Eric Hoffer Award - Finalist (2014)
Excerpt published in Birmingham Arts Journal http://www.birminghamartsjournal.com/pdf/baj10-2.pdf
ONE FOOT IN THE BLACK (MCM Publishing 2012)
The 2012 USA Best Book Awards – Fiction: General – Finalist
The 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards – Fiction: General – Finalist
Excerpt published in Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides: Stories About America's Public Safety Heroes
CODE BLOOD (MCM Publishing 2011)
Writer’s Type - First Chapter Competition. January 2011- First Place
2012 International Book Awards - Fiction: Cross Genre Category – First Place
National Indie Excellence Book Awards – Faction (fiction based on fact) - Winner of the 2012 Award
The 2012 USA Best Book Awards - Fiction: Horror - Winner
LuckyCinda Publishing Contest 2013 First Place – Thriller
Reader's Favorite 2013– Finalist – Horror Fiction
Knoxville Writer’s Guild - 2011 Novella or Novel Excerpt – 2nd Place
RED FLAG WARNING Aberdeen Bay 2010
The Infinite Writer– Mystery 2010 – First Place
The Written Art Awards - Mystery/Thriller 2010 – First Place
Royal Dragonfly – Mystery Category 2011 – First Place