Saturday, September 24, 2022

Book Tour + #Giveaway: FNG: A Black Spear Novel by Benjamin Spada @spadaben @RABTBookTours @PublishingAcorn


Date Published: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

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FNG: noun. informal. Military term, “F****** New Guy”: a person just out of training or newly transferred into the unit, who either hasn't proved their worth or doesn't know how to operate properly due to lack of experience. 

“Welcome to Black Spear.” With these four words Cole West is immediately thrust into the shadowy world of the military’s most deadly black-ops program. No warning. No training. No choice but to buckle up as Black Spear conscripts him to fight against a paramilitary group of renegade veterans known only as “Terminal.”

Terminal is no ragtag militia but a veritable private army of disgruntled soldiers with one mission: Stop at nothing to topple the government they think failed them. Armed with a highly volatile bioweapon capable of absorbing the properties of other contagions, they plan to wash the country clean through an ocean of blood.

It’s up to Cole West and Black Spear to prevent Terminal’s terrorist attacks and stop the insurrection before it can happen. To survive in Black Spear, West will have to prove himself. But even on day one, there are no second chances…

Interview with Benjamin Spada

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    Scary viruses are something I became involved with a long time ago in my military career, but really the theme at the core of my book isn’t really bioweapons. It’s about unrealized potential. It’s about seizing that shot, that lone opportunity that comes knocking, and proving you can make it. It’s about earning your place, fighting against that alienation that comes with being the inexperienced rookie, and showing the doubters what you’re made of. People have asked me if I drew a lot of inspiration from my experience in the Marines for Cole, but the truth is that the mere act of diving headfirst into the writing world was what truly informed that theme. It was deeply cathartic to have my debut novel be centered on a character well outside of his comfort zone as he tries to learn his new lot in life.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    One of the main goals of my book was for it to feel like a solid balance of having true believable characters, while still having fun bombastic Hollywood-like thrills. I had a blast writing it, and more than once a character or two took on a life of their own, so I’m really happy with hitting that goal. The other intent I had was to nail that universal feeling of being an outsider and the isolation that comes with it, because even though not everyone’s been a recruit in a black-ops organization we’ve all felt a bit of what Cole West feels on his first day.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    Learning to trust the reader. Since it took me a while to write this, and my military life can be quite busy, there would be times that I was forced to take a break between writing sessions. I found myself unnecessarily recapping information, stating who said what every time in dialogue, or repeating character descriptions because I thought people would need to be reminded, when in reality they read it five minutes ago in the previous chapter. Trusting that the readers don’t need every detail spoon-fed to them on where every object is in a room was hard, because I’m a very visual person and selfishly want them to see exactly what I saw in my head.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    Writing the big “watercooler” moments I had planned from the beginning. Certain encounters or revelations that I had planned for so long and then finally getting to write it out was like getting to unwrap that Christmas present you knew your parents got you. I know it’s there! But having to wait until it was time was well worth it for that feeling.

    Where there alternate endings you considered?

    Without spoiling too much, I did have a different ending at one point which was a bit more of a cliffhanger and a direct lead-in to a follow up sequel. We decided to instead really cap it as a “true” ending, while fully intending on having further adventures. It’s like Indiana Jones! At the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark our favorite archeologist’s story is done for that particular journey, but you know there’s more coming even without them telegraphing or setting up what a sequel will be about.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    I’ve met some absolute badass martial arts instructors, all of which could dismantle a person as easily as a cheap Ikea dresser. The cool thing was that every one of these coaches were super down to earth people. The misconception is that they were a bunch of tough guys looking for a fight, but much like a professor who’s devoted their lives to mastering a subject they are far more interested in sharing that knowledge and wisdom with students. It just so happens that the subject they spent so much time learning can lead to great bodily harm on those that would do them wrong.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    You name it, I like it. Horror, sci-fi, thrillers, philosophy and self-help, cookbooks, I guess the only genre I don’t exactly have a taste for (just because I haven’t purchased any) would be romance. The only problem I have is having time for it all. I find myself empathizing with the guy from that classic Twilight Zone episode where all he wants to do is have time for his books!

 About the Author

Born and raised in California, Benjamin J. Spada has had a lifelong passion for storytelling. Benjamin, a self-described “Professor of Batmanology,” is a dedicated taco aficionado,  and proud Fil-Am and lumpia enthusiast who has served in the United States Marine Corps for the past decade. He has taught martial arts , operated as a section leader in the Wounded Warrior Battalion for our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured, and served overseas to help train our foreign military allies in defense against chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. He has trained Marines, sailors, federal agents, and other friendly forces in individual survival measures. Despite these grim assignments, he has carried on with equal amounts of sarcasm and stoicism. When out of uniform, Benjamin is an avid sci-fi and horror movie fan, tattoo collector, comic enthusiast, and two-time holder of the Platinum Trophy in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. FNG: a Black Spear Novel is Benjamin’s debut novel. Benjamin lives with his wife Jacqueline and their three daughters, Elizabeth, Isabella, and Alexandra, in Oceanside, California.

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Twitter: @spadaben

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K said...

This sounds like a really interesting read-- I can't wait! Thanks so much for sharing it!

Jolanda said...

Sounds good!