THE GALAPAGOS AGENDA – A Paradigm Shift Thriller (Book 1)
Max Villalobos is the gifted son of a corporate tycoon. His dream is to make it on his own, even if that means going against his powerful father who has far different plans when it comes to Max’s future.
In order to prove who’s “boss” the infamous billionaire, Roy Villalobos, stages Max’s own kidnapping using their personal Chief of Security. The plan backfires with a near escape, and an explosion that kills Max’s girlfriend, turning the tables on Max’s original plans.
With the cloud of murder hanging over his head, Roy Villalobos offers to sort things out for Max, suggesting his son disappear until the air clears. But when Max arrives aboard the Galapagos Treasure on his way to the Cook Islands, he discovers that not only has he become Suspect #1, but his murdered beloved just happened to be an undercover MI-5 agent on a mission to infiltrate the family and investigate Max’s father for multiple crimes.
Yet the biggest crime of all is about to occur….
Three Latin American political powerhouses have arranged a secret meeting to take place aboard the Galapagos Treasure. Working on a potential transfer of the Galapagos Islands into the hands of the U.S., their intention is to reset the military balance in case of a future confrontation with China. However, Roy Villalobos’s ‘World War’ is good for business, and provoking a conflict between two dominant nations is just what Roy has in mind to increase his wealth and reach the epitome of power.
Max needs to figure out how to clear his name of a crime he didn’t commit, while uncovering what part he actually has been set up to play in this game of corrupt economic interests. As the fly is to the spider, Max must extricate himself from this web of international intrigue, where murder isn’t personal and only the fittest–most ruthless–will survive.
When psychopaths rule the world, murder isn't personal, it's global.
Depends on the stage of my writing process and on the amount of other work I'm doing. Sometimes weeks go by without me being able to find the time to write, and it's frustrating, but at the same time I've learned that it's a time for incubation. However, when deadlines are creeping closer, I take every free moment to plow ahead. At times I even need to go into marathon mode to get the page count I know I need to meet the deadline. So it really depends on my other obligations. I used to be able to work until late at night, but now I'm leaving that to reading as I don't have time for that (not usually).
Can't help it. It's been part of me since I am twelve. However, currently it's my only source of income and it's been that for years.
My most recent work is THE GALAPAGOS AGENDA, published in November 2015, the first book in a series of nine Paradigm Shift Thrillers. I'm currently working on Book 2, to be delivered mid-April to my publishers, Suspense Publishing. Also, I'm preparing for Book 3, and working on a series of articles I've been asked to do for hire on the science of water, which might eventually turn out to be a non-fiction book.
The current book ... my research I did for the past twenty years on currency (money) and banking, pillars of our society that are hardly understood by most people. We deal with it almost every day of our lives, and we take it for granted, yet we aren't aware that we are perhaps facing one of the greatest frauds in the history of humanity ... and the victims are indeed many.
Currently thrillers, yet I decided to create a new sub-genre I call Paradigm Shift Thrillers. They are types of thriller where not only the main character will go through a character arc—that is, come to a realization that will change his or her view of the world and regain a new form of balance—but where also the reader will experience an arc in understanding about an aspect of the world that hasn't been reported to the system.In a thriller, a social transgression usually leads to a finale where the victims can be many. The race to save ourselves is on. The Large Clock has started ticking. The ultimate imbalance is about to happen.Or has already happened.Yes, we are all victims of our paradigms. What we don't know can—and will—hurt us.Our ignorance has turned us into the slaves of our own delusions, where ignorance isn't bliss, but a form of massive self-deception.No, we are not safe.No, the danger won't go away if we choose to ignore it.Yes, you will experience a shift in perception. The world isn't as it seems. The map is not complete.It never was.Paradigm Shift Thrillers touch upon the large pillars that hold our world upright, or so we believe:Politics, Banking, Money, Education, Health, and more. If you choose to read them, you will do so at your own risk.Because, after all, you're a victim too, you just might not know it.
A hell of a lot. For the entire series it will be maybe up to twenty years' worth of researching and experience (which is also research). Book 2 and Book 3 are basically the result of research that led me to write a non-fiction book on the "engineering" of money, published in 2011, another work-for-hire that came about when doing some pro-bono consulting on the subject for The Pachamama Alliance.
Never stop evolving. For me it's not only about writing, but about learning the craft. I don't want to write the same book every time, I want it to be different, and that's not so easy if you don't know your tools and what's been done before by others. It's been about thirty years of writing for me, twenty of those commercially. The thing is that now I'm trying to break into the English speaking market, which is highly competitive and with many great writers. Creativity is a balance between art and craft. Either way, you can get lost in the marshes of your own illusion.
Finding the time to actually pull away from my other obligations.I'm CEO of my own company, a start-up that due to the economic and political arena in Ecuador has been a struggle to create—still no income from it, so in a way I'm living the reverse of what most other writers do: I'm writing to make a living and working at my company without an income until it actually can stand on its own.
Seeing a book I'd envisioned for the past decade to actually come to its final shape, and knowing that it's only the second one in the series.
Hard to tell. Life is what it is and we are what we are, and write what we write, because of our circumstances. I don't regret having taken the long road to publishing in English. Probably it's only now that I'm mature enough to face the realities of the world of publishing.
Definitely. I hope that with every book. Looking back on each one, I like to see what I've managed to do better.
I have my own method where I dive into what I'm going to write, writing about it, until I discover what it is that the book or story is going to be about. Then I go onto the stage of planning its structures—dramatic, thematic and emotional—much like I do when I'm planning a screenplay (I also have done my share of those, which has helped me tremendously with writing my novels or anything, really). Then I dive into it, trying to adhere to the structure I've thought out (probably over the period of a year or two), yet while I'm writing, I give myself the leeway of changing my plan if I realize and discover that there's something better. I can write rather fast, and need to revise quite a bit, especially since English is not my first language. I know that my text won't be perfect, and that a story needs to evolve, revealing to me, as I write, what it's really about.
Not that much, usually, though with some of the books I've published in Ecuador, I do get to speak to students that have been reading my book. then I have beta readers, which are always helpful before jumping into the final draft.
It's always good to hear what others have to say, but also to recognize where they are saying it from, and what their intention is. After many years of writing and studying the craft of story and of writing, it's easy to spot when they are right about something, or if they didn't get it. If they didn't get it, it usually means that you didn't do a good enough job of making it clear. Clarity is king, even when you're trying to be ambiguous and work a lot with subtext.
Definitely, but always check out what type of people are writing and why they are writing. Also, recognize that you have to find your own voice.
My publisher has the editor and usually the editor is right. It's is when they start to get out of the How you are doing it and trying to change the Why and the content—your message—that I buckle. Has hardly happened to me, though. Only once with a German publisher/editor. I was doing a joint book with a German writer, and the publisher asked us to take out the four first chapters and blend them into the rest of the novel. We accepted that. They also wanted us to change the last sentence. We didn't change it.
Oh, many, too many to mention. I may put this in my own website in a blog ... if I get around to it.
Try to find your "brand" and what it is that makes you different than all the rest. If there is nothing, then maybe you're not being creative enough, daring enough, and "novel" enough. Why write what everybody else is writing? Even if there is the danger of nobody understanding what it is you're doing. One day, maybe a decade down the line, someone might discover that actually you had something.
Traditional, through Suspense Publishing. I've never published Indie, though I may do that with some of my back list if I have the time to mess with the technology.
I'm writing one right now. From the point of view of marketing and acquiring a following, it'll certainly make things easier. However, unless you really know what you're doing (or unless life ends up putting you in a position where it just happens), planning a book series is a serious endeavor. You can easily burn yourself out and defeat the purpose of why you write, and what you want to write about.
Check your genre. Conventions are there for a reason. Don't try to go over the required word count as you are starting. But then again, write what you feel has to be written, get it out of you. If you want to publish, though, it's best to adhere to the limits set by the industry even if writing Indie. Creativity is enhanced when we are giving limits, and wordiness stymied. Then, when you think you've finished and it's all done, go back to your manuscript and cut out ten percent. Really.
Attend conventions and make friends among writers who are willing to read your book and do tell them that they should only blurb you if they feel comfortable they can attach their name to it. If they want to give you feedback they will. Other reviewers ... send out the news about your novel to your friends, Facebook, etc. and hope someone will buy it. Even if it's free. They must make the effort to get it. Then give your closest friends a nudge and tell them to review you as long as they truly believe your book is worth it.
Attend conventions and be part of the industry: they are all human beings doing their job hopefully pursuing their dreams. I didn't have much of that as I live far away from when these conventions happen. I followed an entirely different path, which took me much longer, but perhaps I needed that.
Too many to choose from. A very mechanistic question, as if life were a closed system. Favorite books and favorite films depend on your own state and hopefully is constantly changing.
I have though of it, but unless it's done utterly professionally it will not stand out from all those other trailers. As a professional film guy, the medium is the message and if the form isn't right, it might even hurt your image.
Book 3 of my Paradigm Shift Series. Getting ready for number 4 and jotting down notes for the following stories.
I shout. Then get back to work right away if I can. But usually my frustration comes from too many interruptions that keep me away from working.
Write write write write write write. Read read read read read. Write write write write. Maybe rest now and again and don't expect your first book to see the light of day. I wrote six novels before the seventh actually got published. I wanted to write, not publish (even though publishing was always a dream, like one day traveling to Mars). But then I had to ask myself, when I saw that no matter what I did for work, I didn't feel satisfied: "What have you done all these years that really truly filled you and that you would like to make a living with?"Writing.
I'm a professional author with 11 books and 200 published articles as well as 42 produced scripts. Although I wear many hats, writing has been my livelihood and passion since age twelve.
Currently the CEO and co-owner of a company dedicated to environmental solutions, I have travelled extensively: sailed across the Atlantic and the Pacific—was the skipper of a million-dollar yacht at the age of 24 in New Zealand and in 1989 survived cyclone Harry, a Category 4. I walked three times over the Andes into the Amazon jungle with Native Indians, took part in gold survey expeditions in Ecuador's rain forests, cycled across South America, built wooden houses, advised Ecuador's Central Bank on currency design; these, and many other experiences, are invariably being weaved into my writing.
Bio - when short isn't short enough
Leonardo Wild (1966). Though now I am a full-time writer in Ecuador, I have resided in 5 countries and traveled through another 40 in the Americas, Europe, Oceania and Asia. I have worked on numerous jobs, some aboard sailboats for over two years (skipper on a 70-foot ketch yacht New Zealand and instructor aboard a school ship during an Atlantic crossing), designed and constructed wooden houses, among others.
I have written more than 200 articles on various subjects for magazines both in Ecuador and Spain, and have published/produced both fiction, non-fiction, TV scripts, documentaries and done various translations. The latest on a book of my own authorship is THE GALAPAGOS AGENDA, by Suspense Publishing. As a scriptwriter, I have worked as a corporate image consultant, marketing consultant and translator for technical manuals for TOYOTA, Ecuador.
The writing life
I began writing at the age of twelve. I still have, from those days, five unpublished, handwritten manuscript-novels in Spanish. My professional writing career began in 1994 when I started to publish a series of weekly articles for one of the main cultural magazines of Ecuador's national newspapers (La Hora).
After a year of freelancing, I was asked to become part of the editorial team for La Hora Cultural, as well as to supply the Sunday Magazine with another two weekly (freelanced) articles, both on ecology as well as related to science or technology. In total, Ive published nearly 200 articles in various national magazines, some having been re-printed in Spain by the Spanish/Galician magazine Finis Terrae.
The articles on ecology and technology caught the interest of one of Ecuador's main educational publishing companies, LIBRESA, which was in the process of printing a second version of my adventure novel that describes the life of those who work for gold-survey corporations in Ecuador's mountainous jungles. The first version of Oro en la selva had been published only six months before (1996) for Ecuador's National Library System of the Ministry of Education (SINAB Sistema Nacional de Bibliotecas).
LIBRESA asked me to write a book on ecology (Ecología al rojo vivo - 1998), which won the Municipality of Quito's Honorable Mention Isabel Tobar Guarderas for best social science book of the year.
I met Hans-Christian Kirsch Frederik Hetmann, a well-known German writer, during a tall-ship crossing of the Atlantic when I was working as an Educational Officer aboard Friedtjof Nansen, a German-run school-ship.
Hans-Christian Kirsch took one of my English manuscripts to his publishers in Germany and, presently, one of the editors (whod been in charge of buying the rights for Gaarders Sophies World for Hanser Verlag) agreed to have my novel translated and published at the new company he went to work for, Carlsen.
It was published by Carlsen Verlag under the title Unemotion: Roman Über die Zukunft der Gefühle - Unemotion: Novel About the Future of Emotions, which won the Owl of the Month in April of 1997 given out by the Bulletin Jugend & Literatur, as well as having been chosen among the Seven Best in March 1997 by Deutschlandradio and Focus Magazine.
My writings have always tried to present certain concerns about different aspects of life with plotlines shaped to include in the fiction elements of depth, of social or even philosophical concern.
Such was the case with the Young Adult book The Ultimate Adventure (published by C. Bertelsmann as Extrem! 2001), an adventure novel about the philosophy of adventure: What drives human beings to go on adventures? Is it just escapism? Or is it something that runs deeper within us? Is it just a romantic word for trouble, as Louis L'Amour wrote, or is it a striving to make the impossible feasible, as Chris Bonnington claims?
My life has taken me through many different paths, and though I am a citizen of the United States, I've spent most of my time in Ecuador, where Im a permanent resident. Although I went to college in the United States (Virginia), I didn't attain my degree not for lack of good grades, but because I realized that it wouldn't have helped me in my writing career, whereas writing and a life of varied experiences would provide me with a richer first-hand knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of life.
Writing, film directing, screenwriting, open ocean sailing, SCUBA diver, design and construction of wooden houses, tour guide, travel agent, marketing and corporate image consultant.