The Thrill-ogy Of It All!

Untitled.jpgGood things come in threes: Three Dog Night, the Musketeers and Coins in Fountains. Three legs, as on a tripod, always find an even plane. So like coffee beans in the after dinner aperitif Sambuca, you always want three. Therefore, after I wrote my first book, The Eighth Day, of course the last thing I ever thought of was three.

Then The Hammer of God hit me – hard. The stars my second book created swirling around my head formed more than just one book’s worth of storyline. So I decided that two books were needed to flesh out the arc of the characters and the fulfillment of their goals.

If you are following along with your calculators or spreadsheets, then =Sum(1+2) yields 3. And thus my “Thrill-ogy” was born. “Three” + “Thriller” compacted neatly into a freshly minted term: thrillogy.

The third leg of my story tripod lands on solid ground June 17th with the publishing of The God Particle by The Story Plant. It encapsulates the maturity and development in my character’s lives plus the evolving threat matrix that continues to drum up scarier and scarier techno-nightmares.

From an author’s perspective, but not maybe a marketer’s, being able to move the lens around to investigate other characters and let them take it for a while is very attractive. The marketer would have it always be the same as my first. “Don’t change a winning formula” would be their advice.  Well, I “dood” it anyway.

In The God Particle, Brooke Burrell, my female FBI agent who had significant supporting roles in both previous books, takes the brunt of the action as she faces death and, worse, the question of what to do with the rest of her life, While the world hangs in the balance.

These were fun to write, and I hope my readers have fun reading all three. So don’t believe that old saw about, three’s a crowd; cram your bookshelf or Nook with my thrillogy and have three times the fun. Sorry, that got a little slogan-y.

Well, it’s off to an Italian dinner and dessert. I think tonight, instead of a Tartufo, I’ll have a Tar-three-fo.

 

Out from behind the curtain

Meet my site administrator Jenny

Much like the wizard stepped out from the curtain in The Wizard of OZ, now it’s my chance to do the “big reveal” here at “It’s Only Fiction ‘til it Happens.” 

Why you ask?  Well, it’s to give you easier access to discover what Tom’s doing and how to you can be apart of it.  

Don’t Fall Behind

The blog is the place to dig deep into the “Wild” Bill Hiccock thrillogy and the politically faced-paced, techno charged world Tom created. Access trailers of The Eighth Day and The Hammer of God or head on over to the store and purchase the books at Amazon, B&N, or iTunes.  

But it’s 2014, and everyone wants more, more, and (let’s face it) a little bit more. “Like”-ing Tom’s Facebook Page gets you unlimited access and “cool” freebies.  You can sign up for his newsletter, learn about giveaways, and get a preview of The Eighth Day, that’s the first 10 chapter for you–FREE. Got questions, want to know what Tom’s doing next, or just want to say hello–follow Tom’s Twitter or tweet @tomavitabile.  

But his social circle doesn’t stop there (he is the modern Renaissance Man after all). Venture to The Story Plant where Tom can often be found guest blogging.

The Secrets Out 

For the “newbies” out there looking for a new emerging author, check out these reviews at Goodreads and Amazon.  

‘The Hammer Of God’ is a rip-roaring thriller that I simply couldn’t put down. A mixture of plausible and implausible elements results in a gripping thriller that doesn’t let up until the final page .

-Wayne McCoy (Goodreads)

Tom Avitabile is a new author who I recently discovered. I read his first novel and thought it was a very good debut novel. I just finished The Hammer of God and could not believe what a great writer Mr. Avitabile is becoming. This book grabbed me from page one and just got better as it progressed. The author is apparently privy to all sorts of insider information about the intelligence community and high tech. I highly recommend this book to all thriller fans.”

-Fair Reviews (Amazon)

If you haven’t been following the blog closely, the highly anticipated conclusion to his “thrillogy’, The God Particle, is coming July 17th.  Check out the mini trailer below.  You can also expect more from Tom in the fall when The Devil’s Quota storms in.

Everyday Heroes: TOM AVITABILE

Joseph BadalIt’s humbling to be recognized by people of high ideals and great character, as is the case when thriller Author Joe Badal came across some of my work and honored me by mentioning it.

from Everyday Heroes: TOM AVITABILE

“This month, I want to recognize author Tom Avitabile. Tom is a burly, gregarious New Yorker who has never met a stranger and who makes everyone he meets feel welcome. His smile is contagious and his quick wit will keep you in stitches….”

 Read Joseph Badal’s full article at josephbadal.wordpress.com.

To Err Is Human

“To Err is human, to really screw things up takes a computer.”
–General James Hardtack – USAF

Tom Avitabile | To Err is HumanIf you don’t recognize the above quote, or can’t Google it, don’t hit your computer on the side of the monitor, it’s from a character in one of my (many) almost-produced screenplays. But once again, the theme of this blog being, It’s Only Fiction ‘Til It Happens, is in full force with this tasty headline from the DenverPost.com, “Supercomputers could generate warnings for stock crashes.”

Feel better now? Now that supercomputers are on the watch? Well, not to pop your thought bubble but in my book, The Eighth Day, the entire Stock Market is locked up and frozen by a piece of freeware, distributed to all the online day traders.

The shareware application was called ‘Pocket Protector’; it protected the money in your pocket, your stocks, actually.  It employed algorithms originally used in terrain avoidance software for supersonic F-22 Raptor fighter jets. It read the market and countered any moves instantly by making minute or major buy or sell decisions faster than a blink of a human eye.

Its purported goal was to avoid having your portfolio crash by maintaining the value. Since everybody downloaded it and put it into play, all those little ‘trade-bots’ would eventually absorb any shock and flatten out any activity until a balance is achieved. At that point, the individual trader has a problem, because the Artificial Intelligence acts like a Rottweiler, whose jaws are locked on their wallet. As soon as they let go or try to trade anything, the investor would lose everything.

So nobody unplugged ‘Pocket Protector’ out of fear of losing all their assets as everybody else’s apps would gobble up their money in a nanosecond.

Now for the part that isn’t a plot in my book, but the Denver Post article: Enter Edison, a supercomputer that can crunch 2 quadrillion operations a second. That’s 2,000,000,000,000,000! The feds, or somebody, are planning to plug this super puppy into the existing stock trading system and it will act as an early warning system that somehow will allow authorities to shut down the system before the various stock trading computer programs, that now rule the roost, do any real damage.  What could possibly go wrong? See CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR: “Best Intentions” in The Eighth Day!

Psst… Scientists! The God Particle’s Right Here — On My Desk

Tom Avitabile, God ParticleThere was a time when you were guaranteed to find yourself all alone in the corner of a cocktail party, with no one violating an eleven foot perimeter (so that not even the ten foot poles can touch you) as an immediate result of just uttering the words, “The God Particle.”  Or worse yet, “Higgs Boson.”  This immediate classification of social pariah was due, in large part, to the fact that the search for the glue that holds everything together had always been a small video game – played by the .0001% of the 1% of the top scientists who ever existed on earth.

So, naturally, I based the third book of my “thrillogy” on The God Particle.

Furthering my streak of brilliant decisions, I decided to give my book one final once over, instead of releasing it as a summer book.

BUZZZ!  Wrong decision.

Because on July 4, you couldn’t turn on a radio, look at a website, or see the front page of a newspaper that didn’t have the name of my book, The God Particle, sprawled across it – in 200 point Impact font.  Of course my name, Tom Avitabile, and my quest to get my book of the same name, The God Particle, to a copyeditor was not mentioned in any of these stories.

Truth be told (and science is all about truth) they didn’t so much find the God Particle as find the plasma fossil-like footprint where something, probably the God Particle, had been.  In marked contrast, there was found 437 double spaced, neatly typed pages of a manuscript rapidly becoming a fossil on my desk.

Oh, what a hit I’d have been at the cocktail party, if my book had timed out with a big bang on July 4th.

Further reading here and here.

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Iterations of the Apocalypse

Tom Avitabile | Iterations of the ApocalypseThroughout the evolution of mankind the Chicken Little gene has survived intact. Every 50 years or so, mankind decides things are too boring and we collectively embrace end of the world scenarios. Halley’s Comet was thought to bring poison gas that would wipe out all life on earth on May 18th, 1910. In the mid 50’s a group called The Seekers, I guess after OD’ing on films like ‘Earth vs. the Flying Saucers’ and ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’, were convinced that aliens had told them of a massive flood that would destroy the planet.

Last week, we escaped another cosmic billiard ball as those incredible prognosticators of science, technology and human sacrifice, the Mayans, got it wrong again. You remember Mayan Airlines, the Mayan cell phone and the ever popular Mayan Ginsu knife for human sacrifice. (Pay separate shipping and handling and get two.) Those chocolate coveting geniuses, who didn’t see Columbus coming, by the way, threw a dart at a calendar and it came up last week. Now December 22, 2012 is added to the pantheon of apocalyptic prognostications.

But who am I to talk! I now throw my Mayan headpiece into the ring announcing, for your nightmare pleasure: a little ditty called, ‘The God Particle’, my soon to be released third novel which continues the Bill Hiccock ‘Thrillogy’.

Now even though scientists are still searching for the God Particle and have spent billions on the largest machine in the world to find it, not unlike Jodi Foster in Contact.  I step ahead and use the really scary notion that it won’t be cosmic forces or the shifting of the magnetic poles or collisions with NEOs (Near Earth Objects) that will end the world – though NEOs make good reading if you don’t want to sleep for the next 30 years.

No, it won’t be anything so glorious, just one part of mankind embracing technology to destroy all of mankind. At this point we re-read the name of this blog: It’s only fiction til it happens, and hope I’m dead wrong.

But as laid out in The God Particle, historically there was a plausible, logical threat matrix that had been ballyhooed for years beginning with the fears that the atomic programs of the ‘40’s would get out of hand and all the world would be consumed in the dreaded ‘chain reaction’. The very same argument echoes today, with ‘Chain Reaction’ being replaced by ‘Black Hole’ as all the world’s geniuses gather near Geneva to recreate the Big Bang. What could possibly go wrong?

Big Bang: The unimaginable explosion that created everything and was so powerful that the most distant stars and galaxies were flung from the bang’s epicenter to the furthest reaches, trillions of light years away. Don’t even try to think about it.

But hey, that’s what Bill Hiccock and the White House’s Quarterback Operations Group was put on earth for, and boy do they earn their pay in this one. Oh, and by the way, get to know the name ISON, because around Halloween of this year some crazies somewhere on the planet will be screaming about ISON. The comet ISON, will be a dazzling omen in the night sky. I can just hear the tales of the apocalypse getting re-racked and reloaded for next year.

BS (BlogScript): Keep those letters to ABC going about not canceling “The Last Resort!”

Don’t Forget to Wash Your Hands

“It looks like it’s shaping up to be a bad flu season, but only time will tell.”

– Dr. Thomas Frieden, National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tom Avitabile  |  The Hammer of GodIn The Hammer of God, the inciting incident of the book is a flu vaccine shortage which is caused by nefarious forces overseas, resulting in half the number of vaccinations necessary to guard the public.

That is step one of a two-step biological attack; take away the first line of defense – which would be the flu vaccine. Then the second part of the attack was to unleash a really nasty airborne bug on the public. So the bad guys weren’t contaminating the flu vaccine to be their vehicle to do harm. They contaminated the supply to take it off the market.

This created a situation, in my book, where during the onset of the attack, people had symptoms that mimicked the flu – and no one suspects anything is awry. The airborne bug’s dormant stage lasts five to six days, taking the world by surprise when the infected take an extreme turn for the worse and people start to die.

It seems like we should be very cognizant of foreign suppliers producing this and other vaccines because their production and distribution lines might be interrupted more easily.

Of course, this being a book about my hero, he thwarts the attack. The mastermind is arrested and becomes a bargaining chip in the escalated terror plot to follow. But the groundwork is there in the story; this is a weak pressure point in the threat matrix aimed at this country.

I am confident in the safeguards that had somebody tried to manipulate or add something nasty to the flu vaccine, it would set off alarm bells and triggers. The far greater insidious plot device is simply to render us unprotected and willing to accept high numbers of infections as the new normal – when in fact it’s anything but. It is the start of an attack.

Remember: wash your hand often.

Blogscript

ABC has decided to cancel my absolute, all-time favorite show: The Last Resort.

When you read The God Particle you’ll see one of my main characters is the USS Tom Avitabile | The God ParticleNebraska – a trillion dollar missile boat (luckily on our side). That’s why I am so distraught over the cancelling of this series, whose main star is the USS Colorado, the sister ship of the Nebraska.

Besides I looove the dialogue…to the point where I say “Damn, I wish I would have written that!”

Please take a moment and email ABC. Tell them to keep the Last Resort afloat.