Interview with Edward B. Irving, author of The Day of the Dragonking

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Oh, about 355 pages.

Sorry, couldn’t help that. A dragonking is a feature of enormously complex systems (global finance, politics, weather patterns) which is very powerful, makes up its own rules, and causes a great deal of change—or wreckage, if you prefer—in its wake. I wanted to write a book that took a normal city, added in a single dragonking-level change, and watched what happened.

Since the city I know best is Washington DC, that’s where the story is set and the disruptive change is actually a Change because I threw Magic into the mix. Now, I figured that there’s plenty of evidence that the government has been mucking about with low-level magic and psychics for a long time so I decided that all that stopped working and only one person would gain magical powers: The Last American Wizard.

The interesting thing about doing this is that you have to work out a system of magic that makes sense. I’ve never figured out where all the “Laws” of Magic come from: Vampires hate sunlight, Werewolves change at the full moon, Witches have to wear badly-woven hand-loomed clothes, etc. So I took a basic Aristotelian Air, Earth, Water, Fire split, added in the Tarot which begin with that split and then build on it. Finally, I decided that the Magic wouldn’t affect many, perhaps most people, because it conferred magical power in the same degree that the person or, in several cases, things had before the Change. Financial power, political power, self-awareness in particularly well-built computers and highly-customized and intricate things like cars.

People and things would tend to change to match their archetypes: Republicans, stubborn, big on traditional values, self-defense, and hard currency are Earth-based and natural Dwarves. Democrats, environmentally-conscious, changeable, fickle, and nurturing are Water-based Elves, journalists and such are ever-present Air, and radicals are Fire. The Magic doesn’t like guns, because guns make a story too easy.

Here’s how legendary newsman Buddy Ringwald, who has a problem with being somewhat deceased but is otherwise clued into DC describes things:

 “The Republicans are becoming increasingly shorter, hairier, and angrier, hard as that last part might be to believe. Their conservative wing is literally digging in–about two hundred feet down the last time I heard–and the most radical have begun to carry pickaxes. They say it’s only a symbol of a national desire to cut the government down to size, but they’re damn sharp all the same.”
He shook his head. “So far, the Speaker is still the Mountain King and able to keep the most volatile members of his caucus in line through his floor leaders and whips–well, his floor leaders using whips, to be precise.”
“And the Democrats?” Steve asked.
“Well, the president has renamed the White House the Alabaster Palace, the old bulls in the Senate are cultivating floor-length beards, and there’s a movement to replace armed drones with dragons, but those are all fairly minor changes, if you ask me. In general, being flighty and enigmatic simply means more of the same with those guys. No, the real problem is on K Street.”
“You mean the lobbyists?”
“Of course. They were pretty evil before, and now they’re downright demonic.”

Why did you write your book?

To be honest, I wrote it primarily for fun. I’ve always loved the Dresden series, Kim Harrison’s Hollows, and Ilona Andrews Magic Atlanta. Relatively normal people having to deal with extremely abnormal situations. It’s a lot more fun than regurgitating Tolkien again. (My dad was a professor of Old English like J.R.R.Tolkien so he read us the whole series in the 1950’s. When it became popular, I had to hide the fact that I already knew all the trivia.)

The other thing is that there are quite a few strange places in DC already (as I suppose Dan Brown has pointed out. I don’t read him—terrible writer,) I’ve run into some fairly odd things as a reporter (the Alien Ambassador on Capitol Hill is a true story,) and, with just a bit of research, Ghosts in Washington Post, Masonic mysteries by the truckload, and disappearing taverns pop up everywhere.

People tend to live in Washington on a surface level, accepting the place as just a place. It’s not. It’s knee deep in history and has been completely torn down and rebuilt at least 4 times. In addition, throwing Magic into things like the massive NSA supercomputers, or our enormous number of statues, and all the mystic ley line crap that simply appears when you need a plot line (X Street is a great example) and you’ve got a fun book.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Well, it’s a strange group:
Steve Rowan is a failed freelance journalist with his best years behind him. When he is the only person who can perceive the jet filled with screaming passengers that goes over his apartment and crashes—well not exactly crashes, but you should read that part yourself. Anyway, Steve, who is a natural cynic and not terribly endowed with courage, strength, or well, anything; is told that he is The Fool. In the Major Arcana, the Fool has the most and the least power, is made up of all four elements, and is the most important card. Steve doesn’t believe a word of this nonsense, of course.

Except why is his apartment destroyed and his car buried under a jet engine that no one else can see?

Steve gets a phone call from a computer program named Barnaby who was the first program ever run at the NSA (almost true, the first program was named Atlas but Barnaby came from the same old comic strip.) Barnaby has seized control of most of the NSA’s computers and appoints Steve to go out and find the perpetrators who killed a plane-load of people to bring Magic into the world.

To help Steve out because by himself, he couldn’t whip a baby dragon, Ace Morningstar is assigned to protect him and generally kick butt. That’s Ace on the cover art. Ace used voodoo to appear to be a man so she could pass BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition School) and then SEAL training out at Coronado Beach. She is clearly the Ace of Swords, the most skilled fighter in the Tarot deck. She doesn’t think much of Steve but who does?

Steve’s cell phone begins to talk in terrible auto-translations and eventually turns out to be a young Chinese worker who fell to his death while intending to land harmlessly in the anti-suicide nets the owners had strung around the facility. At the moment of his death, he was entombed in the smartphone that was just finished and, with a little magic, he can talk. Badly.

Those are the four primary characters but they are joined by Ace’s BMW, a W-Class which even car magazines called massively over-powered for an SUV, the ancient Native American trickster Coyote, the leader of a drug gang who is turning into the hoofed dog of the mountains of El Salvador, the Illuminati who claim to have created the change but no one thinks they were ever smart enough—after all they’ve been drinking since 1776—and a broad assortment of other characters.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I have found that most of the people I know are as boring as I am and so allow as many strange people as possible to wander into the book.

Yes, I know it sounds odd or phony, but I generally don’t know how a character will react until they show up and get involved. Honestly, I have very little control over the little monsters in my books and they never seem to go where I plan. On the other hand, I find I really like most of them after a while, they grow on you.

Here’s an example of Steve and Ace trying to get some information out of the notably verbose Barnaby:

“Now, some of my brighter colleagues have been trying to crack all possible methods of mystical communications. It’s a completely new project, and more than a few servers have blown, and one or two can’t really be described as ‘computers’ anymore–as a matter of fact, I’m fairly sure that they’ve completely discarded their physical forms and just come back every once in a while to chat. Apparently, the plane of pure consciousness is a pretty boring place.”
“Off topic,” Ace said abruptly.
“Yes. Yes. I am,” the computer admitted. “The point is that the STORMBREW system out in Utah is reporting that they’re having success with what can only be described as ‘sĂŠances’.”
“You’re kidding,” Steve said.
“No, I’m afraid I’m not, and if you’ve never spoken to an opportunistic distributed system made up of Cray Titans, IBM Sequoias, and Chinese Skyriver 2s as it’s trying to climb down from the yottaflop range, you have no idea what ‘spooky’ means.  STORMBREW got through to Harry Houdini a couple of hours ago and is now sifting through about five thousand spirit guides a second. STORMBREW turns out to be an amazingly apt codename. I mean, there are data halls where the danger from floating tables alone–”
“Off topic,” Ace repeated.
“Yes. Well. The point is that there is some success in breaching the communications of…well, Stormy, is the  nickname the lead server chose for the entire group, is reasonably sure that there is a transfer of information, it is emanating from somewhere on Earth, and it ‘tastes’ like the Illuminati, but beyond that, it’s not very clear.”
“I’ll say,” Steve said dryly.
 “This should be easier to understand,” the computer continued. “Two of the more energetic sub clusters– BLARNEY and OAKSTAR–report making out chatter indicating that there is another event being planned that is similar to the American International crash but far more powerful.”
“How much more powerful?” Steve asked.
“In the kilo-logos range.”
“‘Kilo-logos’?” Steve said slowly.
“Yes. From ‘logos ,’ one of the Greek words for soul.”
“I hate to ask, but what was the American International event on this ‘kilo-logos’ scale?”
“Tragic as it was, it only measured .041.”
“So, we’re talking about a hundred thousand lives?”
“One hundred thousand souls, to be precise. However, discounting the odd person who is currently possessed by a demon or collateral damage among household pets, yes, a hundred thousand people will die.”
Ace went back to her gear and began to replace various rounded, flattened, or rubberized items with those with sharper blades and barbed razor points.

I really have to point out, except for the names of most of the computers and clusters-which are accurate, I have no idea where this conversation came from. I know I wrote it but other than that, it’s rather, well, magical.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

Plot? I don’t have a plot when I begin to write.

I do, however, take plot very seriously so as I go through my average of six revisions, I start to check with the Seven Basic Plots, the Twenty Major Plots, How to Write a Damn Good Urban Fantasy and even go so far as to color-code sections so that I be sure that points of stress and instances of relaxation are relatively even. In thrillers, you’re generally following the Kill the Minotaur plot and that has a nice sine wave to it that crests at the end.

In Dragonking, the nature of the Tarot Cards has a great effect on the plot. I’m not as good as Tim Powers who build an entire Tarot Poker game into the subplot of Last Call but I do try. All the primary characters are driven to move in certain ways—like a chess game—and, in the end, it’s the Fool who saves the day.

Well, sort of.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Sure, Washington DC begins as a Masonic Pentacle with major avenues along the American Meridian and the Eastern Fall Line. There are strange statues of forgotten people and entire areas of the city that the average commuting cubicle commando will never see. Everything is laid out on East-West lines with major buildings forming triangles and parallels—I mean, What’s to Make-Up?

Oh sure, I added a bit more action to the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds but the original is there and I went in and out of the White House enough as a courier to know exactly how the security works and there are two enormous sphynxes sitting on 16th Street named Wisdom and Justice. I just made them fly and ask riddles.

I mean, I do a bit of research, ideas pop into my mind, and we’re off to the races. It’s fun.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I did TV deadline writing for 25 years and was a breaking news producer before that. I’ve edited stories to air by mixing between three different live tape machines and an incoming satellite feed, changed scripts on the anchor’s teleprompter, and, in ten minutes, wrote a moving obituary of someone I didn’t even know.

I’m more likely to suffer from total block and just have a day where I don’t want to do anything, my back is killing me, and I go back to bed and listen to an Audiobook. On the other hand, I’ve had clinical depression for my entire life (and fighting the stress of that won me 4 Emmys!) and am pretty used to it by this time.

Getting back on track is really a matter of putting words into the computer. It doesn’t really matter what you write, just start clicking the keys.

It’s funny, my first script ever was for Steve Kroft back when he was a reporter in Miami. We had a program at 6:00 in those days and at 5:15, Steve turns to me and says, “I have to do a script for the station, you write the World News script and I’ll just read it.”

My throat closed up and I was completely unable to breathe. When I got back to the station, I put a piece of 5-page carbon paper (it was a LONG time ago) in the typewriter and put my fingers on the keys. I really don’t understand it but a decent script came out the other end. Every terrible time since then (and there have been many,) I did the same thing—just put my fingers on the keys.

It’s really not something you want to think about too much but, then again, I’m writing silly things like thrillers and books about Magic in Washington. They ain’t the Great American Novel.

What do you like the most about being an author?

It’s something that I can do in a Hawaiian shirt, jeans, and bare feet. Plus, no one is yelling at me.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

I guess the most pivotal point is when income from writing beats the expenses of writing and you go into the black. Next would be when you can support yourself by writing. Being published by a real publisher is nice as well.

I’m not at all sure that any of these is possible with the current turmoil in the publishing industry but it’s worth a try. Write what you like to read, write a LOT of it, and ignore the critics. When you have something that you think is really good, start sending out agent letters.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

The Villain should be evil and the Hero should be good.
If something happens, it should be the Hero who made it happen.
Something should happen about every other chapter. 
You can’t just kill people and leave them lying around.
There is no such thing as a “flesh wound.”
Don’t explain things too much (Yeah, I’m talking to myself on that one.)
When you finish, the reader should cheer for the Hero.

You would be amazed how many books don’t follow these Rules.

Inside the Book:

The Day of the Dragonking

Inside The Book
Title: The Day of the Dragonking
Book 1: The Last American Wizard Series
Author: Edward B. Irving
Publisher: Ronin Robot Press
Publication Date: Paperback - February 2, 2106 / eBook - May 17, 2016
Pages: 316 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Satire

Book Description:

A “mystical terrorist group” sacrifices an airplane full of innocents to a dragon and uses the deaths to power an event that wreaks magical havoc on Washington, D.C. All the wizards in the U.S. government’s employ abruptly lose access to magic, and the world’s computers and gadgets become sentient.

Second-string journalist Steven Rowan embodies the tarot's Fool and is forced to figure out the card's magic on the fly. Bombshell soldier Ace Morningstar, who used her magic to disguise herself as a man so she could become a SEAL, drafts Steve and his cell phone, which contains the ghost of a Chinese factory worker who now communicates through screen animations and bad autotranslations, to help fix the mess. Gathering allies, including NSA supercomputer Barnaby and Ace's BMW, Hans, the team fights off newly transformed demons, dog monsters, and ogres while trying to find out who is controlling the Illuminati before the villains embark on the next step of their world-domination strategy.

Book Excerpt:

The airplane crash woke Steven Rowan. To be entirely accurate, it wasn’t a crash.
It was the insane screaming of four of the world’s largest jet engines being pushed twenty percent past their factory- recommended maximum thrust only thirty feet over his head.
 In addition, awake wasn’t really the correct term for his state of consciousness at that point.
 Steve was standing stark naked in the center of the room, jerking back and forth in the classic fight-or-flight reflex–his mind frantically spinning between possibilities, developing and rejecting dozens of possible threats every second, and running throughas many options for escape. A small part of his mind was simultaneously working on the less-important questions of who he was, where he was, and what he’d done to himself the night before.
 The pulsating howl of the jet began to diminish, but the screaming only grew louder and more intense. Suddenly, Steve fell to his knees, slamming clenched fists into his temples over and over, and screaming at the top of his lungs.
 Tears flew from his eyes as he crawled forward and began to pound his head against the glass door to the balcony. A small rational part of his mind wondered that he could be driven to such desperation that he would fill his mind with self-inflicted pain in the vain hope that it would expel the shocking sound, the sheer terror, and the infinite grief.
He felt a sharp spark of agony as the glass cracked.
 Suddenly, as blood began to stream down his face, the terrible pain diminished. The confusion and terror, the immense waves of emotions, all of that continued to pour through him, but the anguish had ceased. The massive assault of sound began to break down into hundreds of what he could only think of as voices.
Men and women were screaming, a mother was kissing the top of a tiny head and whispering soothing sounds, a man on a cell phone was frantically dialing and redialing–desperate to leave a message. In contrast, two men were running through a checklist with professional calm, but curses tickled at their throats, fighting to get out.
In the center, he heard a steady sound. A quiet chanting– young voices tinged with success and anticipation.
 The glass door exploded.
It was going to be a lousy morning, his head hurt even worse than usual, and his head usually hurt like someone dying from alcoholpoisoning.
 Steve opened his eyes at the sound of someone singing about hiding in Honduras and needing “lawyers, guns, and money.”
 OK, that was Warren Zevon, so it was probably his phone ringing. On Mondays, he set it to Afroman’s Because I Got High just to irritate any senior editorial staff he might run into, but this song pretty well summed up his mood every other day.
 He waited patiently until the late Mr. Zevon finished singing about how “the shit has hit the fan” and then listened for the Asian gong that would indicate a phone message.
 Instead, Max Weinberg’s driving drumbeat pounded out the syncopated SOS that began Bruce Springsteen’s We Take Care of Our Own. Since every journalist knew (but would never report) that this song raised the dead whenever the Boss played within a mile of a graveyard, Steve figured someone was truly serious about talking to him.
 In addition, he was curious because he’d deleted it from his phone over a month ago, exhausted by its contrast between the American ideal of “help your neighbor” and the reality of greed and selfishness that was currently sweeping the nation.
There was a series of clicks and several of those odd changes in the quality of silence that indicate a call is being bounced from machine to machine or area code to area code. Of course, these were also the sounds that you heard when a telemarketer’s robot war dialer realized it had a fish on the line and switched in the human voice to make the sale.
 “Is this a freaking robot?” he said, sharply.
 There was a short pause without any clicks. For some reason, Steve thought the caller was thinking.
“Mr. Rowan?” It was a man–the deep and authoritative voice of someone used to giving commands.
“Who the hell wants to know?” Steve hated people with that kind of voice.
Another pause.
“Mr. Stephen Rowan of 14500 Windermere Drive, Apartment D2?” The voice had changed, just slightly. It wasn’t quite as abrasive and superior. Steve thought he could have a conversation with this guy.
“Yes.” Steve’s state of awareness was beginning to recover sufficiently so that it wasn’t taking all of his concentration to talk on the phone. Unfortunately, that allowed him to begin to look around the room. If he hadn’t just received his ten-year chip from Narcotics Anonymous, he would have instantly identified this as a drug dream—and not a pleasant one.
The smashed sliding door. Glass shards covering the carpet. The dozens of framed photographs he’d hung to remind himself of the good times when he’d worked in cool places were gone. They were in a heap of wood, glass, and photo paper on the other side of his bed. Only one remained. A picture of a Lebanese militiaman with an AK-47 wearing a T-shirt decorated with a picture of an AK-47 and the words “Lebanon War.” He reached over and straightened it.
 “Mr. Rowan.” The voice on the phone had changed again. Now it sounded like a person cowering with fear. Hell, this guy was afraid to speak to him. “Umm. Are you busy at the moment?”
 Steve looked around the wreckage of his apartment. His cheek tickled and he touched it with a finger. He stared at the blood on his fingertip. “Busy? No, not really.”
 “Would you be so kind as to consider possibly doing me a favor?”
 Now the voice had gone all the way to obsequious.
 “Not until you tell me who the hell you are and what the hell you want.” Steve licked his finger, tasting the blood as if it might tell him something about what had just happened. “And stop sucking up.”
 “‘Sucking up’?” There was another series of clicks and silences, and the caller continued in its previous, more confident tone. “Mr. Rowan. Let me ask you a question. Could you use a job?”
 Steve reached into his back pocket to check his wallet for his current financial position. Suddenly, he felt a hand stroke his butt. He jumped. When he looked down, he realized it was his own hand because he was still naked. Then, a sudden stab of pain proved that the silvery dust all over him was tiny bits of glass from his broken door and he’d just shoved a shard into his ass. He pulled his hand away sharply and held it out in front of him–carefully examining both sides.
 “Mr. Rowan?”]
 “Oh. Sorry, I was distracted for a second. What...Oh, yeah. I have plenty of money.”
“From your increasingly occasional work as a freelance reporter?”
Steve didn’t say anything. The caller continued. “How’s that working out for you?”
Steve surveyed his ruined stereo and television and stopped as he saw his metal-cased laptop. It was rolled into a cylinder. He wonderedwhat in hell could do that to an expensive computer. Or at least one that had been expensive when he’d bought it.
 “Don’t worry about the laptop. I think you’ll find your telephone will be sufficient."
Steve’s eyes widened and he slowly pulled the cell phone away from his ear and regarded it carefully–again, front and back. When he turned back to the main screen, a cartoon of a hand making a “thumbs up” sign had replaced his usual home screen picture of the Lebanese militiaman.
Steve just stood there and looked at the hand. He knew it was a cartoon because it only had three fingers and a thumb. Somehow, the artist had made it look happy and confident. That worried Steve.
He heard a faint squawking from the phone. He held the phone with only two fingers and raised it gingerly until it was an inch from his ear.
“Mr. Rowan? Can you hear me?”
 Steve cleared his throat and answered carefully. “Yes.” “Good, we can continue.”
 “Not until you tell me how you knew about my computer, we can’t.”
 “Your computer? Oh, you mean that you were looking at it?” “Yes. How did you know that I was looking at it?”
The voice sounded more confident, almost comradely. “That’s easy. Look straight out your window. See the apartment building with the exterior stairs?”
 “They all have exterior stairs.”
 “Well, the one with stairs and exceptionally ugly pink paint.” “Got it.”
“OK. Look at the left edge of the building and then run your eye straight up.”
 Steve saw the gleaming black cube of a building on the other side of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. There were dozens of round white satellite dishes on the roof.
 “OK, I see the building across the highway. The NSA or Fort Meade or whatever.”
 “Just keep watching.”
 Slowly, almost ceremonially, all the dishes on the roof turned, swiveled, swung, or tipped so that they were all pointed straight at him. Without thinking, Steve’s left hand moved to cover his crotch.
 He made a noise, but it wasn’t a word. Something between a cough and the beginning of a scream, but definitely not a word. On the top of the black building, all the dishes nodded up and down in what he could only describe as a friendly fashion, and then moved back to their original positions.
  “Mr. Rowan?”
 Steve cleared his throat again. “I guess you just made that happen.”
 “That was better than anything I ever saw in college, even on mushrooms, but it still doesn’t tell me who you are.”
 “But it does answer the question of how you could see me.” “Yes.”\\
“And demonstrates a certain amount of power over things.” “Things and quite a few people as well.”
“I would have to say that that remains to be proven, but I can agree that you’ve gone a long way in that direction.”
“Why don’t we leave the rest of your questions for a later time and let me ask you one?”\
Steve’s eyes wandered from the roof of the building across the highway. “What am I looking for?” he wondered.
Then he remembered.
 “Give me just one more question first.” Steve walked out on the balcony and scanned the horizon as far as he could. “Where is thesmoke?”
“Smoke. From the crash of the plane that just flew over me.”
“Mr. Rowan. Can I suggest you step back inside? Good. You were frightening several of your neighbors. No, there is no smoke and, as a matter of fact, no airplane. Since there is no airplane, there wasn’t a crash and, ergo, no smoke. That’s one of the things I’d like to hire you to investigate.”
 Steve thought for a second. “I don’t like it when people say ergo. But we can deal with that later. Right now, I’d like to know why–no wait, let’s begin with how I would investigate the nonexistent crash of an airplane that wasn’t there.”
 “You’re getting a bit redundant.”
“You’ll have to live with it. It’s a side effect of the unease I’m feeling due to the stress of this uncommon and aberrant situation.” Steve’s voice rose to a shout. “Stop fucking around and tell me what the hell is going on!”
 “Well.” The voice on the phone paused as if choosing the next words carefully. “The jetliner did crash. At the same time, it did notcrash.”
 “OK, I’m relieved that you made that clear. Now that I understand, I’m hanging up.”
“Mr. Rowan! Wait! Just one more minute.”
Steve didn’t say anything, but he didn’t punch the END symbol, either. He really wasn’t sure why.
“There has been a Change.”
Steve blinked and looked at the phone. He put it back to his ear. “Did you just capitalize the word change?”
“Hmm? Oh, yes, I suppose I did. This particular change is a pretty big deal and certainly deserves to be capitalized.”
“I’ll be the judge of that. What do you want me to do about this capitalized concept?”
 “Would you work for me? Investigate this Change?”
 Steve’s answer was quick and automatic. “I’m an experienced freelancer. I don’t work for just anyone.”
 “Really? Not even if it was for the Good of the Nation?”
“Stop talking in capitals and, if you mean working for the government, the answer isn’t ‘no.’ The answer is ‘Hell, No.’”
"I believe those last two words were capitalized.” Steve’s head felt like it was about to explode. 
“Would it make you feel better if I hired you on a temporary freelance basis?”
Once again, the answer was swift and automatic. “What are you paying?”
 “Well, I think I have unlimited funds...”
 “Then you’re full of crap. I’m hanging up now.”
The phone began to vibrate in his hand and the voice became agitated. “Mr. Rowan. Don’t do that! It has to be you. No one else observed the airplane!”
 Steve’s eyes closed and whatever it was that had woken him up came back with the feeling of a knockout punch. His face twisted up in anguish at the memory of all the people...their terror...their helpless panic. He groaned.
 “Mr. Rowan! Are you all right?”
“Not one of my better mornings.”
 “I am actually glad to hear that.” 
Because I’d hate to think of what it might take to cause a worse morning. What’s your daily rate?”
 “Five hundred dollars. Double over ten hours.” Steve always held out hope even though he hadn’t made over $350 a day for the pastdecade.
 “You’ve got it.”
 Steve opened his eyes. “Plus expenses?” “Expenses and the use of a car and driver."
“A car?” Steve walked over and looked out to the space in the parking lot where he’d parked his light-blue Prius. He thought it was still there, but it was difficult to tell because an enormous jet engine was smoking sullenly on top of the entire row of parked cars.
 He could make out some twisted pieces of light-blue plastic in his usual parking space.
 “I guess I will need a car.”
 “Good. Then we are in business, right?” “I guess so."
“Good. I’ve got some things to do right now, but I’d appreciate it if you could begin immediately.”
Steve slowly turned around and looked at his apartment. His clothes looked as though a knife-wielding fashion critic had attacked them. He touched his laptop and it rolled away, revealing fluttering bits of paper that he deduced must be his stack of notebooks. One of his shoes was lying by his right foot. He picked it up and slowly poured broken glass out onto the floor. “I’m going to need to be paid up front, I think.”
 “Not a problem. Just answer the door.” 
There was the synthetic clicking sound that cell phones made to indicate the end of a call.
 “Answer the–”
 There was a firm knock on his door.

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Meet the Author

Terry - Edward Irving

Edward Irving was a respectable television journalist for 40 years in Washington D.C. Any shred of respectability has been destroyed by "The Day of the Dragonking." He is waiting for the committee to call and demand his 4 Emmys back at any time.

He has worked for just about every TV channel: Nightline, Wolf Blitzer, Don Imus, and Fox News Sunday - talk about culture clash! He has written 4 documentaries - mostly on Moral Courage - and the last one was particularly fun since it was about rescuing Jews to the Philippines, a decision made over poker and cigars by Manuel Quezon, Dwight Eisenhower, a private detective named Angel Zervoulakos, and brothers from a family that was the biggest importer of cigars to the USA.

Mr. Irving enjoys many things he can't do anymore: motorcycles, racing cars, hang-gliding, scuba-diving, and long vacations. The good thing is that he can put them into books. He has a very forgiving wife, two kids, two grandkids, and a LOT of old books.

For More Information: Author Website  Facebook Twitter Goodreads Goodreads - 2

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