by Ethan Cross
Rick Mofina began writing fiction in grade school. At age 15, he sold his first short story to a magazine, and while still in his teens, he hitchhiked to California and wrote a novel about the experience. He continued down this path and became a reporter, covering stories ranging from serial killers to armored car heists. Eventually, he poured this myriad of interesting experiences into becoming a novelist that has been described as “one of the leading thriller writers of the day” with #1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor pronouncing his latest book to be “A superbly written thriller that plumbs the depths of every parent’s nightmare. Timely, tense, and terrifying, this book is sure to be a big hit!”
IN DESPERATION is book #3 in the acclaimed series featuring crime reporter Jack Gannon. The series was launched with VENGEANCE ROAD, which was named a Thriller Award Finalist by the International Thriller Writers and a Shamus Award Finalist by the Private Eye Writers of America.
IN DESPERATION is the story of 11-year-old Tilly Martin who is dragged from her suburban Phoenix bedroom at night by two men posing as police officers. Her mother Cora pleads for mercy but the kidnappers are clear: if they don’t get $5 million in five days, Tilly dies. If anyone contacts police, Tilly dies.
Journalist Jack Gannon’s estranged sister, Cora, vanished decades ago. Now she is frantically reaching out to him for help. Cora tells him about the shameful mistakes she’s made—but she guards the one secret that may be keeping her daughter alive.
In the U.S. and Mexico, police and the press go flat out on Tilly’s case. But as Gannon digs deeper into his anguished sister’s past, the hours tick down on his niece’s life.
You’ve obviously had great success as a writer, yet you still work full-time as a communications advisor. What has stopped you from making writing your day job?
We live in uncertain times and I don’t like to roll the dice.
You’ve held jobs ranging from working at a horse racing track to delivering cars to Florida. Which of your many jobs has been the most interesting? Which was the most difficult?
All of my jobs have been interesting, but my job as a reporter in covering tragedy and talking to people at the worst point of their lives was the most difficult.
While working as a reporter, you were given the chance to cover several intriguing cases and have many fascinating experiences. Can you share one or two of those experiences with us?
Going to Montana State Prison to interview a double-killer on death row was compelling, especially when he told me he was haunted in his cell by the ghosts of the two men he murdered – they appeared at the foot of his cot.
While in your teens, you hitchhiked across the country and wrote a novel about it. Was this novel ever published? Have you tried to re-visit it over the years? In the new world of digital publishing, have you considered releasing it as an ebook, perhaps even under a pen name?
No, that enterprise was a good exercise but not a good book.
You worked as a reporter and many of your protagonists are reporters, so starting out, you probably didn’t have to do much research into that world. However, with the advances in technology, has the world of reporting changed and forced you to revisit your old stomping grounds?
I do ask friends who are still in the craft to help me out, to keep things current.
What kind of research did you do for your newest book?
My research is ongoing. I visited with friends at the world headquarters of the Associated Press, I have recently travelled through New York City’s five boroughs. I also spent some time with the FBI, who were very kind.
What are you reading now, and who are your favorite authors or greatest influences?
Truman Capote, William Peter Blatty, Tony Hillerman, Joseph Conrad, James Ellroy.
What can we expect to see from you next?
Book 4 in the Gannon series, THE BURNING EDGE is due for release early in 2012.
Rick Mofina is a former reporter and author of several acclaimed thrillers. He has interviewed murderers on death row, covered a serial-killing case in California, an armored car-heist in Las Vegas, flown over Los Angeles with the LAPD and gone on patrol with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police near the Arctic. He’s reported from the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, and Kuwait’s border with Iraq. The International Thriller Writers, Private Eye Writers of America and The Crime Writers of Canada, have selected his novels as being among the best in the genre.