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Richie Makepeace flees to South America after being framed for a double murder in Miami. After settling on La Vaca, a classic tiny town on the edge of the Colombian jungle, he meets Vicki Freeman, a top fashion model with a thing for “bad boys.” While Richie fights falling for her, she and her rich boyfriend devise a wild “adventurous” plan that will rely on Richie helping them, something he does not want to do. But with cash running out, he concedes and sets up what will result in chaos, backstabbing, and bloodshed. The rules of the jungle will prevail and those unprepared will pay the highest price.

Author Glenn A. Bruce carved some time out of his busy schedule to meet with The Big Thrill and discuss his adventure thriller, BANANA REPUBLIC: RICHIE’S RUN:

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

This one is action-packed from Page One to its chaotic and bloody final confrontation. The characters are dark and deep, each with a history and mystery, When they collide, no good can come of it. Lots of sex, drugs, and enough dark humor to grease the wheels of injustice.

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

The biggest challenge—for nearly 10 years—was just getting it right: the tone, the order, the build-up, the character details melding seamlessly with the dark story. But mainly, it was finding and maintaining the balance between character and story reveals. The biggest opportunity was in steadily building to the finale that I had imagined before a lot of the story details—again, making it work and move smoothly and satisfyingly.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

A nail-biting, blood-soaked criminal ride from South Florida to South America and beyond. A real page-turner,.

Without spoilers, are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?

No. Though I usually do that in one way or another, this time I just wanted to tell a hard-edged story of violent people meeting on an elusive field of battle with satisfying results for the reader. Which I think I accomplished.

What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you about this book, or your work in general? 

“How do you make these complicated jigsaw-puzzle stories work?” Lots and lots of rewriting until it feels right.


Glenn A. Bruce, MFA, was associate fiction editor for The Lindenwood Review. He has published eight novels and two short story collections. He wrote Kickboxer, and episodes of Walker: Texas Ranger and Baywatch. His stories, poems, and essays have been published internationally. He won About That’s “Down and Dirty” short story contest and was a two-time finalist in the Defenestrationism annual short story contest. He has judged art, film, and writing, including Brilliant Flash Fiction as well as Defenestrationism’s biannual short story contests from 2016 to the present. Glenn taught Screenwriting at Appalachian State University for 12 and a half years and recently “retired” to focus solely on writing.

To learn more about Glenn, please visit his website.