Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Tom Connolly was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He studied business administration at Northeastern University and organization development at Manhattanville where he received his Master of Science degree. He served in the US Air Force for four years and was stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany and New Delhi, India. After a career with IBM he started his own firm, Thundercloud Consulting Group.
“The Adored,” published in February 2015 is Tom’s first novel. His new book, “The Beast of Brazil,” a pre-Olympic shocker is due to be published on May 1, 2016. Both books are available on Amazon in paperback and e-book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“The Adored” was inspired by living and working in Greenwich, Ct and New York during and after the great recession. It is a story of deep love, broken love and love rekindled. It tells the story of 7 boys who grew up together and are now of age and working in and around New York. All the elements are there: murder, deceit, police corruption, insider trading, betrayal, and family complexities.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write in short stories, scenes – I try to make them complete so they could stand alone, but I always try to make sure they stay connected to the larger themes running through the novel. Winesburg, Ohio was a great example of that style.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The Human Stain, Les Miserables, Silas Marner, A Tale of Two Cities, The Good Life,.The Mayor of Casterbridge, Eugenie Grandet, Winesburg Ohio, A Town Like Alice, The Old Man and the Sea, and Amsterdam. I could list another 100 and they all have the some of the same commonalities:
They all had great writing, a strong story, wonderful characters, many of whom are in conflict and with their frailties exposed, and they affected me at an emotional level.
My favorite authors: Roth, Balzac, Dickens, McInereny, Eliot, Zola, McEwan, Coetzee, Austen, Hugo, Turgenev,……you get the point – all are great story tellers. Oh, and Michael Connelly – he writes great detective novels.
What are you working on now?
“The Beast of Brazil” is a pre-Olympic shocker. Here’s a brief description of Chunk DeLuna, the man they call the beast of Brazil.
At 14 he was a homeless orphan living under the piers in Recife, Brazil. At 25 he was a murderous menace and drug kingpin. At 32 he owns one of the largest cement and construction companies in Brazil. Juan “Chunk” DeLuna bought the construction business as a front for his criminal enterprises. Now through bribery and coercion he has won bids to build one of the Olympic venues, a 52,000 seat stadium in Manaus, deep in the amazon jungle.
As the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games are about to get underway, disaster looms. An underground river is undermining the Manaus stadium. Manaus has also been found to be ground zero for the Zika virus and athletes are protesting the site selection for fear of being infected. The International Olympic Committee and FIFA, World Cup soccer’s governing body, are in full panic; their kickback and payoffs are at risk as ticket sales are way off due to the rapidly spreading Zika virus. The IOC wants FIFA to help them pursuade Brazil to moved soccer to another site other than Manaus. The president of the country is furious and her administration asks Chunk DeLuna to help make sure Games stay in Manaus. The stakes are high for DeLuna – he has too much invested in Manaus to lose out now..
The pride of Brazil is at stake: from the wild jubilation in 2009 at winning the games the country has devolved to national rioting over the $50 billion spent by the government on Olympic venues. The drop in oil prices has collapsed the economy and the Zika virus threatens the payback on the country’s investments. With ticket sales to Olympic events dismal, the president will not let the games be a failure; she has staked her legacy on them. She orders that every Olympic venue and event be standing room only.
Chunk DeLuna is aware that the Manaus stadium site is sinking and has suppressed surveyor’s findings. Rival drug dealers are moving into his territory, unaware of the consequences facing them. And DeLuna’s lover, Lupe Monserrat, who has grown into a beautiful and artistic woman, is questioning her self-worth for being with him.
Chunk DeLuna is a man at wit’s end. The magma is rising and the beast of Brazil is about to erupt!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
1st book – 100% writing, little to no marketing
2nd book – 90% writing, 10% marketing, advertising, social networking
3rd book + 75% writing, 25% publicizing, website development
I may have that wrong, but it is important to write. Eventually, if your work is good, someone will find it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Thomas you should write”
I don’t know if it’s true, but when my teacher said that, it confirmed to me what I already knew. I wanted to write.
What are you reading now?
-Edits of “The Beast of Brazil”
-The Great Depression: A Diary,” by Benjamin Roth
What’s next for you as a writer?
A lot is in the works. In May we publish “The Beast of Brazil.” Right on its tail are two other novels nearing completion: “The Rusty Earring,” is about a police detective and his dispatcher wife trying to solve the serial killing murders of 7 women. Along side that is “Confession,” a crazy loopy book that I’ve been playing with for 20 years and just had a breakthrough on.
What is your favorite book of all time?
There are so many favorites, the books listed above are some of them.