Hi Jeremy, Tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing?
I’ve been avid reader since the age of three. Blessed (and, at times, cursed) with a decidedly active imagination and an insatiable curiosity for nearly everything, I made learning and storytelling two of his chief passions. After earning my degree in History from Florida State University, I accepted a position teaching literature, creative writing, political science, and philosophy at an international school in Dubai. Like my protagonist, Jonathan Rickner, I am an intrepid explorer whose own adventures have taken me from Mayan ruins in the Yucatan to Roman crypts to the pyramids of Egypt, from medieval castles and cathedrals across Europe to the jungles of Bangladesh to cliffside monasteries in the Holy Land, and beyond. To date, I have traveled to more than twenty countries across four continents, seeking adventure, discovery, and ideas for future novels.
What type of books do you enjoy?
I am obviously a huge fan of thrillers (particularly of high-stakes conspiracy or adventure tales), but I also enjoy classic literary works, modern mainstream fiction, and the occasional horror tale. Any books, fiction or nonfiction, that make me think or enlighten me on a particularly interesting subject (of which there are many, as my interests are decidedly diverse).
Who's your favorite author? (Other than yourself of course. *Grin*)
I can hardly pick just one. I read about 140-150 books a year, yet I still have a tremendous backlist of books and authors on my shelves waiting to be read. Off the top of my head, some of my favorite authors are Umberto Eco, Michael Crichton, Stieg Larsson, George Orwell, Alex Berenson, Mark Twain, Harlan Coben, and Jules Verne.
What made you want to write or be a writer?
Since I was a child, I’ve always loved both delving into and creating stories. Even as a boy, I was often incapable of playing with my action figures without devising epic plots and elaborate schemes through which my primary hero would have to advance. As I grew older, I knew I wanted to create stories on a larger and more professional scale. My lifelong love affair with books, my passionate curiosity about life in its many eccentric peculiarities and hidden wonders, and the tremendous inspiration that traveling and exploring the world, have also helped seed my mind with stories waiting to be told.
What was it about this book that made you want to write it?
Since the first time I saw the original Indiana Jones trilogy as a youth, I’ve loved historical mysteries and high adventure. When I was a college student pursuing my degree in history, I finally decided that I wanted to create similarly themed adventures, but I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before. The market was saturated with Templar conspiracies and Masonic plots, and I wanted to do something new and exciting. On my first trip to New York City, I fell in love with the rich history, the vibrant culture and the unique atmosphere that Manhattan has. In my exploring the city, I came across a site that particularly resonated with me, and I knew I had to do something with it. Digging into the background of the site, I discovered a distinctive history involving John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Using my university classwork and papers as a jumping off point, I scoured libraries and returned to Manhattan to explore the hidden history behind some of the most famous monuments in the city, learning more than I ever thought I would about the 1930s, the Rockefellers, and a disturbing history of covert policies by the American government dating back nearly a century. It was actually quite surprising how well the pieces of the conspiracy I’d devised fit into the established historical record, almost to the point where I would sometimes wonder if I had in fact unwittingly stumbled upon a real conspiracy. This history and conspiracy – and its implications for today’s world – provide the backdrop for this story that was just begging to be told.
What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?
Either a travel writer, a video game designer, or a Disney Imagineer.
Is there anything special you would like to share with the readers about From the Ashes or yourself?
In addition to being based on a unique and scarily plausible premise, I also did a tremendous amount of site research. Almost everything that the protagonists do in the book, including the routes that they take through churches, museums, parks, and train stations, I did as well so as to have the greatest level of authenticity and immersion possible. And yes, this includes climbing up on a certain New York monument towards the end of the book to be able to see what was inside.
I’m currently hard at work on the second book in the series, Of Faith and Treason, which I hope to have out later on this year. For the latest updates on upcoming books and behind the scenes exclusives, visit www.AuthorJeremyBurns.com and www.facebook.com/JeremyBurnsBooks.
Thank you very much for joining me today.
Graduate students Jonathan and Michael Rickner, sons of eminent archeologist Sir William Rickner, are no strangers to historical secrets and archeological adventures. But when Michael is discovered dead in his Washington, D.C. apartment, Jon refuses to believe the official ruling of suicide. Digging deeper into his brother’s work, he discovers evidence that Michael was murdered to keep his dissertation research buried. Joined by Michael’s fiancée Mara Ellison, Jon travels to New York where he uncovers the threads of a deadly Depression-era conspiracy – one entangling the Hoover Administration, the Rockefellers, and the rise of Nazi Germany – and the elite cadre of assassins that still guard its unspeakable secret. Finding themselves in the crosshairs of the same men who killed Michael, Jon and Mara must navigate a complex web of historical cover-ups and modern-day subterfuge, outwitting and outrunning their all-powerful pursuers as they race through a labyrinthine treasure hunt through the monuments and museums of Manhattan to discover the last secret of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., before their enemies can bury the truth – and them – forever.
About Jeremy:An avid reader since the age of three, Jeremy Burns was devouring novels by the time other children his age were still learning their ABCs. Blessed (and, at times, cursed) with a decidedly active imagination and an insatiable curiosity for nearly everything, Jeremy made learning and storytelling two of his chief passions. After earning his degree in History from Florida State University, Jeremy accepted a position teaching literature, creative writing, political science, and philosophy at an international school in Dubai. Like the characters in his books, Jeremy is an intrepid explorer whose own adventures have taken him from Mayan ruins in the Yucatan to the pyramids of Egypt, from medieval castles across Europe to the jungles of Bangladesh, and beyond. To date, Jeremy has traveled to more than twenty countries across four continents, seeking adventure, discovery, and ideas for future novels. When not exploring a new corner of the globe, Jeremy lives in Florida, where he is working on his next thrilling novel.
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