Wednesday 5 March 2014

Author Interview & Giveaway - Say That To My Face by Bernard Maestas

Say That To My Face

Author: Bernard Maestas
Genre: Young adult / Thriller
Publisher: Rebel ePublishers
Pages: 180 pages (eBook), 222 pages (Paperback)
Language: English
Format: Paperback, eBook

Book Description:
Alex is a throwaway teenager in New York, pitfighting for scraps. Ted is a bored suburban high schooler in Illinois making a profit on changing grades and pirating movies. Together they become international mercenaries, battling for their own profit, occasionally stumbling on doing the right thing, and taking sarcastic jabs at each other along the way.

Using their collective talents, they rob a crooked bank president, rescue the kidnapped daughter of an oil tycoon and hunt high value insurgents in Iraq for the bounties on their head. They train government troops in one African country to crush the tribal government of a neighboring country and then train the tribal militia opponents of the adjacent country. In Russia they hunt down a wanted war criminal on the run from the UN, exposing a human trafficking operation. Realizing that they are at their best together, they go into business for themselves, picking the jobs they want, when they want, and reaping all the profits.

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About the author Bernard Maestas

Bernard Maestas lives in paradise.  A police officer patrolling the mean streets of Hawaii, he has a background in contract security and military and civilian law enforcement.  When not saving the world, one speeding ticket at a time, and not distracted by video games or the internet, he is usually hard at work on his next book.

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Author Interview

1. Tell us a bit about your writing background. How did you get started writing for teens?

For as long as I can remember, down to my earliest memories, I've always loved creating stories.  I can remember playing with my toys and action figures, mixing and matching them and creating whole new worlds and tales that had nothing to do with their original stories.  I think I took my first cracks at my own writing when I was in second or third grade.  I had a comic book series that ran through junior high and another that got me through high school.  Writing persisted as a hobby throughout my life, but I really honed it as a teenager.  I made a corps group of close friends who were all writers and we collaborated on stories throughout high school.

Despite this, I had never actually finished anything, even a short story, before "Say That to My Face".  At the end of 2012, something happened and I took the bones of a story that I'd occasionally worked on for several years and before I knew it, it was finished!  I went on to write four complete books in 2013, plus parts of several others.  I still haven't figured out what made me so prolific but I'm grateful for whatever it was!

I don't think I set out writing for teens.  I don't think I really set out writing for an audience at all.  I just wanted to write, to get my stories down on the page.  I had no plan for what I would do with them afterwards.  However, once I found my "voice" (and, oh, isn't that so cliche to say?) I found that it was best directed at teen readers.

2. Who/What were your earliest influences?

I definitely read above my station as a kid.  I read "The Hobbit" and "Ender's Game" in second or third grade (instead, I'm sure, of the assigned Judy Blume or Roald Dahl books).  "Ender's Game" was a big deal for me, so I think I'd chalk alot of it up to Orson Scott Card.  I'd always been a fan of science fiction and fantasy and that was a great book.

Comic books and anime came into play when I was in junior high.  I lost myself in them and every story made me think "I want to do this!"  Some of my favorites were X-Men 2099, The Punisher, The Guyver, Tekkaman Blade, and The Maxx.

3. Did you face any early challenges to finding success in writing?

Wow... Absolutely!  Writing seems to be one challenge after another.  Just finishing a project was the first one.  Before "Say That to My Face" I'd never finished anything before, though I think I'd gotten close a time or two.  As huge a hurdle as finishing it was, getting published was more so.  I faced so much rejection and negative criticism and, while it was expected, I don't think you can ever really prepare for the sort of disappointment that went along with being an unknown and trying to get a book out there.  Unless you're Stephanie Meyer and manage to get a six-figure deal on your first try!

4. What are your favorite books as a reader today? What qualities in them appeal to you?

I read a pretty eclectic mix of books but I think my staples are urban fantasy and all manner of young adult novels.  My favorite author, by far, is an amazingly talented lady named Rob Thurman.  Her humor really speaks to me and the imaginative stories she creates have had me hooked since her debut.

5. What do you do outside your writing life?

I try to stay as busy as possible with my writing because I'm sort of afraid I'll lose whatever it was that suddenly allowed me to become so prolific after a lifetime of nothing.  I work full time (and dream of the day when I can retire to write for a living) as a police officer.  Beyond that, the internet is a huge time suck in my life.  I play sports in my spare time.  I also watch a lot of TV (especially anime) and movies and I read as much as I can, always trying to keep the inspiration flowing.  

6. What encouragement helped you along the way?

I think all the credit here has to go to one of my best and oldest friends, David.  He has been my muse, my sounding board, my support structure and a constant source of encouragement.  He's one of the only people that has always believed in me as a writer and often was the only positive voice I had.  Even my family never thought I'd have any success writing, but David has always managed to make me feel like I could.  He lets me bug him with my every new story idea, gripe to him about the woes of rejection and he shares in the joy of my success.

7. What advice do you have for beginning writers?

Write!  Write, write, write!  Write until your eyes burn and your fingers bleed, then write some more!  The only way to become a writer is to write and the only way to become a better writer is to write more.

That said, never give up!  You can try your best to prepare yourself for the critics and the rejections, but the most important thing is to never give up on it.  

8. What's up next for your fans?

"Godwin's Law", the exciting sequel to "Say That to My Face" is in the pipeline and presently in my editor's hands.  The third installment is sure to be hot on its heels.  I'm hard at work on a number of other projects as well so expect to see some different stuff in the near future... maybe (teaser) even some sci-fi/fantasy!

9. What has been your biggest compliment?

I consider every single person who reads my book to be the biggest compliment I could ever ask for.

10. Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans and readers?

Thank you so much for your support and for reading!  Stay tuned, I promise Alex and Ted's adventures are just getting started!  Like my Facebook page for the latest updates, teasers and more!

Coupon Code - REW75
Expires: March 8th


10 ecopies of Say That To My Face up for grabs (winners choose the edition they want).

Ends March 25th (midnight GMT).


There is an error with the rafflecopter, so I have listed the names of the winners below.



  1. I like the answer to number seven. Just keep writing! :)

  2. This book sounds intereting! I'm always looking for YA Thrillers to add to my reading list and I'm always happy when I find one that I haven't already read. There just aren't enough.