Friday, July 23, 2010

Interview with RICK CHESLER

You live in Hawaii, which those of us in the lower 48 imagine as paradise. Is it really paradise? Why? Why not? 

It depends on your definition of paradise. I live in Honolulu, which is a major urban center with traffic, crowding, skyscraper office buildings, homelessness, and crime--just like any other city, but with nicer weather and the beach always nearby. However, many other parts of the state—especially on the other islands-- offer pristine natural areas as well as small town, rural living with a true tropical island pace.

You have a B.S. in Marine Biology and work as an environmental project manager. How’d you get from there to being a mystery/thriller writer?

I’ve always had a fascination with the natural world and the ocean in particular. I was one of those kids who caught frogs and turtles and crayfish from streams and brought them home to live in terrariums. Later, I earned a degree in marine biology. Writing fiction, for me, is just another way to explore the world in which we live, albeit in a highly entertaining fashion.

Tell us about WIRED KINGDOM, your new thriller.

Wired Kingdom is my debut novel, a high-tech mystery about a whale tagged with a webcam that broadcasts a murder at sea. It was released May 25 this year, from Variance Publishing / Deviation Books. It is available in mass market paperback and various e-book formats, including Kindle.

What are you working on now?

It’s top secret at this point, but suffice to say that more action, adventure, intrigue, and cutting edge science & technology are on the way!

Share with us your road to publication: Are you an overnight success? Do you have an agent? Any special tips or advice to new authors?

Definitely not an overnight success. I wrote a couple of “practice” thriller manuscripts over the years before I wrote and eventually sold what was to become, after many versions, revisions and edits, Wired Kingdom.

I do not have an agent at this time.

The best advice I can give to new authors is to stay actively involved in promoting their work. It’s been surprising to me how many seemingly chance connections have resulted in a new reader. For new writers or aspiring authors, the best single piece of advice I can give is to read a lot within your chosen genre or area.

Do you have any special promotional activities currently underway in support of Wired Kingdom?

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I do! Right now and until July 31, 2010, I have a giveaway contest running with, the free social network for book lovers. All you have to do is have a (free) Goodreads account, and click the “Enter to Win” button on this page:

In return for entering, all I ask is that you spread the word by adding Wired Kingdom to your shelf and recommending it to your Goodreads friends. Winner will receive a signed copy of the book. Good luck!

What are the addresses of your websites, blogs, Facebook page, etc.?

My author website:
Wired Kingdom Facebook fan page:
On publisher’s website:
Author twitter: @RickChesler or
Amazon page:

Thank you very much for having me on Author Exchange Blog. Happy reading!  -Rick

[Blog Hostess comment:  I reviewed Wired Kingdom earlier this month.  If you're interested in seeing my review, click here.]


  1. Linda,

    Thanks again for having me on the blog!

    If anyone has any questions or comments, I'm happy to discuss them here.


  2. I have a question, Rick. How come you didn't name the whale?

  3. Good question, Linda! Well, I wanted to avoid anthropomorphizing the animal, that is to say, I didn't want the book's narrator to have to refer to the whale by some cute name. "The Blue" is as close to that as it gets. Also, calling it "Specimen #437B" or similar, as they are actually referred to by scientists in tagging projects, seemed cumbersome as well as overly impersonal, so in the end I decided not to refer to it as anthing but what is --a whale.

    I didn't want to get inside the head of the whale, either, because that takes things firmly into the realm of pure fantasy, so the whale's "thoughts" are not shown, although I think it's safe to say that the whale's experiences can be broadly classified as either pleasant or unpleasant.

  4. All very good reasons, now that you mention it. I don't know how you managed to infuse the whale with a personality without giving it a POV or a cutesy name, but you did a darn good job! Be sure to keep us posted when the current secret project isn't so secret any more!

  5. Without going into details that may spoil parts of the story for those who have not yet read this wonderful book, I would like to know from Rick whether placing a camera, or the various ways in which retrieval attempts were made, can actually injure the whale?

  6. It is possible for a whale to be injured during the tag deployment process. For shorter term tagging studies, a suction cup dart is used, which is less invasive than an implanted dart. However, simply approaching a whale in a boat is a risky proposition for both humans and whale.