The day has finally come—the debut of my thriller, HARD RETURN.
Some of you might have met Cyril Landry in THE SHOP (Thomas & Mercer 2011). I met him on the same night you did—the night a group of people were murdered in a pine-log McMansion in Aspen, Colorado. Cyril Landry was the faceless killer and the leader of three other faceless killers. It was a walk-on part.
But on page 2, something happened. Landry touched his earpiece and asked the upstairs team how many people were in the bedroom.
The guy replied, “Two. A couple. They were laying in bed.”
“Lying,” Landry said.
“What?” (And it wasn’t just the guy upstairs asking the question. I was asking it, too.)
“Lying in bed, not laying,” Landry said.
The other guy, as nonplussed as I was, couldn’t think of a retort. Finally, he said, “Roger that.”
And a star is born.
You have to think of it from my perspective. Here I am, writing this walk-on part, and what does Generic Assassin #1 do? He decides to become real.
And Cyril Landry gets more and more real every moment he’s onstage, so, yeah, I end up giving him more and more scenes, and then the man just goes ahead and takes over half the book.
And I’m thinking: hey, this guy’s easy to write. He does all the work. So, being the lazy sort, I ultimately decided to give Landry his own book.
I did my best to stay out of his way and just watch him do his thing, and darn if we didn’t become fast friends.
So here it is, folks:
Landry’s maiden voyage with a book all his own.
— J. Carson Black, September 2014