Hey, Jude, how’s it going?
Huh? Are we on the air already?
I first met Jude Hardin on a boat in Seattle. We had both been invited to a Thomas and Mercer’s writing conference, which was also a meet and greet for authors. Read Lee Goldberg’s summary of our weekend HERE. Somehow Jude and I got talking about serial killers and we had an instant connection. We both figured anyone on the boat that day, including the two of us, could be serial killers. Is that how you remember it, Jude?
I just remember being really hungry, and not getting to eat much because I spent the entire lunch period talking to some really cute blonde about thrillers. Was that you?
The moment I returned from Seattle, I read Jude’s short story, RATTLED. It’s 32 pages. I loved every word. I raced through it with a smile on my face. Nicholas Colt, a private investigator, makes the mistake of picking up a hitchhiker! Don’t do that people! Never pick up a hitchhiker. On the other hand, maybe that would make for a great romance novel: A woman who has hit rock bottom picks up a dangerous looking hitchhiker because she figures she has nothing to live for. The hitchhiker is dark and dangerous, complete with knife hooked to his belt, and so begins their road trip. She falls in love, of course! That’s how I get my ideas. They randomly pop into my head. I’m not going to ask Jude where he gets his ideas because he talks about that HERE. Instead, let’s talk about Jude’s past vocations: fence installer, pizza delivery man, convenience store clerk, freelance journalist, film extra, professional drummer, bartender, avionics technician, carpet cleaner, chemical plant supervisor, substitute teacher, and registered nurse.
Wow! Can you tell us which of these jobs you liked best? I believe you told me you played the drums with Stephen King’s band…or maybe I imagined that.
Yes, Steve and I are old pals. Not Stephen King the author, of course. Stephen King the heating and air conditioning technician. We’ve been talking about getting the old band back together, and this time we’re going to get SERIOUS.
But really, my favorite out of all those jobs would have to be film extra. You get to goof off all morning, and then you get to have lunch with Bill Murray, and then you get to goof off all afternoon. And they pay you for it!
Jude is a naturally funny guy. He is the king of puns and jokes on Facebook. For example, here are a few examples:
My friend lost his strongbox in a poker game. It was a safe bet.
My friend wanted to try the craps tables in Vegas, but he said they looked a little dicey.
A man walks into a bar...a few minutes later he's taken to the hospital to be checked for a concussion.
One of his commenters had a funny reply: A Priest, a Minister and a Rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Is this some kind of joke?"
Okay, Jude. What’s up with the jokes? Do you have a zillion joke books laying around or do you make these up yourself?
I steal them from Stephen King. The HVAC guy. He’s a real corker!
Ha! How many books have you released with Thomas and Mercer?
Four. And you want to know something really wild? There are intersecting streets in Seattle with those exact same names. Thomas and Mercer. Talk about a coincidence!
But yeah, four books, and the experience has been quite positive overall. Especially the free food and booze they gave us at the conference!
T&M published four of the seven titles in my Nicholas Colt series: CROSSCUT, SNUFF TAG 9, KEY DEATH, and BLOOD TATTOO. Each one is available in ebook, paperback, and audio.
Do you still self-publish, too?
Absolutely. I guess I’m what they call a hybrid author. And I want to make it perfectly clear that there’s a big difference between hybrid and GMO. Enough said about that.
My self-published books include COLT, SYCAMORE BLUFF, and BAD NURSE, all thrillers.
Self-publishing is a lot of hard work, but I enjoy being in control of the process from start to finish. And you can’t beat the royalty rates!
What are you working on now?
A near-future short story called “A Time for Dying.” I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not as cheerful and upbeat as it sounds. You’ll just have to trust me on that for now. When that’s finished, I’m going to start working on something that might actually sell. Like cupcakes. I understand they’re very popular at the moment.
And now, what we’ve all been waiting for, Jude Hardin’s newest release, iSEAL, the first in a series.
A civilian contractor for the Department of Defense has created an implantable brain-computer interface that will make the fiercest warriors on the planet exponentially smarter, faster, and deadlier.
After years of painstaking research, the device is finally ready for human trials.
Desperate to be reinstated as a Special Forces candidate, Nathan Brennan reluctantly volunteers for the study. Four weeks as a lab rat and his military career will be back on course.
Unfortunately, by the end of day one, he finds himself on the run from the police, the CIA, and a mysterious criminal mastermind named Oberwand.
With no memory of his past, and with little hope for a meaningful future, Brennan must utilize every weapon in his binary arsenal just to stay alive.
I can’t wait to read iSEAL!! Thanks for being a good sport and answering my questions, Jude. Do you have anything you would like to add?
Just that you’re one of the coolest people I’ve ever met, and that it was super generous of you to feature me and my work here on your website. Thanks so much, Theresa!