Today I am honoured to receive a visit from award-winning author Randall Krzak. I have been a fan of Randall for a while now and am delighted he has agreed to be interviewed so that you can all find out a bit more about him and his books.
Me: Hello, Randall. It’s good to have you here on Dragons Rule OK. (I hope the dragons don’t eat you!) Perhaps you would like to answer a few questions for my readers so they can get to know you.
Me: Who is your favourite author?
Randall: I have two authors who I equally consider my favourite: Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler.
Me: Apart from writing, what is the thing you enjoy doing the most?
Randall: Sightseeing (especially historical locations), candle-making, and pyrography.
Me: That’s one of my favourite things, too. Historic locations are so interesting, and can give you ideas for books, too.
If you weren’t a writer, what job would you do?
Randall: I don’t consider writing a job, but if I wasn’t writing, I’d probably be on a golf course as this is something I always saved for retirement.
Me: Do you have a ‘proper’ job,? If so, what is it?
Me: Haha. I know what you mean, though. No time to go out to work when you’re retired, is there?
Something that non-writers often want to know is why do you write?
Randall: I never considered writing until a long-time friend and work colleague suggested I write a novel. I took his advice and I’m still writing.
Me: So you started writing late. How old were you when you published your first book?
Me: A bit like me, then. I started after I retired. I suspect there are more writers about who started around that time!
Now for a question I can’t answer, myself, but another non-writers often ask. Where do you get your ideas from?
Randall: Sometimes my research will prompt an idea. A reviewer once sent me three sentences and asked if I could do anything with it. They became the basis for my most recent release, Colombian Betrayal. Someone else recently sent me a link to a news article, saying they thought the location would be excellent for one of my stories. I’ve outlined a multi-volume series, with the first one to be called Pirates on the Delta.
Me: Do you have any pets?
Randall: Right now we have five cats (all rescued or ferals we’ve slightly domesticated) plus we look after a stray.
Me: You obviously like animals would you say you are a dog or a cat person?
Randall: We’ve had both. As with our cats, our dogs have all been from non-kill shelters.
Me: When you go out to eat, what type of food do you prefer?
Randall: It varies, but the last two times we went out to eat, we selected an Indian restaurant. My favorite is chicken biryani with a Peshwari naan.
Me: Do you prefer the city or the country?
Randall: I prefer the country, although being somewhat near to amenities is useful, too.
Me: Yes. It’s nice to know you’re not completely cut off from society, even though the country is lovely.
Do you enjoy sport? Do you prefer to watch or take part?
Randall: I only watch now, but used to play baseball, basketball and American football.
Me: It catches up with us all, eventually, doesn’t it? What is your favourite sport?
Randall: American football.
Me: That’s one game I’ve never really got into. It seems complicated, but it probably isn’t when you get to know it.
Do you cook? If so, what is your favourite thing to cook?
Randall: One of my favourites is chicken curry.
Me: One of mine, too.
Can you play a musical instrument? If so, what is it?
Randall: I used to play the Hawaiian or steel guitar, but haven’t picked it up in decades. I used to sing lead with a British barbershop chorus. In 2007, we picked up the bronze medal in the annual British competition, jumping from seventh place.
Me: Impressive. I’ve recently started playing the piano again after decades. It’s not like riding a bike. You do forget! Who is your favourite musician?
Randall: I’d have to say Freddie Mercury was one of my favourites. Don’t really listen to music now.
Me: Do you have any siblings? Do any of them write?
Randall: Six (all younger). None of them write.
Me: A big family! It must have been fun growing up. Can you swim?
Me: Do you do any voluntary work? If so, what?
Randall: We used to do a variety of events to help animal charities. Right now, we support several with monthly donations.
Me: Taking in stray and unwanted animals is a great thing to do.
Your work is well researched. Do you have personal experience of these places you write about?
Randall: Wherever possible, I use personal experiences to help my stories along. Sometimes, I have to rely solely on my research and/or information from those who might have visited or lived in a specific location.
Me: Your work has won awards. Can you tell us how many you have won?
Randall: My first three novels have all been recognized.
Me: That’s impressive. How did you feel when you won your first award, and what was it?
Randall: I was absolutely thrilled! I actually received two awards simultaneously. I submitted The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance to the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards in their Global Thrillers category. I couldn’t believe it when both were recognized as semi-finalists, but it didn’t stop there.
The Kurdish Connection finished its run in the competition as a semi-finalist, while Dangerous Alliance was one of seven First in Category winners.
As of June 17th 2020, Carnage in Singapore is a finalist in the 2019 competition. The final results were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the First in Category winners and the category Grand Prize winners will be announced in early September.
Me: Wow! But having read some of your novels, I can say that the awards are well deserved.
Thank you so much for your time. I’ll be looking out for your next novel.
And now here’s a bit more about Randall and his books.
Randall Krzak is a U.S. Army veteran and retired senior civil servant, spending thirty years in Europe, Africa, Central America, and the Middle East. His residency abroad qualifies him to build rich worlds in his action-adventure novels and short stories. Familiar with customs, laws, and social norms, he promotes these to create authentic characters and scenery.
His first novel, The Kurdish Connection, was published in 2017, and the sequel, Dangerous Alliance, was released in November 2018. Both placed in the 2018 Global Thriller Book Awards sponsored by Chanticleer International Book Awards, with The Kurdish Connection finishing as a semi-finalist and Dangerous Alliance being selected as one of seven first in category winners. The third novel in the series, Carnage in Singapore, was released in August 2019, and is currently a finalist in the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards (as of August 17th, 2020). He also penned “A Dangerous Occupation,” a winning entry in the August 2016 Wild Sound Writing and Film Festival Review short story category.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and a general Master in Business Administration (MBA) and a MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Focus, both from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. He currently resides with his wife, Sylvia, and six cats in Dunfermline, Scotland. He’s originally from Michigan, while Sylvia is a proud Scot. In addition to writing, he enjoys hiking, reading, candle making, pyrography, and sightseeing.
Here’s something about one of his books, Carnage in Singapore, which, incidentally, was the one that brought Randall to my attention. I think it’s a great cover.
Terrorist groups such as Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah have flourished in recent years with new recruits joining them and ISIS-affiliates at an alarming rate. Blended operations by various Asian countries have forced the groups to work together to identify a new operational base.
They seek an island nation to call home, one where they can plot against countries who oppose their ideals. They found a target, a small nation-state, perfect for their needs: The Republic of Singapore.
Before anyone can respond, the ambassadors of the United States, Great Britain, and Australia are kidnapped from their residences in Singapore. Right index fingers of each victim are sent as a warning. Any attempt to recover the ambassadors will result in the removal of additional body parts.
Bedlam Charlie team leader, Evelyn Evinrude, leads the group to rescue the ambassadors and capture the local leaders of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. Can Bedlam succeed or will events escalate, resulting in more deaths?