“Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning)”
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to meet author Lynn Hallbrooks via the “WeWrite” Tribe on Triberr. I was immediately taken back by her wonderful personality and genuine desire to assist fellow writers. She is also half of the amazing writing team, David McKoy and Lynn Hallbrooks authors of Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning). I was fortunate enough to be granted an interview with this dynamic duo.
Tell us a little about your background; how you both got started as writers and what made you decide to collaborate?
David McKoy: I was born in Dallas, Texas. Not long afterwards, we moved to Irving, Texas. In third grade, it was reported that I had a 12th grade reading level. By fourth or fifth grade, when writing, I was missing words, adding words and/or stringing words together that didn’t make sense. However, I excelled in Spelling. In Math, I transposed numbers. After more testing, it was discovered that I had a form of dyslexia. To some degree, it affects my organizational skills, so outlines are difficult for me. Despite all of this, I wrote some extracurricular poems and song lyrics while I was in High School.
I have a passion for history, in particular, Military History. While in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) in High School, I was privileged to be taught by a few Vietnam Veterans. Their stories were not of glory – they kept it real. That combined with my own family history, I decided to delay enlist in the Navy.
While serving the U.S. Navy, I travelled around the world and learned a lot of hard life lessons. That, along with my collateral jobs in the Navy, led me to my current position of Security Officer (et al). I was part of a FEMA contract in 2005 which gave me an even greater insight into the security field. I was even moved to keep a personal journal.
Due to my security credentials, I prefer to stay out of the public limelight. That is why I defer most of the public relations to Lynn. It was a bright day when Lynn and I connected through mutual friends. Lynn has supported me through some troublesome times. So when she decided to change her life goals, I felt it was my turn to support her.
Lynn Hallbrooks: I was born in Elmira, New York. I was told that I was bit of a rebel. I wouldn’t stay put. I was either climbing on something or taking off for the neighbors’ house. I truly have no recollection of any of this. I do remember going to first grade in Mesquite, Texas…barely. Going through my school records, I can tell I loved to read…I got an Eager Beaver Reader Award. In High School, I wrote some short stories and poems outside of the assigned class work. I was in what could be considered ‘Honors English’. At my father’s urging I joined the JROTC, where I indirectly met David – he was in a grade ahead of me. Soon after graduation, I went into the U.S. Air Force where I learned the basics of how to be a Coding Specialist.
As a result of that training, I continued my career for the next twenty odd years. On occasion, I would do a few articles for career related journals. I didn’t seriously consider making writing a career until about three years ago. By that point, I had been working in the Health Information, aka Medical Records, field for over thirty years. I was really in need of a change, so I took a giant leap of faith and crossed over to writing. This was in part because of being inspired by a friend, Eddie Beesley, who authored Lucky Enough. As I followed his adventures of being an author, I thought, “I could do this”. After several discussions, David encouraged me to give being a writer a shot. As it turned out, all the ideas I had kind of hit a stone wall. Hearing this David said, “Well I’ve had these ideas running around in my head…,” David’s ideas seemed the most viable one for publishing. So a partnership was born.
You’ve obviously done very well as a team. Is it true that you both live in separate towns? How do you make the writing process work? What does your writing practice look like? (i.e. do you meet and work together? or write individually? does one do most of the researching? etc)
David McKoy: Thank you for your kind words. Yes we do live in separate towns. I use pen and paper to write. As I mentioned earlier, outlines are a problem for me. I write out the ideas as they come to me and review tactics to see if they are plausible. Sometimes, books or movies inspire a certain scene. Mainly I “keep it simple silly”. Then I match it up to the team. As for research, I have a basic library of Military History and Weaponry. I also have books by Glenn Beck, Richard Marcinko, and John Weisman in addition to a collection of Soldier of Fortune Magazines. My video library of war movies also helps out.
Lynn Hallbrooks: Yes, we do live in different cities within Texas. David mails me the stories he handwrites. I type them out. We talk on the phone a whole lot to hash out any issues as well as brainstorm. David knows his way around weapons and warriors but when it comes to doing on-line research, that falls to me.
Tell us a little about “Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning) and where you found your inspiration.
David McKoy: Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning) follows the adventures of a fictional CIA Special Operations team. The book begins with them being assigned a reconnaissance mission, which ultimately goes terribly wrong. The rest of the book delves into what went wrong and why.
The general premise came about from several ideas that I had from about ten years prior to beginning to write out the story. I was inspired in part by the ideals and writings of Glenn Beck and Richard Marcinko.
Lynn Hallbrooks: I’m glad these characters and ideas live in David’s head. *grins* – Seriously, our book is a mixed genre of Military/War and Politics. Members of the team, Call Sign: Wrecking Crew, are former Military Special Forces that get embroiled in a political firestorm.
What are your outlooks on writing and life?
David McKoy: Personally, I found that life can be very frustrating at times. I noticed writing has become really good stress/anger management therapy. Otherwise my television would have bullet holes in it because of the current political environment. Recent events have made me question what has happened to America since the time of the Founding Fathers. I thought our country was supposed to be run by Representatives of the People…meaning the Majority.
Belinda, if I may, I’d like to share a little something of my current frustrations. As an American, I am appalled by what I have heard about the recent terroristic events on American soil, 11 September 2012 and how our Lead Representatives have responded to the matter. However, I am not surprised. After all I predicted much of this would happen when writing our first book. In it I created a president who is above board much the same as George Washington and Ronald Reagan. One only has to read the book to see what happens to him and why. Are there more like him to take office? Will evil reign supreme or will good people say “enough”? Will they rise up and begin to take back their Country? All of this is in our future – both in book form and real life.
Lynn Hallbrooks: I look on writing as a job that takes time and dedication. An author has to often work around all the other things going on in their life. For me, that means taking advantage of every possible quiet moment when working on writing projects. This is not always an easy thing. I currently live with my friends and their children, my Godchildren. They are a very active family. So quiet time is a very precious commodity, thus I have no time to watch or listen to talk shows or keep up with current events, outside of Social Media, like David.
What do you like/dislike about the writing industry?
David McKoy: I dislike what in my humble opinion amounts to a political polarity among publishers. I could be wrong but I see more liberal leanings than conservative. Not only that, if a book will not make the publisher big bucks, it is not even considered. Of course there are rare exceptions…if a person is famous such as Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin then his or her Conservative leaning is overlooked for sake of garnering money.
Lynn Hallbrooks: I like, that as a rule, authors are willing to help out fellow authors. I dislike that many outside of the writing world have misconceptions about how ‘well off’ authors are. I’ve run across many authors who do not see a penny for their published works, yet they go on writing. Now you know what I mean about dedication.
What is on the horizon for both of you? Will there be a sequel to “Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning)”?
David McKoy: Currently, I am either working on re-writes on book two or writing out thoughts in order to complete book three. There may possibly be more books but time will tell about that.
Lynn Hallbrooks: It is my sincere hope that we can get book two, working title, “Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Mount Up)”, published and out the proverbial door by the end of this year.
Where can we find your work? (Links) (as many as you like…I don’t limit the number ~ it’s all about you so I want to promote as much as possible!)
David McKoy: Belinda, I bow to my partner, Lynn on this one.
Lynn Hallbrooks: Belinda, it just so happens that I have been inspired to create a list for just such an occasion. *smiles sweetly*
Places where “Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning)” can be found for purchase in alphabetic order:
Other Places our book is located:
David McKoy: Now you see why I turned it over to Lynn. My mind boggles at all the places where our book can be found. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today. If anyone wishes to contact us, our e-mail addresses are on our website. Ha, bet you didn’t think I knew that did you, Lynn?
Lynn Hallbrooks: *Playfully bats at David’s arm* Yes, I knew you did. Belinda, thank you for taking the time to have your audience get to know us. We would love for them to visit our website and sign our guest book. We even have a place to say how you found us.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank both David and Lynn for sharing a bit about themselves and their wonderful work! Please stop by their various links and say hello!