Interview With … Piers Platt
Posted by authorcamilson
We’re thrilled to be hosting Piers Platt’s RATH’S DECEPTION blog tour today!
Title: Rath’s Deception
Author: Piers Platt
Publisher: Piers Platt
Genre: Sci Fi/Thriller
On the cut-throat streets of Tarkis, orphaned teens like Rath end up jailed … or dead. So when the shadowy Janus Group offers Rath a chance to earn riches beyond his wildest dreams, he seizes it. But the Janus Group is as ruthless as the elite assassins it controls. Rath will have to survive their grueling, off-world training, and fulfill all fifty kills in his contract before a single cent comes his way. And ending so many lives comes with a price Rath can’t anticipate. It’ll certainly cost him what’s left of his innocence. It may well cost him his life.
For More Information
A light flickered on the edge of Rath’s peripheral vision: his internal heads-up display had an incoming message.
<Urgent: mission update>
<New target: Deputy Ambassador Sorgens>
<Original target is not to be harmed>
Rath felt a bead of sweat form at his brow. He smiled at another group of guests and offered them his tray of canapés, simultaneously advancing through screens in his heads-up display to find a photo of Sorgens in order to identify him.
Okay, got it.
“We’re all done, thanks,” one of the guests told him.
“Of course,” Rath said. “Sorry.”
Guess I lingered a little longer than a normal server would have. He stepped away from the group, spinning slowly in place as if planning which group he would approach next. There’s Sorgens – far side of the room.
Rath stopped at three other groups of party-goers, working his way around the outside of the room in a looping curve, careful to avoid heading directly for the Deputy Ambassador. As he left the third group, he rearranged the napkins on his tray, as if straightening them, and surreptitiously jabbed one of the canapés with a tiny hypodermic needle, before slipping the needle back into his sleeve. Then he turned and headed for the Deputy Ambassador, but a security guard cut in front of him. Rath changed direction smoothly and headed for a different group, but he kept Sorgens in his line of sight. The security guard was leaning in close to Sorgens, covering his mouth to whisper in his ear. Rath dialed up his audio implants.
“… credible threat. Intelligence is rated ‘High Reliability,’ so we’re taking it very seriously,” Rath heard the man say. The Deputy Ambassador blanched, his face turning nearly as white as his tuxedo shirt. “I’d like to get you out of here right now, sir.”
Sorgens turned to the other guests, and made his apologies. “I’m sorry – I’m afraid duty calls, there’s an urgent message that needs my attention.” He headed toward the room’s exit, closely followed by the guard.
Want a snack before you go? Rath thought, chagrined. He broke away from the group he was serving and walked briskly toward the kitchen, which was in the same direction Sorgens was headed.
Let’s hope the kitchen has another exit close to wherever Sorgens is headed.
Rath ducked inside – to his relief, he saw an exit at the far side of the crowded room. He dumped his tray into the first trash can he saw and elbowed through the servers and cooks, heading for the door.
“Hey, watch it, asshole!” a busboy protested, spilling several plates onto a steel countertop.
Rath ignored him and continued toward the back of the room, pushing through the swinging door. Sorgens was just disappearing through a side door halfway down the corridor, while the guard positioned himself outside the door. That looks like a restroom. Rath walked toward the guard, who was watching his approach closely, hands behind his back.
Probably got a pistol in a belt holster back there, Rath decided. So much for the frontal assault.
Instead he took a sharp right turn down a side corridor, disappearing from the guard’s view. Mechanical plates implanted within his face shifted, obeying Rath’s commands, while his hair greyed, and his skin tone lightened. In the space of three seconds, he looked exactly like his original target. He turned on his heel, and stepped back out into the main corridor, looking both ways before appearing to notice the guard.
“You,” Rath pointed at the man, “have you seen my deputy around here?”
“Sir?” the guard asked, confused. “Oh, yes, Mr. Ambassador: Deputy Ambassador Sorgens is right in here.”
“Ah, excellent,” Rath said, walking up. He was at least two inches shorter and thirty pounds lighter than the real ambassador, but people were slow to notice body type differences – if the face and hair matched, such discrepancies were usually dismissed. Rath’s voice matched the Ambassador’s as well. As ever, hearing another man’s computer-generated voice from his own lips made Rath’s skin crawl. “Let me just have a word, and then you can get him out of here,” Rath told the guard.
“Of course, sir,” the guard said, holding the door open for him.
Rath let the door close behind him, then strode over toward Sorgens, who was standing at a urinal along the wall. Sorgens looked up and saw Rath.
“You heard about the threat?” Sorgens asked.
“I did,” Rath replied. “Glad to see you’re on your way out of here.” He called up the targeting module in his heads-up display, and slipped a pen out of his pocket. The implement was known as a ballistic pen, built out of reinforced titanium for use as a close-quarters weapon, and modified by Rath to include a nerve toxin coating, for a faster kill. As Sorgens zipped himself up, Rath’s eye implant overlaid an anatomical model on his image, matching it to fit his size and body orientation relative to Rath, highlighting his bone structure and major organs. Sorgens turned away from the wall, and Rath stepped forward, putting his full body momentum behind the thrust. The pen punched between two ribs, directly into the highlighted outline of Sorgens’ heart, while Rath covered Sorgens’ mouth with his other hand, stifling his shocked gasp of pain. Rath left the pen embedded to minimize the bleeding, and, still covering Sorgens’ mouth, he grabbed him under the arm and dragged him silently across the room into one of the toilet stalls. He propped the dying man on top of the toilet, pulled the door shut behind him, and walked over to the sink, where the ambassador’s reflection stared back at him.
Need to wash this blood off my hands. But my guess is that guard is supposed to escort Sorgens out of the building, so it’ll be an easier exit if I pose as him.
“Everything okay, sir?” The security guard was pushing open the door.
Rath reacted instinctively, and bent over the sink, splashing his face with water as he shifted his hair and face to match Sorgens’. He stood up and reached blindly for the paper towels, and dabbed at his face as he completed the transformation. When he opened his eyes, the guard was eying him in the mirror.
“Ready to go, sir?” the man asked.
“Yes – let’s get going,” Rath told him. The guard glanced at the closed stall door and Rath tensed himself in readiness, but the man simply turned and walked back out into the hall, checking in both directions before motioning for Rath to follow. That was close, Rath thought, falling into step as they headed off down the hallway. He’s going to be pissed when he finds out he personally escorted the killer out of the building.
About the Author
Piers Platt is the New York Times bestselling author of “Combat and Other Shenanigans,” a memoir of his year-long deployment to Iraq as a tank and scout platoon leader. Piers grew up in Boston, but spent most of his childhood in various boarding schools, including getting trained as a classical singer at a choir school for boys. He joined the Army in 2002, and spent four years on active duty.
When he’s not writing or spending time with his lovely wife and daughter, Piers works as a strategy consultant in New York city.
His latest book is the sci fi/thriller, Rath’s Deception.
For More Information
- Visit Piers Platt’s website.
- Connect with Piers on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Piers at Goodreads.
Thanks for being here today. Tell us about you
I’m kind of tricky to pigeonhole. I was a boy chorister – the red robes, daily church services, the whole thing. But I’m also a combat veteran, who led tank and scout platoons in Iraq. I love to scuba dive with my wife, and spend time with my 4-year-old daughter. And I write!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The goal of being a full-time writer. After serving in Iraq for a year, I’m just happy to be home in one piece, and with a wonderful family and a decent job to boot. But the dream is to write full time, so that’s what I’m focused on.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Hugh Howey. I’d bore the crap out of him with questions about his path to success. And he just bought a jaw-droppingly beautiful yacht, and I love to sail. Hugh: contact info below, hit me up.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
Rath’s Deception is based on a short story called Last Pursuit [available for free wherever ebooks are sold, here’s the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Pursuit-Piers-Platt-ebook/dp/B00JFXTW84/] that I wrote some time ago – Last Pursuit is the same concept / setting, it just focuses on a single mission for one assassin. Readers really enjoyed the story, but many said they wished it was longer…so I expanded it into a full book…and then a trilogy!
Tell us your writing process
I outline at a high level – definitely know the beginning and ending (I like twists and big climaxes), but I like to let my imagination fill in the details along the way. So I know the plot, but I let the characters develop organically. I have a 90 minute commute each morning and evening, so that’s when I write.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Age ten. Yeah, pretty early on! I was at summer camp, and I got bored canoeing around the lake, and had finished all of the books I brought with me to read. So I sat down under a tree and wrote a horror story about an alien that crash-landed in the lake and slowly picked off my fellow campers, one by one. I would finish a chapter, and give it to my friends to read…and by the end of the week, I had people begging me to kill them off next. That’s when I knew.
Tell us about your main character:
Rath is a street-smart kid who’s just trying to stay one step ahead of the cops. He’s fairly cynical, and can be quite impulsive…and he’s definitely a wise-ass. When the book begins, he’s just trying to scrape by, so when the Janus Group offers him a contract to be an assassin and possibly earn millions of dollars, they get his full attention. He also has a special talent that has nothing to do with killing, but I won’t spoil that for you…
What are you working on next?
Books 2 and 3! Actually, they’re already written – just doing final edits and getting them ready for publication later this year. I thought it was important to have the entire story arc completed before I released Book 1, so readers aren’t waiting around too long to see how it ends.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Singing. I wish I had time to sing nowadays, I really miss it. But back in the day, we were trained and sang at the professional level, and we used to learn 400 new pieces of music every year, so I’m a pretty good sight-reader – meaning I can generally sing anything I see on a sheet of music, without hearing it first.
Who are your favorite authors?
Orson Scott Card, Tom Clancy, Terry Pratchett, Piers Anthony, Robert Heinlein, Richard K. Morgan…I should probably stop, or I’ll just keep going!
What do you like to do with your free time?
What is this “free time” you speak of?! I spend as much time as I can with my daughter. We love to play wooden trains together, and read.
Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I’m toying around with Book 4 in the Janus Group series. I have some ideas, but I need to be sure there’s a compelling story to tell about Rath and his friends. Book 3 wraps things up rather nicely, so I’d have to “upset the apple cart” a bit to make it interesting.
Where can people find you on the web?
www.piersplatt.com – and go to http://www.piersplatt.com/newsletter to get a free copy of Combat and Other Shenanigans, my NY Times bestselling Iraq War memoir.
I’m also on Twitter: www.twitter.com/piersplatt
And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Piers-Platts-Books/260070717516391?fref=ts
Any final thoughts?
Thanks for having me!