THE BLOG
08/08/2013 05:30 pm ET Updated Oct 08, 2013

Can an Anti-Spy Be the Hero in a Spy Thriller? Montey Greene Just Might Be...

They Call Me...Montey Greene is the inaugural book in an action-packed, suspense-thriller trilogy by author, A.R. Yoba. We first meet Montey -- an honorably discharged U.S. army vet and recently unemployed security systems analyst -- engaging in a bit of retail therapy in the high fashion district of Milan, Italy. In the tradition of thrillers, an afternoon of shoe shopping quickly spirals into the antithesis of simplicity and is the catalyst that sets off a six-month long adventure, obliterating the thin line between organized crime and government as the author weaves subplots of what is real vs. what is not, into a fast moving saga of mystery and intrigue.

In just under a year's time, Yoba released the second book of his identity crisis trilogy, Get...Montey Greene, which picks up exactly where the first book ended. We quickly discover that Montey Greene is an unwitting recruit drafted by a clandestine government agency and what was cloaked in shadows and secrecy in book one is now revealed. As luck (and good storytelling) would have it, Murphy's Law rears its head with a vengeance, triggering major headaches for the antagonist and master strategist behind the abduction of Montey Greene's mental faculties. Everything that can go wrong does. Complete with fast cars, steamy sex scenes and an international flair for both women and cities -- think Milan, New York, Miami and Paris -- if it were a movie, it would be spy thriller meets the "Fast And The Furious."

A logical man by nature, Montey's many years in the United States military have left him suspicious of all things government. When his relatively quiet retirement is suddenly upended by a series of do-or-die confrontations, his pragmatism and highly-specialized combat training converge in a flurry of gunfire, car chases and near death escapes. Like a racecar that loses its brakes and finds itself smack in the middle of rush hour traffic, he navigates a dark and sexy world of drug kingpins, high fashion, beautiful women and secret government agents all while going 100mph. Despite masterfully managing the world of mayhem he has been sucked into--where all that he cherishes is at risk -- Montey Greene is ultimately the conspiracy theorist and anti-spy who turns the espionage thriller on its head.

No need to say move over Jason Bourne, James Bond or whoever the new flavor of the month is in this genre, Montey Greene has carved out his own lane.

Interview Segment with AR Yoba

As a native New Yorker, I really loved the fact that I could hear the language of the city's "hoods" throughout the book. What inspired you to take on this genre from such a unique perspective?

Unique? That's an interesting word. For me, the unique selling point is that he's just a regular guy from Brownsville, Brooklyn who just happens to be the ultimate conspiracy theorist thereby making him the ultimate anti-spy. The fact that he's African American is just the bonus for those who are conditioned to seeing white males as the hero in books like this. When they say it's refreshing to see a gritty black man from Brooklyn as the hero it amuses me because most fictional characters reflect what their creator sees when he or she looks in the mirror. So my norm is their version of unique, when all I did was do what they would do.

What is your thinking on taking the self-publishing route? I know its fairly easy to do these days however, the "experts" are always talking about how you have to have so many followers on social media etc. for marketing purposes... I notice you have aggressively promoted it via book giveaways on goodreads.com where the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.

Unless it's a social site for avid book lovers like goodreads.com, which is virtually a global book club it's hard to really know. At least on there you can put your book directly in the hands of potential consumers around the world and let them be your critics. I mean they actually review and give you a star rating right on the site. You actually know where and who your readers are. If your story resonates with them what holds more weight? What they say or what some critic from the New York or Los Angeles Times would say? The fact that you can go global sitting in your house hitting a button on your computer...its a no-brainer. And mathematically there aren't enough publishers in the world to take on all the good writers in the world. So for those that think only good books come out through the big houses and turn their noses up at self-publishers, I don't think their misinformed, I just think that they're not that good at math. You can sell 100,000 books through a big house and not know where one reader lives unless you did an in-store in their town and saw them buy your book. I can self-publish, sell 5,000 books, know who most of my readers are and make the same if not more money than you. Like I said, not so good in math.


I know you wrote the first two books over a 10 month span! That's pretty prolific writing. When can we expect the final book of this trilogy?


Whenever I finish writing it (laughs).