‘Stop The Succession’ Blog Tour

I’m pleased to welcome author Russell Brooks, the author of Pandora’s Succession,  to the blog today as part of his ‘Stop the Succession’ Virtual Blog Tour. My review of Pandora’s Succession, his action/thriller debut is posted HERE. Everyone who comments on this post will recieve an autographed book cover and Russell is also offering the opportunity to win his book. Details about this contest can be found at the end of the post.

Q: Welcome Russell, I’m glad you are stopping by Book’d Out today. How are you finding your tour so far?
Russell: I’m having a lot of fun. I’m happy to have the chance to interact with new readers for the first time.

Q: What sparked the premise of Pandora’s Succession?
Russell: I was riding the metro (subway) one winter while in high school when I spotted the words: Nuclear Winter, flash across the electronic display. It was part of a news blurb. I can’t remember what the news item was about, but the image that flashed in my mind was radioactive snowflakes. I already started to put together the first draft of the novel, but couldn’t think of a big enough threat that would motivate the protagonist to do what he needed to do. I spoke to a chemistry teacher and asked her about the possibility of a hostile nation spreading radioactive isotopes in the upper atmosphere to produce radioactive precipitation. She told me that it wouldn’t be feasable. But the idea still stuck in my mind. I later read about the sarin gas attacks that occured in the Tokyo subway in 1995 that were perpetrated by the Aum Shinrikyo cult. I was amazed at how can someone as their leader, Shoko Asahara, be so charismatic to lure students and professionals to following him. It’s from that point that the story began to come together.

Q: Pandora is a terrfiying biological weapon, do you think something like it could exist?
Russell: Of course it could. The arctic and the antarctic circles are vastly unpopulated and unexploited. We don’t know what could be burried under the ice caps. And if the government has already uncovered something similar, they’re never going to admit it and risk a mass panic. I base this assumption on the fact that there’s a widespread popular theory that the AIDS virus did not originate in Africa as I was taught in high school, but at Fort Detrick, MD, and that it was designed to control over-population in third world countries. Again there’s been widespread denial. I won’t go any more in detail on that because I’d rather save it for another interview.

Q: Which character has the most significance for you?
Russell: Dr Tabitha Marx. Villains tend to interest me more than the heroes because they can either make or break a story. She also has the most complex background, being an American born in the Middle East and having both parents as intelligence operatives. In the end their actions led to the downfall of their family and the direct influence on how Dr Marx became the person that she is. She’s also the symbol of everything that can go wrong when you have a brilliant scientist working for a government agency, gaining our trust, and then working against us. It’s interesting that after I created her character, news broke about the Anthrax mail letters in the US which concluded with military scientist, Bruce Ivins, taking his life. It was uncanny the similarities of the two characters and how Ivin’s example illustrates that this sort of thing is very real.

Q: Your story is set in several locations around the world. Are these places you have visited?
Russell: Unless you count Heathrow Airport in London, no. I would’ve loved to, especially Tokyo, where most of the story took place.

Q: What area of reserach for your story did you find most interesting?
Russell: It was the scientific research that I needed to do in order to create a believable, yet fictitious, biological entity. It was the most challenging, considering that it all started out originally as a radioactive weapon.

Q: Are you a conspiracy theorist?
Russell: I don’t consider myself a conspiracy theorist, although some of the conspiracy theories, in my opinion, have some merit. I wrote an essay about 9/11 back in September (it’s on my blog) on the possibilities that 9/11 was allowed to happen, and I gave my reasons. I had fun writing it. I got a few responses to it, not many people bought it, but that’s all right.

Q: Do you have plans for further Ridley Fox novels?
Russell: I’m touching up a standalone novel while I’m outlining the sequel to Pandora’s Succession. I won’t say what it’s about, except you can expect some characters to return. Those that read the last chapter of Pandora’s Succession will know for sure who’ll be joining Ridley.

Q: If Pandora’s Succession was made into a movie, who would play Ridley?
Russell: Christian Bale, hands down. That’s if it were filmed today. It’s interesting that you asked me this because several bloggers and fans have asked me about my interest in writing a screenplay for Pandora’s Succession. I’ve told everyone that I’d rather write the sequel, if not even a third Ridley Fox novel before moving into film. But as a treat, my October 26 guest post was about who I’d cast. I invite everyone to take a look right here http://glowsnoveladdiction.blogspot.com/2010/10/virutal-blog-tour-author-russell-brooks.html

Q: How does publishing a novel compare to running track?
Russell: They’re very similar. You don’t go at it alone, always get help from the professionals. And I’m not talking about reading “How to” manuals, I mean being in touch with professionals that know their way around the publishing business. In track it is important to keep refining and perfecting running technique. I do the same thing with writing, in which I keep writing. This is why I write essays and post them to my blog. I try to write at least one essay per month. It’s all about Persistence, Patience, and most importantly, Passion. The three Ps.

Q: What are you reading right now?
Russell: I’m slowly reading Draculas by JA Konrath, Jeff Strand, Paul Strand and Blake Crouch. It’s tough because I’m preoccupied promoting Pandora’s Succession.
Thanks for joining me Russell!

About Russell Brooks
Russell Gordon James Brooks was born on June 21, 1976 in Montreal, Quebec. He’s fluent in both English and French, and writes regularly in online blogging sites. One of his essays—Why Does Vancouver Not Deserve To Host the 2010 Winter Olympics—was recently published in the Op-Ed online section of the National Post. He holds a BS in Biology from Indiana University and a minor in Psychology. He was also a former track athlete and member of the Canadian Track and Field Team. He’s the youngest of three children, with an elder brother in the Canadian Air Force.
Learn more about Russell by visiting:
Russell’s Blog / Russell’s You Tube Show / Russell’s Website

Pandora’s Succession is available to buy at

Stop the Succession Contest Rules

Simply leave a comment on this post with your name and email address.
Everyone that leaves a comment with their email address (in the body of your message) will win an autographed book cover.
After the blog tour, 10 commenters from all of the blogs will be drawn to win free autographed ebook copies of Pandora’s Succession.

PLEASE NOTE: The author is responsible for this promotion.

Good Luck!

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Tweets that mention ‘Stop The Succession’ Blog Tour « book'd out -- Topsy.com
  2. Mandy
    Nov 04, 2010 @ 18:00:19

    I often think the research side of writing a novel would interest me more than the writing itself.;) Reading about the scientific theories behind your scenarios must have been fascinating. Great interview Shellyrae!



    • Russell Brooks
      Nov 04, 2010 @ 21:24:17

      I meant for the other post to be here.

      Hello, Mandy.

      The scientific research I had to do in order to write this story was the most interesting part. Like Dr Tabitha Marx, I like to have fun with science

      (don’t forget your email address for the contest)



  3. Russell Brooks
    Nov 04, 2010 @ 21:17:28

    Hello, Mandy.

    The scientific research I had to do in order to write this story was the most interesting part. Like Dr Tabitha Marx, I like to have fun with science 😉



  4. Katrina whittaker
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 00:26:28

    Research sounds interesting and lotz of fun 😉
    But scary that mabye someday and deadly weapon – radioactive diaster HMMMM, could exist !!
    Thanks for the interview,, ! Shelly..
    😉 Katrina



  5. Sara
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 05:22:52

    would love to win!




  6. Kelly
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 09:37:59

    Thanks for hosting this interview.
    Sounds like an intriguing book! 🙂

    Dr Tabitha Marx seems to be a very interesting character, indeed.
    It comes as no surprise that people get corrupted by power or ambition, but it’s the journey from being brilliant and dedicated to devious and ruthless, that is exciting to read.
    Plus, we all need more Bond-like heroes like Ridley Fox seems to be.




    • Russell Brooks
      Nov 05, 2010 @ 12:25:24

      She was one of the harder characters to develop. It was important not to make her too stereotypical. As with Ridley, I’m doing my best to make sure he’s not too much like James Bond.



  7. Trackback: Blog Hop and Follow Friday Nov 5th « book'd out
  8. shelleyrae@ Book'd Out
    Nov 17, 2010 @ 09:42:39

    Russell has drawn the winners. You can watch the video on his blog http://russellparkway.blogspot.com/2010/11/winners-of-stop-succession-virtual-book.html



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