There’s been a great deal of talk lately about my writing style, and the way that I’ve chosen to narrate my novel, Flash Bang. Some readers have stated that my grasp of grammar and the basic structures of dialogue are questionable.
I would like to take this opportunity to address those complaints. Flash Bang is a novel about an ex-US Army infantryman/CID agent-turned-bounty-hunter who is called on to solve a murder. The narrative style that I employ in the text is purely of my own creation and is intended to draw the reader into the main character’s thoughts and into his visceral reactions to the situations he’s in and the things he is experiencing. When I started working on this project I made the conscious decision to forgo some of the more basic writing structures and grammatical rules in order to free up the flow of my narrative.
During times of stress or anger sentences sometimes shorten to only words at a time. The subject often falls from the beginning of the sentence, leaving only the verb and some nouns. Let me assure you that this is intentional. From my personal experience as a full time thief fighter and Army Basic Combat Training recruit, the interior monologue of an individual who is in the process of being beaten, shot at or who is simply angry enough to kill someone is severely different from that of someone who is ordering a cup of coffee or buttering some bread. My narrative in those instances is intended to illicit visceral responses in the reader similar to those that Parks is experiencing. During fights the world comes to Parks in flashes and still frames, the way they do in real life. He hears and feels things in a 360-degree onslaught that often causes sentences to run into one another as he himself begins to go into sensory overload.
Another decision I made from the start of the project was to present the dialogue in a different format than usual; my reason being that I really wanted the reader to feel as though Parks was telling them the story, speaking freely about the events the way he would tell a friend. My use of the words “say” and “says” as dialogue cues was a means of accomplishing that. I feel that it creates a more fluid dialogue between the characters and really draws out the subtext of what is being said.
Finally, my use of foul language throughout the course of the novel has been criticized. Flash Bang is a novel narrated by a military veteran living in a nightmare world of violence and self-loathing. There’s going to be some cursing. Honestly, the fact that it is the language, and not the shooting, beating, stabbing or killing that is the most offensive thing about my work for some readers, says something about the world we live in. I didn’t see that coming.
Any uneducated dialogue or foul language is the product of many, many interviews and my own personal experiences in both military and civilian law enforcement. Like it or not, this is the way many or most of your warriors talk; not all, but certainly my characters. And if bad language is a deal breaker for you, then you are not my target audience. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of authors who do not use those words. Those words are mine and I chose to use them to realistically depict the thoughts, feelings and interactions of a haunted man who’s really good at catching bad guys and doesn’t like what it does to him.
In closing, I hope this has cleared up some of the controversy and helped to draw those who might be interested in reading my work toward it, and those who are not, toward more suitable material for them.
Sebastian Parks is drowning in a flood of his own creation. Dishonorably discharged from the Army, he’s wracked with night terrors and an anger that he can’t abate. Unemployable and uninterested in anything resembling a normal job, Parks makes his living in fugitive apprehension, finding wanted felons on Facebook and thumping them into custody with his ex-military buddies John Harkin and Eric “Etch” Echevarria. When the body of a teenage Muslim boy is found in front of a downtown Denver nightclub Parks, Harkin and Etch are called on to do what they do best: Find bad men and make them pay.
First-time author Kellen Burden serves up edgy humor, brutal action and characters you can’t get enough of. Flash Bang will keep you turning pages until the end.
Received “Honorable Mention at Los Angeles Book Festival 2014″
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller, Mystery
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Kellen Burden on Facebook