Brett Battles on Writing, Getting Published & What Life’s Like Since

New York Times best-selling author James Rollins calls Brett Battles’ work “addictive,” and I can see why. I came upon his recent release, LITTLE GIRL GONE, via Twitter, started it that day and have since added his other works to my must-read list. (See how useful #FridayReads are??? ;)) Lucky for us, this gem is the first in a new series.

LITTLE GIRL GONE description:

Logan Harper isn’t looking for redemption. He just wants to live in peace and forget his troubled past. But one morning his quiet life is upended when he interrupts the attempted murder of his father’s best friend Tooney.

The next thing he knows, Logan is on his way to Los Angeles, searching for Tooney’s missing granddaughter and uncovering a sinister plot connected not only to Tooney’s past, but also to the boardrooms of corporate America.

As the odds stack up against him, Logan must fall back on old skills from the life he’d rather forget. He’s made a promise, and the only way to fulfill it is to bring the girl home alive.

Here’s what others are saying about Battles and LITTLE GIRL GONE: 

“Captivating characters, nail biting tension, breathtaking action – LITTLE GIRL GONE is pure gold.”—Andrew Grant, author of Even and Die Twice

“Battles has a true gift for writing thrillers…”—CRIMESPREE magazine

“Quinn is one part James Bond, one part Jason Bourne.”—Nashville Book Worm

“Brett Battles has established himself as one of today’s best thriller writers, right up there with Lee Child, Barry Eisler, and Thomas Perry.”—Deadly Pleasures magazine

Mr. Battles is also generous. He’s running a special on LITTLE GIRL GONE—the Kindle version is only 99 cents! And he took the time to answer questions for us all…

AM: You’ve said that books are writers’ classrooms. (Love that notion, by the way.) What books or authors have you learned the most from? What have they taught you?

BB: Wow. Almost every writer I’ve read would qualify, but that list would be huge. Let’s see, a few of my favorite “teachers”…Stephen King (great dialogue, description, suspense), Tim Hallinan (excellent dialogue, great characters & story), and Graham Greene (story, character, mood).

AM: If you had to trade lives with one of your characters, who would you choose? 

BB: Hmmm…Well, Jonathan Quinn is constantly in danger of getting killed, but he does go to some pretty cool places, and I love to travel, so I guess I’d have say him…hopefully minus the bullets flying in my direction.

AM: Your books move along at a rapid, “page-turner” pace. How do you accomplish this? 

BB: That’s just how I write. I don’t mean that in an arrogant kind way. I just mean I don’t know how to write a thriller any other way. It’s how the story comes to me, so that’s how it goes onto the page.

AM: What aspect of your writing career are you most proud of?

BB: That I’ve been able to write a lot of stuff that readers seem to love. That’s truly gratifying.

AM: Anything you’d change if given the opportunity?

BB: I’ve been very lucky and blessed, and am thankful for all that’s happened. So, nope, wouldn’t change a thing.

AM: How did you first get published?

BB: Ha. That’s a loaded question. I’ll give you the short version. I’d been shopping around my first novel, THE CLEANER, for about six months with a few nibbles but no bites. An author friend of mine, who was being published by a small but prestigious press here in L.A., said he’d give me an introduction to them. Long story short, the publisher—Ugly Town—bought the novel. BUT…before they could bring it out, financial issues with a distributor that had gone bankrupt forced them out of business. That could have been the end of everything, but instead of just releasing me and putting me back at square one, they sent the novel to an editor friend of theirs at Bantam Dell. That editor ended up purchasing THE CLEANER, and giving me a three book deal. All of that happened, by the way, without an agent, which I didn’t get for another four months or so.

AM: How does life as a multi-published, award-winning author vary from your pre-published writer days? Aside from perhaps fewer Ramen noodles…? 

BB: It’s completely different. Before I was on the outside looking in at a prize I’d wanted since I was in fifth grade. Seeing my book in a store was life altering. I’d always been a writer but the few people who knew that probably thought it was just a hobby. (Side note: I don’t believe in the term “aspiring writer,” if you write you’re a writer.) Once I was published, they realized it was a hell of a lot more than just a hobby, and that I actually kind of knew my way around a sentence.

AM: What can your fans look forward to next?

BB: Several things, actually. Since I’ve firmly moved into the independent writing world of ebooks, I’ve already released four novels, three shorts and a novella since last April. At the end of this month (early November latest) I’ll be releasing EVERY PRECIOUS THING, the sequel to LITTLE GIRL GONE. (By the way, in anticipation of that I’m running a special on the Kindle and Nook versions of LITTLE GIRL GONE, a full novel available for only .99) By Christmas, the plan is to release EXIT NINE, the second book in my Project Eden series. Bantam Dell is releasing my book NO RETURN at the end of January. And, finally, in the spring, I’ll be bring out my fifth Jonathan Quinn novel, THE RETURNED.

What do you love about Brett Battles’ work? His insight? I always love hearing from you.

CONTEST: Purchase Little Girl Gone or any of Brett Battles’ books and email me a copy of your receipt for a chance to win a $20 gift card between now and December 1st. Good luck!

Leave a comment


  1. Trina H.

     /  November 1, 2011

    I was just wondering what I’d read next… LGG sounds like a page turner with gusto. Thanks for doing this interview, Brett! And August, for posting it. Made this reader’s day.

  2. great blog and interview. really enjoyed – enough that i went out and bought the book. but not sure where to email the proof of purchase


    • Thanks, Louise! So glad you enjoyed. Can’t wait to hear what you think of LITTLE GIRL GONE. 🙂

      I added an email link above. If you have any trouble, post a comment or send me a Tweet: @AugstMcLaughlin. Best of luck!

  3. Great interview! I always love learning about other writer’s processes and history. Sounds like a great book too.

  4. Great interview, great writer, great guy. And nobody works harder and turns out a higher volume of really top-quality fiction, than Brett. He deserves to be a best-seller in all formats across the board.

  5. As Brett’s copyeditor, I can vouch for the fact he knows his way around a sentence and then some. He’s the rare writer who can write fast without sacrificing quality. I think some writers should study Brett’s books and consider them writing classes. It’s always a pleasure to work on his manuscripts.

    Speaking of which, EVERY PRECIOUS THING is going gangbusters so far!

    • Now I’m even more inspired! Thanks for adding your insight… I’ll be recommending his books to writers from now on.

      Great news regarding EVERY PRECIOUS THING! Congrats to Brett and your whole team.

  6. Great interview August!

    What an interesting person Brett is. What I want to know is, does he sleep? He sure has a lot of books coming out soon. I’m gonna go hunt for Litle Girl Gone. See ya!

  7. Great interview- love that question about which character an author would like to trade lives with!

  8. Wow, sounds like a great book – I’ll have to check it out! Fun questions, too. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Michael

     /  November 2, 2011

    Got to get the book, it’s so cool to know that so much is available on kindle. ebooks rule!

  10. Glad you enjoyed! It *is* a great book and yes…with an ebook reader, it’s a mere click away. Hope you’ll check it out. 🙂

  11. Great interview. Adding this book to my to-be-read list.

  12. Sounds terrific! I love fridayreads! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  13. Great interview! Will have to check out his books.

  14. Great interview August! Book sounds good and at $.99 who can resist? Think I’ll take a little trip over to Amazon right now.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  15. Thanks, all! I know you’ll enjoy it. He has eight additional hits on his website:

    Happy reading!

  16. Great post/interview! As always, you’ve both enlightened and entertained me.


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