Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Sirens 1: Derek Blass and Enemy in Blue

Working together is vital for indie authors. We can't waste energy on worrying about competing with each other, books are disposable entertainment, not a zero-sum game (meaning most readers do not have the attitude of only buying/reading a certain number of books but rather plan to eventually read all books that interest them).

I am elated to support the authors and readers of police and crime dramas in this year's Holiday Sirens blog tour. Today, I am hosting author Derek Blass and his book Enemy in Blue. Derek is not only an author, he is also a top lawyer in the Denver, Colorado area. Perhaps the fact that he lives the everyday aspect of criminal justice is why his debut novel has 34 5-star rankings!! Enemy in Blue takes a different look at the tough topic of police brutality and is a novel you don't want to miss.

Here's more about Derek:

How did you come up with the title?

That's a fun question.  There was one working title, that ended up not working by the time the book was done.  Things change, A LOT, over the course of writing a book!  Once it was apparent that a new title was necessary, I enlisted my wife and some of my readers to help me find a new title.  Through countless brainstorming sessions, one of my readers came up with "Evil in Blue."  I liked it, but not 100%.  I was grabbing the mail one day, and "Enemy in Blue" just came to me.  Funny how things happen!

Have you dealt with questions regarding whether the book is "anti-cop?"

Definitely.  And, it should be noted, the book is not anti-cop at all.  It is anti-bad cop.  Naturally, not all, or even the majority of cops, are bad.  Unfortunately though, something we're seeing more and more of as the proliferation of smart phones and phones with recording devices continues, are increased instances of police brutality.  That's really what drove me to write the book.  

Is the book based on real life events, or taken strictly from your imagination?

Again, unfortunately, the book derives from some real life events that are fictionalized for purposes of the book.  If people are interested in learning more about the underpinnings of some scenes in the book, they should Google "Frank Lobato," "Juan Vasquez," "Michael DeHerrera," and "Marvin Booker."  Throw in "DPD" for good measure.  These are all instances of police brutality that have taken place in Denver in the last six or so years.  I explain to people, without me moving to Denver, and without these incidents, Enemy in Blue likely would not have happened.  Now, my book is not historical fiction, so much of what is written is completely from my imagination!

What was the biggest artistic influence on your book?

As to writing style, has to be Don Delillo.  I have read everything he has written, and am always captivated by how he writes.  As to what I see in my head, and what I want to get down on paper?  Tarantino (the movie director) has a huge impact on me.  I think that he does a near-perfect job of blending visuals, action and music together, and I aspired to create something as thrilling as one of his movies in Enemy in Blue.

How did you choose your genre?Hard to explain, but I can see action in my head.  Fight scenes.  Car chases.  Torture, kidnapping, etc.  (Honestly, I'm not a violent guy in real life!)  It was as natural to me to write thrillers with a heavy dose of action as it would be for Christopher Moore to write cheeky fiction.

What inspired you to be a writer?

I've written a lot since I was young, and started on many novels but never followed through to finish one.  It's really a labor of love, and with a full-time job that I am committed to (attorney), it takes substantial discipline to keep writing.  That being said, there is nothing more beautiful than writing a story, or more appropriately put, to having characters write a story for you.  When I write, I'm just as surprised by their decisions as my readers.  My characters drive my story and that is an amazing aspect of writing that everyone should try!  If people are interested, I started a blog on writing a while back ( that describes many of the fun, and tedious, nuances of writing.

With all the other thrillers out there, why buy Enemy in Blue?

It's a no nonsense book, full of action and entertainment.  I wrote the book for my readers, not for myself.  I promise that you will be captivated by the action over the course of the book.  At the same time, the book invites you to be introspective on issues of illegal immigration, police brutality, and political corruption.  It's not just mind candy, but it's also not a book that will club you over the head with principles.  From a purely cost/benefit analysis, both versions of the book are very competitively priced, and the Kindle version is less than a dang cup of coffee at Starbucks!  I promise it will deliver more lasting enjoyment than that cup of joe!

Sequel possible?

Oh, yeah!  I'm working on a book that involves several of the same characters right now--and I'm trying to get it done soon because I've got a new family member coming to our family in February!


Well a HUGE congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Blass. Having a two-year-old myself, I can honestly say you're in for the best roller coaster ride of your life. It's got many highs and lows and lasts forever, but seems to move far too fast at the same time. 

 Please check out Enemy in Blue and when you like it, be sure to tell a friend or two! :)

Enemy in Blue is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Pick up your copy today or make it a gift for the crime thriller enthusiast in your life.

A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby. CANCELLED is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords WIP: SERVED Two never married parents fight over their toddler's upbringing and moving on with their lives, without each other;(status: outlining)


  1. What a great interview! I can't believe how Derek writes, works and handles a family. I'm quite impressed and can't wait to read the book. In my mind there is nothing worse than a bad cop.

  2. Fab interview. Great to hear more about the author and the book sounds very interesting.
    Jane Isaac