Monday, August 25, 2014

Interview with Ralph Sanborn, author of China Red


Title: China Red
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Author: Ralph Sanborn
Publisher: iUniverse
EBook: 292 pages
Release Date: April 8, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-47598-293-0

Heroin, called “China Red” on the street, is being smuggled into the United States. Zhou Jing—who fancies himself a fifteenth-century Chinese warlord, is using Muslim Uighers in western China to produce the heroin. In exchange, Zhou arms, trains, and provides security from the Chinese government for the Uighers. Caleb Frost is a professional assassin in a deep cover, black operations team that specializes in wet work. His team includes two ex-Navy SEALs and a Greek beauty and former New York City escort. Funded by the US government, the team operates autonomously in total secrecy. China hires Caleb’s team to destroy, with prejudice, the smuggling operation in the US. Zhou’s partner is a brilliant, psychopathic killer—a Harvard Business School graduate named Wrath. He founded the Visigoths MC, a hard riding, vicious motorcycle gang which protects, delivers, and collects payment for the heroin shipments. When matters become personal and Caleb’s sister Rebecca is kidnapped, the team’s task gets messier. It becomes more than an “assassination engagement” for Caleb—it becomes a bloodthirsty vendetta. “This tornado of a thriller drags the reader into a world of guns, bombs, swords and death and won’t let go.” -Rob Swigart, Author of The Delphi Agenda “China Red plunges the reader into a world of evil intrigue and high adventure. You won’t be able to put it down." -Antoinette May, author of The Sacred Well, Pilate’s Wife, and Haunted Houses of California


Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you to write?

My mother, poet and essayist, was the greatest influence on me. I cannot remember not being read to every day. I have written from my youngest years until today.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

James Crumley. I became entranced by his ‘voice’. Very real dialogue. No pulling of punches.

What was your first sale as an author?

A text message arrived before I’d even seen a printed copy of my book. A picture was attached showing a hand pulling a book titled China Red from an Amazon box. My son had ordered it and received it before I received one from iUniverse. My son had bought the first copy and was my first customer. I appreciated that and took it to mean that the family was behind me.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

My day starts with a trip to Il Piccolo, the coffee shop I refer to in the book. There, a small group of us solve the world’s problems. I return to the Black Hole, my office in the basement of my home. I’ll be down there for six or seven hours writing, reading, editing, or doing my research.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Editing. Elmore Leonard said “Don’t write what the reader won’t read.” Cutting out what you know the reader will not read can be painful. You may think it’s great prose, but in your heart of hearts you know – or you’ve trained yourself to accept – that if something only pleases you . . . trash it!


 Ralph Sanborn was raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and earned a degree in psychology from St. Lawrence University. He has lived in several different countries and worked in a variety of manufacturing and software enterprise marketing capacities. He currently lives in Northern California with his wife, Susan, and their two dogs.  
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