#30Authors: J.J. Hensley on FaceOff

30 Authors in 30 Days is a first of its kind event aimed at connecting readers, bloggers, and authors. Hosted by yours truly, this month-long event takes place during September and features 30 authors discussing their favorite recent reads on 30 different blogs. There are also some great prizes provided by GoneReading.com and BookJigs. For the full schedule of participating authors and bloggers, visit the main event page or join the Facebook group. You can also follow along on Twitter with the #30Authors hashtag!

Author J.J. Hensley on FaceOff, Edited by David Baldacci

Normally, I take every available opportunity to praise whatever small press gem I’ve found while scouring websites and reviews. I don’t often spend much time or energy helping to spread the word about authors who have marketing powerhouses backing their works since the small press writers face many more challenges when it comes to reaching readers. However, in this instance I’m going to deviate from my modus operandi and discuss how much I loved a book that was written by over twenty well-known writers.

The book FaceOff is a collection of short stories written by bestselling authors such as Lee Child, M.J. Rose, John Sandford, Joseph Finder, Jeffery Deaver, and several others. In this case, it’s not the collection of authors that makes the work special. The fact that the stories pair up the authors’ best-known characters with – or against – each other, is what makes this book unique. Each story stands alone and the writing (and editing done by David Baldacci) is excellent. This is your chance to find out what happens when Lee Child’s Jack Reacher meets Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller. If you ever wondered what would happen if Steve Berry’s protagonist, Cotton Malone, were to run into James Rollins’s character, Gray Pierce – here is your chance.

Often with short stories, I can find the plots to be lacking and I end up wanting more from the story. But these stories, while fast-moving, had enough depth to them to satisfy those who generally stick to reading longer stories. As a novelist, I found the collaborative aspect of the entire book absolutely fascinating. Each story is preceded by a few paragraphs describing the collaborative effort and the division of work between the writers. I often found myself wondering if I would have been able to team up with another writer and have the end result end up anywhere as good as these stories. Probably not.

I could probably write a lot more about FaceOff, but seeing as how it’s a collection of short stories I think there would be some irony there. So, if you are looking for something original that contains a variety of characters, consider checking out FaceOff. Even if you come across a story or two you don’t care for, at least it will be short!

About J.J. Hensley:

J.J. HENSLEY is a former police officer and Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service who has drawn upon his experiences in law enforcement to write stories full of suspense and insight. Hensley graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Administration of Justice and has a M.S. degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia Southern University. The author is currently a training supervisor with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and lives with his beautiful wife, daughter, and two dogs near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Hensley’s novel RESOLVE was named one of the BEST BOOKS OF 2013 by Suspense Magazine and was named a finalist for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers organization. (His second novel, Measure Twice, was published today!) He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

Be sure to stop by his Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads accounts and say hello!

  • Mary C.

    This sounds like a book a writer could love! It offers new insights into familiar characters – a great collaborative effort! Looking forward to Measure Twice as well.

  • I just realized that your second #30Authors post includes the book “Measure Twice” and the “Twice” is so relevant because you posted twice. I know, I know, a little off topic but I like it when little things like that work out! I’m looking forward to reading JJ’s book and was lucky enough to be on the FACEOFF tour, so I can vouch for it, as well!

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