Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I have author Bart Baker in the interview chair.  We’re discussing his latest release I Promise You Pain, book one in The Cordon Finn Vengeance series, an LGBTQ+ dark action novel.


1. Hi, Bart. First off, readers have an idea of the writer you, but what about the everyday you? Can you share about your personal life?

Bart:  I’m the father of two sons. 17 years old. No, they are not twins. My boys are adopted, they are from different biological parents, and are night and day in terms of personalities. They are juniors, so we’re starting to look at colleges and scholarships/grants/etc., which is enough to make any parent curl into a ball and sob. But since I work at home, I’m able to be around for my kids. That’s a blessing. I’m also a gym rat/swimmer. I swam in college and have always played sports. Thus, spent a lot of time in gyms, which lead to competing in drug-free bodybuilding. I’m a pretty lucky guy to be able to have time for my family and still do things I love.

2. I see you are also drawn to writing series. Can you share why?

Bart:  I’ve written for television. I have worked in episodic, but I also was one of the first people to write a TV movie (CHILDREN OF THE BRIDE) that spawned two sequels. I was blessed to stay with characters, allow them to grow and change and develop. All good drama comes from character, in my opinion, series, be it book, television or even a series of movies, allows for that. My book HONEYMOON WITH HARRY spawned two sequels as well, though I wrote them years apart. But it was like jumping back on a bike, I fell right into their voice again and watches these lovely characters grow in the new stories. With CORDON FINN, I knew I his story would take a while to tell, not only because each book can take on a different story but because he’s a man trying to find himself, to discover who and what he is. That either becomes the defining focus of a book or something that needs some time to tell. I decided to tell that piece of his story over a series of books.

3. Your latest release is I Promise You Pain, book one in The Cordon Finn Vengeance Series. Can you tell me what inspired you to create the series?

Bart:  Again, for me, everything comes out of character. I’ve been itching to write action again, but I needed the right character to tell those stories through. And when Cordon came to life in my head, his physical presence and the huge amount of baggage he carries from his childhood and the choices he’s made in life, I knew I had someone so interesting, a walking dichotomy, that I had to tell his story, and because he gets involved with different people, helping them out using his special set of skills, I knew I could carry this character and his story further and the books would work on the action level because he’s a physical guy and he has a great emotional story as well.

4. Can you share your writing process through I Promise You Pain?

Bart:  I’m more of a pantser than a plotter. I think it comes from writing screenplays and theater for so long. Storytelling is a big part of who I am. So, I start with a character, and once I know that character, it’s almost as if they invite me into their story and I am along for the ride. But, the difference is, I’m still the master of the story, so I am in control of the narrative and what makes it to the page, even though the characters lead me there. I can feel when certain things should happen in the stories, when reversals or surprises need to occur. I’m aware when I’m getting long winded in terms of the storytelling or the setups (and that’s also where a good editor comes in…). Most of it is a feel. But I write things, and I PROMISE YOU PAIN is no different, that I want to read, that I want to see, that excite me. My storytelling is usually loaded with big emotions and big characters, because I love that. If I’m not moving myself when I write: exciting myself with the action, feeling the character’s pain, caught up in their emotions, if I’m not making myself laugh at their wit or their sly sense of the world, I’m not doing my job. Bottom line, if I’m not moved, I can’t expect the read to be.

4. Let’s talk about the main character of the novel. What do you love about Cordon and what makes you want to shake him?

Bart:  Cordon is loyal. And if he loves you, he’d sacrifice himself for you. He’s dangerous which I love but also witty and smart. Not that he doesn’t make mistakes, he does. But that only serves to make him human.

And his emotional mistakes are why I would like to shake him. When I said he was loyal, he’s loyal to a fault. He takes abuse he shouldn’t out of loyalty and a twisted sense of filial duty. In some ways, he’s stunted, because he’s never been allowed to be himself, which is his discovery through this series. And he stumbles in this process. There are times he does things that I want to say, “You’re a big strong man, what the hell are you doing?!? Wake up!” But again, this pain he has, these missing pieces he’s trying to find within himself, his attempt at finding a connection with another person, is what makes hm vulnerable and human. But still, there are times, I want to scream at him.

5. Without giving away any spoilers, which scene in the novel was your favourite to write and why?

Bart:  I loved Cordon’s scenes with Gio and Lucious. While I didn’t consciously go into those trying to do anything but make the characters and the story interesting, the two youngest characters in the story, both tragic in their own way, yet also survivors, teach Cordon so much. Gio was thrown out of his family because he was gay. Lucious ran away because she’s trans. They teach Cordon more about the journey to his self-discovery than anyone older could. They’ve both taken adversity and gave it the middle finger, fighting back to stand on their own two feet, being the people they are. I loved writing them, and their scenes with Cordon who in many ways is their student.

6. If a reader asked you why they should read I Promise You Pain, what would you tell them?

Bart:  I would tell them because it’s exciting and the action big and thrilling. It’s no doubt bloody and violent, but it’s never boring. And the characters are something you don’t read every day, which makes them unique and facetted. I would tell them that they will get caught up with the characters as much if not more than the action. If they like a good, physical, meaty read, with lots of fists and guns, they will love I PROMISE YOU PAIN.

7. What can we expect from you in the future?

Bart:  I’m presently working on Book Two in the CORDON FINN series, which is as yet untitled, but I have the cover! And then after that, I want to take a screenplay I wrote, WHEN THE RAIN FALLS, which was optioned for a movie, made the Black List, but never produced, and turn it into a novel. It’s a beautiful, highly emotional story of a man’s love for his found family. (Hey, I write Hallmark movies too…) I seem to work out of both sides of my creative brain, writing hard-edged action and more emotional, touching stories. Maybe not the best idea in terms of defining myself as a writer, but certainly something that allows me to feel fully creative.

9. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:

  • What’s your favourite movie?
    The Poseidon Adventure.
  • What book is currently in your e-reader?
    I don’t read on an e-reader. I love to hold a book (and I’m presently reading THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid).
  • Who’s your favourite musical group?
    Fleetwood Mac
  • What song puts a smile on your face?
    Anything by Pink. She’s not afraid to throw a punch or cut to the chase with her vocabulary, and I love that.

10. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Bart:  I’m a blessed man. I’ve made my living in a business I love. I get to create. And I have a family and people who love me. How cool is all that?


Title: I Promise You Pain
Series: The Cordon Finn Vengeance Series, Book One
Author: Bart Baker
Genre: Dark Action
Tropes: Damaged hero, surprising sidekick, duplicitous villain
Themes: Finding One’s True Self, Fighting for Who You Are, Coming Out, Found Family
Release Date: May 11, 2023
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 67 345 words/203 pages
Publisher: Big Muddy Books

When the only course of action is revenge, only the most damaged man is capable of maximum destruction.

Blurb:  Hired by a Chicago billionaire to pluck his runaway son from the Palm Springs compound of a wealthy pedophile, former military extraction and information specialist, Cordon Finn, believes it will be a simple snatch and go job with a big payday. But after grabbing the kid at a Pride Week party, Cordon discovers that nothing is as it seems. His quarry isn’t underage, and isn’t the billionaire’s son, but rather his trans-daughter who goes by the name of Lucious. And her father wants Lucious dead, putting Cordon, who is dealing with his own sexual identity, in the crosshairs as well. After fighting off a cadre of assassins, Cordon vows to keep Lucious alive. But when the billionaire kidnaps Cordon’s girlfriend and comes after his family and friends, Cordon takes the fight back to the billionaire’s door. With the surprising help of Lucious, as well as his sister, Annie, Cordon battles the billionaire’s small army, until he’s face-to-face with the billionaire. And in this battle, there will be only one man left standing, the one who is capable of maximum destruction.

Note:  It is the first book in a series and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |   B&N  |  Kobo

Arriving at his car, Cordon puts down the top and tosses his bag in before opening the door to climb in, when he hears, “We’re even,” from behind him.

Turning, he finds the young guy, smiling cheekily, standing behind him.

“Even?” Cordon asks, unsure.

“You enjoyed the show I put on for you inside, I enjoyed the show you put on for me as you sashayed across the parking lot,” the kid says.

“I don’t sashay. And I didn’t take off my shirt for you.”

The kid giggles, rolling his eyes dramatically as he says, “Liar. That’s the only reason you took off your shirt. Hoping I’d notice and come running up to you.”

“And here you are.”

The kid’s face squishes up like he’s eaten rotten lemons.

“I’m a sucker for a muscle daddy. And you certainly got size. Hopefully, in the places I can’t see.”

“How old are you?” Cordon asks, ignoring the kid’s comment.


“Now who’s the liar?”

The kid smirks mischievously, hand on hip. “Nineteen. Five-ten. Twenty-eight-inch waist. My name is Gio. Want to know my cock size?”

Cordon doesn’t answer, which causes Gio to grin mischievously.

“Come on, I saw you looking at it. Though I imagine being a giant, yours is bigger. But for my frame, mine is super-sized,” he laughs.

“This bullshit work?”

“Work how?”

“On other guys. Talking about your dick like it’s a 78-inch flat screen.”

“Just the ones who I think are interested,” Gio laughs, then suddenly gets more direct as he adds, “or have the money to pay.”

Cordon nods, understanding more clearly Gio’s game. “Which one do you think I am?” Cordon asks.

“You’re driving a really nice car, so you got the money. But I don’t think you have to pay men to have sex with you, unless you do it for the control, or you’re married, which I wouldn’t doubt, and you hope money will keep your trick’s mouth shut. Either way, I know you’re interested. I always know.”

“You party up at Lansing’s?” Cordon asks, tiring of the conversation.

Again, Gio’s smile fades, his head turning slightly as if looking at the Cordon from a different angle might jog his memory. “Did we meet up there?” Gio asks more of himself than Cordon. “No. I’d remember. Lansing would never invite a guy like you. All his little boys would flit around you like butterflies to bougainvillea, and he doesn’t allow anyone to steal his thunder. You a cop?”


“You know if I ask, you have to tell me,” Gio inserts.

“That’s bullshit. But I’m not.”

Gio takes Cordon in silently for a moment. And even though he knows he shouldn’t say too much to the statuesque man he doesn’t know, Gio is not adept at shutting up, even when it’s in his best interest.

“Sure, I party up at Lansing’s. Never lived there, though. Those guys think Lansing’s the answer to their prayers. Please. He has a revolving bedroom door with guys going in all young, dewy-eyed, and hopeful, and coming out all used up and sad. The man’s an emotional vampire. Sucks the life out of everybody. They all think that he’s going to help make them a star, or they’ll meet some other old queen through Lansing that will. And they all end up going back home, broke, hungry, and completely jaded, or they end up selling it to pay the rent. Hell, even when you’re up there, all that’s there are other fairies just like them or some dried-up, old, coke addict trying to get his Viagra dick up your ass. Don’t know anybody Lansing’s actually helped. Ever.”

“You don’t hold back, do you?”

“Just so I know who just insulted me, what’s your name?”


“Cordon from where?”


“You’re a long way from home, aren’t you, Dorothy? Are you here for Pride Week? I mean, I don’t get that vibe from you, that you’re down here to party with the boys. But you could be one of those sad, married men who told your wife back in Chicago that you’re going on a golfing trip or a hunting trip or something equally lame. And you’re here because you really like dick but you’re Catholic or worse, Evangelical, like my parents, and your guilt is off the charts because you married some pretty blonde, church-going girl, you have two kids, but all you think about when you’re fucking her is guys like me.”

“You hungry?” Cordon asks, ignoring Gio’s smart-ass comment.

“If you’re paying and I get to pick the restaurant,” Gio quickly tacks on.

Cordon lets a half-smile slip on his lip at Gio’s young, alpha nonsense.

“Get in,” Cordon says.


Mr. Baker has written seven novels, including WHAT REMAINS, THE VIRGIN DAIQUIRI, and THE WEDDING GIFT. The film rights to his beloved novel, HONEYMOON WITH HARRY, were purchased by New Line Cinema. The book also spawned two sequels, A SECOND HONEYMOON WITH HARRY and THE LAST HONEYMOON WITH HARRY. Bart has also written for the theater, having eight plays produced around the world. The film rights to his play, RELAY, were purchased by Warner Bros., which led him into screenwriting. Bart has had 18 produced film and TV credits, including the feature film, LIVE WIRE, starring Pierce Brosnan, the BRIDE trilogy of films for CBS, as well as projects for CBS, ABC, FX, The Family Channel, Lifetime, The USA Network, and Hallmark among others.

Follow Bart:  Facebook Author Page | Facebook Series Page | Website and Newsletter Sign-up | Twitter | Instagram

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: