Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m working on the third book in my Nightstalkers series and a possible serial called Burners. The latter is the best “big” concept my wife and I have ever had and we’re very excited about it.
How did you come up with the title? Good question. I didn’t realize title was critical early in my writing career and no one made me the wiser. So I had titles that didn’t say much sense like Eyes of the Hammer, Dragon Sim-13 and others. The worst was Z. That’s it. Just a single letter. A title has to invite readers into the book. We added The Green Berets to those first six books but kept the titles since we didn’t want to confuse readers and have them buy the same book again. So we have The Green Berets: Chasing the Lost. The Chasing part comes from the character’s last name: Horace Chase. The first book was Chasing the Ghost and all the rest in this series will be chasing something.
Who designed the cover? My business partner, Jen Talty. We do all our own covers and we’ve learned a lot over the years. I love the image, the color and the boat that you can see through the letters.
Who is your publisher? Cool Gus Publishing, my own company. We view ourselves as publishing partners, where the author comes first. Publishing has got to change from the distribution model to the discoverability model, and we’re leading the way on that.
Will you write others in this same genre? Yes. The end of Chasing the Lost sets up the next book, Chasing the Son. I like the team of misfits I’ve put together in the low country of South Carolina. I view it as a modern Deadwood, where there is little law and order and only the toughest survive.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? A theme that keeps coming up in my books lately is the conflict between honor and loyalty. My epic Duty, Honor, Country: A Novel of West Point & The Civil War really touched on that, focusing on the way West Pointers fought on both sides in the Civil War. But in Chasing the Lost I focus on it at a personal level. Would you rather have an honorable friend or a loyal one? When can either turn into a liability?
How much of the book is realistic? More than people might realize. My background in Special Forces showed me a side of the world most people don’t experience. Often we cloak the seriousness in humor, such as the movie RED, but there has been a war going on in the world of covert operations ever since World War II.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Yes. I took what I knew of covert operations as a former Green Beret and used that. I change some thing to protect classified information, but much of the action and all of the gear is real.
How important do you think villains are in a story? In this book it’s critical, but I can’t say much, because what appears to be isn’t.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I tend to set books in places I’ve already been or lived in. I lived on Hilton Head Island for four years, so setting Chasing the Lost in the low country was easy. Chasing the Ghost is set in Boulder, CO and I lived there for four years also.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Definitely. Nightstalkers 2: The Book of Truths is coming out on 30 July. It’s a very wicked story dealing with nuclear weapons and how dangerous they are. I put a lot of facts in the book, such as the fact we’ve officially “lost” 11 nuclear weapons. And Jimmy Carter sent out the launch codes with his laundry one time. And that the Air Force once set the launch code to 00000000 in order to bypass those pansies in the White House.
Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? I just finished Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life and my head almost exploded. I’ve begun re-reading it because it’s worth a re-read.
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG