Posted by Literary Titan
Cyclops Conspiracy follows an Ex-Navy SEAL, an FBI sharpshooter, and an Interpol drone expert that join forces to stop a terrorist plot. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
In the course of skippering a sailboat through the Greek islands, it struck me: What a great setting for a what I love to read and write—a thriller novel!
The set up of three people on a sailboat fighting terrorists lends itself to an extra layer of conflict. Not only must the trio battle terrorists, they also struggle—in various ways—against one another. The more tension—provided it is skillfully wrought—the more riveted readers are to the edge of their seats.
It also struck me that such a story could provide not only a thoroughly fun read, but also intriguing explorations of Greek geography and culture, sailing and sailboats, Islamist extremism, and the drama of modern male-female relations—which often aren’t easy!
Adam Weldon was a very entertaining character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?
In Adam Weldon, I strive to create a little bit of an everyman figure all of us can care about and root for. Humble, competent, resourceful, curious but skeptical, and definitely on the side of good, Adam has been described as “endearingly gruff.” An ex-Navy SEAL, he gets hurt and slammed, but keeps getting back up. A little bit bigger than life, but not too much bigger, he’s strong, quick, tough, and deadly when necessary, but not invulnerable.
His willingness to doggedly pursue objectives and help friends in need inevitably gets him into tight scrapes—and puts him at the edge of death. But so far he has squeaked through—sometimes by the thinest of margins.
In each novel, it’s not so much that he searches out evil conspiracies, but more that they find him. And being who he is, he—and lately his shaman sharpshooter girlfriend Tripnee—throw themselves into the challenge with everything they’ve got.
Different aspects of Adam—and Tripnee—reveal themselves from book to book, and both are indeed evolving. One of the most winning things about them is their willingness to do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to overcome evil and make the world right.
By virtue of his very nature, Adam’s world is full of possibilities, and even when beaten down, he soon finds a way to become upbeat. He’s someone I like and care about. He’s a good guy I’m happy to hang out with through many an adventure.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The overarching theme is the importance of defending Western civilization—hence the dedication: “To Western Civilization.” This theme is implicit in the novel’s primary struggle: preventing anti-Western, Islamist terrorists from destroying Europe and America. In the course of the story, in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways, both the pros and cons of Western civilization are contrasted with the culture and behavior of the terrorists. Despite its imperfections, Western civilization comes out way ahead.
A theme sometimes overlooked is that of celebrating strong women. Two of the three main characters, after all, are women— Tripnee and Sophia. Although these two clash in ways both superficial and profound, by the end both are revealed to be extraordinarily strong and determined people. Also, Roxanna the terrorist is an exceptionally strong character.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Slay the Dragon, the fourth novel in the Adam Weldon series, is nearly complete and will be released by October. (By the way, each book in the series stands alone and the books can be read in any order.) Here is a back-cover blurb for Slay the Dragon:
“China’s relentless strategy of all-out unrestricted warfare—with the willing participation of bought-and-paid-for US elites—is bringing America to its knees. Can an ex-Navy SEAL, a tech-genius Chinese dissident, an Oakland cop, and a Silicon Valley billionaire save American democracy and put China on a better path? To find out, plunge headlong into this rousing, upbeat, rip-roaring Adam Weldon thriller.”
“Want to understand what is going on right now between China and America? A murder investigation exposes systemic deception, crime, election rigging, information dominance, mass manipulation, corruption and outright theft at the highest levels of China and the United States. This gripping, thoroughly researched novel reveals—as sometimes only fiction can—the raw, excruciating truth behind today’s headlines.”
Posted in Interviews
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