I grew up in Western Washington, USA and would describe my childhood as typical middle class 1960’s Americana. My education, however, differed from that of most of my peers. In the fifth grade, following a rash of adolescent misadventures, my parents felt it would be best for everybody involved, especially the neighbors, if I went to a military academy of the Catholic boarding school variety.
It obviously provided the discipline and structure I was missing at home, because I thrived in that environment. Each year I was the highest rank in my class, soon made the ‘A’ honor-roll, and became the drum major of the marching band. In fairness, and in order for you to understand the motivation behind becoming the drum major, within my first two weeks at the academy it was clear the position required neither drilling-in-formation, nor hours of practicing an instrument. My fertile, scheming young mind soon hatched a plan to occupy that position, and for two years I worked incredibly hard to allow me to become the laziest cadet in school. Perfect!
I graduated high school as a National Merit Scholar, went to the University of Washington, and entered the world of business not long after. In my 45-year career in business, I owned companies, managed others, worked as a consultant to businesses and governments, and sat on directing and advisory boards in 50 different industries. Early one morning in early October of 2020, I sat down on an impulse and began writing. I describe that path in this webpage, and musings in my books’ prefaces, so I will not repeat it here; what I will say, however, is that I wish I had begun this journey at the age of 26, instead of at 66.
I want to thank all of my friends, family, and readers who have been so supportive and encouraging. I hope you fall as much in love with the characters in my books as I have.
This adventure started with my lifelong friend, John Millis. To say he is the most interesting man in the world is an understatement. The adventures, misadventures, and totally outrageous things he has done in his life are legendary in many circles. Often we’ve sat around sharing adventures, his and mine, and laughed at the idea that someone should write a book.
The start of that is Operation: Austin, and it began by me starting to explore some of the things I had known about, experienced, and heard from friends, and then I brought John into the story as another Irish character named John Byrne.
Most of the adventures I tell in the book about John, ACTUALLY came from my friends’ life… and those are just a few things. Along the way, I shared my stories with a few friends, and one of those in particular rose to share some of her experiences being a victim of trafficking, and her lifetime working with other victims. It was Amanda that fueled my passion for exposing the horrors of human trafficking, and the degree to which our authorities are deeply involved. Five books later, I believe we are just getting started. There is a sixth book being written, and two others which are unrelated to the Booker series. I have at least five more in development at this time.
As people started streaming out of the plane, Gary was leaning against a concrete column, watching carefully. After a few minutes, a girl in a T-shirt with UNLV on the front, came through the door. She was about 5’-8” tall, and was very slim, weighing about 115 pounds, he guessed. Her brown eyes were nervously scanning the crowd. Afraid and alone, she reminded him of a rabbit, ready to bolt in any direction. He imagined that when she was healthy, she walked smoothly, graceful like a runway model, but today her movement was slightly stifled, and her posture and furtive glances showed her nervousness.
Even damaged he could tell she was stunning, the kind of woman who made people stop and stare as she entered a room. Today she was drawing people’s attention for another reason, and it was obvious to Gary what John left out of the details. She’d been beaten. Not beaten as-in getting slapped around a little, some asshole had kicked the shit out of her. Her face was bruised, and her still partially closed left eye looked like she’d been in an MMA fight. Across her swollen eyebrow, there was a nasty cut which probably should have had stitches. The right side of her mouth was still fat, and her cheek had a deep blue bruise. She also had bruises on her arms, and from the way she walked, bruises on her legs as well. Somebody had done this girl bad, and Gary’s visceral reaction, knowing John had shot them, was that death by shooting was WAY too painless.
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The book tour hasn’t started yet, but when it does (next year?) Ems and I will be meeting with readers, and the dates and locations will be posted here! For now, we’re too busy writing books and learning the publishing business!!