I really enjoy talking with and receiving e-mails and facebook posts and cards and letters from people who have read and enjoyed The Artemus Newton Thrillers
CHIEF, ARENA, SCOUNDREL, KNIGHT, and TURNCOAT. Here are a few questions.
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Q: How and when did you decide to write these thriller novels?
A: Well, during the last thirty-two + years in the Army I've met a lot of fascinating people in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, police forces, CIA, FBI, and other intelligence agencies and I've always enjoyed reading thrillers and adventure novels by authors such as Clive Cussler, Jack Higgins, Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, etc. and began toying with the idea of writing my own series. I've met many men and women who do dangerous and important work in real life and knew that I had the ability to maybe put together a series of novels featuring background info from all of the fun assignments I've had in interesting places around the world as a Soldier. So, in late 2010 I began writing Artemus Newton Thriller #1, titled CHIEF. The book's premise was a recently retired Army Chief Warrant Officer named Artemus Newton, who has just moved to a nice and comfortable apartment in a far northwest suburb of Chicago with his faithful cat, Gus and hopes to live a nice quiet life instead almost immediately bumps into terrorists, hired killers, a beautiful CIA officer, Iranian secret agents, and a Neo-Nazi billionaire. I knew that this would be the first book in a series and started writing the second book, titled ARENA, in the summer of 2011, a couple of months after CHIEF was released as an eBook. CHIEF and ARENA were very well received and I began writing SCOUNDREL in late 2011 and it was released as an eBook in early 2012. SCOUNDREL featured a very popular character from CHIEF and ARENA and took the series to a new level. In late 2012 I began work on KNIGHT, the fourth thriller in the series and it came out as an eBook in February of 2013. With the success of the eBook versions of the Artemus Newton Thrillers the decision was made to make the leap to paperback and now all four books are available for your NOOK or Kindle and also in a nice paperback version.
Q: How long does it usually take to write each book?
A: It takes a lot of time and energy to write these books, but it is so worth it. It usually takes about five months or so, working mostly in the evening and on weekends, normally starting in the fall and through the winter.
Q: Where did you come up with the name of the main character, Artemus Newton?
A: The name of the protagonist is just perfect, isn't it? I really like this name and how the character has developed and how Artie seems to be a real crowd-pleaser. Since I was a kid my favorite TV show has been THE WILD WILD WEST (1965 - 1969) and my favorite character on the show was Secret Service Agent Artemus Gordon. So, I took "Artemus" as the first name for my protagonist and took my cat's name for the last name and came up with Chief Warrant Officer Artemus Newton, U.S. Army (Retired).
Q: Where can I purchase your books besides at book signings?
A: All four books can be purchased at Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com for your NOOK or Kindle and also in PAPERBACK. You can also buy the books at theartemusnewtonthrillers.com and at The Wisconsin National Guard Museum at Volk Field, Wisconsin and at The Point in downtown Tomah, Wisconsin. The books are also available at many libraries in Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Q: Who made the tremendous cover art for KNIGHT?
A: Yes, I really, really like this one. It was created by artist Jeff Driver of Skokie, Illinois. Jeff and his wife have been friends for around seventeen years. I gave him the concept for the cover and then he did all the great work in creating this. Fantastic!
Q: Which one of your thrillers is your favorite? Or, do you like them all the same?
A: All four of them are my babies, but KNIGHT is my personal favorite at the moment. ARENA and KNIGHT are the two most fun for me to read.
Q: Are any of the characters in the books real people?
A: All of the characters are composites of many people I've known over the years. The closest character to real life is the Steve Veres character, the retired Command Sergeant Major who travels around the country in his Winnebago with his wife, Shelle. Steve is based on my best friend from my assignment in Bamberg, W. Germany from June 1981 to June 1984. The real Steve Veres collects lots of military items, enough to equip a museum like the fictional Steve Veres in the books and he and his wife Shelle live in St. Louis just like in the books.